The Multiracial Student Scholarship Fund is one of the strategies employed by the CRCNA Race Relations team to develop multiracial leadership. Recipients of the scholarship attend one of the higher learning institutions affiliated with the denomination—Calvin University, Dordt University, The King’s University, Redeemer University, Kuyper College, Trinity Christian College, and Calvin Theological Seminary. They have also expressed a strong desire to train for and to engage in the ministry of racial reconciliation in church and/or in community.
Through bountiful gifts given last year, the Office of Race Relations was able to award scholarships to six students for the 2022-23 school year. It’s our privilege to introduce you to Heesung Yoo, one of the six recipients for this school year. Read his biography below and some of his thoughts on his South Korean ministry and current studies helped in part by this scholarship.
My name is Heesung Yoo and I am from South Korea. I have served teenagers and college students as a pastor for 10 years since 2011. I am currently in the ThM course at Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS). There were concerns about whether a husband of a wife and a father of two daughters would be able to settle down and study well in a foreign country. But last year was filled with appreciation for the CTS's kind assistance and hospitality.
For decades, South Korea has had the highest rate of youth and young adult suicide in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations. I had an existential concern about why young people in Korea suffer while I was serving the youth and young adults. After the Korean War, the economy of the Republic of Korea expanded quickly, but there was insufficient regard for the socially vulnerable. Under the social system organized by the older generation, young people in Korea are struggling. I set out to save young people with the gospel, but the last time I had to watch the dying young people made me go to study abroad.
At the heart of the difficulties, my country faces a problem of conflict. Of course, North and South Korea are still at war. But conflict is also evident between rich and poor, men and women, generations, politicians, and ethnic groups. At the center of these conflicts the vulnerable, unable to protect themselves, are suffering (including young people).
Through my studies at CTS, I want to learn what kind of answers Christianity should present and practice in relation to these conflicts. The fact that Christianity in American culture, which has had internal conflicts caused by racial issues since the country's establishment, operates a Multiracial Scholarship system for peace and reconciliation really inspired me. I am honored to be able to accompany Race Relations, which strives for love and coexistence in another land, on the path of reconciliation and peace that I received as a Korean pastor.
If you feel led to support this valuable scholarship fund and students like Heesung, please give online at this link. Your gift today will bless future students as they train for and prepare to engage in the ministry of racial reconciliation in church and in society.
For those who wish to be considered for a scholarship from the Office of Race Relations, information and an application are found at this link (deadline to apply is May 1).