L'Abri Newsletter, July 2012

July 22, 2012

Dear praying family,

Have you been well in this tropical summer? It was not too bad during last week, thanks to rain. But, the weather forecast for next week says that it will be very hot. I am concerned that our students and guests would suffer from the extreme heat. So I ask myself, “What would Jesus do in our situation?” Well, Jesus will probably begin by praying, and then he will find out a solution.

Jesus prayed. He prayed before meeting great crowds (Luke 5:15-16), when choosing His disciples (Luke 6:12), when having crucial conversations (Luke 9:18), when taking the cross (Luke 22:39-46), and even when His disciple sold him. “He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’” (Matthew 26:40-41) It was just one hour. Jesus did not ask many hours to pray, but he wished his disciples might pray for an hour. Peter, however, was too tired and lazy to pray even one hour. People whose lives are busy in the modern world, including myself, may be similar to Peter. Praying is the hardest work to do, especially in the hot and humid summer. Hudson Taylor, who worked under the hot weather of inland China, once said, “Sometimes, it is enough to pray for five minutes.”

As Bokyung’s recent lecture, Why Prayer is Difficult, made me realize, I am the one who is in worries and laziness. “Laziness is one of the barriers to prayer. No matter what circumstances we are in, our daily routine to kneel down results from a little devotion to God, offering our lives continuously in the fixed time and place per day. This little devotion brings consequently obedience to the Lord.” We have an incredibly busy season with quite many guests. I have been unable to set aside a proper time for prayer, not only because of my laziness and insufficient devotion to the Lord, but also because of a fully occupied schedule of counseling and fellowship with our guests. So, I would very much appreciate it if you could assist me with your prayer for my inadequate prayer life.

I would like to ask for your continuous prayer for our students and guests. Barnabas from Hungary needs a scholarship. Kelsey, who has taught English in China, needs rest and comfort. Minsoo wants to study the Christian worldview. Hyein has to sit an exam. Bon needs to take a good rest. In addition, please pray for those who have visited us, such as Kiyeon, Daehong, Jaehong, and Yeonmoo; and those who will visit L’Abri, including Lennon, Eunkyong, Jeongjoo, Jeongmi, Yongbi, Shinhye, Minhee, Jiyun, and Jiyeon. Everyone has a distinct purpose of visit, but please pray that they would all discover the true answer to their questions.

I regret that we can only offer our rooms to a few guests, although many visitors would like to stay with us. It is not only for a lack of accommodation in our house, but also because we are concerned about our long-term students. We asked visitors who would stay less than one week not to come, because we wanted to create a stable community and study environment for our students. Some of our praying family wished to visit, too, and some wished to send people to us. I am sorry that we are unable to take all of them.

However, please pray also for our short-term guests. The number of guests who stay in other places near L’Abri is increasing. A group of 30 young people from the Chilseong church in Daegu and the Keunsoop Central church in Seoul came to visit here. Although our dormitories are not big enough to accommodate such group guests, please pray that we can enjoy fellowship with the guests and give them the perspective of Christian worldview.

Moreover, your prayer for our lecturers would be appreciated. Pastor Seongkyu Jeong of Yein church in Bucheon gave us a lecture, City and Community. Dr. Wonho Kim of Yonsei Dental Clinic in Jumunjin lectured about Emerging Church and Missional Church. More lectures are coming soon, such as Freedom and Sabbath by Sangbeom Lee, who is waiting for ordainment by the International Presbyterian Church; Depression by psychiatrist Dr. Kyewon Bang; and The Politics of Coffee by Jimi Kim. We are thankful that our speakers have been willing to prepare their lectures and visit us even in such hot weather. Please pray that they would be full of the Holy Spirit and the truth.

Please also pray for the volunteers who are serving L’Abri. The elders and deacons of Hanwool Church in Sokcho have come to mow the lawns. Thanks to their hard works, L’Abri looks much prettier now. Please pray for safety during their work. Yangyang Central Church is serving meals for our students.

Eunmi prepares meals in every weekend, traveling from Bundang. Eunmi also entertains our guests and plays the piano. Minhyeon and Bokyung prepare almost half of all meals. They also serve the children of the local children’s center. Please pray that they enjoy their work during the hot and busy season. Suyeon is helping us to prepare meals more than once a week, while working as an elementary school teacher.

Meanwhile, some elders need the support of your prayer. Jungsik Kim, a church elder as well as the chairman of Mokcheon Foundation, has a serious issue with anemia, so please pray for his health. Pastor Pukkoung and Cynthia Kim are staying in a small apartment in Seoul, helping a local church. Please pray for their ministry to bear much fruit. My parents, Pilbang and Gabjo, who are elders of their home church in Gyeongsan, are over eighty years old and struggling with various health issues. Edith Schaeffer, the founder of L’Abri, is in Switzerland and not very well, so your prayer is desperately needed regarding her health.

Finally, please pray for my family. Kijin, my eldest son, recently returned home after ten years of studying abroad, and he is looking for a way to pay back his student loan. Haejin has to take a rest for a while, due to her back pain, but she has also been quite busy to help KyungOk. Euijin recently gave two splendid performances with his ocarinas; please pray that he will find a good university to continue his studies. Please pray for KyungOk and me to be full of the Holy Spirit, and please pray especially that we would find good colleagues with whom to share the burden of L’Abri work.

Without your prayer, I could not stand long enough. I always appreciate your prayer and offerings. I also pray sincerely that God would make rich fruits of your life in the autumn, as a reward for your summer sweat. Thank you again for your prayer!

Sincerely yours,

Inkyung Sung

Translated by JunWon Shon

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