L'Abri Newsletter, November 2019
November 5, 2019
Dear Praying family,
Today is the first day of opening the second semester of autumn term. Now I get the opportunity of looking at the scenery of the end season of colors through the window, in the middle of preparing a meal with tension and expectation of who would be our first guests. I am surprised by realization that this is the right picture to illustrate both where L’Abri is placed and why L’Abri remains.
If a guest takes a drive coming to L’Abri from the town centre of YangYang, everyone has to pass the military defense wall for tank attack near the L’Abri. The wall has been in the same location somehow since the Korean War ends in 1953. Specifically, our overseas guests are often surprised by this wall with a certain kind of fear of war tension. However, they will soon find very different scenery just passing after the wall. Beautiful mountains with colorful maple trees welcome our guests.
At that moment when they might have an impression like, ‘isn’t this scenery similar to the beauty of the heaven of God?’, they reckon quickly they arrive at the L’Abri car park. We serve our guests, who are exhausted by the war of daily life, with demonstrating what calmness and peace are about in the very beginning when God created our universe, in the middle of the boundary between war and peace.
I thank for God’s eternal mercy in this season of thanksgiving. For instance, God has protected us from the typhoon in 17 years ago, the massive snow in 5 years ago, the recent severe fire in the last January, and the countless times of enemy’s attacks and dangers. Praise His grace to protect us from those. As all of you know well, I believe that L’Abri could not be survived 14 years ago when L’Abri faced leaving this place from the lease, without God’s love for us.
As the previous prayer letter mentioned the situation, we are still praying for the issue of purchasing the old gas station house and backyard mountain where we have used for free over the last 14 years. We already asked the landlord not for sales of the properties until the end of this year. However, no solution has been found and we merely pray to God, because the domestic real estate market price is increasing so critically.
The old gas station house has two households. The Hyunseok’s family, living on the second floor, does not want to be the last tenant of the house. And Chungseong, the L’Abri worker and lives in the ground floor, makes a meal table and small kitchen cabinet and manages the small garden with a prayerful heart to ask God’s mercy upon this issue. It looks like an irony that there are also pets, other family members of the house, including a dog, cats, and rabbits, that enjoy sunshine whether they know they could leave their L’Abri (shelter) or not.
We will manage the old gas station house with a thankful heart until the last day of the house comes whether L’Abri owns it or not. As I remember the very beginning of the L’Abri ministry in one garage in Seoul, I would try not to forget the will of God revealed to the people of Israel in the Babylon exiles time. “Build houses and settle down (Babylon); plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters…” (Jeremiah 29:5-7)
A few days ago when I read the Psalms 132 with my husband, I realized again the truth that God rests on a house is more crucial than a house itself. David told, ‘I won’t sleep nor slumber before I build God’s temple,’ but he was refused by God to build the temple. Then, he realized that the promise that God is with you is more important than building the temple. So, please pray for us that we may satisfy with the truth that the Lord is with L’Abri, whether we could buy the old gas station or not.
He swore an oath to the Lord,
he made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
“I will not enter my house or go to my bed,
I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids,
till I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
We are having many guests this week. Today four guests including a medical doctor, electrician, counsellor, and pastor are staying with us. The fifteen pastor couples will visit L’Abri tomorrow. They currently study Schaeffer’s books in Jeonju. I expect what stories will be told by them. The student group from Somyeong school will visit L’Abri soon after the national exam finishes. Also, three helpers will work with us in this semester. Minah Park commits again from the previous semester, and Hyunseok and Subin Ji couple takes that role too. Changhee Jo (medical doctor) and his family will move to Sokcho and help L’Abri from the next year.
Please also pray for Prof. John Kim who is currently working on the English translation of the book, ‘A Love Song For Young Truth-Seekers,’ written by Inkyung and me. Moreover, ‘Christian Worldview School’ will be held in Samil church in Seoul on 10-11th January 2020. This year’s theme is ‘Living with Christian Worldview.’ We would like to appreciate those young people who are endeavoring to materialize God’s words in the centre of this complicated world. They are real champions of this school. They also need noteworthy supports of prayers, attendance, and encouragements from many.
I just heard the sad news that the Inkyung’s mother fell accidentally and her hip joint was broken. She is not strong enough because of the age, so please pray for her coming operation and quick recovery. I humbly would like to say that thank you for all of your supports in offerings and prayers.
Translated by JunWon Shon