L'Abri Newsletter, May 2008

Dear Praying Family,

May our Lord’s grace be with you! I had been to the Annual Members’ Meeting, England, from April 21 to May 1. Some of the highlights are: 1) L’Abri Brazil reported its establishment; 2) L’Abri Korea is granted for the six-month branch sabbatical from this summer to the fall; 3) L’Abri Korea will host L’Abri Conference and the Trustees meeting in fall 2009.

We are grateful to those who, in Korea and from oversea, have wanted to visit L’Abri, this summer and fall. However, my concern over burning-out of my family was accepted during the meeting. And the members granted us the branch sabbatical. My wife will spend more time with EuiJin; I’ll be focusing on preparing lectures and research. We regret that this decision may have affected plans of the perspective visitors during the sabbatical.

During this trip, I had opportunities to meet with my old friends, John & Jill Barrs, and John & Hilary Blake. I stayed with PukKoung Kim (formerly the senior pastor of Korean Church London and the president of Ezra Bible School) for two days and recuperated while staying at his home. PukKoung is serving as an elder of IPC; he got a part-time job at a power-tool shop; Cynthia, his wife, looked doing well.

At L’Abri Korea, the new term started on May 9. I feel like it has been several weeks though it’s just about 10 days ago. It probably is because of the on-going construction that started in March and in the meantime, many people with different issues visited us without ceasing.

The construction started with the grant from SaRang Church. The retaining walls along JongChul valley (picture 1) and behind my residence, BaekAm Dang (picture 2), are completed. Temporary garden was built using dirt and boulders excavated during those constructions. In a week or so, the drainage and manhole in the front parking lot will be finished as well. Due to the delay in construction and the inflation of construction material, the project exceeded the budget. Would you please pray that we may be able to pay the bill?

During the past ten days, there were several visitors.

Would you also pray for those who will be staying with us for 5-week term?

We know that many others are planning to visit us during this term. Would you please for those visitors that they may find answers to their spiritual questions and their faith may advance through the blessing of our Lord, Jesus?

Please pray for my family as well. I consider it a miracle that my wife KyungOk was able to serve several thousand visitors since we moved in YanYang, despite numerous construction and interference. It can only be explained by your intercessory prayer. As we are getting old everyday, please pray that we may stand strong in our faith and may continue to grow in our spirit. Pray for EuiJin that he may not lose focus on his study. For HaeJin that our Lord may fulfill her needs to continue her study in the fall semester. Would you please remember my parents (dad, 78; mom, 74) in your prayer, as well? As they are getting old, they miss my family more.

JongChol and EunSil gave birth to a son. We may as well pray for the mom’s recovery and her new-born son. HaeShin (ChunJoo SeoMoon Church) who studied at L’Abri is getting married on May 24. L’Abri Switzerland reported that their staffs are expecting pay cuts due to weakening dollars; please pray for our Lord’s intervention for their daily needs. As most of you may already know, countless people lost their family members and are devastated due to earthquake in China and typhoon in Myanmar.

As I think of the tragedies and recent issues, it was clear to me that this is when we need to remember our God and cling on to Him. ‘Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the LORD with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to the LORD and serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines”. So the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth and served the LORD alone.’ (1 Samuel 7:3,4)

1) God’s promise for salvation and blessing is always clear. The “deliver” means pulling us out of the evil, which is by itself God’s blessing.

2) However, there is a condition for the salvation; it is to “return to the LORD with all your heart.” If we return to the Lord without any reservation, we will be saved. The word “return” means repenting one’s sin which is serving foreign gods or idols. Therefore, the repenting means getting rid of idols, even the “hint” of them.

3) Pursuing materialism and sexual immorality were of particular problem. ‘Baal’ was considered as a god bringing rain and abundant harvest; ‘Ashtaroth’ was indicated as ‘a queen of heaven’ or ‘a queen of sex’ in Jeremiah 44:19

4) For us, they have become an excellent model to follow. ‘So the sons of Israel … served the LORD alone’. As our ancestors in faith did, we should decide to serve the Lord alone.

May the grace of our Lord be with you in your walk with God!

May 20, 2008

InKyung Sung

Translated by Oh Ig Kwon

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