3 Seconds of Hop‍‍‍e

A Year in review

It’s been hard to try to figure out how to keep people updated on what’s gone on in 2017.  The plans I originally had for 2017 were hi-jacked by life and I felt like any update I would send would be a disappointment. But now looking back on the year I see that more was accomplished than I realized, I grew in ways I didn’t know I needed to, and it would not have happened if things had gone according to MY plan. With that being said let me give you a recap of 2017:

In June as I was waiting for the bus home there was a man who laid down in the middle of the street right as the bus was about to pass. Luckily the bus didn't hit him, but he then just laid there and almost got hit at least 5 more times.  A couple people s‍‍‍topped to see if he was OK, but then just left. He made a phone call while he was laying in the street and then once again on the side of the road.  After these calls he jumped in front of 2 buses and I was praying the whole time that he wouldn't get hit. Finally, I remembered that I now have a fully working phone so I called the police and they were there within a couple minutes and I directed them to the man.  Please keep situations like this in your prayers.  They are common and bystanders do nothing.‍‍‍

Winter (January to March)

In February I served the youth at a week-long retreat for missionaries and their families who serve in North Korean.  It was good for helping to understand and see North Korea from the view of people who are actually there.  The North and South Koreans have the same heritage but their current cultures are very different. For instance, North Koreans are concerned about where their next meal is coming from whereas South Koreans are worried about having the latest cell phone.  There are 30,000 plus North Korean defectors living in South Korea and they have a high suicide rate.  They are a large percentage of the annual suicide statistic in South Korea.‍‍‍

Spring (April t‍‍‍o June)

Summer (July to Septembe‍‍‍r)

EUC (English Unification Camp) is a week-long camp for young North Korean defectors who have moved to South Korea and South Korean students.  The week is intended to model unification in preparation for the re-unification of North and South Korea.  As mentioned before, many North Korean defectors have a hard time adapting to life in South Korea.  This is also one way for South Korean youth to be more aware and accepting of their neighbors from the north who they otherwise would never think about.  The retreat is sponsored by local churches who have a heart to see re-unification on the Korean peninsula.  I served as a small group leader and never did I think that being a mom would have been the reason why I was greatly qualified for my particular small group. But in the end, we all grew and were blessed despite the difficulties we experienced throughout the week.  I look forward to serving again in 2018.

In July I had an interesting experience that proved you never know when God is going to use you, so always be ready and open. I was getting ready for bed when I heard someone sobbing uncontrollably outside. I said a little prayer and opened .my door to see a girl sitting alone across the street, with no shoes on and in her PJs, sobbing into her hands.  Long story short, there had been an argument between her and her husband and she was at her end so she left her house. She first apologized that her crying had disturbed me (Korean culture) and then proceeded to cry more and poured out all of her woes and sorrows. I’ve been amazed at how even with my lack of language ability God has been able to use me in these situations.  We talked for a long while and she thanked me for being there and she felt blessed to have a found a person who cared and truly listened.  We’ve kept in touch but sadly haven’t been able to yet meet again.

Every Tuesday morning my home church here in Korea has a Women’s Prayer Meeting.  I have never been a girl who likes women’s events of any sort but I anxiously anticipate and look forward to these meetings every Tuesday.  Many of these women are missionaries themselves and they help keep me centered and back in focus when I get down on myself or having a hard time.  Both tear-filled prayers and joyful celebrations have been shared with these women.  Without them I would be a wreck.

In November I started weekly meetings on Thursday for those who are interested in getting involved in 3SOH and suicide prevention here in South Korea.  Although no one has yet to come, I have been able to use this time to re-center my focus on the ministry and without fail each week after the meeting someone reaches out to me for help and because of my re-focusing I am more prepared to help.  The meetings have also taught me to be faithful in little things even if it looks like there‘s nothing happening.

This doesn’t have to do directly with me but is important to mention because it’s relevant to the work I am doing here.  On December 18th Jonghyun Kim, the lead singer of the popular K-Pop group SHINee took his own life.  The reason I mention this particular suicide is because Korea is in a different situation than they have been in the past when a famous person has taken their life with the popular of Korean Pop Culture. The whole world is watching to see how the government and entertainment industries are going to handle mental health and the pressure that Korean culture and society puts on people. There is even a petition that has gone around since his death with over 500,000 signatures from all over the world demanding that changes be made and things taken seriously.  I feel that there is going to be a big shift in suicide awareness and mental health here in Korea throughout the next couple of years. Now is a good time for 3SOH to be able to establish its presence here in Korea.

Autumn (October to December)‍‍‍

Plans for 3SOH in 2018

  • Establish 3SOH as a non-profit.
  • Continue building ministry team in Korea.
  • Launch support groups for those affected by depression and suicide.

Also in February Anne finally started International School at Village Christian Academy.  Her being able to attend this school is nothing short of a miracle.  After months of not reaching out to them because I knew we didn’t have the money for her to attend, I told the school I would get back to them when were in a better financial situation. Within hours of that email the principal himself replied saying they would give her a scholarship and discounted tuition.  As part of my discounted tuition I am helping out with the after-school program and lunch service a few days a week.  The remaining amount for tuition is being graciously covered by Anne’s grandparents.

Ocean City Seoul is the name of my home church and the one I have been attempting to get ministry things started through.  Throughout the first year here there had been many attempts to get things started but through the fault of no one things just never happened.  Mid-summer we started a second service by the name of 3rd Wave which is English speaking only.   Right after the first 3rd Wave service I felt God was letting m‍‍‍e know that the reason ministry things hadn’t fallen in place was because the ministry is meant to be through this service and these people.   Since then ministry plans and ideas have opened up and started happening.

Here are 3 ways to support the ministry

Prayers and encouragement‍‍‍‍‍‍

Over the last year and a half people reaching out and sending encouragement have been great motivation on days I really needed it…so keep it up!

Time

If you are in Korea or plan on visiting there is always something to be done. Please email me at 3SecondsOfHope@gmail.com if you are interested in ways to serve

Financially

Periodic and monthly support covers basic living expenses and growth of the ministry. For detailed information on our financial breakdown please CLICK HERE.

Thank you for the encouragement and support over the last year.  I look forward to sharing with you things as they come in 2018.  Feel free to contact me at any time, not only for ministry purposes, but if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or mental health issues.

On December 4th I was able to give my testimony at Anne’s school in front of all the students during morning chapel time.  Many of the students and staff came up to me and were surprised at all I had been through and were greatly encouraged that their struggles are part of the story God is going to use to reach others. (If you want to see that testimony you can find it on the ministry YouTube channel by clicking my picture here) Also, I forgot to mention earlier that Anne was elected class president for this semester.‍‍‍

‍‍‍With love from the other side of the ocean!     Sarah Lynn and Anne Shirley Sovilla

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