L'Abri Newsletter, September 2012
September 18, 2012
Dear L’Abri praying family,
I thought that this fall, which we had been desperately longing for during this summer, was coming slowly, but the season seems to have changed after two typhoons passed through the area. We have realised what the scripture says, “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain,” through our experience of constant typhoons. Despite all efforts to maintain our facilities, there are cracks in the roof that leak water, a leaning revetment, sliding soil, and many patches of mold. It was my worry whether the revetment behind my house could stand firm as the typhoon ‘Sanba’ hit this area.
Even scarier than the weather are news of social breakdown, such as sexual assaults and other violent crimes in various parts of Korea. Until recently, topics such as homosexuality, premarital sex, and adultery came up only infrequently in our lectures, counseling, and discussions. These days, however, our students often bring us questions on topics such as bisexuality and sex reassignment surgery. There are growing concerns that such cultural phenomena are progressing too quickly for us to cope with. While the Korean economy has grown tremendously, we have also experienced an enormous ethical collapse throughout our society. I am concerned that the cost of economic development might be much greater than its benefits.
Meanwhile, we are thankful for the timely arrival of an invaluable resource for learning Biblical options for living wisely in this time of chaos. Schaeffer’s documentary film, How Should We Then Live?, has finally been released in Korea with Korean subtitles. Schaeffer says in the introduction to the film:
“There is a flow to history and culture. This flow is rooted in what people think. And what they think would determine how they act. There is violence and a breakdown the society, up to the point, which is unsafe to walk to the streets in many cities of the world. On the other hand, there is a danger of the increasing authoritarianism to meet the threat of chaos in our own countries and in a national level. Shall we despair and give in, if not how shall we then live? ... But, to understand how, we have to dare back in the history. I would begin with the time of Romans.”
Schaeffer analyzes art, science, and philosophy, from the time of Romans to the modern world, from a Christian perspective. He points out that the key problem with Western history and culture is a departure from the Biblical worldview. Schaeffer argues that we have to return to God and His truth as an answer. Many theological seminaries and universities in the West have benefited from film, and L’Abri has also been employing it as a textbook for the Christian worldview. Now, after 30 years, it is finally available in Korean.
The documentary consists of 10 episodes and an interview, with a total runtime of 5 hours and 20 minutes. Many people have contributed to the production of the Korean release: Hoyoung Kim dictated all episodes and translated them; Rev. Pukkoung Kim did proofreading, and Mrs. Yeji Ueom, a painter, made a generous donation toward the subtitle work. Mr. Injung Gang, CEO of Light House, obtained license to release the film in Korea, giving Korean churches a great gift.
The film can be used alongside either the same book published in Korean by LifeBook, or the study notes edited by Mr. Kimoon Sung at L’Abri. Please contact a local bookstore or Light House (+82-2-711-7436) if you are interested in learning Christian insights regarding the development and decline of Western thoughts and culture in your family, school, company, and church.
After finishing the summer term, I have been invited to give a couple of lectures in different places. Now it is time to open the fall term. Most visitors in the last summer term were in their early 20s, but in the fall term we are going to have 5 or 6 young people as well as 4 people who are in their 40s and 50s. All of them need desperately God’s grace and truth.
Like the previous term, MinHyeon and BoKyung are working faithfully in this term. Their daughter, HaEun, has applied for admission to Handong University, a Christian school. Barnabas, who has been serving us for several months, has now returned to his home country, Hungary. HyeIn, who did an internship with us, returned to Canada to complete her studies. Judong Kim, a local teacher who used to be our helper a few years ago, is getting married on October 13 in Yangyang. InKyung will be conducting the wedding ceremony.
Our children are helping us enormously, in spite of having not enough of family time. Kijin needs to do his compulsory military service once he passes his health test. My hope is that Kijin may have an opportunity to work in university or research centre where he can use his doctoral degree if possible. Haejin is receiving traditional medicine treatment for her back pain.
As for ourselves, it is absolutely God’s grace that we have persevered with this ministry over the last 20 years, despite our personality differences and health problems. It is getting increasingly difficult for us to spend time with energetic young people, often late at night, without other full-time workers to help us. Nevertheless, I should say many thanks to your prayer and donations. Please keep praying that the Holy Spirit bear much fruit in this time of harvest. I pray that the grace and truth of God may fill your life, too.
InKyung and KyungOk
Translated by JunWon and EunHae Shon