Dick - Although I attended a liberal church regularly and was active in denominational youth activities, I never really heard the plan of salvation until after Hae Ja and I began attending an evangelical Methodist Church in Newark, NJ. As I dug into Sunday School lesson material, in November 1963, I saw that I was a sinner and needed to be saved, and that the secret of being a Christian was to receive the finished work of Christ and trust in His shed blood. Shortly after being saved, I realized that God had saved me for a special purpose and wrestled with the Lord about going to school to prepare for full-time Christian service. In September 1965, I began to attend a Bible college whose emphasis was not on the local church, but after I developed strong Biblical convictions, the Lord led me to transfer to Baptist Bible Seminary in Johnson City, NY (later Baptist Bible College in Pennsylvania). In 1972, Hae Ja and I applied to Baptist Mid-Missions for service in Korea, because of the Mission's strong Biblical stand, and the need for workers on that field.
After one term, the Lord closed the door for us to return to Korea and led us to New Zealand using Isaiah 52:10, "...all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God." During our seventeen years of ministry in New Zealand, the Lord enabled us to plant two local churches, one of which went self-supporting in eight years. We also engaged in a ministry to the Korean students who attended the Polytechnic Institute in our town, and to the Korean seamen whose ships called at the nearby port of Bluff, seeing a number of them come to know the Lord.
In 1996, we returned to North America, as by that time our daughter, Nicole, had contracted a form of cancer which later claimed her life at age 40. So that we could be closer to her, the Lord opened the door for a church planting ministry in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In 2002, the Lord burdened us to take a "rescue work" in Citrus Springs, FL, bringing it to self-supporting status in May 2011. Believing we had additional work to do in Citrus Springs, the church called me as pastor, so we went on retirement status with Baptist Mid-Missions and continued pastoring the church until health issues forced me to retire from the ministry in February, 2012.
Hae Ja and I praise the Lord for Ken and Lynne Moon, and Baptist Mid-Missions for making Missionary Acres such a great place for retired missionaries and pastors. The Acres provide a safe, caring, and very affordable place to live, which we could not find elsewhere.
Hae Ja - I was raised was raised in a Christian home in the south eastern part of South Korea. My grandmother was one of the early converts of the Southern Presbyterian Mission. As was my mother, I was sent to a girl's middle school and later a girl's high school operated by missionaries. During my teen years, I was expected to make a profession of faith and be baptized, but having seen so much hypocrisy, especially on the part of Korean faculty at school, I wanted no part of Christianity.
After attending art college in Seoul, I had the opportunity for a job with the Korean government, requiring me to type English. I met Dick through a group of students, as I sought help improving my English skills. In November 1961, we were married and later returned to the States, when Dick's military tour in Korea was completed. We looked for a church to attend in the States in order to make friends, as I was very homesick. Hearing the gospel once again, I realized that if I wanted to make sure that I would see my Christian family in Korea again, I needed to trust the Lord as my Savior, so I could be sure of at least seeing them in heaven. Although I had known the Gospel from my childhood, I received Christ as my Savior in November 1963.