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The personal blog of Nate Tinner.

Seoul Survival

Without attempting to transform this space into a travel blog (though who knows), I feel compelled to take this time to update the watching world on a major life update. And by "watching world", I mean the few people who don't "tl;dr" every blog post link I post on Facebook and Twitter.

As I write, I am sitting in a coffee shop/boba stand/juice bar, which I suspect is a national tradition for South Koreans, or at least Seoulites. My big news is that I'm officially the latter. I've moved to South Korea to work with CTI!

This organization, Coaches Team International, is the same organization that I came to China with earlier this year for a month to teach basketball. That was one of the most interesting and challenging months of my life, for a variety of reasons detailed here.

I loved it. So I came back—this time, for good. The organization recently moved operations to South Korea, where its director (Luke Elie) went to high school as a missionary kid and where his heart for ministry remains. I have joined him here in the Itaewon district of Seoul, where I hope to team with him to do some awesome things here in the city.

On the surface, I'll be working as a freelance basketball teacher, usually working for one of the many private youth basketball organizations in Korea and China. But, as the name "Coaches Team International" is meant to imply, I'll also be playing in leagues, tournaments, and special events to make money spread the fame of Jesus.

In all seriousness, I'm learning very quickly that being in ministry and missionary work does not always look the way I figured, and CTI functions as a kind of tent-making venture wherein basketball guys like Luke and I use the business of basketball to support ourselves as well as to make connections to people all over Asia, all while telling them about Jesus in any way we can.

On the backend of things, I'll be writing for CTI about my adventures, conducting interviews, designing and editing website content and other CTI material, managing social media, and helping jump-start the revival of Seoul International Basketball League (SIBL), which CTI started in 2007.

I didn't conduct a GoFundMe campaign for this trip like I did in February, mostly because I didn't consider myself a missionary, since I plan to work while I'm here. I'm learning that the two concepts aren't always mutually exclusive, but I still don't want to pretend I have a set financial goal I need to reach. I don't. But if, for whatever reason, you want to help me pay my bills (both American and Korean) while I'm here, you can contact me by email at or message me on Facebook or Twitter. You can also give directly to CTI on our GoFundMe page.

As always, I don't need to make a page to solicit your prayers. There's nothing I need more from you than that, and you pray-ers know who you are. Ask the Father to guide everything we're doing here, and to help us live exemplary lives while we spread the message about Jesus' death, resurrection, and kingdom. I'm told the Korean Christians have a thing or two to teach Westerners about prayer, too, so ask the Father to help us make connections with churches here in any way possible.

That's all for now. Seoul-dier on.

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