For orphans in Korea, attending university and completing higher education is a daunting task with the numerous challenges they face soon after graduating high school. At 18 years old, they must leave the government-supported children’s homes and find jobs to be able to support themselves as well as their studies. Full-time work combined with study causes many students to become depressed or overwhelmed, and without a support system of family and friends to encourage them. This comes in addition to social stigmas in the country that look down on those without family.
Here is where Oak Tree Project offers a great support to Korean orphans in their studies as well as the emotional and spiritual aspects of their lives. Sponsored university students receive a housing scholarship, so they don’t need to work during classes and can focus on their studies. This allows them to get higher grades and receive additional scholarships for tuition.
But it’s not just a scholarship they receive; they also get paired with a mentor who commits to call and meet with them regularly, guiding and encouraging them in their lives and in their faith. These mentors are volunteers, and God has answered prayers to provide enough mentors for all of the students who apply for the program. In 2019, the program had 13 new students apply, and 15 returning students, for a total of 28 students participating.
As students finish the program, they comment on how Oak Tree Project has made a difference in their lives. One student mentioned that he would not have graduated near the top of his class or have gotten the job he did without the program. Another student expressed her appreciation for the close attention and one-on-one meetings with her mentor, saying she would like to become a mentor for the program.
The students entering the program recently went through orientation and met their mentors. Please pray for God to work through these relationships, that students will connect well with their mentors, and that mentors will have wisdom and confidence in their mentoring.
Please also pray for the 28 students to commit to healthy churches and grow in their relationship with God, and for their protection from the many cults that are on college campuses. Finally, pray for the 7 graduates to find good jobs, to transition well out of college, and to experience God's continued care as they begin working full time.
To partner with Manna Ministries in supporting the work of Oak Tree Project, please visit the campaign page to donate toward this ministry!