L'Abri Newsletter, November 2013
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Dear L’Abri praying family,
There are so many things to give thanks for to God and to our friends. It is almost two months since we, Kim and Cynthia, arrived in YangYang. It was a strange home-coming feeling, because we had been here many times as guests. This time we are here to stay for a whole year as “special lecturers.” On arrival we were welcomed into a one bedroom house, next to the main building, which was built as a public lavatory, now remodeled into a cosy little accommodation. (The main building was originally built as a commercial café.)
Having overcome the inevitable jetlag, we were plunged into the work, cooking meals for the students, listening and talking to the sincere enquirers, having workers’ and prayer meetings. By the way, we have decided to call tentatively the “students” “guests” for lack of better word, because it is culturally out of kilter to call the elderly people “students.” If you have a better word, let us know.
We have had guests, young and not-so-young. A retired couple came to have a rest; the wife who had her poems published recited her poems during the tea time; poems which were squeezed out of her past life full of pains and aches caused by her father’s abuse. It was a healing moment for all of us. A wounded healer, indeed! A middle-aged man, taxi driver, turned up without notice, with a heavy-weight problem of gambling addiction and divorce. Solution? He needs a professional counseling, but in the end one needs to find the truth which is Jesus Christ. Our Lord is the true, real, and final healer.
Dr. Whang, an old friend of mine (not the medical doc turned businessman), came to lead a mini-seminar on the “Logos” in John Ch. 1, being more than a conceptual word, but a personal Word which is shown in the creation. One female dental technician whose name is Rose, while waiting for the Lord’s guidance for her future career, applied to come as helper for a term. We had a welcome visit from a missionary couple from Japan. It was a good opportunity to learn more about Japanese, our neighbor.
We were expecting a group of twelve from Handong University, a Christian one. In the past two years Prof. Cordell Schulten brought his students, but this year they had to cancel the trip due to financial difficulties. In the meantime, KyungOk’s mother came to rest at L’Abri for three weeks. She recently had a thyroid cancer operation and KyungOk’s TLC helped a lot. If Handong University students and her mother’s presence had overlapped, KyungOk’s health would have been dented considerably. God’s way is perfect!
While InKyung was making a post box for our house, he hurt his back. He is recovering well after having acupuncture and physiotherapy.
InKyung and I, with our wife are often called to preach and give lectures by various churches and seminaries. InKyung and I preach at local churches once a month and I preach once a month at Seoul church where I worked for the past year. And I go to a small Presbyterian seminary with seven students to give lectures on Schaeffer’s thoughts-we watch at the moment FAS’s “How should we then live?”(with a Korean subtitle) and have discussions afterwards. Schaeffers are largely forgotten nowadays amongst the Korean churches and seminaries; once upon a time seminaries used to use Schaeffer’s books as their text. Surveying Korean churches, we feel what he taught is more relevant than ever.
ChunSung, who re-joined L’Abri recently as worker, cooks meals for the guests to almost the Babette’s standard, and helps with outdoor works; recently he made a substantial post box house at the L’Abri entrance. We hope there would be much good news worthy of the post box.
Mr. and Mrs. Baek Min-Hyun, who used to cook for guests, left for his home in Daegu as of Oct. 1, in order to start a restaurant.
We need more workers, preferably a couple, who could help InKyung and KyungOk. And for that we need another decent family accommodation. We are praying that a small house be built on the land (see the picture below) where Cynthia is standing and praying. The land was originally set aside for a house for the petrol station (now non-existent) employee.
Kijin, Haejin(daughter), and Euijin, InKyung’s grown-ups, have been very helpful in running L’Abri; Kijin, the eldest, cooking, driving, IT management, lecturing; Haejin lecturing on art history and teaching English at a local primary school; Euijin while studying at University, helps with driving and looks after the L’Abri animals – two dogs and numerous cats.
November is a thanksgiving season: under the high and blue sky, there is golden rice field to be harvested, contrasted with autumn leaves turning red.
We thank God for:
- Plenteous harvest.
- Our health.
- Financial provision.
- Various guests we could help in some small ways.
Please pray for:
- The right people at the right time
- Those brothers and sisters who are struggling with their problems.
- The plan for the winter term.
- The energy and wisdom we need to help people.
- The workers and the accommodation for them.
- InKyung’s back, and KyungOk’s mother’s recovery.
- Kijin’s health and his future plans.
- Safe journey as we travel long distances (200km to Seoul) to give lectures in various places.
Prepared by Kim