L'Abri Newsletter, April 2012
March 30, 2012
Dear Praying Family,
At long last, spring has come to Yangyang. Everything around us is teeming with new life. This naturally gets me thinking about Easter, the day Christ rose from the dead. It might be a little hard to relate the spring to the resurrection if you live in a country that has just emerged from a scorching summer, or if your winter is just as mild as the rest of the year. But here in the mountains of Korea, it is as if we are witnessing Aslan’s arrival in C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; every valley that God touches with his warm breath comes alive with joyful greenery. As Lewis said, “We see the pattern of death and resurrection in nature because it is merely reflecting the truth of Christ.” At this time of the year, nature itself carries the Good News of resurrection.
Unfortunately, so many farmers who work in the freshly thawed fields are oblivious to the message of resurrection around them. However, we who believe in the resurrection of Christ should not be complacent, either. “I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. ... Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God I speak this to your shame.” (1 Corinthians 15:31, 34) As I read these verses, I realize that there should be death first in order for the spring of life to come. Nature sends us this message every year. Yet I find myself always too stubborn to declare death on various undesirable aspects of my life. We have every reason to be thankful of His Grace, but we have no right to boast about anything.
InKyung and I are having a wonderful sabbatical these few months. We have been able to spend some quality time with InKyung’s parents, and we’ve also had visitors here at L’Abri from time to time. We planted flowers in our gardens and carried out minor repairs around the houses. There were also many requests for lectures and preaching outside of L’Abri, as usual. Last month, we spent about 10 days on the road. Our trips have been very precious opportunities to meet people of various ages from diverse backgrounds, and to communicate with churches in unique situations. The message we spread covers a wide range of topics, from Christian worldview in general to community life to spirituality, evangelism, education, and more. Please pray that our message may reach our audience through the work of the Holy Spirit, and that our communications may bear fruit in the daily lives of those we seek to help.
From April 11 to 17, we will be attending the International L’Abri Members’ Meeting in the Netherlands. It is a time for reflection of the past year, and for sharing wisdom from what we have learned in the meantime. Please pray that the conference may be spiritually refreshing to all participants.
From May 11, several groups are planning to visit us, including Korean students, some from Africa, a few international students from Handong University, new employees of Erom, Inc., and young adult members of the VM group from four churches in Seoul. We look forward to serving them during the spring and summer terms.
Currently, InKyung and I are the only full-time workers left, though SooYeon continues to help us as a part-time worker. MinHyun, BoKyung, and Barnabas (from Hungary) will serve as helpers; MinHyun just started re-staining the balcony. HyeIn from Canada will intern with us for 3 months as part of her research in Biblical counseling. Thankfully, several other people have expressed interest in working with us. SangBeom Lee and BoKyung Moon will start working as helpers at the end of April; they will stay in the BaekAmDang house. JoonWon Sohn and EunHae Cho are also planning to join us soon.
As you know, our tasks are not easy ones. We live in a remote area, away from the convenience and comfort of an urban lifestyle. We have to deal with unpredictable visitors, meals, laundry, and endless other chores, all while sharing the Gospel. It is not something that can be done easily if a person is not trained or equipped properly. Please pray for our new staff so that they may be able to bear these challenging tasks.
Please pray for the repair of the staff’s residences. BaekAmDang urgently requires expansion to accommodate a family, not to mention hosting guests for meals. We also need to convert the old library into a living area for more staff. Please pray for the provision of funds for these repairs if God wills that we should carry them out. Meanwhile, we’ve had minor rockslides in the hill behind L’Abri as the earth starts to thaw. Visitors express concerns about these slides. We pray that our Lord may gracefully protect us so that we can safely get through the rainy summer. As beautiful as Yangyang is, the mountains can quickly turn deadly if God does not watch over us with pillars of cloud and fire.
Please pray that we may do our best to serve our students and visitors despite the shortage of staffing and finances. Please pray for harmony among workers and new helpers from diverse backgrounds. Most importantly, please pray that the young adults who visit us from around the world may encounter the Truth of God; may the Lord use us as a vehicle for His purpose! Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to the InSoo Fellowship for providing us with a grant of $3,000. We deeply appreciate your prayer and the love you have shown us throughout all our challenging years.
May the Lord be with you during this Easter season.
Translated by Oh-ig Kwoun / Edited by Kijin Sung