John-Michael Becker

9th Arts and Crafts Camp, 3rd Basketball Camp

On January 16th Jerusalem Ministry held our 3rd annual basketball camp for 6th – 12th grade boys and then from January 17th-19th we held our 9th annual arts and crafts camp for 3rd-6th grade girls. We had 14 boys from two homes participate in the basketball camp and 44 girls from 9 different children’s homes participate…

The Thank You Journal: A Life Changer

In 2010 I really wanted to become a more intentionally loving person. I was already good at showing love to the people I liked, but I was rarely intentional in showing love to those I didn’t know that well. So I made a New Year’s Resolution that year to show intentional love to a specific…

Expectations, Relationships, and True Hope

Ever gone to a movie having really high expectations and then feeling let down at the end of it? Often times the movie wasn’t that bad, it’s just that because of your high expectations the movie had no chance to wow you, no matter how great it may have been. I’ve found it’s best to…

Letting Go of Regret

Being a melancholy, I tend to overthink things and be hard on myself. I used to have a habit of nitpicking my weaknesses and dwelling on any mistakes. I could get into bed exhausted ready to sleep only to find myself suddenly thinking about some mistake or awkward moment and becoming wide awake. The regret from those…

Fighting for Purity

FIGHT for your purity! I know too many marriages and families that have been broken as a result of porn and infidelity. Men who never thought they would ever cheat on their wives ended up doing so because their porn addiction got deeper and deeper and the lust became too strong for them. And there has been…

Discipline vs. Punishment

The contrast between discipline and punishment is just as strong as the contrast between love and fear. Discipline is showing someone what they did was wrong and that they are made to be better. Discipline comes from a heart of love; love that refuses to ignore poor behavior and instead takes the time and effort to make sure the person learns…

Preserving Your Most Precious Book (introducing my wife’s leather by b)

My wife was born with gifted hands. She has a knack for learning different crafts and making beautiful things (see: http://needlesandmouse.blogspot.kr/). She always had a love for leather but only recently was able to take some leather classes. She was a natural and made wallets, a bag, a clutch, and some other neat things. But while she enjoyed making…

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.

Ride Against Traffick 2016

Over the recent Korean Chuseok holiday I helped staff Ride Against Traffick. We had 33 cyclists bike across Korea from the southeast city Busan to the northwest city Seoul. They biked about 550km (340 miles) over four days with many mountains along the path. Along with the riders we had 15 support crew helping along the way…

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