Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Soul of Seoul

Last week I returned from a visit. Korea has changed so much that I can hardly recognize the place, especially the capitol city of Seoul.   In fact, the shock I experienced in Seoul was similar to the culture shock on my first visit to America.  This time I was a foreigner in my own homeland.

Tall buildings were everywhere and all the stores looked alike.  The apartments all looked the same.  I marveled that anyone could find their own way home. Luckily I can speak Korean and when I got lost I was able to navigate through that thick forest of buildings.  Once I gave an address to a taxi driver and he could not find the place I was going.  He told me that there are over ten thousand people living in an average apartment complex, thus one needs to know the name of the building with a reference to a subway station.

Seoul is the one of the most populous cities in the world.  Almost half of South Korea's people live in the Capital Area.  I was dropped off  in the midst of the busiest part of Seoul; with a million people crowded within a few blocks. You can imagine my confusion.  While I was looking for directions, I read hundreds church signs. It was comforting to see that Seoul has a soul.  My friends told me that many Seoul churches have memberships of over ten thousand.  I can believe her after seeing all those church signs.

I am happy to report that Korea has become a Christian nation.  Korean Christians are passionate about winning souls and I can see the evidence of that.  When I was in college many years ago, I was the only Christian among my eleven college friends.  On this visit, I discovered that all eleven belong to either a Protestant or Catholic Church.  I visited my alma mater which is a secular university.  Yet Christ is lifted on campus by both Christian professors and students.  They share a passion to declare the Gospel and to win souls.  It was good to see my homeland become a prosperous nation, not only economically, but spiritually.