Compassion Ministries - August 2017 Update

North Korea

Dear friends and supporters,

Today’s newsletter tells of my recent visit to North Korea. But first I want to announce an important change – we have a new foundation. More than six years ago, I helped set up the Green Tree International Foundation which took the lead in supporting social welfare projects in North Korea. However, on April 20, 2017 I resigned from that foundation. I was concerned about a lack of transparency in financial matters which I regularly pointed out, but it didn’t get fixed. 

From now on I will continue to work with my husband, Rev. Art Kinsler, on furthering our missionary task of helping North Korea’s disabled persons. We believe that it was God’s will that we set up the “Kinsler Foundation” for that purpose. Gifts should still be made out and sent to The Outreach Foundation, designated “Kinsler’s North Korea Compassion Ministries.” 

Traveling in the name of the Kinsler Foundation, I brought Rev. Ed Kang, Rev. Dayoung Kimn, Elder Kenneth Park and his wife, Rev. Julie Park, to North Korea in May. The purpose of this visit was to introduce Rev. Dayoung Kimn, who will be working with me in the future. Rev. Kang and the Parks traveled to visit the handicapped work and to meet relatives. 

Arrangements were made during my March visit for the purchase of a 15-passenger-van. The vehicle had enough room for the group and our luggage as we traveled to the Haebangsan Hotel. On the way, our guide gave details of our travel schedule including information about family reunions and a visit to the Wonsan Deaf School. 

Pyongyang’s streets and buildings looked cleaner and more orderly than previously. We saw green trees and flowers. There were more cars and taxis and it seemed as though there might even be traffic jams now! The group had a three-day visit scheduled to see the Chosen Jangae Hweibokwon (school for physically and mentally disabled young children), the Korea Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD) Cultural Center, the Dongdaewon Disabled Persons Fitness Center building, and the KFPD sponsored nationwide table tennis competition for the disabled at Kim Il Sung University.

We left early on Monday and drove to Wonsan. At the Wonsan Deaf School, the principal greeted us warmly and we provided snacks for the students. The principal shared plans for the future as he discussed the possibility of growing vegetables in vinyl greenhouses and raising animals for protein. He said that his school as well as the schools for the blind are hooked up to a computer network. After lunch, we went to Tongchon to enjoy the beach. 

Back in Pyongyang, I visited KFPD and its leaders and received certificates of thanks and the application to forward to the Paralympics (see some of our athletes in the photo above). During this visit, there were rumors about political and military changes. The North launched a missile, and there were increased sanctions by the U.N. and U.S. Tension escalated between South and North, with South Korea’s presidential impeachment and election coinciding with the end of this visit to the North. I was glad that the visit, which included help for the North and reuniting families, was a symbol of working for peace and understanding between both halves of divided Korea and the outside world. At breakfast on departure day we heard that Moon Jae-In was elected in the South. 

I pray that my plan to have disabled people in North and South Korea, helped by organizations in Korea and the world, may one day cross the DMZ for cooperation and cultural exchanges.  

We give thanks to God for your support and ask that God’s grace always be with you,

Sue and Art Kinsler 

Read more about Compassion Ministries by clicking HERE.

Outreach is seeking $20,000 for feeding children and supporting disabled persons in North Korea.