witnessing in Korea

Witnessing, my life’s purpose

An optimistic story of love and hope

Witnessing brings purpose to my life
Laetitia Laan. Witnessing gives purpose to my life









Editor’s introduction: The Adventist Soapbox’s mission is to provide a platform for “Adventists and Adventists on the fringes” to share their stories. We just love to tell stories! Sometimes it may be stories of people who are angry, or bitter or just hurting. But sometimes it is stories of ordinary Adventist Christians who love the Lord and the Church. People who just overflow with the desire to witness for their Savior and share the love of God to those around them.

The story in this blog is of such an individual: Laetitia Laan is a pastor’s kid. She attended both Adventist and government schools. As a child she,  at times, experienced the hurt and pain of being shunned by her friends because of a condition which necessitated numerous operations on her feet. Even worse were the times when she saw how badly her parents were treated by nasty church members. But, by God’s grace and through the wise counsel of god fearing parents she developed into a dedicated Christian who just loves to to witness and share the love of Jesus. She and her husband Paul live in Korea where their personal mission is to witness for their faith.

Laetitia’s blog brims over with enthusiasm and love for her Lord and the joy that she experiences as she continue to witness from day to day. The following paragraphs are excerpts from correspondence with me and some others.


Hi!… It’s always good to hear from you dear friend. Thank you for your love to my Mom and Dad over the years and for the love that you have shown me and most of all your love for God. Thank you for sharing with me.

Remember my husband and I here in Korea as we share the good news about Jesus. We all need to born again to be saved. So many people don’t have a relationship with God and they just go through the do’s and the don’ts and they think that is their ticket to heaven. Others think that they can live as they please. Meanwhile we are all such weak sinners and without Jesus we can do absolutely nothing.

Our right doing and actions are not what saves us, but our relationship with our precious Lord. Nobody can save us but Jesus. And as we are connected to Him He gives us the power to overcome sin in our life, not because we are so great but because of our relationship with Him, and so we have nothing to boast about. We all need to repent and be baptized by water and the Spirit and so we need to have a new heart. A born again experience!

Laetitia and Paul Laan

It is sad but many in the churches of all the denominations simply just warm the pews but they don’t know Jesus. How sad it will be one day when Jesus comes if so many are lost simply because they didn’t have a relationship with Him. May we all be connected to Him and be an example to everyone around us.

Thank you so much for your prayers for us in this mission land. We are witnessing – simply sowing the seeds about God’s love and what He has done for us. What a precious gift of salvation! If we would just accept it and repent, be baptized and follow Him in all things.

We can’t convert any hearts in this place where we are, or anywhere in the world, but we can sow seeds and pray for them. God is the One that can touch hearts, and turn hearts of stone into flesh.

May God bless you there my friend and may God bless us here in this corner of God’s vineyard….

Concerning theological debates in the Church

There are so many theological debates and stuff that is happening in our church… it makes me sick…. I don’t know why we can’t just focus on Jesus now… As we focus more on that and helping people to see Jesus for who He is and helping to make Jesus real and simple to people …

People will argue till they are blue in the face…. so pointless… meanwhile… souls are perishing everywhere… and the church gets colder… We don’t even know how to be warm to people.. We don’t truly understand how to reach out to people with love…icy and frozen… It shocks me sometimes when I see this in our church… If it wasn’t for reaching out to people and doing Bible studies and witnessing.. I don’t think I could have lasted either… but the truth keeps me in the church… and Jesus’ love keeps me in… and my parents’ example.

I get so tired of the phoniness in the church, and in our institutions… and people trying to go for status…No real interest in souls. I want to be around ordinary people that are real… Not this “fakeness”. It makes me angry that’s for sure.. So I feel sad when I see people leave our church…

Concerning Ellen White

Let’s keep praying for those around us. I know Ellen White says it will seem like the ship will go down… but don’t jump off when the storm is there… stay on… it will go through. I keep that in my mind.

I also don’t talk lots about White to others. It scares them off. I focus on the 2nd coming, salvation, those kinds of things and state of dead and prophecy. Ellen White… last… more for myself. I can prove all things that I believe from the Bible. I think we should follow that approach because of the hatred out there towards us SDA’s. Also many turn a deaf ear to us because we bring up White all the time. Not that I don’t believe what she says. I do… but I don’t push it. Well that’s how I do mission work.

Concerning the Church

I sometimes shake my head at what I see in the church also… being a preacher’s kid and all… you see everything… And also in the higher levels of our church… but I am SDA… I know it’s the truth… I just focus on witnessing… and sowing seeds.. and even if they don’t come in now… it’s not for me to worry about. In Korea people are after the numbers game.. trying to baptise as many as they can… even when they are not ready.. Pressure pressure, pressure to baptize… and many many leave later.. they weren’t ready and they weren’t nurtured. I guess I better get going… tons to do.. God bless you!

Laetitia and her dad Evert Potgieter

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  • Laetitia Laan

    Hi Oom, Thank you for editing and fixing some points in this article. I appreciate this.

  • Laetitia Laan

    Hi Oom Paul!

    I was pleasantly surprised to see this article. I must confess I laughed when I saw your humorous comments about me. When you asked me if I had anything to share, I thought I would have a chance to write it properly but since I am in the middle of packing and moving, I just sent you a bunch of random thoughts and ideas. You did say that you were going to send it back to me to read before you would publish, ha ha but I forgive you and that’s ok. I thought that I was going to have a chance to look at the article again before it would be published. I guess I felt a bit embarrassed when I read it, but hey, that’s ok, perhaps people will enjoy reading something that is real and down to earth. What you see is what you get. I am the type of person that if anybody asks me for some help, I don’t usually don’t turn them down even if I am extremely busy. It’s true that I had a brain storm and so I jotted many points down for you because I thought that would be a good start for your article. I thought we could work on it for a few days or a couple of weeks. Being the Sanguine, Melancholy that I am, I don’t have any problems thinking on my feet and it’s true that I am impulsive. I guess if you don’t know me, I would come across as an airhead, ha ha, but I can assure you that I am a thinker as well. I was a music teacher for many years and I am an English professor, so I am also a detailed, methodical type of person. I wouldn’t have been hired at Sahmyook University in Korea if I was not a thinker. I guess your first impression of me would be that I am a “Loskop” (or Scattered Brain), but people who actually take the time to get to know me know that I am much deeper than that. I guess, if some of the paragraphs that you shared helped somebody out there, then I don’t mind swallowing my pride and laughing at myself and calling myself a Loskop, because I know that I am more than that.

    A second point that I would like to point out is that I am not crippled. I think that was a misunderstanding… (lol). It is true that I have had 5 surgeries to my left foot and 4 to my right foot. It’s also true that I hated myself for it, but thanks to my parents and to God, I have learned to accept myself. My left foot is a bit more twisted or deformed and I have problems with balance. I have a problem called CMT which means it is a disorder to do with muscles and nerves. I fell a lot as a child, and my parents didn’t know what was wrong with me. It was only about 9 years ago that I was finally diagnosed with CMT which means that it affects my back and feet. I have scoliosis, which causes me to have pinched nerves, and I always have to watch that I don’t fall down. I can’t run fast, skate or ski. I questioned my parents why God created me with these ugly feet, but my parents taught me that true beauty comes within. Mom told me that I would one day thank God for my feet. I was ashamed of my feet and I hid them because of the ugly scars and because my left foot was a little bit twisted. If you look at me you would not realize that I have these problems. It’s only when I take of my shoes and socks that you would see that I have a problem. The doctor can’t believe that I climb mountains. I can swim, bike and hike. I have been to 31 countries, lived in 5 countries, taught piano and violin and English, performed in over 90 concerts, and I have experienced many amazing miracles in my life. I love mission work , preached, done evangelism, I have studied Biblical Greek for 2 years, and Hebrew for 1 year. I don’t let these few little problems stop me from living my life. The doctor said that my case is moderate. If I was serious, I would be bedridden. He can’t predict what I will be like when I am old one day, but I thank God for his blessings, and I am thankful for my feet because I use my feet as way to share Jesus. I tell others how God has helped me to see that I am special and beautiful, even though I believed I was ugly. I am more accepting of myself now, and I am more accepting of others as well. So, I am thankful for my ugly feet, and yes I am even thankful for my personality. I am not perfect and I have many things to overcome. I am a down to earth person, and I am not snobbish. I don’t believe in clicks and so I always befriend all types of people.

    Today, I want to tell you, that nobody is perfect. If you feel bad about something, give it to God. Don’t try to be somebody else. Be the best person that you can be. Learn to laugh at yourself. Yes, I can laugh with you that perhaps I do look like an air head. Perhaps others might feel sorry for me and think, wow that poor crippled woman, but I can assure you, that I don’t allow these silly minor impressions that others have of me, to stop me from enjoying my life, and living it to the fullest. I have learned to live above these small little problems. That is why, I can survive in our church and the struggles that we are having. I have learned to stop feeling sorry for myself, and to reach out to others who are hurting. I have learned to help others by admitting my flaws and sharing my heartaches and then telling them that the solution to all our problems is Jesus Christ. I am nothing. He is everything. As long as we keep focusing on ourselves, we will be miserable. As long as we keep focusing on others and their flaws, we will be miserable as well. This is why I have learned to think of the church as a hospital. I am sick sinner and so is everybody else. I can’t look to others to be my example. Jesus is the Dr. I go to church not because it is popular. I don’t go because the speaker is the best. I go because Jesus tells me to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. I have learned to pray for those who are rude and unkind in the church and outside the church. Jesus tells us that the good plants and the weeds grow together in the church. It’s not our job to pull out the weeds. We may think that we are pulling out the weeds, but in the end, it might be the good plant. And those good plants could be the weeds. Friends, we don’t have much time left on this earth. Satan wants us to lose our focus. He wants us to either focus on ourselves and to think that we are so terrible and worth nothing, or to think, wow, look at me, I am the best in the world! The middle letter of sin is “I”. Satan also tries to get us to judge other people or to find fault in them. We need to take our eyes of ourselves and others and we need to focus on Jesus. When we get busy and tell others about Jesus, the world gets dimmer. The only thing that makes sense to me is to fall in love with Jesus more, and to tell others about our precious Saviour. We get hung up on theological debates. We want to sound clever. Yes, you may even be thinking to yourself right now what does Laetitia know anyway?!! She is just a scattered brain (“Loskop”)!!! I would never say or do what she is doing!!! Friends, we need to stop being critical of what others look like or what they wear, or what they do. When we focus on Jesus all those things take care of themselves. We all need to be born again. We need God to transform our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. We need to find our first love for Jesus again. We are too worried about what others think of us. We are too worried about status. If we would just humble ourselves and admit that we are nothing but Jesus is everything, then God could use us in a mighty way. The more sharper we think we are, and the more clever we think we are, the less Jesus can use us. Jesus must increase and I must decrease.

    I am sorry for my wordiness. Dad is a much better writer. Oom Paul is a much better writer. However, just because others are better at things does not mean that God can not use me. Are you willing to let God use you? Are you willing to love others in the church and outside the church? Do we think we are better than others? Jesus has children in our church and in other churches and also out in the world who don’t even know Him yet. When we go to church, are we looking for the lonely people to cheer up? Are we befriending others and bringing them to Christ? These are just some points that I wanted to share with you today that Oom Paul forgot to add. Just because we have our names on the church books does that mean that we are automatically saved? It is our relationship that counts!!! That’s what saves us. If we are connected to God then He will make us alive and He will cause the good fruits to grow. I can’t be good by myself. I can’t even keep the commandments by myself. We focus sometimes too much on the works. The fruits and the works happen naturally because God gives us that power to live a good life. Is God real in our lives? Do we chat with Him about every disappointment, sorrow, and joy in our life? Do we share with Him every detail of our lives? Are we honest with God? Do we repent and admit our sins to Him? Do we read His love letter (The Bible) every day? Do we care about others? When Jesus comes back He will say, to the lost, depart, I do not know you. Do you we really know God? If we do, then we will live lives that will really show it. May God’s love shine through us, and may we spread the Gospel and Good News to everybody around us. Jesus is coming soon! God bless you all!

    If you are interested in my Ugly Foot Story, My CD, and my mom’s CD (Lorette), check out my blog. Only use explorer, otherwise you might have a hard time hearing my CD.

    http://blog.daum.net/englishkorean4all (home page)
    http://blog.daum.net/englishkorean4all/144 (Ugly Foot Story)
    http://blog.daum.net/englishkorean4all/6 (My CD…both violin and piano and backup )
    http://blog.daum.net/englishkorean4all/149 (Mom[s CD …Lorette Elaine Combrinck Potgieter )