L'Abri Newsletter, February 2015
January 25, 2015
Dear L’Abri praying family,
We enjoyed a warm, spring-like morning today. The old folks of this town are rejoicing, saying that “even before the winter arrived, it is already departing.” Except for just one week last December, we have not experienced any serious cold so far. But when we recall the heavy snowfall (1.5m) of last winter, perhaps it is too soon to greet the spring yet. We hope that every one of you go well through this abnormal weather.
First, please pray for the people who stayed with us during the last few weeks. Julia was eager to learn and strengthen her foundations of true spirituality, but last time she had to return to school before she reached her goal. She is coming back to L’Abri in February. SeongSeon came all the way from Canberra, Australia to find honest answers to honest questions. He flew back only with a few answers. Please pray that he will be able to find good friends to join in Bible and book studies. Several public school teachers and office workers came by, as well as a few high school seniors who were waiting for admission letters from colleges they’d applied to. Our guests included some non-believers as well.
Second, please also pray that the Holy Spirit will send us good young people in our new term (January 29 – February 13). As you are well aware of, L’Abri does not advertise for guests, but instead we pray that God will find and send us people who need our help. Please pray for the souls of those who, despite the cold weather, long distance, and an altogether anti-religious culture, still come to knock on our doors in search of truth and meaning. Please continue praying especially for Inju, who left his home to stay with us and walk the laborious path of a truth-seeker. We also ask you to remember in your prayers that one million Korean young people who have locked themselves inside their rooms would come out into the light as soon as possible.
Next, we ask you to pray for our workers and helpers. ChungSeong Lee has applied to be a full-time worker and is waiting for the board’s final decision. He first came to L’Abri five years ago as an atheist; and while at L’Abri, making an igloo and chopping firewood, met the personal Christ and decided to live a new life. Also helping us are JinSeong and Sul-A Kim, who had been working as missionaries for aboriginal people in Canada. They are currently living in BaekAm House with their three children, studying various topics such as community, Christian worldview, and spirituality, as well as helping us immensely with meals and labor duties. And of course we also have ChunSeong Lee, who is now working part-time while studying at a graduate school. Please pray for all of us.
Fourth, please pray for the costs of maintenance to be met. After fourteen years of use, our guest bathroom now needs urgent repairs. And please keep praying for more housing for workers and guests. Mr. Ko continues to come by to help us with repairs and to take care of our trees. Duri, who rents the upper floor of our old gas station, sees to our garden as well, while helping the Christian group in a nearby center for the severely disabled. Please pray for these people.
Finally, please pray for my mother. About a month ago, on December 29, 2014, my father Pil-Bang Sung passed away at the age of 84. We buried his ashes in a natural grave next to the trail at L’Abri. After being diagnosed with a terminal liver cancer in early November, he was cared for by my mother and family for seven weeks, and was called upon by the Lord. He was a man of national merit who fought in the Korean War, and a hard worker, not only as a farmer and businessman but also for his church as a deacon and then elder, as well as for L’Abri. At the funeral, someone encouraged me that my father’s relatively quick and painless death was a propitious one. Yet I am a bit flurried still; imagine how my mother Gap-Jo, 80, would feel, who shared sixty years of her life with her beloved husband. Please pray that she will have the will and courage to live through her life fruitfully.
My father often recited Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”. The verse has often been misquoted as justifying the belief that nothing is impossible. However, as Professor JinSeop Lee of Ezra Bible Institute explained well, when we understand the verse in its proper context, we learn that what it really emphasizes is the strength to obey God – even when we have neither prosperity nor worldly success. I hope that you and I will be able to obey our Lord more actively this year.
Translated by Haejin Sung