L'Abri Newsletter, May 2009
Dear Praying Family,
As I requested your prayer, EunChul Seo and his wife EunHa joined us as our new staffs. EunChul had been teaching young adults at ShangHai Korean Church in the past 10 years; EunHa is a pianist; GaHee (10) and HanHee (6) are their adorable daughters. Please pray for them that they may find comfort in L’Abri and in their rural life. Please also pray that their daily needs are fulfilled. We are also grateful that we could finish the 5th Christian worldview school (March 21 – April 25) arranged by the young adult group of the Sarang Community Church. There are 10 team leaders with JaHeon, the program coordinator, and hundreds students – please pray for them that they may rightfully serve the country and His church with their renewed minds.
I’m also grateful of many things that have happened with us recently. The gutter is fixed and the amplifier is repaired, finally. The gutter has been a pain in the neck that, when it rains, it would leak everywhere and the sound of dripping water had been so noisy to wake up everyone in the building. SamYoung Han, the CEO of SM Housing, removed the old one. He also replaced the old home theater equipment and the projection screen with the new ones that students were exhilarated by the improved quality. He fixed the broken water line in the office of the old gas station building. Mr. Han did all these for free. We are also so glad that we were able to pay off the overdue construction balance to him, at last. Mr. Han is planning to sell “Sanwoolrim” (www.sanwoolrim.net) the bed-and-breakfast which has been a home to numerous our visitors and students. Please pray for him that he may get connected with the right buyer.
KyungOk & I attended the Members’ Meeting in Netherland, last month. Considering the economic situation, our attendance was uncertain, initially. YongJun Bae, CEO of Hue Nations, bought plane tickets for our trip in response to our prayer letter. L’Abri Brazil reported their various activities; L’Abri Australia started boarding program from this year. As for us, there was a membership change in our board members. Douglass Curry left L’Abri for his ministry; Andrew Fellows of L’Abri England was elected as his replacement for our board. On our way back, we met with JongWon Kim (the attorney JongChul Kim’s little brother) who have been studying in Belgium and Netherland.
Who do you want to meet with? Someone who gives you a joy and trust? In the past several months, I met so many people. Frankly speaking there are some people who I would rather avoid, while there are others whom I’d be so glad to meet with, even for a brief moment. I’d like to introduce you a man all of us would want to meet with, who is trustworthy and has been my role model for a long time. He is Timothy. “I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.”(2 Timothy 1:3-5).
First, Tim was a man of clear conscience. “Clear” means ‘one’s heart completely dedicated to the Lord, single focused and undivided heart with clear motivation’. I imagine that his clear conscience was a result of training rather than born with it. He must have seen the sincere lifestyle of his mom and grandmother having the courage of interracial marriage at the time of strict tradition and the determination to choose Christianity against the social norm (Acts 16:1-3). In addition as we can perceive from Paul’s advice of drinking wine, “no longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (1 Timothy 5:23). He may have been trained to live with clean conscience at home.
Second, Tim was a man of warm heart. 1) He was soft-hearted to shed tears at times and he delighted people he met with (2 Timothy 1:3); 2) He was the very person Paul wanted to see from his imprisonment “make every effort to come to me soon” (2 Timothy 4:9); 3) He was the very person Paul wanted to see during his last winter before being martyred (2 Timothy 4:13); 4) he was the person who remained faithful while many people around Paul left him behind (1 Timothy 1:19,20; 2 Timothy 4:9-15). Warm heartedness, is this a born nature? It may be to some, but as for Tim, it seems like it was his second nature. As we can see from Paul’s instruction, “instruct them to be generous and ready to share” (1 Timothy 6:18).
Third, Tim was a man of genuine faith. The “genuine faith” literally means ‘not just pretending but true to his deepest heart’. From Paul’s comment “as I constantly remember you” (2 Timothy 1:3) we can infer that Paul had been observing Timothy over a long period of time. The Great apostle commended the young Timothy as “of the same faith” or “theologically trust worthy” which is an expression of great trust and commendation. Timothy could have learned this “genuine faith” not just from Paul but also from the bible study his mom and grandmother taught in his home (2 Timothy 3:14-17). This “clean conscience”, “warm heart” and “genuine faith” of Tim is indeed an ideal model not only for pastors but every children of God. I believe that these are the very person that all of us are yearning for and who we want to entrust. I pray that the Family of L’Abri is those who deserve recognition and commendation for following the footsteps of Timothy.
Please join our prayer for students who are staying with us this week; JeongWon, KyungMin, HaEun, DongMin, and DaSeul. Four candidates from Ghana are not going to make it due to visas. Two American teachers had been here last week, and another American young man will visit us around the end of May. Rev. and Mrs. BukKyung Kim are visiting Korea to officiate their nephew’s wedding. They will be visiting us from May 19 through 23. We pray that their visit will be mutually beneficial for students and pastors in YangYang region. I’m always grateful for your prayer and gifts. A new newsletter is up on the website, www.labri.org.
Translated by Oh-Ig Kwoun