On October 19th, 2018, I did an author Skype with two 4th grade classes at an international school in Ankara, Turkey. Everything was set. However, technology failed, and the teacher (my friend) had to resort to using her smartphone! The classes were extremely well behaved and quiet. Each child, who wanted to, came up to the camera and asked me a question. I had also prepared some slides of photos. Per the teacher's request, I shared how God gave me a passion to write and care for North Koreans. Mrs. Woo, their teacher, did an excellent follow-up by having the students write their reflections or letter to me. I'm happy that some girls decided to be a writer! And some Muslim students started reading the Bible!
Below are some of the letters + photos in a slideshow. Technology aside, they and I had a blast! Thanks, Mrs. Woo & Mrs. Gestring at Oasis International School!
And thank you, to the "Create Engaging School Visits" Facebook group for great advice for author Skypes! If you're an author, be sure to join that group if you want to present at schools.
Today, Sunday, October 14th, 2018, I had the privilege to give a copy of RICE FROM HEAVEN: THE SECRET MISSION TO FEED NORTH KOREANS to the North Korean Pastor who led the group of us two years ago to send balloons of rice over the border to North Korea. Another friend who had gone with us that night showed the pastor her copy of the book earlier this morning. He said he almost cried. He was very touched.
My husband, son, and I traveled by subway to Seoul, about an hour away. Due to wrong directions, we arrived in time for the last song of the service, go figure. But he announced to the small congregation that I was there, and he held my book up. Many people came up to me and said "thank you," and that they were very touched. Greatest of all, I re-met a North Korean defector from the event in 2016 and met a new one, both of whom speak English :) Now I can interview them and get more nitty-gritty details. And I met a Korean adoptee like myself who will be a big help on another WIP (work-in-progress). I also met a guy who defected three years ago, and he is now in the South Korean military special forces who will drop by parachute with his unit onto North Korean soil if there is a war. (Even though the news makes everything sound peaceful, we don't know if Kim Jong Un will truly hold up his end of the bargain...)
We ate the church's lunch and had great conversation. The pastor thinks it's a good idea the South Korean President and the North Korean leader are talking, as the pastor is for unification. But as for the people living there now, things are still not so good.
Hopefully, I can visit them again soon. I'm happy to know they are pleased with RICE FROM HEAVEN. By the way, they do the balloon launch every year.
Tina M. Cho, children's author
I'm a children's author and freelance writer for the educational market. Welcome!