L'Abri Newsletter, April 2016
March 22, 2016
Dear L’Abri praying family,
Spring has come. Although I have seen many changes of season, it never fails to amaze me. Especially in the spring when the world is full of movement and the sound of new life, I ask God, “Oh, what are you doing? How can you do something so wonderful?” I hope you can all take a minute to appreciate the miracles that the Lord is performing right around us. Meanwhile, in this letter, I would like to let you know what He has been up to in Yangyang.
I am delighted to tell you that SamWon Lee will join us as a full-time worker in April. She has spent a long time preparing to come to L’Abri, and finally made the decision to apply to work here and close the English institute that she has been running in Jeonju. Just as you have prayed for a long time for a good worker to join L’Abri, please remember SamWon in your prayers from now on and pray that she can settle well into her new life at L’Abri.
In our last prayer letter, we told you that construction would start soon, so you must be wondering how it is going. The renovation of the old library into four rooms and two attics started in mid-February and is almost done. Mr. Ji-In Jeong, who built us the tree house four years ago, is in charge of the project. We had asked him, back then, how much the renovation would cost. He estimated 30 million won ($25,000) for the interior only. Later, when we received a special gift of the right amount, we asked Mr. Jeong again, believing it to be God’s will. He was delighted to hear that we were moving forward with the project and agreed to direct it for the price he quoted four years ago. He brought along three men, including a master carpenter, who have been staying at L’Abri for the last month. We have meals with them and help with their work, as if we were having a special term for carpenters.
The men have been working with such devotion, as if they were building their own house. Mr. Jeong always seems busy wondering how to make the house even better, despite the constraints of an outdated budget. The insufficiency and mild discomfort, though, has not prevented us from respecting and serving each other as we build a house for the Kingdom of God. Thanks to the hard work of Mr. Jeong, his staff, and our workers, the construction is almost finished. We will need to budget another 5 million won or so ($4,200) to complete the ceiling, floor, and heating system; please pray for these needs to be met.
As soon as the construction is complete, InKyung and I are going to move from the attic in which we have lived for three years to Narnia on the ground floor where we can live with our three children. Ever since our children returned from Canada, we have had to live separately because there was no flat in L’Abri that could accommodate all of us. After the renovation, some of the rooms upstairs will be connected to Narnia, giving us enough space for five as well as a dining room for serving guests.
Had I been a teenage girl and InKyung a boy, we would have enjoyed the adventure of living in the third-floor attic. Although InKyung does insist that he is still a young boy inside, his sore foot says otherwise. We had to rush to the ground floor whenever something happened, go downstairs even to use the bathroom, and stoop to get in and out of the attic. In addition, the attic is attached to Kim JungSik Hall, an open space for people to come in, read books, and talk to one another. This has left us with little privacy, but on the other hand, we’ve had the precious opportunity to be close to many people, loving, laughing, and crying with them.
We thank the Lord for using us to do great things despite our inadequacy, and thank Him for allowing us to move downstairs before we get too old. We are now finally able to spend some time with our children who have had to share their parents with so many guests. I hope that a younger couple or helper will take better care of the attic and Kim JungSik Hall from now on.
ChungSeong is starting his second year as a worker, and he is studying harder than ever. JinSeong and Sul-Ah are still waiting for a work permit to return to Canada. Please pray that God will keep their hearts and thoughts in peace as they wait. Their daughter Ain is now in second grade, and Rua in first grade. Four-year-old Ian is busy all day, looking for fun and mischief alike with his bright eyes. InKyung and I are planning to attend the annual Members’ Meeting of International L’Abri in Switzerland in April. We are grateful to Dr. Hwang’s company, Erom, for the airfare. Please pray for all other expenses to be met, and please pray that God’s will, not ours, will be fulfilled through this meeting.
Our next term begins on April 25, but we are expecting several groups of guests even earlier. About 20 new employees of Erom will visit us from March 25-26 for lectures; Julia will bring another 20 foreign students from Yonsei University on April 2; and we are expecting Rev. DongWon Lee to bring around 80 pastors and missionaries from Korea and abroad on April 14. Please pray that we can prepare appropriate lectures and meals for the guests, and serve all of them sincerely.
Easter is coming. Although we celebrate Easter every year, I pray that we will not treat it as the usual event, but rather feel as if this was the first time we learned about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We all have chronic habits of sin that we either cannot overcome or do not want to change. Let them die on the Cross with Jesus. Let us be reborn with Jesus.
Translated by EunHa Kim