L'Abri Newsletter, July 2018
July 10, 2018
Dear L’Abri praying family,
We’ve been having a hot and dry summer this year. But according to the news, our neighbor Japan has suffered massively from a typhoon. Scientists tell us that a storm is nature’s way of balancing energy around Earth. For those of us who feel like we are utterly at its mercy, however, even the mention of a distant typhoon evokes fear. Every summer, we still remember the landslide 16 years ago.
Even as we humans take pride in our science and technology, we are utterly helpless when God sweeps around summer air and thunderstorms alike with His mantle. I pray that God will protect the mountain we live on, the fragile house we live in, and every life within it through this season, and I also pray for the health and safety of all of you who join us in this prayer.
I would like to share the story of a very special guest that we had recently. He had been going to church for a long time, but his faith was unsteady. He floated around like a cloud in the sky, unable to find a center—until he reached L’Abri. Jesus had barely managed to keep a foothold in his mind so far, but His love and guidance are amazing! He sent us at a time when we had unusually few visitors, allowing him the quiet he needed to realize what a sinner he was and how much he truly needed Jesus. At L’Abri, we are amazed every moment by the careful planning God puts into His work unbeknownst to us.
Thanks to ChungSeong’s hard work and help from several other people, we made some repairs to the apartment above the old gas station that we had previously rented out. A non-Christian couple with a child is planning to stay with us this summer, and we look forward to how God will guide them as we prepare a place for them to feel at home. Please pray that this family will receive the greatest gift of truth and eternal life.
Many other people, including a few foreigners, will visit us during the summer. As we did last year, we will be holding two sessions of the Christian Worldview Forum, first on July 27-29 and also on August 3-5. A number of young people have volunteered to present papers, and we hope that all of us will learn from the discussions that follow. It will be a great opportunity for young men and women to apply a Biblical worldview to the problems they face in their own lives, and strive to live the Kingdom of God in this world instead of merely hoping to go to Heaven.
Young men and women from a number of small churches that cannot afford to organize their own retreats are also planning to visit L’Abri as a group. Please pray that all of them will experience the fullness of God, be awakened in the souls and strengthened in their hands and feet.
The summer term closes on August 18. As we told you in a previous prayer letter, we will have a three-month sabbatical from September to November during which ChungSeong and SamWon will visit other branches. In December, we will host the international Trustees’ meeting in Yangyang. Representatives from the Netherlands, England, Switzerland, Canada, and America who have devoted their lives for the young people of this world will come to Korea to discuss L’Abri work. Meanwhile, Dr. SungJoo Hwang has invited them to a speak at a Leadership Forum, for ordinary people on December 7 and for pastors on December 8. Please pray that God will bless us with a feast of His Word through this unique opportunity, and also for the Trustees’ meeting.
I have a very special prayer request for Rev. Pukkoung Kim, who has been a “L’Abri evangelist” his whole life and even spent a year with us with his wife Cynthia a while ago. He has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is awaiting treatment in England. Please pray for Kim, Cynthia, and their family.
We have good news, too. JongChul Kim, our attorney, trustee, and former worker, has received the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Hero Award from the U.S. Department of State. Since leaving L’Abri, he has worked tirelessly to help refugees and victims of human trafficking in Korea and around the world. He is always so humble and sincere. Please pray that God will be with us no matter where he is.
JaeYong Shin, one of our auditors, has suffered for a long time from a renal disease. He has finally found a donor and is hoping to receive a transplantation in September. Please pray that the operation will be successful, and that JaeYong will start his new life with God always on his side. Please also pray that the donor, whose heart God has so happily moved, will also enjoy good health and the all the blessings of the Kingdom of God.
JaHeon Lim, our research fellow, has published a new book, Myeong: The Mind of a Scholar Engraved into Objects. All the objects and spaces around us have been reduced to objects of consumption these days; JaHeon’s book gives us food for thought by reminding us how they were seen by old Korean scholars. Professor Seong-Woo Kim, who stayed with us last winter, has published the book he wrote during his stay, Cool Business to Save the Earth. The book relates topics such as climate change and renewable energy to the realities of business in a fun and accessible way.
InKyung and I visited the Adults’ Classics Reading Group at the Starlight Museum in Namyangju a few days ago. The group had been reading Schaeffer’s Escape from Reason lately, and they asked for our help. We are delighted that people are still reading and studying that book! We met both Christians and non-Christians there, as well as a number of home-schooled teenagers who had joined the group despite the name. According to Pastor YoSeop Oh who leads the reading group, reading classic books and having weekly discussions naturally brings people to Christ. Before they read Schaeffer, they had read Yuval Harari’s Homo Deus with the help of a review they found on our website. Please pray for their meeting, and for all the people who are similarly contributing to the Kingdom of God in various ways. Please pray that they will receive God’s wisdom and His strength to keep up the good work.
In closing, I pray that God’s grace and gifts will be with you ever more abundantly. Let us not allow ourselves to be exhausted from the heat or get stressed out over a vacation that doesn’t provide any real rest. Let’s make this summer a time to learn more about the Bible and gain a greater conviction of His truth, so that we “may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:17). I thank you again for your prayer and support.
As the trees grow greener in the rain,
Translated by Kijin Sung