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Obstacles to overseas education overcome

From the April 17, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel


When I graduated from high school in South Korea, I was hoping to pursue a college education in the United States. But when I applied to several universities, my family’s financial situation was dire. My father had lost everything he had, including our house, because of the bankruptcy of a family business. Under these circumstances, my parents urged me to give up my plan.

I tried to find a job, but in vain. I had worked very hard at our local Christian Science Society over the previous five years, performing various church duties and even cleaning the building. I knew it was good work, but it was volunteer work and I didn’t feel it was helping meet my financial needs.

I wrote a lengthy letter to a Christian Science practitioner, explaining my problems. (There was no Christian Science practitioner in South Korea, and an international phone call at that time would have been very expensive.) About a month later, I received a reply. 

The practitioner told me that as God’s perfect spiritual idea, I was always involved in right activity and in my right place, at every moment. It’s right for us to see evidence of this in our lives. If it was right for me to come to the US, nothing could prevent me. However, if there were better steps to take instead, God would guide me.

In God’s universe, the only real universe, there is good for all. And there are blessings in giving. For example, working for our church can only bless and enrich our lives. We cannot outline how the blessings should come. I saw that I could turn to God for guidance, instead of humanly outlining my future.

Several months later, I met a Christian Science lecturer from the US who came to speak in South Korea. When I told her about my desire to go to an American college, she said that a high school diploma was the highest education she had received. However, through studying the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, she had received the highest spiritual education on earth. I saw that our spiritual education cannot be interrupted, since God is always teaching us what we need to know. Armed with this encouragement, I spent more time praying as well as working for my Christian Science Society.

Soon after, I received a letter from a college in the US indicating I had been granted a full scholarship. However, in South Korea at that time, getting a passport for overseas travel usually took six to nine months and was an impossible dream for most citizens because of travel restrictions. But through the unexpected help of a church friend, I was able to get a passport within 24 hours.

However, getting an American entry visa was even more difficult than getting a South Korean passport. At this point, I called a practitioner in the US and asked for help. She told me that as the children of God, we belong to God’s government and have a direct relation to Him. Then she asked me to study part of Unity of Good by Mrs. Eddy, where it says, in reference to Christ Jesus’ healings, “… neither red tape nor indignity hindered the divine process” (p. 11). This helped me see that God’s purpose for me was already established, and I could trust it to be unfolded. 

I went to the American Embassy in Seoul and submitted all the visa application documents. The consul didn’t look at the documents and said that even if he gave me thirty minutes of his time, my visa would still be denied. I felt led to persist, and the consul said, “Young man, do you need to go to the US that badly?” I said, “I must go.” He asked for my passport and stamped a visa.

The final step—getting the money to buy a plane ticket—fell into place the very next morning through unexpected means. The next day I left the country to begin my education.

From that time on, this experience served as a reminder of God’s abundant provision for all of us. Since then I have experienced so many Christian Science healings of things such as inflammation, measles, aftereffects of a bicycle accident, headaches, colds, a broken finger, unemployment, and grief. My gratitude to God and to Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, is boundless.

Jae-Bok Young 
New Boston, New Hampshire, US

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