Korean Youth group arrives on Manitoulin for four day multi-ethnic stay

Reverend Joshua Kang, black belt, first dan, and Christina Yoon, black belt, display their Taekwondo prowess.

MINDEMOYA—There was a breath, no, a blast of fresh air in Mindemoya on July 30 as the Korean Youth Group arrived from Toronto for a four-day stay. The youth were guests at the Trinity United Church and are members of the Living Water Ministry. 

A message to the church had read, “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we hope you will support this event as a part of a local ministry for multiethnic experiences to bring about the spiritual revitalization of Mindemoya,” and Trinity United was more than happy to agree.

The youngsters are also members of the Heritage International School in Toronto that fosters academic achievement, emotional confidence, spiritual growth, character growth and social networks. The school’s principal, Hannah Kim, was on hand to talk to The Expositor and the very first words that Ms. Kim said were about Mindemoya. 

“It is very beautiful here,” she said. “There are a lot of nice people here and a lot of seniors. Next year when we come, I would like to do something for the seniors.” This year Ms. Kim had two days of art school for children from Kindergarten to Grade 5. When speaking to two of the school’s members, Sky Ha and Katie Kwak, Miss Ha said of Manitoulin, “it’s a wonderful place.”

Another activity for all ages was the taekwondo lessons. Islanders may be surprised to learn that the Trinity United Church pastor, Reverend Joshua Kang, holds a black belt, first dan, in this Korean martial art. There are normally nine dans, or stages, and accompanying the minister was Master Choi, a black belt holder, seventh dan, and two children, Praise and Christina Yoon, who also hold black belts. Taekwondo, as Reverend Kang pointed out when the lessons began, is not used for fighting. The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) stated that this martial art means the right way of using all parts of the body to stop fights and help to build a better and more peaceful world.

Also part of this group of visitors was Jacko Lee, the pastor of the Living Life Community Church in Richmond Hill. He pointed out that these trips are taken every year at this same time, and that free acupuncture was available for all and performed by a doctor who used to treat members of the Blue Jays team.

The itinerary for the group also included trips to M’Chigeeng and Zhiibaahaasing as well as free Living Water concerts at the church. These recitals included performances with song and dance as well as several outstanding solo performances by violinist Jessica Lee. Throughout the concert, Lily Kwak was on the piano while Bryan Ahn was on guitar for the last night’s Living Water Festival. This event offered a free Korean dinner to all, and the meal was excellent. It consisted of bulgogi, a beef dish, mandu or salad, a pork and cabbage dish, rice, and a dish named Tteokbokki, comprised of thick noodles and a spicy sauce. During the meal, Mercy Chun spoke to The Expositor about her views on Manitoulin. “The city is real noisy,” she said. “There are lots of people passing, and no peace. It is so peaceful here. Mindemoya is a warm, cozy town.” She also spoke of the fellowship that some of the youth did which was door to door visitation. “We went and sang gospel songs,” she explained. “We handed out gifts, including school supplies, biscuits and t-shirts.” These gifts were also handed out to all visitors.

The Living Water Festival, held on the group’s last day, was an amazing event. It began with an introduction to worship, followed by an opening prayer with the song ‘I Want to See You’ and dancing to the song ‘It’s a Beautiful Day.’ This was followed by a beautiful rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ by Jessica Lee and Sonia Lee. There were two skits, focussed on good and evil, with members Sky Ha, Mercy Chun, Sonia Lee, Hannah Jang, Katie Kwak, Tina Choi and Tim Yoon, who also led the worship dance.

Reverend Kang too spoke at this event, and in his sermon reminded his audience of the love of God. Afterwards, to much hilarity, he had everyone standing for a Taekwondo lesson. “This is about discovering balance for life,” he said. “Taekwondo has been taught from youngsters to older folks. The official language is Korean.”

The finale for this amazing retreat was a singing of ‘Yes, Jesus Loves You,’ with the congregation holding hands and forming a big circle around the room. He also had the audience do a tag line as Trinity United does after every Sundays worship. This time it was for everyone to turn to their neighbours, ake hands and say, “You look fantastic. What’s your secret?”

“See,” he said. “The church is not boring. The church is fun.”