L'Abri Newsletter, August 2010
Dear Praying Family,
It has certainly been a long time since I last sent greetings to you. How have you been in this hot summer? We recently started hearing all sorts of insects singing in the night. Sunshine on a clothesline is still blazing, but I can already feel a cool fall breeze in the air.
Last summer was truly sizzling, wasn’t it? We did the best we could to survive this heat. Our best, however, reached one week short of our originally planned 10-week-summer session. Ten weeks of summer session in hot summer proved to be beyond our ability. Groups who came for retreat in the 7th and 8th week became final blow to our straining conditions. We apologize for those who tried but failed to visit us during this period due to no room availability.
It has been 3 days that students moved out like a tide. But whenever I pass by the place they used to stay in, I get a feeling someone may call and come up behind me. When the hour is late, I find myself straining my ears to hear for students who go out to smoke. There was one student who used to smoke late at night. In summer, a day at L’Abri finished when I turned outside lights off upon his entering into the building after a smoke in the night.
This summer as usual passed like a lightning by coping with people delivered by God. One of our strengths as a small community is to invite guests to our family table, to accept guests as our own precious member, and to share worries and difficulties without hesitation. There was a time when everyone cried over hearing heart breaking prayer requests from one another at the prayer meeting a few weeks ago.
Unlike last summer, we had many workers who came on their short summer break. It was tough to conduct individual tutoring sessions with them in less than a week. We tried to do our best but could not offer much help in the end.
Some came too short to solve their problem, some came because of parents’ coercion and left early, some came and went with a matter of unresolved sin, and some finally recognized that Christianity is the truth but failed to bring themselves to accept it personally. Our hearts are glad with people who left happy but hurt by those who left unhappy.
There were three non-Christians with varying results. This year, in particular, we had many non-Christian visitors; every visit of them left us with a study on what is a stumbling block for them to believe in Jesus, how to approach them, and how to offer answer appropriately. As cynicism spreads rapidly, we see many young adults who ridicule Christianity. We ask you to pray for us to get better in helping them.
We had lectures every weekend this summer. Among them, there were 2 open lectures including Dr. Eun Sil Goo’s on health counseling, and Psychiatrist Doctor Gye Won Bang’s on homosexuality that were faithfully attended by local churches and others from afar. We will continue to consult with local church pastors to provide a place to discuss local community’s common interest in search of God’s truth and acting upon His word.
We built a new structure in summer. With frames of a dismantled greenhouse in a neighborhood, workers and students completed a green house. Sokcho Hanwool Church members offered a great help in delivering frames and laying a foundation of a green house. InKyung comes up with numerous plans about what to grow in a greenhouse that was built on sweat of many. One of them is to grow shiitake mushrooms to serve guests.
We also installed lighting posts in the entrance of L’Abri and in front of old gas station house. We used to have lighting posts in front of the main house before, but new lights are added on in the entrance and at the old gas station house. I am glad to have these lights for they make L’Abri a safer place to visit in rainy days and dark nights. Piles of firewood are stocked at the back of our house. Although we had to renew a number of axes, making firewood has become one of our favorite to-do-list.
Now we are entering into a long break period before fall terms in September 28th-October 23rd and November 8th-December 11th. After a short break, workers will start their researches on assigned projects. Please pray for their time management during the break time so that they would have full rest and study time to prepare for the next term. As you may know, helping people is a demanding job and difficult financial situation makes workers’ hearts weary. Without your prayer, it is hard to sustain ourselves.
Before it gets any colder, we need to install a floor heating system in Narnia’s room where EunChol and EunHa’s family live. We ask you to pray together that we may choose a diligent mechanic to perform the job. I hope none of them gets sick for having to move their things out and in again during the installation. We also request you to pray for MoKyung, ChunSung and InKyung’s recovery and continually for HaeJin’s tuition.
I thank you deeply with my head bowed down for your working together with us by doing your best to pray or to support financially. I sincerely hope you enjoy ripening blessings of spiritual fruits as you press forward to harvest of faith towards the end of summer.
KyungOk from YangYang
Translated by MoKyung Choi