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[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans

by Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
[KKOOM] Support for young adult Korean orphans
Byung Kyung finds joy in meditating and reading
Byung Kyung finds joy in meditating and reading

In South Korea, the spring semester marks the beginning of a new school year, as students in Korea start the new school year in March and end in December. This spring semester presented challenges to students due to COVID-19 as they navigated a new schedule for their classes. KKOOM reached out to our two college scholars, Byung Kyung and Minyeal, in mid-April to give us a sense of how their daily school routine.

Byung Kyung and Minyeal are both majoring in Applied Music at a Divinity college in Daegu, South Korea, which was the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea. While the spring semester was supposed to start on March 16th, online lectures did not begin until April 13th. Most professors record their lectures in advance using “Naver Band” and also conduct some classes using ZOOM. Each subject is about 25 minutes in two sessions for lecture and homework. 

The transition to online classes did not seem to pose a problem for either of our college scholars. Byung Kyung takes advantage of study groups with classmates, while practicing social distancing and uses caution while interacting with others. His favorite class this semester is vocal performance to help strengthen his talents. What gives him the most joy nowadays is reading and his meditation time. 

When we asked Byung Kyung if he had any words to share with KKOOM supporters, he shared, “Even around the world, coronavirus gives us a lot of pressure. There are times I have struggled with how coronavirus has affected our society, but I am still having a good time by the grace of God. Thank you for your support in helping me recover from life’s difficulties. I also want to help other people later without forgetting this grace!”

Minyeal’s favorite class this semester is piano accompaniment. Minyeal is a praise band leader at his local church, so he is used to being behind the mic singing. While piano accompaniment is his favorite class, he also shared this class gives him many challenges personally and academically. It is a difficult class, but Minyeal has a positive attitude about his effort and progress made throughout the semester. He really enjoys it because of the accountability and personal attention he receives through 1:1 learning with the professor. One of the best things that gives Minyeal daily joy is writing Bible verses. It helps him relax throughout the day. 

Sharing his appreciation for KKOOM’s support, Minyeal also expressed his thanks to every supporter who helps fund his college scholarship. “As I received a lot of love, I will do my best to work hard to live as a person who gives and loves many people. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who support my dreams, and I sincerely hope and pray that the Lord’s love will be filled there. Thank you very much.”

Through the unexpected challenges of a delayed start to their spring semester and transitioning to online classes, Minyeal and Byung Kyung have faced adversity with grit and resilience, learning to bounce back from difficult situations. There’s a famous saying in Korean culture called “hwaiting,” which means “you can do it.” Your generosity motivates these two young men to pursue their dreams in the midst of a global pandemic. Thank you for giving Minyeal and Byung Kyung the strength to get through their studies, day by day, by cheering them on saying, “You can do it.” 

Minyeal says "I will do my best to work hard."
Minyeal says "I will do my best to work hard."
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Byung Kyung loves to read & relax on the weekends
Byung Kyung loves to read & relax on the weekends

Paying for college without the parents’ help can be challenging. For our two college scholars, they support themselves by working jobs outside of being a full-time student. Byung Kyung and Minyeal are both at a Divinity college in Daegu, South Korea, majoring in Applied Music. As they were wrapping up their fall semester, we reached out to ask a few questions about what they enjoy doing on the weekends and how their studies are going. 

You can read how thankful they are to KKOOM supporters, all answers being translated into English. 

Byung Kyung’s Answers

1) What do you enjoy most about college? 

  • The good thing is that I'm so happy to be able to do new things with new people.

2) What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends? 

  • On the weekends, I relax and read. 

3) What is the most challenging thing about college?

  • I worry about what the future holds. 

4) How does the scholarship money of 700,000 KRW (~$600) help you pay for school or does it help you with living costs? 

  • It is very helpful as I don’t worry about paying for college expenses as much. 

5) Do you have anything you would like to say to your “Dream” group supporters? 

  • Thank you for always remembering and supporting me. I am so grateful for the small changes in my life that have resulted from small donations. Thank you. It is a great pleasure for me to feel supported by you.  

Minyeal’s Answers

1) What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends? 

  • I love singing a lot on Saturdays and Sundays. 

2) What helps you study? 

  • I enjoy doing group study with classmates. Listening to worship music helps me study and going to a cafe by myself to get quiet time or to study with friends. 

3) What is the most challenging thing about college?

  • If you know a little about basic theory musically, you learn more of it over time. But, the theory is still very difficult. 

4) How does the scholarship money of 700,000 KRW (~$600) help you pay for school or does it help you with living costs? 

  • It helps pay for living expenses. It is also helpful for learning and buying textbooks. I always appreciate it. 

5) Do you have anything you would like to say to your “Dream” group supporters? 

  • Thank you for the scholarship! The amount of money you support really helps me. Thank you for helping me focus more on my school life. 

The small things in life give us hope. It gives us strength to get through the big moments of life. It’s the small acts we take every day towards our goals which helps us grow and learn better. Whether it’s giving $10 or supporting our college scholars with a $100 monthly donation, your giving makes a difference. Thank you for supporting these two young adults to follow their dreams, one small step and one day at a time. 

With gratitude, 

Grace Lee, Chief Administrator

Byung Kyung is grateful for your support!
Byung Kyung is grateful for your support!
Minyeal is a worship leader at a church in Gumi
Minyeal is a worship leader at a church in Gumi
Minyeal enjoys studying by himself & with friends
Minyeal enjoys studying by himself & with friends
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Minyeal helping to feed a young adult at Aemangwon
Minyeal helping to feed a young adult at Aemangwon

Summer vacation gives our KKOOM college scholars a chance to take a break from school to make more time for leisure activities. Minyeal, an Applied Music major, had a busy summer helping to open a coffee shop with a friend, attending a summer retreat, and volunteering at a children’s home that assists children with physical and cognitive challenges. Here’s a chance to hear more about these activities, getting a better glimpse of Minyeal’s personality as he strives to give back to others. 

Somang Church is located in the Gyeongsangbuk-do region of South Korea where many young adults from Samsungwon attend. They serve in leadership roles, leading worship either singing, playing the drums, or playing keyboard / piano. Jaeho is one of the adults who leads worship at Somang Church. He grew up at Samsungwon and now has a family of his own with two children. In August 2019, he opened a coffee shop on the first floor of the Somang Church building. The name of the coffee shop means “Good Coffee” in English. 

Having done all of the renovation from scratch, Minyeal helped Jaeho build the coffee shop. Instead of buying hardwood flooring and shelves, Jaeho found all the materials for free, on the side of the road. The shelves came from separate parts, so the two of them assembled the shelves together and painted them all black to give them a clean, polished look. One of the most important roles Minyeal had was sampling the drinks before the coffee shop opened. It’s not easy to make the perfect vanilla latte so Minyeal’s opinions was helpful in making the coffee shop successful. 

Every summer, the young adults who have aged out of Samsungwon meet up to have a family reunion. This year, they went to Pohang to enjoy the beach and each other’s company. With more than 30 people attending, Minyeal enjoyed sharing new and past memories with brothers and sisters he grew up with. KKOOM helps pay some of the costs of their annual summer retreat to continue showing them the importance of community and family. 

Minyeal volunteers on a regular basis at Aemangwon, one of the children’s homes we support with KKOOM outreach. With his strong connections to the staff, he coordinated a visit for KKOOM’s Chief Administrator and seven volunteers in August 2019. The volunteers included other young adults from Samsungwon, Fulbright Korea English Teachers, and former KKOOM volunteers. We stayed at Aemangwon about two hours and played with the children in two different rooms, ages ranging from nine years old to twenty-four years old. Minyeal helped feed lunch to the teens / young adults in their 20s who are unable to walk. 

While Minyeal continues to stay busy, he serves with humility to spread joy and compassion to others. We are grateful for your continued support to allow Minyeal to grow in his leadership skills and to complete his Bachelor’s degree. Your generosity gives Minyeal confidence to continue giving his best in his classes, amidst a busy schedule. Thank you for believing in Minyeal’s potential to reach his dreams. 

Minyeal helped assemble shelves at "Good Coffee"
Minyeal helped assemble shelves at "Good Coffee"
Annual summer retreat in Pohang
Annual summer retreat in Pohang
Minyeal driving to Aemangwon with other volunteers
Minyeal driving to Aemangwon with other volunteers
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Minyeal volunteers at Aemangwon Children's Home
Minyeal volunteers at Aemangwon Children's Home

2019 marked new beginnings for Minyeal and Byung Kyung, two young adults who grew up at Samsungwon Orphanage. They just completed their first semester at a Divinity school in Daegu, both studying Applied Music. As KKOOM College Scholars, we asked them to answer a few questions towards the end of their semester to get a better understanding of their progress. You’ll see below their answers which were translated to English. 

MINYEAL 

1. "Have you been able to achieve your goal yet from the beginning of the semester?"

  • My goal at the beginning of the semester was to be friendly with people who do their best in their jobs, so to surround myself with a positive community. Thanks to the dream group, I was able to accomplish the goal and I am so thankful that I am attending school without difficulty.

2. "What is your favorite thing about this semester?"

  • The best thing is that there is an age difference with other students and I was worried if I could make good friends. Fortunately, all the students know me well, we greet each other, and have fun.

3. "How do you spend your free time?"

  • In my spare time, I study music theory and lead worship at a local church. 

4. "What is your favorite class and why?"

  • This semester, the subject of playing method was the best. In front of the whole school, I sang "Amor Dei" with the voice God gave me. I am grateful I had this singing opportunity and it was a memorable experience.

5. "Do you have anything you would like to say to your KKOOM supporters who provide the scholarship?"

  • Thank you very much to each one of the Dream supporters. I do not know you, but I will pray for you, and pay it forward as I achieve my goals. Thank you again.

BYUNG KYUNG 

1. "What is your favorite thing about spring semester?"

  • It was nice to be able to study something I am passionate about and walk around campus freely during the semester. 

2. "How do you spend your free time?"

  • I spend time preparing my assignments every day.

3. "What is your favorite class and why?"

  • I took one of my major courses for my Applied Music degree. It was good that I could get guidance in my field professionally.

4.  "How has the scholarship helped you this semester?"

  • I was able to use it appropriately to buy textbooks and supplies for my classes; it was a lot of help.

5. "Do you have anything you would like to say to your KKOOM supporters who provide the scholarship?"

  • Thank you for your generous sponsorship. I am still receiving the sponsorship now, but I hope to support myself financially in the future. Thank you. I pray for those who support me.

Gratefulness exudes out of each of these individuals, in everything they say and do. They always lend a helping hand, like being photographers for our Children’s Day Luncheon KKOOM hosted in May. The special occasion was for 80 children to feel extra love at Aemangwon Children’s Home who have physical or cognitive challenges. Minyeal is always driving the local church van, to pick up house mothers, pastors, or the younger children at Samsungwon so they can attend Sunday church services. 

Minyeal and Byung Kyung find blessings in the everyday moments. Thank you for being a blessing to these young men to pursue their dreams as they attend college to get a higher education. You help them get one step closer to their goals because of one thing - your belief in them. We are grateful for your continued support as you encourage Minyeal and Byung Kyung to dream bigger through your generosity. 

With gratitude, 

-Grace Lee, Chief Administrator

Byung Kyung studies persistently on a daily basis
Byung Kyung studies persistently on a daily basis
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Minyeal leads Sunday worship at a church in Korea
Minyeal leads Sunday worship at a church in Korea

The flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping in South Korea with the start of a new school year. Along with the spring season starting, two male students who grew up at Samsungwon Children’s Home have embarked on a new journey. Minyeal and Byung Kyung have started as new students at a Divinity school studying Applied Music. It’s amazing that both of them can support each other through their classes in the same environment - that’s what we call brotherly love.

Minyeal graduated from World Cyber University in spring 2018 with a Pastoral Studies degree. He decided to continue his studies in Applied Music to get one step closer to becoming a world-wide praise minister. Minyeal has a natural gift to sing as he leads Sunday worship at a local church in the Gyeongsangbuk-do province. Serving others is his passion; he regularly visits a children’s home in Daegu to work with children with physical and cognitive challenges. Attending a new school, his goal is to make new friends this semester and will use the scholarship funds to pay for living expenses and school textbooks. While his next vacation won’t be until the summertime, he hopes to improve his English while playing the guitar during his school break.

Byung Kyung chose the Applied Music major to learn the necessary parts of the church ministry. Specifically, his dream is to help with worship activities working with college students. While being in his first semester at the Divinity school, his goal is to adapt well to his new academic environment. In his spare time, he loves to sing, listen to praise music, and play soccer. While many people their age would like to climb the corporate ladder to make a successful name for himself or herself, both Minyeal and Byung Kyung understand the true meaning of life. Albert Einstein said, “Only a life lived in service to others is worth living.” They have found the key to happiness - to give and serve others to the best of their ability.

Your continuous giving to KKOOM’s college scholarship program allows us to give hope to young adults as they experience challenges and success. It shows them they are not alone in their journey to make a difference in society. Thank you for believing in our mission to improve Minyeal and Byung Kyung’s life through your support.

With gratitude, 

Grace Lee, Chief Administrator

Byung Kyung loves to play soccer & listen to music
Byung Kyung loves to play soccer & listen to music
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Organization Information

Korean Kids and Orphanage Outreach Mission

Location: Portage, MI - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @koreankids
Project Leader:
Aimee Jachym
President
Portage, MICHIGAN United States

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