L'Abri Newsletter, March 2022
Dear praying family,
Thank you for your constant praying to our living God. Finding the mixed reality of Truth and lies, fact and disinformation, is challenging. Sometimes hard to distinguish. There are times when I even feel that finding the hands of God is like finding the hidden picture. In the meantime, I would like to share with you the "treasure" I discovered while studying Acts with my family. (cf. Tim Keller's Evangelism: Study in the book of Acts).
In Acts 4, it says that the leaders were astonished to see Peter and John, who healed the crippled man in the name of Jesus, speaking "with boldness" in front of them (13). Usually, "uneducated, common man" is difficult to speak boldly in front of leaders, as was and still is, but Peter and John said boldly, "filled with the Holy Spirit" (8). Despite the warnings of the leaders not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus, Peter and John said, "Judge whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God. We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard" (19, 20). When Peter and John were released, they went to their friends and prayed together, and the content of the prayer was surprising.
- Instead of asking God to rescue them from their situation, they meditated on and praised who God is, Sovereign God, in control of everything (24).
- Entrusting the present difficult situation to the promises and words of God (25-28).
- Praying for them to preach the gospel "with boldness (29)."
- Also, prayed that God will continue to perform healing, signs, and wonders in the name of Jesus (30).
There was no request for protection. Not because it was an improper petition but because it was not primary. When we look at this prayer, we can compare how often we pray for our comfortableness first. And after that prayer, they spoke the word of God "with boldness" (31)
'Speaking boldly' means 'to speak without hesitation.' In today's language, the opposite of 'boldness' would be 'cowardice.' Considering the words of Confucius in light of what Peter and John said boldly, if they had wanted to be gentlemen (Confucius calls), they should have been speaking moderately (cowardly) depending on the situation. But they spoke the right words without hesitation like small men (I'm sure they didn't care).
If so, would you like to be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak boldly? Good. But is that all? Then, in 32-37, the action of being filled with the Holy Spirit appears. They spoke the word of God boldly and shared their wealth with the poor. The last thing to give to others is money. This act is entirely different from taking the rich by force and giving it to the poor socialist way. And the church distributed according to needs. Not everyone received the same amount.
The apostles and early church Christians who lived so full of the Holy Spirit took the risk of their lives for their bold words and lives. Even in Korea, where Confucianism was powerful, many people suffered hardship or lost their lives while claiming to be humiliated by being called 'small men' and living out the Truth. What about those of us who have inherited the baton of "Truth" from them?
What can we do today if we are full of the Holy Spirit (or willing to obey the Holy Spirit)? Can I shorten my list of "wants" (money, time, interests, travel, fame, success, etc.) and consider the needs of others? Can the church boldly teach and help us do this? Or will it be left to the government's welfare program or a counselor?
We often find it easy to limit being "filled with the Holy Spirit" to ourselves and our church's peace, joy, and achievement. However, the early church appeared to be helping others realistically. Therefore, it says that they favored all the people (2:47, 5:13).
What do we want to pray for and be bold about in this presidential election? Peter and John chose to listen to God rather than the false leaders. Who do we want to hear? Do we listen to our inner voice? Do we listen to the experts (?) who lie to make us comfortable? All bothered, so do I do it or not, or do I do it whatever? So, what is the difference between an atheist? Just as the words of Acts 4 lifted me, I hope that these words will be a source of refreshment to all of you, dear praying family. Now I would like to ask you a few prayer requests.
1. Please pray that churches will bring up people who work in obedience to God's will in various parts of society.
2. The fire inspection and zoning eventually finished yesterday. We are so grateful that things we have put off for the past 20 years, such as repurposing, signage change, demolition & legalization of illegal buildings, are all resolved. Our research fellow, Jun-Won Shon, has visited the architect and county office dozens of times. We want to thank God for controlling everything and those who sent gifts for this job.
3. Pray that God will help us speak the gospel boldly and wisely to the guests sent by God even during this Corona. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to help InKyung & myself be flexible with each person, rather than holding on to our old attitude practiced by years of experience. Please pray that God will take control of the corona situation as well.
4. We, workers, do our best to study and work. Sam-Won starts the 4th semester of Christian Counseling Graduate School. Please pray that it will be a fruitful study and go well with L'Abri's work. Chang-Hee works at a hospital where the number of corona patients is rapidly increasing, and he is doing L'Abri work and preparing lectures in his spare time. InKyung and I, working at full strength, are waiting for the day we will retire, and when more young workers join, L'Abri will be more active. The old Gas Station is still unavailable, so please pray that new workers can come in and have a place to stay. Please continue to pray for the Old Gas Station and the mountain behind. Thank you for your prayers for a long time, and I ask you to wait and pray more until our God reveals His will.
5. Please pray for InKyung's mother, 88 years old. She is doing well but getting very weak. And pray for our daughter, HaeJin. She is suffering severely from functional indigestion. And for the L'Abri Chaplin's family to get over well from Corona.
6. We planned terms. In addition, I hope that the Christian Worldview Forum will become more active so that young people will also "love God with will (intellect)" (Luke 10:27).
- January 10 - April 2, 2022
- May 9 - July 17, 2022
- August 12-14, 2022 (Christian Worldview Forum)
- September 26 - December 10, 2122
Manuscripts for the presentation for the Christian Worldview Forum are accepted all year-round. You can write on any topic based on the Christian worldview. Those who want to receive forum manuscript guidance from the L'Abri workers or research fellows are welcome this year.
7. The <L'Abri Table> is online. It has been on Saturdays from 8 to 10 pm during the terms since last November, and the plan for March is as follows.
- March 5: My Experience of Christianity, Community, and Capitalism - Se-Ju Cho
- March 12: Public Criticism and Love of Neighbors in the Age of SNS - Jeremy Knapp
- March 19: Contemporary Art Through Schaefer's Eyes - Chang-Hee Cho
- March 26: Confucius Greets Socrates - Cordell P. Schulten
If you want to attend the lecture, please apply for L'Abri TeamViewer online ID and PW, even if it is cumbersome. (firstname.lastname@example.org) At L'Abri dining table, it is a tradition and characteristic to eat food and talk about any topic. Regrettably, we could not enjoy the pleasure and benefits of mealtime with our guests due to the coronavirus. Even if we cannot eat food together, it is being held under the name <L'Abri Table> to have a short lecture and good discussions. Interpretation is also available. I am in-charge of introducing books written by L'Abri workers & friends worldwide, looking for people to do book reviews.
Although we cannot meet and share our lives, we can share our thoughts and difficulties with online help and find alternatives, so please pray that this time will become a small oasis for Christians living in a harsh reality.
8. Please pray that God will send finances during this corona period as we have repair projects when there are few guests. I sincerely thank those who donate despite the difficult times, and I pray that God will provide for your family's needs as well. We are so thankful to tell you about our situation to our dear praying families working with us. I pray that you will have a blessed year when you witness to the word and the work of our living God.