Saying Goodbye to Sookil & Mijung Tae
One of the hardest parts of doing campus ministry is saying good-bye to families who have become so dear to us. After 10 years of faithful service to the church, Sookil and Mijung Tae have returned to South Korea. Sookil accepted a job with the Battelle Memorial Institute of Technology in Korea. The company’s main headquarters is here in Columbus, so we hope to see them visit us in the future.
Sookil has been one of the Lay Leaders of our church (along with Kathy Young), served on our Staff-Pastor Parish Relations Committee and led our Korean prayer ministries (like when we went to Sierra Leone). We have all fallen in love with Mijiung and their son Nathan and their daughter Sol. How we will miss them!
On Saturday, September 29 we had a surprise party at Chuck Lee’s house. Added to the surprise was when two of our former families traveled back to be with us -- Dong Hun and Soohyun Lee from New York (Yale University) and Sang Hak and Doin Lee from Iowa City (University of Iowa). Sookil and Mijung could not imagine they would come.
When Sookil and Mijung came into the kitchen area that day, the two out-of-town families showed up one by one from the basement. They all screamed with a joy for a long time, hugged each other, and cried with joy.
When I prayed for the Tae’s after dinner, I could not continue after saying, “Gracious God...” Everyone was quiet and started to weep. My memory of this family is so special, and there are so many episodes to talk about. Through them we experienced not only God’s healing power, but God’s miracles.
Our mission of Campus Ministry to Korean students is to invite them with radical hospitality, then to nurture them, and eventually send them into the world as equipped leaders upon graduation. Yet, saying “Good-Bye” is so very hard, especially after all this time with the Tae family. We are aware of our mission, but it is still hard to say “Good Bye” to a family who had become such an important
part of our body of Christ. But we always have faith that God will fill the missing part of His body and that our campus ministry will continue strong in the Lord.
We will miss them, just as we have missed the two families who visited from a long way and attended our Sunday worship service. We pray for their challenges in the new job, knowing without a doubt that Sookil and Mijung will be God’s faithful servants wherever they go and whatever they do. May God bless them!