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Taesol Lee

Taesol Lee


God came to me as someone who was living without knowing who God or Jesus was. He met with me, held my hand, and called me to be a missionary for North Korea. I thank God, who chose me before I was born on this earth and who called me as His child and as a missionary for North Korea.

I’m a North Korean defector who moved to South Korea in 2016. During my defection process, I first heard the words "God" and "Jesus" in a Thai prison. At first, I thought God was just a myth or a legend, but after seeing the unwavering service of a Korean missionary for four months, I began to wonder about the God I saw who was working within the missionary's heart.

This became the seed. However, after settling in Korea, I was attending church but living a life where I was drifting away from God and having my heart stolen and hurt by the world. My identity was shaken because of the misunderstandings and prejudices people had towards me and I blamed God for the layers of hardship that had come upon me, which resulted in me feeling resentful and crying out.

Two years ago, I developed a brain tumor and was unable to find the strength or the reason to live. During this time, my pastor recommended that I go do a DTS (Discipleship Training School) at YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in Switzerland. Since I needed rest for health reasons and was grasping at any straw I could find, I ended up deciding to go to Lausanne, Switzerland.

At this time, God answered my resentful prayers, allowing me to see how He had taken care of me, how much He loved me, and had been waiting for me to look to Him instead of the world.


God also gave me the realization that I still have family and friends in North Korea, and that if I, who knows their pain and suffering better than anyone, do not pray for them, who then will pray for that place? Through this, I realized that my calling is for North Korean missions.


After completing the DTS (Discipleship Training School, which runs for five months), DBS (Discipleship Bible School, which runs for three months), and MLD (Ministry Leadership Development, which runs for three months) here in Lausanne, I began serving as a staff member in March.

Here is a brief introduction to my one-year life here at YWAM Lausanne:


DTS (Discipleship Training School):

This is an intensive discipleship training course that’s a foundational school at YWAM, to train students to become disciples of Christ through 12 weeks of lectures and 8 weeks of outreach. Through DTS, I had the privilege of having a deep encounter with God, and, through the outreach, I realized how valuable and gracious it is to live a life of sharing the Gospel.

DBS (Discipleship Bible School):

Through this 12-week course, we were taught to see and discover God's revelation through reading the living Word of God and how to draw closer and develop an intimate relationship with Him. During DBS, I was able to read through the entire Bible for the first time and meet with the God who came to us through our work, ministry, and the words of the Bible. During this time, I deeply realized that the path I must walk and live out is the path of following Jesus.


MLD (Ministry Leadership Development):

This 12-week school trained us on what we need to be prepared for to serve, that we need to humble ourselves and be like Jesus, who washed the disciples' feet, and learn how to be ministers who lead the little sheep to Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Through MLD, I realized how much I lack and need training to live as a Christian and missionary.


Starting Ministry (DTS Staff):

I’m currently in the process of preparing to serve the DTS that’s starting in early April which will be conducted in both Korean and English and will have around 50 students who will attend for a 6-month training journey.

As this is my first ministry role, I have many shortcomings and am nervous. Still, I am preparing my body and mind in prayer to love each student more, remembering the staff members who have prayed for me and helped me to stand confidently before God.

"Beware that you don't look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father." - Matthew 18:10

Although I know I am inadequate to be in this serving position, I hope to move forward by loving more and remembering all those who have been channels of God's love in my life, allowing me to be able to stand here today.

I’m sure you’re asking ‘Why is he receiving training in Switzerland when his calling is for North Korean missions?’, so I will go ahead and answer that question.

It was only after coming to Switzerland that I first realized there are so many people around the world who are praying for North Korea. I also realized that it was shameful for me to have tried to erase and hide the memory of being born there while I was living in South Korea.

Since our church is putting a lot of effort into North Korean missions and because many missionaries around me are serving in missions for North Korea, I thought that missions only meant going to the mission field to serve, to North Korean defector schools, or to China for ministry. But I repented of this mindset and realized that what comes first is being trained to be ready to run whenever and wherever God calls me and to know His heart.

Like Daniel, I pray daily, embracing North Korea in my heart, and partner with many friends around the world who also have a heart for North Korea.

Through reading the Scriptures, I also realized that a lot of training and growth is needed before I can stand in that position. Just as God trained Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and David for a long time before working through them, I discovered that this place is the training ground that God has prepared for me.

Please pray that I may know God, know His will, and become one who resembles His character so that I can fulfill the role entrusted to me by God after being grown and trained.


Prayer Requests:

Please pray for my character.

When I abide by grace and thanksgiving, I can love and serve others. But I am lacking, and I often forget to be gracious and thankful. As well as that, instead of God's character, I tend to treat people with my wounds, prejudices, and the instability that is deep within me. Please pray that I may abide in grace and approach each person with God's character, not my own inadequate character.


Please pray that I do not become prideful.

As the Scriptures say, the position of serving is not one of exaltation but of humility. Please pray that I may serve with humility. During the three months of reading the Bible, I seem to have made reading and knowing the Bible my idol because I did it more diligently than anyone else. Instead of letting the Word sink into my life to become more like Jesus, I found myself boasting and enjoying teaching. I repented a lot. Please pray that I may strive to serve with humility, not pride.


Please pray for God's provision.

There were many times when I looked at my bank balance and wanted to give up training and living a life of faith and just return to Korea to work. Although I had decided to live as a missionary after knowing God's love, I still would lose my heart to money. When I felt ashamed of myself for this, I realized through the book of Exodus that beautiful Switzerland is my "wilderness." Please pray and partner with me so that I may be thankful for being with God, remembering the grace He has given, and becoming someone who can pass through the "wilderness" journey steadfastly, believing that God will provide for us as our Provider.

May God's grace be abundant in your every day.

If you send me your prayer requests, I will pray for them with my prayer team. For those who want to share more detailed testimonies, ministries, and prayer requests, please message me and I will get in contact with you.


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