Category archive: Oak Tree Project

참나무프로젝트 두번째 수련회(KOREAN)

2017년 2월4일 금요일 저녁에 17명의 학생들과 16명의 멘토들이 2번째 연례 수련회를 위해 에어비엔비로 찾은 서울의 한 집에 모였습니다. 이 수련회의 목적은 학생들과 가까워지고 그들이 마음을 열 기회를 주며 그들을 위해 기도하고 함께 좋은 시간을 보내는 것입니다. 이번 수련회는 저희가 생각한 목적을 다 이루고도 더 많은 것을 보았습니다! 밑에 수련회의 사진들을 나누었습니다. 그러나 그전에 이 수련회의…

Oak Tree Project 2nd Annual Retreat

On the evening of Friday, February 4th, 17 students and 16 mentors gathered together at a home in Seoul (rented via airbnb) for our 2nd annual retreat. The purposes of this retreat are to grow closer with the students, to give them a chance to open up and share and receive prayer, and to have a…

Oak Tree Run 2016 Video and Pics

On October 15th we held our annual Oak Tree Run in Seoul, Korea. 550 people registered for our run and we had 35 countries represented among the participants. 100% of the registration fees went to scholarships for Korean orphans through Oak Tree Project (www.oaktreeproject.com). Among the runners were kids from the orphanages, our Oak Tree students…

보육원 아이들의 이야기

여기 참나무프로젝트를 시작하게 한 이야기들을 나눕니다… 보육원에서자란 한 남학생이 대학교 사회복지학과에 입학했습니다. 이 학생은 보육원에서 사회복지사로 일하고 싶었습니다. 그가 선택한 전공은 그 분야에서 인턴쉽 경험을 필요로 했고 복지센터에서 아침 9시에서저녁5시까지 매일 일해야 했습니다. 게다가 저녁에는 학교에서 수업을 들어야했습니다. 그 뿐 아니라 생계를 위해 일도 해야했죠. 이 말도 안되는 스케줄을 소화하기 위해 그가 할 수 있는 일은 서울 남대문시장에서 자정부터 새벽6시까지 야간에 박스를 나르고 트럭에 싣는 일 뿐 이었습니다. 그가 잠을 잘 수 있는 시간은 주로 수업시간 중 한 두시간 뿐이었습니다. 나머지는 주말동안 밀린 잠을 몰아 자야만했습니다. 수업을 따라갈 시간도, 과제할 시간도 없는 그의 학업성적은 거의 바닥을 쳤고 교수님들께 부탁해 겨우겨우 낙제를 면하기만 할 뿐이었습니다. 그는 지금 그가 자란 보육원에서 사회복지사로 일하고 있습니다. 그의 이야기는 고등학교를졸업한 보육원학생 사이에 “성공사례”의 예로 여겨집니다. 그러나 그의 “성공 이야기”는 그에게 많은 건강 문제를 남겼고 여전히 그의 수면은 대학 시절처럼 엉망입니다.   성매매에대한 이야기도 흔히 들을 수 있습니다. 최근 서울의 유명한 한 NGO에서 일하는 분을 만났습니다. 그와 함께 일하는 한 여자 동료가 보육원에서 자랐다고 합니다. 그녀는 가끔 보육원에서 함께 자란 친구들과 만나는데 그들 중 반은 매춘을 하고 나머지 반은 이미 죽었다고 합니다. 그들 중 대학을 졸업하고 보통의 직업을 가진 사람은 그녀가 유일합니다. 보육원을 퇴소해 대학에 진학하는 많은 여학생들은 생계를 위해 학업과 함께 엄청난 시간 아르바이트를 해야 합니다. 매춘은 경제적 어려움에 처한 그들이 쉽게 선택하는 것이 됩니다. 가혹한 양의 일과 가족 없이 혼자 사는 정서적 고립은 이 여학생들이 성매매라는 함정에 쉽게 빠지게합니다.   자살한학생들의 이야기도 어렵지 않게 들을 수 있습니다. 학업과 일을 병행하며 온전히 학업에 집중할 수 있는 다른 학우들과 경쟁하는 것은 거의 불가능해 보입니다. 많은 학생들이 중도에 학업을 포기하고 길을 잃고 삶의 공허함이 점점 더 깊이 그들의 영혼을 어둠으로 떨어뜨립니다. 보육원에서 지내는 동안은 돌봄을 받고 많은 사람들과 함께 지내기때문에 자살충동을 전혀 느끼지 않았던 학생들이 보육원을 퇴소해 혼자 살기 시작하면서 그들의 영혼에 깊이 파고든 공허함을 어찌할 줄 모릅니다. 특히, 기댈 수 있는 누군가가 전혀 없이 완전히 혼자가 되었을 때는 더 위험합니다.   참나무프로젝트는아래의 영상에 등장하는 한 여학생의 이야기에서 영감을 받았습니다. 이 학생은 대학에 다니는 동안 참나무프로젝트와 같은 장학금을 받지는 않았지만, 그녀의 멘토의 정서적 후원을 통해 겨우겨우살아간 것이 아니라 학업을 잘 마칠 수 있었던 것을 감사하게 생각합니다. 이 학생의 학업성적도 거의 바닥에서 장학금을 받을 수 있을만큼 향상되었습니다. 그녀는 여전히 조금 소심해 보일 수 있지만 계속해서 성장하고 있고 좋은 직장에서 일하며 건강한 삶을 살고 있습니다. 앞서 나눈 이야기에 관심이 있으시고 더 많은 내용을 듣고 싶으시면, 참나무프로젝트의 월간 소식을 이메일로 받으시길 권해드립니다. 소식을 원하시면 otpkorea@gmail.com로 이메일 해주시기 바랍니다. 또, 참나무프로젝트를 돕고자 하는 분들은 2016년10월15일 토요일 서울 여의나루 한강공원에서 열리는 참나무마라톤대회에 저희와 함께하시길 희망합니다. 다음의 링크를 통해 등록하실 수 있습니다 :bit.do/otr2016 더 자세한 정보는 참나무프로젝트 홈페이지( www.oaktreeproject.co.kr )와 페이스북에 “2016 참나무마라톤대회”를 검색하시면 보실 수 있습니다. 더 문의하실 내용이 있으시면 이메일로 문의 바랍니다. 참나무프로젝트를 소셜네트워크에 공유해주시면, 서울에 거주하시는 지인분들과 함께 참여하실 수 있고 더 많은 분들에게 알릴 수 있습니다. 참가비 전액은 학생들의 장학금으로 쓰여집니다. 또, 학생들을 후원하시고 싶으신 분들은 후원페이지를 방문해주십시오. http://give.oaktreeproject.com/ko/run2016. 참나무프로젝트는 계속해서 더 많은 학생들을 돕기를 바랍니다. 내년에는 총 30명의 학생에게 후원하는 것을 목표로 하고 있습니다. 그러기 위해 총 1억9천만원의 후원금과 학생들이 졸업할 때까지 멘토가 되어줄 14명의 멘토가 필요합니다. 멘토가 되고자 하시는 분은 학생이 졸업하는 2년에서 4년동안 한국에 거주하시는 분이어야 합니다. 멘토가 되는 것에 관심이 있으시면 저희에게 이메일 주시기바랍니다. otpkorea@gmail.com 마지막으로 참나무프로젝트에 대해 간단히 설명한 영상을 나눕니다. 다른 분들과 자유롭게 나눠주세요.

My Korean TV Interview

Near the end of November 2015 my wife Sky and I were interviewed on a Christian cable TV show. The interview was about how God led me to Korea, my work here, our marriage, and Oak Tree Project. The episode was aired in December and I’m now able to release it publicly. I apologize that there…

Love and Burdens

One of the greatest struggles for our Oak Tree Project students (and all orphans for that matter) is understanding the difference between actions done out of love and actions done solely out of responsibility. They see a lot of the social workers at the orphanages working solely out of responsibility and the kids often notice…

Stories of Korea’s Orphans

The following are a few of the stories that inspired Oak Tree Project (there are many more)… 1. One boy who grew up in the home managed to get into college and majored in social welfare. His desire was to become a social worker at an orphanage. His studies required that he do field work as an internship,…

An Orphan’s Fear

Mentoring orphans is not easy, to say the least. Most of the students in Oak Tree Project (www.oaktreeproject.com) are either true orphans with absolute no family connections (babies in a basket) or know of distant relatives but have little or no relationship with them. Our mentors are dedicated to connecting with their students for not just…

The Power of Family

I’ve been serving the orphans here in Korea for almost nine years now. What stood out to me right away for the kids was that their greatest need was committed relationships. I’ve traveled to orphanages in Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines and other places and have seen the same. So often we feel our greatest needs are the things we…

The Danger of Sympathy

This past Saturday we had our second quarterly meeting of 2014 with all of our Oak Tree Project mentors and scholarship recipients. My wife Sky began the meeting by sharing her testimony with them. It was powerful! Sky was very vulnerable as she shared (you can listen to her testimony here) and they all paid…

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