Eri Yoon sitting at a table and talking into a microphone

Yoons journey unfolds against the backdrop of a small church in Busan, South Korea, where she discovered the profound universe of love within her congregation as a pastor's kid. Balancing her musical pursuits—earning a Bachelor's degree in piano and working as a music teacher—with an insatiable passion for studying the Bible, Yoons journey took her to Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary in Seoul, Korea, and later to Göttingen University in Germany for her M.Div and M.A. in Intercultural Theology. "The congregation has been the universe to me that has shown me and taught me great love,” said Yoon.

Yoon's connection to prayer evolved, starting with personal aspirations for spiritual growth and academic success. However, as her faith matured, a profound shift occurred. Prayer transformed into a channel for expressing deep concern and care for others, encompassing family, friends, church congregations, and the global society. "Every one of them, the entire creatures, came to me as entities that share the same body and blood of Christ,” said Yoon.

Yoon draws inspiration from John 17:21, emphasizing Christ's sacrificial love and its extension to both disciples and the unbelieving world. For her, prayer becomes a conduit to comprehend God's love and concern for neighbors, transcending boundaries of age, sex, or religious affiliation.

"In prayer, Christians learn God's love and concern for our neighbors, regardless of age, sex, or religious affiliation, and the whole creatures of God,” she expressed.

Delving into the vital concept of neighbor, Yoon navigates the complexities of defining it within a global society marked by polarization and conflict. Referencing the parable of the Good Samaritan, she emphasized the call to be a neighbor to those in need, irrespective of predefined criteria or qualifications."We don't need a set of criteria to discern who deserves to be our neighbor. And we also don't have to contemplate whether we are qualified to be someone's neighbor,” she said.

As a Korean with a heartfelt wish for reunification, Yoon acknowledges the challenging reality of the North-South relationship. Drawing on her Christian faith and understanding of neighborly love, she fervently hopes for a future where the Korean Peninsula embodies the love planted by God.

"I do hope and pray that there will be one day when the Korean Peninsula can eventually share the neighborly love that God planted in our hearts,” she said.

Addressing the issue of secularization and the conflicts arising from differing worldviews, Yoon delves into the complexities of discerning God's will. Her realization emphasized the manifestation of God's love on the sacrificial cross of Christ, urging Christians to embrace love and peaceful coexistence amidst divergent opinions. "God's love may enlighten us that we have to love each other, as God loves every individual and every creature: peaceful coexistence on the earth where God created with all God's creatures,” Yoon expressed.

While acknowledging the enigmatic challenges in the world, Yoon shares a message of hope grounded in her personal experiences and prayer life. Confident that God knows better than us, she encouraged reflection on God's wisdom, fostering renewed hope and strengthened faith.

"Reflecting on our God, who created heaven and earth and sent the only begotten Son to save the world, will renew our hope and strengthen our faith until we witness God's work in the world,” said Yoon.