News - January 2016
Frances now has a confirmed place on the Master of Divinity course at the Theology Graduate School in Seoul, for her ordination training. It is a 3 year course beginning in March 2016. She will be resident at the Anglican University in Seoul during the week in term time, but will return to Il-Seon-Ri each weekend, so that she and Jemma also have regular time together in community. She and Jemma thank us, and the SSF Legacy Fund trustees for our support, and ask us to pray for Frances’ continued good health while she pursues her studies.
In a recent letter Frances and Jemma explained the current concerns in Korean society and asked for our prayers. Frances writes: “There is a great weariness in Korean society at the moment. Over the last year there have been the several big social issues arising, such as the tragedy of the sinking of the Sae-Wol-Ho ferry, the dispute over the state authorized textbooks [where the government has attempted to restrict school history books to those with ‘official’ status rather than those considered too left-wing by the conservative government], and the labour reform problem. There have been two major public demonstrations about these things, and now on the 19th December a third is people’s rally is planned in solidarity with the labour movement. These started as peaceful demonstrations, but the police aggravated the situation by responding with force against the peaceful leaders of the demos, which ended up with water cannons being used against the workers to disperse the crowds, and as yet people still haven’t come to their senses. We are searching for democracy and peace, but it seems as though our society has regressed by 40 years to re-experience the atmosphere that prevailed at that time. It is really a shameful thing to see as our society degenerates and the problems escalate all the time. Please pray that strong democracy and true peace may come to Korean society.”