San Diego Church Mourns Deaths of Jet Crash Victims

December 09, 2008

A UMNS Report
By Carol Stuart*

Dec. 9, 2008
A United Methodist parishioner who died when a military jet crashed into her San Diego home was remembered as a devoted Christian, wife, and mother.
Young Mi Yoon was killed in the Dec. 8 crash, along with her 2-month-old daughter, Rachel, and Yoon’s mother, Suk Im Kim, said the Rev. Kevin Lee, associate pastor of Korean United Methodist Church of San Diego.
Yoon’s 15-month-old daughter, Grace, was believed to have died as well, Lee told United Methodist News Service on Dec. 9. Investigators were searching the wreckage for the toddler's body, according to news reports.
Dong Yun Yoon, the husband and father, was at work when the fighter jet crashed into the neighborhood while returning from a training exercise to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The pilot ejected safely.
Lee and the Rev. Daniel Yonkak Shin, senior pastor at the San Diego church, visited Dong Yun Yoon at his sister’s house on Dec. 8, accompanied by several church members.
"We just hugged each other and cried and cried for a long time," Lee said. "We had a brief worship service, and gave him words of comfort from Scripture."
The couple had attended the church for about 17 months, before the birth of their first daughter, according to Lee.
Young Mi Yoon’s mother had traveled from Korea in recent months to help the family care for their young daughters, Lee said. The young mother worked as a full-time nurse and her husband, who came to the United States in 1989 and is a U.S. citizen, works in a family business with his sister.
"The small groups they were involved in all said her love for her family, for her husband and children, was great," Lee said of Young Mi Yoon. "She really loved her husband, and being a very caring mother to her two young daughters in the middle of her Christian life, work as full-time nurse … she was an example of a Christian mother and wife."
The church leadership scheduled a meeting for Dec. 10 to plan ways to help the family and planned to hold a prayer event as well.
"We’re in big shock, especially at the church," Lee said. "This is beyond our understanding, and we are trying to find God’s will in the midst of this tragedy. Again as one family in Christ, we are doing our best to find our love and every available resource to help him and his family. We’re sharing the pain and sorrow with the family."
*Stuart is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee.