L'Abri Newsletter, March 2020
24th February 2020
Dear Praying Family,
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is nervously spreading out, and the whole world is frightened with vigilance. As I watch over this situation, I realize again that the honesty of those who are infected and related to the infection is very important. I pray for God’s protection for you from the virus, ceasing the virus’s expansion and the quick recovery of those who are infected. Pray also for God’s protection over L’Abri. We decided to cancel the spring term and open it in April in situation. We apologize to the guests having plans to visit.
We opened this year of 2020 with the 3rd Christian Worldview School in Seoul. The School was cooperated with The Christian Worldview Studies Association of Korea, and the topic of this year is ‘Living out the world with Christian worldview.’ Speakers shared the stories and wisdom learned from their fields about how to live daily life based on the Christian worldview. Please pray that the attendances can live well back in their homes and works with the shared lessons.
We have had unusual warm weathers and many guests in this winter term. In specific, we are pleased to have many guests during Lunar New Year season. For example, one guest raised as a missionary kid had struggled with a faith crisis during her university study. She decided to have her faith back. Another guest restored new strength again from many exhausting things in life. Another person determined to live a life with a humble and diligent attitude before God. There are many fruits to make us heartwarming, although we could not have the festive season with our own family. Ten young adults from Woori church in Seoul visited L’Abri for three days as their winter retreat.
The annual board meeting held in early February has a significant change. YoungJeon Yang resigned a board member as he retired from the senior pastor of Masan Jaegun church. JongChol An also resigned from the board, due to his long stay in overseas countries. I deeply appreciate their commitments over a long time. Despite that, we have a new board member, BokKi Kim, who has continuously prayed and supported L’Abri since his first visit in 2003.
Also, we have a new part-time worker, Dr. ChangHee Jo(Picture). He will work for the emergency department of Sokcho Medical Centre, 20kms away from L’Abri, while working for L’Abri two days a week. Thank you all for praying for a new worker joining to the team. And please continuously pray for ChangHee and for our teamwork.
Thank you all for praying for the purchase of the Old Gas Station House and the surrounding mountain. Even though many praying families have sent generous donations, it’s far too small fund to buy any of them. Finally, we let the landlord know “L’Abri cannot afford to purchase”. I believe you know the reason that we asked your prayer, not because of a greedy desire of merely owning a house or a piece of land. And I believe you know that this matter completely relies on our living God’s hands. Please keep praying for this.
InKyung and I are reading the part of Issac and Jacob in the book of Genesis. It gives me plenty of places to think about. At first, when I read Issac and Rebecca, there is no such difference from own 21century families. The husband lost a sense of discernment, as he got old. The wife deceived her husband with a fearless trick, although she remembered God’s promise. It is a common thing we can see around us. Like the examples of Jacob who deceived his brother with red stew for buying a birthright and of the deception of Laban who is a brother of Rebecca and becomes Jacob’s father-in-law, the habits of lie and deception are this family’s tradition and a rule of life. Sin is not transferable to the next generation. But, sins of parents may become a family habit, and it would become so natural among family members. As a result, children may easily commit the same sins of their parents, in my view.
The elder son, Esau, was not interested in the heritage of faith. He gave easily up a birthright and accepted wives who had no faith. And he did not think of his fault and wanted to kill his brother. There are similar patterns in today’s Christian families. Children have not inherited the heritage of faith from their parents; they are only interested in Christianity culture and old fairy tales. Some of them are just attending church worship without believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus. This could be a better case. Many 2nd generations turned away from their parents’ faith. It is very heartbreaking.
Jacob, the second son, expected to become a tribal chief, followed by his father, if he receives a blessing from his father despite the deception. In his dream on his running away from his elder brother, he received the same promise as God had promised to his grandfather and father. “I am with you and will bring you back to this land”. Jacob called the name of the place “Bethel (the house of God)”, but it means neither his life was suddenly changed from that day, nor he returned home within a few years. God chose Jacob, not because of his personality or talent. And his faith did not grow quickly due to God’s choice.
Jacob’s hard journey becomes medicine to him. His life was very tough. He had been through a long time in foreign lands, conflicts between his wives, his uncle’s betrayal breaking labour contract over ten times, threat and scare of his brother, and his inability and frustration in his own situations. Thankfully his sufferings turned goodness to him. Unlikely his father Isaac, he did not forget God’s promise or lose a sense of discernment. A research said years ago, “One’s spirituality weakens as getting old and decreasing physical strength”, there are not many cases like Jacob that spirituality increases in a better way as one gets older. As we review this family, we can see all of them are full of faulty. They illustrate human nature so well that we can be sure that no one can be saved unless God is with us.
Please pray for;
- Those who come to L’Abri with diverse backgrounds like Jacob’s family. They may find the spiritual, moral and intellectual solution in Christ.
- Those who are medical staffs, officers, Korean church leaders. They may have humble mind and right decisions according to the Holy Spirit.
- Those who are weak or fragile, L’Abri praying families and workers. They may be more dependent on God and have better discernment during hard times.
Warm greetings to you all,
Translated by Jun Won Shon