The Korean Problem: Improving the Spiritual Care of Korean International Students
Roughly one hundred Korean international students are enrolled in Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod high schools this 2015-2016 school year. This blessing from the Lord gives domestic students a taste of Korean culture, increases enrollment in schools, and allows pastors and teachers to reach out to souls who would otherwise be unreachable. Having established a continuous flow of Korean students into WELS high schools, the WELS is now able to focus on encouraging these students to continue into the public ministry. This paper aims to remind the WELS of the incredible blessing that walks into its area and preparatory high schools’ halls and to encourage spiritual care and outreach to Korean international students. With the input of Korean pastors, Synod workers, international coordinators, and Korean students I examine the past, present, and possible methods used to enroll, care for, and follow-up with Korean international students. The WELS can benefit from the Korean desire to send children to American schools, but to do so the WELS will need a structured outreach program for Korean students, recognizing that they are a mission field that requires mission work effort.