L'Abri Newsletter, May 2012
May 1, 2012
Dear praying family,
As new term starts, I did weed this morning to welcome guests who will visit us. All weeds under fully blossomed Royal Azalea and green sprout of grass had to go. Tidy grass field makes me feel good, and it would relieve stress of mowing lawn for a while.
However, I felt a bit sorry for the yellow dandelions cut by the tooth of my sharp lawn mower on this morning. It had just started to show its yellow colour flower which passed the cold winter over the last months. It reminds me also a Korean old pop song, ‘A Life Like Weed.’
As my wife, KyungOk, came out to hand me a glass of water, she was so glad to see Pulsatilla Koreana (pasque flower). “Here are only two Pulsatillas I can see even I planted five of them in year before last year. It was called previously as weed, but now it is called as wildflower,” she said. I did not realize that she love this flower, which could be cut by my lawn mower without my intention just before she told me.
I looked up a plant encyclopedia from my book shelf right after I finished lawn mowing. A Pulsatilla is also called ‘Baek-Doo-Ohng’ in Chinese characters. Actually, it means ‘Old man with white hair.’ The reason of having the other name would be its fruit seems to be like hair of old man with white beard. However, a folk tale says the following story. There was very sick young man. His tummy ache has no cure until old man advised to eat Pulsatilla. After he got cured, he named the flower to honor the old man who saved him from tummy ache.
In an alternative medicine, a Pulsatilla has been traditionally used for curing headache, heartache, malaria, and stomach trouble. Many researches confirm its root has good affect on treating brain tumour and different types of cancer. In contrast, it would be venomous flower, because people chose to eat to commit suicide or to abort unborn.
Some flowers like a Pulsatilla, a dandelion used to be regarded weed in Korea. These days, surprisingly, not only for enjoying its beautiful colour, but also curing disease as an alternative medicine. Nowadays, it symbolizes patience and perseverance. Moreover, there would be many wild flowers or plants, which are recently called by different names and most of them, were previously known as merely weeds.
I wish people see the value of ‘weed’ as if it is actually a wild flower, when they meet the young regarded the least in current society. ‘Weed’ sometimes turn out to be medical herb. I hope young people who are considering giving up their lives to find the freedom through the Truth in Jesus Christ. Due to mowing, I am pretty tired but thinking of young people who will visit us soon in this isolated place make me recharged.
After the sabbath over the last a couple of months, many visits again L’Abri. For instance, 21 new employees from Erom Group came for 2 days of lectures, and 10 seminary students visited us. In addition, Seoul VM group, which is about 35 young people gathering of three different churches in Seoul such as NaeSooDong church, Sarang church, and NamSeoul church, will attend our lectures and have a fellowship with us. Furthermore, other visitors like non-Korean professors and their students of HanDong University, church pastors and its congregations would visit shortly L’Abri too.
I would like to ask you to pray that full time students of the coming term may not be disturbed by visitors; rather they may give a good influence on our students. Moreover, I concern about teaching, tutoring, worship, and communicating in English with overseas visitors in the coming term. So, please pray for our staffs not to be much exhausted due to language difference.
There is good news. Would you pray for us? KyungOk and I were moved and encouraged with YeIn church, lead by Reverend Jung in the previous visit of the last February. When they heard about our needs regarding L’Abri house repairing works, the church said they would send a team of skilled people like carpenter and electrician. Unfortunately, we are unable to afford purchasing building materials, although building team is ready to serve us. Therefore, please pray for provision of money to repair the house and buy building materials in near future.
As you may know, Sangbeom and Bogyeong couple recently moved into the house of BaekArmDang, where we had lived over the last 10 years. After their couple months with L’Abri, they will make a decision to apply for L’Abri workers. In addition, Minhyun and Bogyeong couple finished painting work for L’Abri deck, and they will serve meals for guests in the place where Chunsung used before. Suyeon will prepare meals for visitors at her unit in every Saturday. Eunmi will come and help us for ten days.
We are grateful to have opportunities preaching in different churches and organizations during the break by the grace of God. It was good to observe current situation of churches in this country, to learn many things, and to be challenged. Many churches I visited are generally healthy, but some are under threats. The present threats they are facing are determined mainly in three parts: Reducing numbers of young people among their congregations, Institutionalization of old churches, and Relativism of truth.
However, I could see hope of Korean churches in one special church gathering service. I met a sister who serves 30 guests with meals and bible teaching in every week. I was amazed, especially, when she told me the story that she sold her furniture like bed and desk for having more people in her house. Her testimony definitely encouraged our couple.
As I remember the story that Francis and Edith Schaffer had to wash dishes twice on one evening as numbers of people on dinner table was bigger than the numbers of dish they had. Don’t you think this world has still hope because of whom serving guests in humble place? Is it too much for you, if I would ask your prayer that every house will be full of seekers on their dinner table?
Sincerely yours from the tree house,
Translated by JunWon and EunHye Shon