They were just old army trunks that were used when my family moved to Korea in 1954, after the war. For us, they served as a place to store summer or winter clothes, and they sat, like furniture, at the foot of our beds or as a coffee table. When my parents returned from Korea in 1981, these trunks came back with them, filled with their personal belongings. During the next several years, they stored stuff in my parent’s basement in Montreat, North Carolina.
In 2004, I became involved with Christian Friends of Korea. A few years later in 2007, my mother passed away and the house was rented out, so three of the old trunks found their way to a shed where they stayed waiting for a new purpose. One made its way to North Korea with Wellspring, filled with well drilling equipment, and eventually the other two were sent with Christian Friends of Korea.
I have had the privilege of serving with Christian Friends of Korea as their technical team leader since 2006. During this time, the team, with local help, has remodeled operating rooms, remodeled their National TB Reference Laboratory, built a medical training center, installed 18 solar-powered, clean water systems, and remodeled two hepatitis laboratories (including one that is now the National Hepatitis Reference Laboratory), both of which are solar-powered.
From a practical perspective, these trunks carry our tools that Christian Friends of Korea’s technical teams use to repair water and electrical systems. On their tops, they still have my father's name and address, which prompts conversations with the Koreans, sometimes about the history of the trunks and the old missionaries that worked in Korea, and sometimes about the message that they brought to the Korean people. We continue to bring that same message of hope and reconciliation.Each trip to the DPRK is an opportunity to share the light and love of Jesus among the North Koreans through acts of service and love. I pray that their presence will continue to serve as a testimony of God’s grace and mercy in Korea for years to come.I know my parents would rejoice.