Photo gallery of Joo’s mission trip to Mongolia

By Joo Yoon, 18, UC San Diego (graduated from Diamond Bar HS in May 06)
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Group picture (Joo Yoon bottom center wearing glasses) with the kids in the church in Ulaanbaatar.
Photo by Lily Han

Have you had an experience that impacts you so much that it changed your life? This summer, I had one such experience when I went to Mongolia (bordering China) for a Christian mission trip. I wanted to be a missionary to spread God’s word and His love.

Before the trip I had to undergo a weekly discipleship training course from March to June. I had the choice of going to Japan, China, Arizona or Mongolia for missions. I went to Mongolia because I felt God was calling me there.

Even though I’m a huge Dodgers fan, I declined an invitation to become a batboy so I could be a missionary. During the course, I learned what it meant to become a mature Christian. Many areas of my faith improved, such as praising God, praying and talking to Him and just putting all my trust in Him. I began to pray more earnestly and tried to hear Him speaking to me.

It was my first ever mission trip and I was very excited. I felt physically and mentally prepared but I still had doubts about whether I was spiritually ready to take on such an extensive program for my first time. Our main focus was the children of Mongolia. We wanted to "plant seeds" in the country so that in the future when those children became leaders of Mongolia, they could lead in a Christian way while spreading the good word. Our group decided to hold VBS (vacation bible school), and teach English and music at two churches. We tried to convey the love God has for His children by showing our love for them through our actions.

We spent our first week at a church in a village on outskirts of the capital city Ulaanbaatar called Bagnor. We were overwhelmed by the turnout of more than 300 kids but it was gratifying to see more than a third of the children come out on the last day for the altar call and accept Christ into their lives. The head pastor there told us that only a third of the kids who participated were from his church which meant that of the two-thirds who were from the neighborhood, more than half came to know Christ.

Our second week was spent at a church in Ulaanbaatar. There were fewer children, but that was better because we could interact more personally with them. We were able to have free time with them, learn their names and even able to dance with them. During the last week, we took a group of the more senior members of the church to Lake Huvsgol. We drove for six days to spend only two days there, but however inefficient that may seem, I can honestly say that whole week, particularly the two days at the church, were the most amazing days of my life. We were supposed to give them a better understanding of Christ’s love and His word but it seemed that we were the ones who learned. From my partner Nilgoo, I learned how to praise with all my heart. Whenever he sang worship songs, I could see his love for Christ flow out so passionately from him. I believe I speak for all of team members when I say that the trip was a blessing to us all and that without God’s help, we would not have succeeded.