L'Abri Newsletter, November 2020

October 29, 2020

“I appreciate your cooking and washing our clothes for the last 40 days.” The chief carpenter said at the breakfast table on the last day of the repair project.

“40 days, already? It is we who should be thankful for such a marvelous job you’ve done for L’Abri house.” I responded promtly.

I felt like watching a film of 40 days playing fast in my mind and sensed peace and gratitude in the whole house. Finally, we can sleep comfortably even on hard rainy nights! I am so thankful for your praying for repair and it is such a joy to share our prayer requests with you again.

As we mentioned in our newsletter last month, we had such heavy rains last summer, and water leaked through more than 6 spots on the roof. Especially the floor near the fireplace uplifted, which was pretty dangerous. Thankfully Jung, Jee-In who donated the treehouse 10 years ago and renovated the 2nd-floor of our flat – came to L’Abri with his 3 fellow carpenters and started the repair project. It was more intensive than ordinary term regarding food and dialogue.

We were lucky to have typhoons twice while the repair project was going on. The carpenters noticed more leaking spots, and advised us to fix the tree house roof and the eaves of the main building. We also thought that their advice was right. But we could not say, “Yes, let’s do that.” right away. Instead we only said, “Well, thank you for telling that. However, it is our principle not to be indebted. Before you finish the roof repair, we would certainly tell you whether we could carry on or not.”

Next day, I said to the chief carpenter, “God may have listened to you. He sent us money.” Surprisingly, the exact amount of finances we needed for arrived. And same thing happened three times. So we extended repair project three times. When I told this story to my children, they reminded me that the story of similar miracles in the Swiss L’Abri is written in the book [ L’Abri] by Edith Schaeffer. Indeed, God is the same living God today and 60 years ago when Schaeffers worked.

The carpenters are not believers. They never showed interest in L’Abri even though they had done several repairs before. However, this time was different. They asked of L’Abri in detail, and one evening we showed some slides of typhoons, snow-slides, landslides, bush fires of last year, and the treehouse. In the last week, they enjoyed talking with InKyung in the evenings.

They worked diligently from the first day to the last day. They worked with a sincere heart as if L’Abri were their own home, so I came to believe and praise God for sending us angles. For this reason, I ask you to pray for the carpenters that they could believe in the living God who listens to us. I believe that this would be the greatest gift for them.

And I’d like to express my deep gratitude by saying, “Thank you.” to all who sent money, cakes, fruits and so on. I hope that you may rejoice and be comforted by reading this story of how God used your gifts and how God revealed himself through you. You are a piece of this amazing tapestry since you obeyed Him.

There were so many helping hands from nearby churches. Moon, Jae-Yong brought his drone twice and showed us the roof repairing progress, which we usually cannot see and Jung, Kwang-Sik managed tea time and every practical work. And we also got helping hands from our chapel families for final cleaning.

We even had an ordinary L’Abri guest during the repair project. He was a young architect who worked and studied day and night. He said that he had good field experience. And of course, the carpenters loved him. How God is working miraculously is beyond our imagination. Now back to our ordinary term, as we can have not more than 10 people according to the Covid-19 regulations, 7 guests stay with us this weekend.

Amid the coronavirus, instead of holding the Christian Worldview Forum, we collected articles and made a small journal, [L’Abri Forum, Volume 4]. The Christian Worldview Forum is an annual forum where people present their ideas and discuss together. Every summer we had held it since 2017, but this year we could not due to the Corona. We will upload the articles in pdf format (Korean) to the resource section in the L’Abri webpage. For those who want a printed version, we can send it if you send us your mail address.

May I ask your prayer for the Old Gas Station for the last time? The property will be put on the real estate market in the early December. There is a lady who is willing to buy the property for L’Abri but she is not sure how to do it. The words from Exodus 14:13 came to my mind; “You will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” I’m waiting for ‘the day’ to come.

The world is different before and after COVID-19. Things we did not take seriously before and were hidden under the water are becoming exposed to the surface. Among others there is an explosion of “fake news”, and we face them around us. “with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.”(Psalm 28:3) David’s grief became ours today. We are living in an era of Post-fact and this country is getting more divided. The boundary between true and false, fact and fiction, right and wrong, and good and evil is falling apart.

Also, there is deep frustration. InKyung and I have shouted the Gospel wherever we go based on the word, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is/his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2), and tried to live it out, but to no avail. We have heartbreak as we hear some news of this country.

Although the young generation’s frustration was there even before the coronavirus, I am concerned that their frustration may deepen due to the worsening economic situation. How can I comfort them with nothing but this word? “I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him he could not be found.” (Psalms 37:35, 36) I pray that the day of this verse may come soon.

We also face a crisis of family and home education. There are so many parents who think raising kids is big burden to avoid as much as possible rather than blessings given by God. Especially in this Corona situation, lots of children do not go to school every day. And parents need to spend more time with their children at home. It is hard to bring up kids because there are no such things as important as taking care of life. However, we should understand the current situation where we are living now. The trend of this world is to let daycare centers, kindergartens take care of children to for their parents who go after material abundance, self-achievement, and career advancement.

However, God chose a family to be the most secure place for a person to be born and grow. Children are perfect persons who have soul, emotion and thoughts, and the right to be loved, cared and to inherit faith. But they do not know their own rights and instead they easily got ruined by the false system and secular trend under the name of welfare. When you face hard times, please do not just follow what you want, comfortable and convenient life, but remember the word of our Lord, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1: 5) and wait for His answer. Our Lord is personal living God. He keeps his promises, and listens to your prayer abd answers.

I’d like to close with the wisdom of Solomon, which we read at our Bible reading time the other day as we seek how we should then live in this absurd and vain era. “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) May the word of the Lord be with you and work in your life.

Many blessings,

KyungOk Sung

Translated by Hyun-Suk Ji

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