In the beautiful inland town of Gumi, South Korea, nestled in a valley with high mountains all around, Captains Derek and Heather Jung have taken the lead as corps officers. After many years in the United States and attending the College for Officer Training in the Central Territory, the Jungs were happy to begin their service in South Korea last September.

“We have no doubt about God’s guidance for this appointment. Every day we experience God working through us,” said Captain Derek. “The greatest joy is that, as a Korean, I can use the Korean language to spread the gospel without restrictions and have deeper fellowship with my neighbors, including corps members.”

Visitation is an important ministry of the Jungs.

The Gumi Corps is small and isolated, the only Salvation Army unit in the city of 410,000 people. With a membership of about 20 people, it is a close-knit group which worships and serves together regularly. In addition to Sunday and Wednesday meetings, they go out into the community to serve, meeting people where they are. The service takes many forms from delivering food to older adult shut-ins to visiting a family whose child has severe disabilities.

As they continue to reach out to the community, the Jungs are focusing on pastoral care, building relationships and encouraging spiritual growth and discipleship among the corps’ people.

The Jungs and volunteers package 200 lunches for those experiencing homelessness in Daegu City.

“The center of ministry here is pastoral ministry. We are currently focusing on experiencing spiritual revival,” said Captain Derek. “We expect everyone to experience God more closely through worship. And in order to help corps members live a godly life, we deliver the Word through text early in the morning so that they can meditate on the Word.”

Their appointment is not without challenges. As a small corps, they rely on divisional headquarters to help with financial assistance to meet their needs. Because the budget does not allow for staff salaries, they manage every aspect of the corps’ programs and services without support personnel. Yet, in the face of these circumstances, the Jungs are not deterred or discouraged. They focus on God’s provision and the blessing of the corps members.

“Despite financial difficulties as an independent corps, we are deeply grateful to God for the corps members who do their best to serve the corps and love and help each other,” concluded the captain. “We have had time to get to know each other, and we are currently visiting each of their homes, worshiping together and having time to understand their lives more fully. We are praying that God’s will for this corps will be accomplished.”

 

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