L'Abri Newsletter, September 2014

August 11, 2014

Dear L’Abri praying Family,

The weather in Korea during July and August is turbulent and uncertain to say the least, heavy typhoons created in the Southwest seas heading north toward Korea and Japan periodically. One such typhoon was heading toward Jeju Island, but fortunately missed us and was diverted to Japan, so we could fly back to the mainland safely.

We have just returned from a four-day Christian worldview camp with InKyung and KyungOk where we gave talks and had discussions with young North Korean defectors and the South Korean church helpers. These North Koreans are high school students from a special school provided by the government to educate and integrate them into the Korean society.

This camp was organized by a Naesoodong Church where Pastor Seo, a former L’Abri worker, is ministering the young people. Thanks to a great deal of help from the Naesoodong young adult group, everyone was happy and enjoyed dipping in the sea. InKyung and KyungOk introduced them to the Christian worldview, and Kim and Cynthia talked about marriage and sexuality based on the Christian worldview. In the evening we watched films such as Book Thief and Hotel Rwanda.

Most of the North Koreans have had little to no experience with their families, having escaped to the South by themselves. So they were unfamiliar with our discussions of family and marriage, but they did show much interest in the topic of sexuality.

Two weeks before the camp, twenty young people from the same church came to L’Abri led by Pastor Seo. Kijin gave a lecture on “the politics on personal information” which was a new subject to them; Haejin talked about Rembrandt; InKyung gave a lecture on the principles of L’Abri, Kim on “Trust”, and Cynthia on marriage. Dr. Won-Ho Kim, a dentist, also led a discussion about the current situation of the Korean Church.

From 12 August, ten young adults from Ju-An Presbyterian Church will visit L’Abri for lectures. We are also expecting student groups from Deok-Il Church in Jeonju and Yangmun Church in Cheonan. About twenty more people will stay at L’Abri individually over the rest of the summer term, which ends on 28 August.

Please pray for Inkyung and KyungOk as they move back into the White House where we have been living for a whole year. They have suffered a winter and two summers living in the loft room. We appreciate their kindness and sacrifice for us.

Cynthia and I are very grateful to Inkyung and KyungOk for welcoming us and making us comfortable, and also we thank the L’Abri trustees who allowed us to stay at Korean L’Abri for a year. The past year has been an exceptionally happy memory in our life, welcoming guests to meals, chatting with them, listening to their painful hurts and their concerns for their future. In the end, the Lord is our rock and refuge. L’Abri is still doing what InKyung and KyungOk started to do in Korea over 20 years ago.

L’Abri will be closed in September, during which, Lord willing, a part of the library may be converted into accommodation for another worker’s family. Please pray for this.

Inju, a member of IPC Seoul Church and our helper for four months, has returned home to complete his university studies. He has a strong desire to return to L’Abri in the future. Yerin, a single girl and another helper of ours, has also been doing well, cooking and helping with other house work. She will be leaving L’Abri at the end of August, and she needs our prayer for the next direction in her life. Seo-Young, who has helped us a lot this summer, also needs prayer for the next step in her life.

Please pray for KyungOk’s mother who is suffering from a thyroid cancer. She was the one who welcomed L’Abri into her house in Seoul when it first began in 1990. She is a brave and faithful Christian. She gets daily help from the local clinic and from her church. KyungOk’s brother’s family live nearby and see her often, but as much as Kyong Ok would like to visit her mother, it is difficult for her because she is four hours away and always busy with L’Abri work.

Kim preached his last sermon on the 10th of August at a local church. We said good-bye to the congregation. We have sent our boxes, full of books and clothing, via the post office. Inkyung thought we would never finish packing, but we did!

We will stay in Seoul for two weeks to see our Seoul Church congregation and say good bye to our friends before flying to the UK on the 2nd of September. Mr. Byeong-Hoon Hwang, who has been preaching on Sundays at Seoul Church, was ordained by IPC on the 27th of July and we are very happy to leave the congregation in his hands and two elders.

As it was hard to leave friends in the UK, so it is to leave Korea and our many friends. However, we are looking forward to seeing you all and value your prayer for health, strength and safety as we travel.

Much love,

Kim and Cynthia

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