L'Abri Newsletter, October 2011
October 18, 2011
Dear Praying Family,
Autumn is out of the sudden in front of us. Persimmon trees in front of L’Abri are getting ready for winter by shedding their leaves every day. It seems we are always getting ready for the next season as we welcome changing seasons from summer to fall and then to winter time. It would be great to enjoy the current season and have some time to ponder about unlike the busy-ness in receiving and sending away that our contemporaries in metropolitan areas are used to.
In the gospel of Mark 3, Jesus selects the 12 disciples and their names are recorded. In verses 14, 15, we can find 2 goals of Jesus in selecting disciples; and he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. (Mark 3:14-15 ESV)
The first goal was for them to be with him and the second to preach. In the gospel of Mark, evangelizing means preaching and teaching. Casting out demons was a natural phenomenon in the process of evangelizing. But when we think of disciples, we tend to focus on the second goal. It is because we are more focused on the usefulness of ourselves by proving our deeds and accomplishments. But Jesus tells us there is more important than what we do. That is “to be with him”.
“To be with him” was the main qualification criterion in selecting a disciple in place of Judas in the Acts chapter 1. And John also refers “to be with him” as “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life” (1 John 1:1 ESV) It was him whom they actually saw, looked and touched with their hands. John called them witnesses and they became the fathers of martyrdom. Martyrs were they who were with him, listened to him, looked upon him, and touched him.
You cannot be with someone if you only think of this person to meet and send away. You can only be with someone if you enjoy fellowship with him/her. That is why Jesus ate, drank, joined the party with disciples, touched their feet, and taught them. It was only a brief time that Jesus was with them but long enough for them to lead lives of evangelists and martyrs. We should not regard someone as one of the seasons that we are busy in welcoming and sending away but in doing our best to enjoy fellowship with.
Except for Barnabas from Hungary, we had many short-term visitors this autumn semester. I wonder if we did our best for them. Although we try our best, we always feel lacking. We ask you to pray for the workers to see visitors as God’s blessings rather than people with heavy burdens to solve problems.
As you may have heard, there was not a single day without the noise of electric sawing and hammering in L’Abri from September until October to build a beautiful tree house in the mist of pinewoods. The tree house was built upon sweat and effort of President Ji-In Jeong and 4 carpenters from Dongseo Landscape Inc. The tree house is now complete with painting work done by workers and many visitors. We pray that this will become a place of prayer and sharing that overflows with shalom (peace).
L’Abri will take a recess from October 21st until November 17th. Workers are on the brink of breakdown for working non-stop from summer. We ask you to pray that workers will recuperate physically and spiritually during the break.
I have sad news to share with you. MoKyung is resigning at the end of October after 2 years of service in L’Abri. She has performed various responsibilities faithfully, and we shall miss her greatly. Please pray for her discernment in God’s guidance as she is seeking new employment.
This semester, a young pastor from Singapore came to study “True Spirituality” by Dr. Schaeffer for 2 weeks. Upon leaving L’Abri, he shared what he had learned from the book. One of them was that prayer was the channel connecting natural world to super-natural world. Dr. Schaeffer had a strong belief in this fact. Visible natural world and invisible super-natural world co-exist in this world. People think what we see is all we have but we know otherwise. Then we should pray. It will be a lie or imagination to talk about super-natural world without praying. Why don’t you experience God who performs supernatural miracle in the natural world today through prayer? I pray for everlasting shalom in you, your family and church.
Translated by Mokyung