L'Abri Newsletter, September 2011
September 2, 2011
Dear Praying Family,
Thanks to a rainy day, I am taking a moment away from building a tree house to give you a report on our summer through this letter. Let me deliver some delightful news first.
Deacon Ji-In Jeong (President of Dongseo Architecture) from Songtan Baptist Church has arrived with 4 skillful and creative carpenters to build a tree house on top of pine trees. Tree house appears on story books including Robinson Crusoe and Pooh the Bear; it is a place to rest and nurture dream and creativity for people who are like birds without wings. I hope this would be the place for students and visitors to meet the transcendent God in the space between heaven and earth and on the boundary line between reality and ideal.
My family went through a lot of changes lately. HaeJin has been permitted to pay the fee in installments by the end of January next year. We moved to Narnia Room (about 7 sq meters) in L’Abri’s main house. We received a 2007 New Carens (LPG) as a gift from our praying family member. The car will certainly be a great help for long distance lecture travels. Sephia, my old car, is just about to break down but will be saved for other workers without cars.
We had a record breaking number of visitors last summer. It is hard to believe even for me, but over 90 visitors stayed with us according to MoKyung in charge of registration. There were some who only stayed overnight, but many stayed for a week, and some for the whole 8 weeks of summer. We had a various age groups; in addition to many college students and young adults, some elders and pastor couples stayed with us too.
Most visitors were Korean, but we also had Americans, Nepalis, and an Indian. Among them were students and teachers from Westminster Christian Academy, seminary students from Torch Trinity, and native English teachers. We also had a Korean expatriate working in Japan. Due to high traffic, it was difficult to give lecture and tutor. We are not sure whether our meager hand helped the visitors but can only settle for we did our job in sowing and watering.
One studied the bible like a growling lion; one reduced alcohol consumption; one met God again; one came with an unbelieving boyfriend to evangelize; one couple got over serious marital problems, one leader consoled others and went back home, one slept to recover from physical and mental fatigue, one quit smoking of 10 years since middle school, and we threw a wine party for her.
I am most thankful to our helpers, MinHyun and BoKyung, who performed a great teamwork with other workers and to another helper Bokyung from Beijing University of Education for taking care of accommodation. My thanks also go to workers for preparing meals, doing laundry and making bed in hot summer heat. Apart from regular work, ChunSung built eaves on the side and back of the house to protect the wooden house from rain and wind, MoKyung took care of registration, and KyungOk did laundry and beds. One worker had to get an IV to endure 8 drilling weeks of summer camp semester despite full state of faith and Holy Spirit of workers.
Fall semester runs from September 16th until December 16th with a mid-break from October 21st until November 3rd. Please pray for visitors who need to come to L’Abri. Our special prayer is for foreign visitors to get along with Koreans. One Hungarian is expected to stay with us for a whole semester, a Chinese Singaporean will be with us for the first two weeks of the semester, and a team of professors and students from Handong University will spend a weekend with us.
Who do you think is the happiest in the world? One is happy when one gets a house, or a car or meet people one wishes to meet. Koreans would certainly answer that happy are those who won lottery or become super rich. But I found the happiest are the different kind; happiest are those who find the truth or repent. David sings in Psalm 1 and 32 that the happiest are those who meditate on God’s word and repent. From Psalm 32, we see David especially learned that as much as he bore pain of sin, he was renewed by repentance.
First, David praised God in counting no iniquity (32:2). David said that it would be like heaping coal on the head if we do not repent. But God removes the coal and extinguishes the fire completely.
Secondly, David learned God’s complete forgiveness (32:5). When one buries a dead dog with a tail sticking out of the ground, a fox sometimes will dig it out to find the whole body. But God will completely cover the sin and will not let any dig it up again.
Thirdly, David sang of God’s deliverance (32:7). God will erase the memory disk from retrieving a millionaire dollar worth of information to get back at someone.
Fourthly, David knew of God’s steadfast mercy, love and joy (32:10, 11) was the greatest blessing. C.S. Lewis wrote that “God-given joy is a glorious desire that cannot be quenched by anything in the world.”
I ask you to pray that we shall meet the happiest visitors and blessed ones in the fall, and our prayer also goes to praying family members to receive the same blessings as well.
from YangYang L’Abri
Translated by MoKyung Choi