In the first week of August, Bishop Jung visited Thailand and Myanmar. He spoke at the Methodist Theological Seminary in Bangkok, visited with leaders of the Karen Nation, visited the Lower Myanmar Methodist Church, and met Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Click here to see pictures.

Bishop Jung arrived in Thailand on Saturday, August 2 to visit the Methodist Theological Seminary in Bangkok to preach the following day. Although he had visited the school before, he said he received a surprise group of leaders from the Karen Nation, a tribal group in nearby Myanmar. Bishop Jung said Myanmar’s military government oppresses and persecutes the Karen people, and that there are numerous refugee centers inside Thailand’s borders for them. “I was an advocate for their human rights, and shared solidarity with them from a distance,” Bishop Jung said. “I am overwhelmed by their current struggles to pursue peaceful living.” He said some of the Karen leaders crossed the border and drove nine hours to see him at the Seminary in Bangkok. “I worshipped and prayed with them for their continuous peace negotiations with, and liberation from, the Myanmar government,” he said.

Bishop Jung also spent time in Myanmar with his wife, Im, and Lower Myanmar Methodist Church Bishop Zothan Mawia. Together, they visited mission sites and churches, and honored a memorial day for a 1988 civil rights movement against Myanmar’s military dictatorship. He said while in the city of Bago, they were trapped by flooding, but said they and the village people remained unharmed. “It is a flooded area and yet we experienced plenty of joy and welcoming from the church folks,” Bishop Jung said. “We are grateful to see and witness their faith and strong Christian communities.”

While in the city of Yangon, Myanmar, Bishop Jung was also welcomed by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and president of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy. She played a major role in the 1988 civil rights movement, but before that, she attended a Methodist high school and was raised by her mother, also a devoted Methodist. “I was taught in Methodist spirits in my growing and I love many hymnals," she said. “Myanmar needs to advance peaceful living among the nations and pursue a democratic society, yet we are still unresolved in our struggle today," she said. Bishop Jung said he and Im offered their deep gratitude for her leadership, and that they all prayed together for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. “Im and I were in awe of her presence and spirit, and also her gracious welcome,” Bishop Jung said. “She has influenced me as a symbol of Asian liberation: a leader, freedom fighter, and truth speaker on behalf of human right struggles. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime moment to visit her home office and listen to her commitment to democracy and peace in the world.”

While the Myanmar Methodist Church is a growing church, the National Korean Ministry Plan is in partnership with the General Board of Global Ministries and has explored to build a sister relationship with them, Bishop Jung said. “We need to keep praying for the people in the world who are still deep in the struggle of human rights and peace,” he said.