L'Abri Newsletter, April 2010
Dear Praying Family,
It has been 3 months since I have come back to L’Abri, and I am glad to finally give you a proper greeting. After having served as a worker for two and half years, I left L’Abri for 4 years to pursue studies at the seminary. Time has passed so fast like a wind. It seems that I have just got back from a short trip.
However, there have been a lot of changes within L’Abri; there were new faces and new interior and facilities at L’Abri. People leave with a hope that things won’t change by the time they are back. It may sound very selfish. Although they are not sure of themselves whether they would be back or not, they get disappointed with the news of change. In the mist of these changes, you find utter joy that your work piece is left untouched and commemorated. In that perspective, I have been blessed by L’Abri. The day after we moved in, workers held a humble welcome party in their dire straits budget on a cold winter day. It was an unforgettable experience. It was the best moment when I heard my clumsy shoe rack made in my student year at L’Abri in the main entrance is left untouched to be renovated for years; the rack was already bent due to long use. It was a mixture of shock, thanksgiving and joy to hear it was preserved for me to work on it.
Our family did not dwell long on joy and high hope as the reality of settling down in Yang Yang and L’Abri sunk in; my wife began her work in school right after the day we moved in while I had to attend workers’ workshop in L’Abri. Our children had to stay in a day care center. Some packages are yet to be unpacked for the better days.
As our hectic family life shows, L’Abri is at war on weekly basis. Workers are at the front line of the spiritual battle consuming all our physical and spiritual strength. As you may be aware from our last prayer letter, one German hardware company called Häfele is sending their five to six non-Christian employees to us for 5 days each week. Workers are practically running an intensive 5-day-retreat program every week to offer Häfele people spiritual and physical rest and to share gospel. In the beginning of the spring semester, we planned to accept regular students along with them. Soon we changed our plan not to receive any to focus on Häfele alone. Already 25 people visited L’Abri this semester. Most of them were first timers but some of them have been to L’Abri before. Second timers were glad as if they were coming for a family. Both first and second time visitors were looking forward to finding spiritual rest and yearning in L’Abri. How grateful and blessed we are to receive such people who are already equipped their minds for such atmosphere.
Despite all these, we were not without difficulties. We were either too hasty or too considerate to send the ready person go away empty handed. We became aware of our lack of wisdom and knowledge to discern God’s right moment to share gospel precisely and respectfully to them. We ask you to pray for us on this matter.
Nevertheless God reaps harvest in the mist of our weaknesses. We heard them pray, saw them take interest in faith, and witnessed them correct their prejudice about Christianity. One person told me that he had this question he had struggled with as a student and drew a conclusion with his friends that only God knew. I asked what the question was. His question was “who am I?” Right now he was too busy taking care of his family and paying off debt to contemplate this question. But he found himself asking the same question again in L’Abri. So I asked him if he asked God. He realized he didn’t and confessed it was high time to ask God. I pray that he would find answer in God because only God has the answer. Please join us in prayer for our young generation of Korea to find their true selves and liberation in God rather than being dragged by the chain of mammon every day.
Special guest lecturers came during this spring semester. Kim and Cynthia led 4 lectures and joined discussions during their stay with us for 3 weeks. For two weeks, Kim generated the most heated discussions from his lecture on good sex. We ask you to pray for the health and work of Kim and Cynthia as they are back in the UK. Missionary Caleb Shin held two lectures. As an experienced businessman, he seemed to understand the main interest and work of Häfele people more than anyone. They were moved by him as he showed strong vitality betraying the fact he was a terminal cancer patient in his final stage. Please pray for his health and safety as he journeys back and forth between Gosung and Seoul to give lectures.
God sent people and finances to support us at spiritual warfare in the valley of Yang Yang. Mission of L’Abri shines through because of your prayer and support, checks endorsed with letters by unknown donators from overseas, and service without a price by people like Kim’s couple and missionary Caleb. We should also make the same confession of the actor when he won his best actor’s award; “I only laid my spoon on the fully prepared table.”
L’Abri will go on a two-week-break from April 12th until 25th and extend the semester by one week up to May 15th. During the break, InKyung and KyungOk will attend L’Abri Membership Meeting in Swiss L’Abri. Please pray for their health and safe trip. In addition, InKyung and KyungOk will be at the home schooling conference organized by DCTY as main speakers in Ichon English Village, Gyeonggi Province on May 21st and 22nd. As the first generation of home schooling in Korea, they will be sharing their success and failures with participants. Please pray for the couple to be wise and sensitive to the needs of participants in helping them. Other workers will prepare for the rest of spring semester while taking a break. We ask you to pray that we would look into ourselves and get fully prepared. We are in-between season stage that leaves our children, GaHee, HanHee, JiHo, and JiMin, suffering from cold. Please pray for their full recovery.
Winter lingers on although the calendar indicates otherwise. It is not only weather but also our hearts that still clasp on it. On my way to L’Abri today, I murmured to myself that tension of my heart and body would melt at the sight of a single blossom of forsythia. Disheartening news inside and out of Korea make all of us restless. The cold weather makes it worse. But last Easter made me wonder why Easter was held in spring. I think there must be more than a calendar date to celebrate Easter and Passover in spring. We don’t feel life when we see frozen mountain and field in winter. But when spring comes, all comes alive like a flame even where life stopped. Soft life springs out by wriggling through hard ground. In such a way, there is no other season that best describes Jesus, the Lord of Easter. Spring will come. Jesus, the Lord of spring, will also deliver spring to our hearts. Until the next prayer letter arrives, I hope you will immerse in the joy of life, the gift of spring.