Some three dozen Christians, mostly Korean Americans, gathered at a workshop event at Azusa Pacific University on June 13 to learn more about how to get involved in ministry work in North Korea, and to pray for the nation.

The meeting was hosted by a group called Adopt815, which is aiming to mobilize churches and ministries in Southern California to come together for a prayer event on August 15. The date marks the 70th anniversary of Korea's independence from Japan, but also the beginning of the division between the two Koreas. The Saturday meeting took place 70 days before August 15, and was part of a series of meetings that Adopt815 has hosted since last August 15, including one in January.

"We want as many believers as possible to unite for this cause this year," said Gina Kay from the Adopt815 organizing team on Saturday.

The Saturday meeting featured Jamie Kim, the director of Reah International, and Christine Park from Young Nak Celebration Church as the two main speakers.

Kim shared Reah International's approach to doing ministry in North Korea and Northeast China, and said that Reah is focusing on not only sending Christian professionals into the North through organizations and agencies, but also supporting them while they are there with resources and accountability.

"90 percent of singles who did work in China or North Korea came back disillusioned and feeling defeated," Kim said. "So we realized it wasn't enough just to send these field workers into North Korea."

Some ways Reah hopes to provide support for expat field workers in North Korea is by hosting retreats, and creating small Bible-centered accountability groups, for example.

Christine Park shared a brief testimony about her father, who suddenly passed away while doing ministry in North Korea. Park, who was sent as a missionary to Mongolia, saw the strategic value of Mongolia in doing field work in North Korea, and took the opportunity to do so.

"There were three things my dad said he would live and die for," Christine Park said. "For his country, for love, and for God, the gospel."

Those who gathered also participated in corporate prayer: that those who are doing field work in North Korea would be strengthened; and that the churches in Southern California would be mobilized to come together, and to care for those in North Korea.

Meanwhile, Adopt815 is planning for a three-part event on August 15: early dawn prayer, a prayer meeting in the afternoon, and a prayer meeting in the evening. As the day approaches, organizers encouraged fellow believers to pray for North Korea in anticipation of August 15, and made a 40-day prayer guide available on their website.

"The division [in Korea] has gone on for too long," said Grace Yoo, also one of the organizers of Adopt815.

"We need to pray, and the prayer doesn't end at August 15. We hope [reunification] is soon, but we're going to be faithful and pray until it happens."

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