North and South

Jonathan Brownson

READ : Ephesians 6:10–20

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. (v. 12)

Three hours of driving from the West Coast of Korea to the East Coast prepares us for our visit to the demilitarized zone. We are as far north in South Korea as we can go without getting shot, and as far east as we can go without getting wet.

Our chaplain host, like all Korean men, served a compulsory tour in the military. With all-volunteer armed forces for the past 40 years, most Americans find this hard to imagine. How could you force people to fight? Yet 320,000 South Korean soldiers fought, not in the Korean War but alongside the U.S. in Vietnam. Our chaplain friend was one. He brought back with him stories. He also brought back “Agent Orange.” He was heavily exposed to the herbicide tainted with what some have called the most toxic compound known to mankind. After returning from the war, the effects of the disease became so severe that he was near death due to neuropathy. Thirty fellow pastors and chaplains prayed for healing. His life was spared.

Shortly after his healing, he was called to serve at his present position as a pastor to soldiers defending South Korea from North Korean invasion. What one prayer request seems closest to his heart and that of most South Koreans? Not the destroying of half a country to the North but the uniting of an entire country in Christ.


Lord, let me learn from South Koreans to pray for all “flesh and blood,” and against the powers of evil.