L'Abri Newsletter, December 2022

Back: Jin-hyung Kim, Sung-sil and C.S. Lee, InKyung Sung
Front: In-kyung Kim, Mi-kyung and Sang-ki Lee, KyungOk Sung

December 14, 2022

Dear prayer family,

As I sit in a corner of L’Abri and think of you and this past year, my heart gets filled with both inexpressible gratitude and an earnest desire for God’s grace. Chung-sung, who has worked hard as worker for about six years, met his good bride and, together, after their wedding and during their honeymoon, visited L’Abri on the other day. Above is a photo of chapel family together after a celebration meal. It was so good to see them twice in three days, and I miss them already.

Currently, toilet renovation is underway at Kim Jung-sik Hall on the second floor of L’Abri. In the previous prayer letter, InKyung had written that eight million won was needed for toilet construction. After reading this, one of our sincere praying family who had saved eight million to publish her book put forward this amount for us to begin repairs. Even now, when many people think there is no God, God is still alive and answering to prayer, and this is a good example that there are still His people who believe and obey Him.

Next week, about twenty students from So-myung School will be arriving, and early next year, a couple, Tae-yoon and Hyeon-ji, will be serving as helpers and serving people on the second floor. The more I think about it, the more thankful I am. The kitchen plumbing was actually connected to the toilet pipes, so the helpers now can use kitchen water and the children who attend Sunday chapel don’t go up and down to the bathroom downstairs anymore. I give thanks and glory to God for the timely renovation and for the generous donor who is quietly reading this letter and continuing to obey God.

This year was the year to carefully reopen L’Abri, which had remained half closed for the past two years due to COVID-19. Visits from students from Somyung School resumed, and students from Seed of High Will School also started to come. Last summer, a student from Shalom Freedom School stayed for three months. The number of students from alternative schools has been increasing, so there is a growing need for research and strategies to better understand and help them. Please join us in praying for the teachers and students at these schools. Our opening period is as follows:

You may be wondering why L’Abri will only be open on the weekends beginning mid-February. Without helpers, it is difficult to open fully. Now that I am getting older and reaching a limit in which do two meals a day for guests is not as easy, I wonder if this is the least, I can do. You may be concerned about what benefit and help the guests might receive if L’Abri is open for such a short time, but we are surprised that God is sending people who could get help even for a short weekend. I have no choice but to humbly bow down before God.

Chang-hee, who worked as a specialist in Sokcho Medical Center and helped a part-time worker for years, now quit his job at L’Abri, because it was too difficult handling both. Sam-won is doing well in her Christian counseling studies, and it’s been very nice to see this from the side. After graduating this February, she is planning to take a counseling residency course. Meanwhile, Hyeonseok, who is in charge of L’Abri’s content research, is finalizing plans. InKyung and I ask for your prayers as we fulfill our responsibilities to the very end.

Last month, we had a good lecture and time of learning, thanks to a special guest from Switzerland. An open lecture was held with Anne Reitsema, the International Programs Director at Medair, a Christian humanitarian emergency relief organization. This organization, which seeks to “go to the most difficult places the fastest,” recently established a branch in Korea. Notably, Anne’s brother and his wife work at Netherland L’Abri, and we were so happy to see that the Reitsema Family seems to carry the L’Abri spirit.

The third series of our online L’Abri Table went well. Every season, I have a special session called “At the corner of L’Abri’s bookshelf” to review a book of L’Abri and to reflect on the legacy of L’Abri. This time, Dr. Bok-ki Kim, a pediatrician and a head of Apple Tree Pediatrics in Incheon, read and reviewed Francis Schaeffer and Everett Koop’s “Whatever Happened to the Human Race?” It was so helpful. Dr. Kim said, “A doctor is someone who does his or her best to save a person’s life.” Our hearts were touched by his quiet and resolute words:

“This book is highly valuable in that it criticizes today’s materialistic thinking and contempt and neglect towards life through a Christian approach. The emphasis on the sacredness of human life and the dignity of every individual is indisputable. I mostly agree with Schaeffer and Koop on abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, but I have a different view from Schaeffer about the complexities of reality… It is impossible to, and one shouldn’t, distinguish thousands of different problems and situations related to human health as strictly good and evil under a single law.”

During this time, we had a guest from the United States who shared that many churches and people in the States have been praying about the famous 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which was overruled by Dobbs v. Jackson this past June. We were also surprised to learn that she personally knew someone who has been praying about this law for more than twenty years. The churches in our country rarely talk about abortion, but there is a need to address that abortion is a sin and that if abortion has occurred, repentance will be met with forgiveness and love.

There are many people who believe in Christ who have had abortions without any sense of guilt (although there are exceptional cases). Just as the German church quietly agreed and followed with the Nazi massacre during World War II, the Korean church has quietly cooperated with the killing of young lives. In addition, Korean churches pray here and there over wrong systems and laws of our country, but we need to learn to pray persistently over decades. Currently, in Korea, laws to legalize homosexuality and same-sex marriage are pending in the National Assembly, and I think we need to have more legal opposition campaigns and prayers. For Christians who may think or say, “We lost this war anyways. Look at the West,” I hope the overruled abortion laws in the United States can restore hope.

Some people say, “Evangelism is not working” and “The number of people attending church has decreased.” Others say, “Don’t worry. The weeds are being pulled out.” If that is true, did church leaders boast about the number of ‘weeds’? Now, as if they can’t find places to learn to evangelize, some leaders are knocking on the doors of L’Abri. I hope L’Abri stories of God redeeming His people’s failures and shortcomings and working them out for his good will help and encourage them. As our praying family who has been praying for L’Abri for a long time, you would know well that what is important is not some special evangelism method but a heart that both rejoices and cries out to God for His people through prayer. Please pray earnestly for the return of lost souls.

These days, InKyung has been frequently lecturing on the ‘sexual revolution,’ a topic that has been coming up in our country today. Homosexuality is a hot topic among high school and university students. However, did you know that the target of the sexual revolution is neither homosexuals nor elderly people but pedophiles? Unfortunately, the topic of ‘ordination of female pastors,’ which is controversial in various denominations in Korea also came from the same root. In the words of Francis Schaeffer, “In the end, it's a matter of believing the Bible as the final authority.”

Dear praying family, have you believed in Jesus, His truth, and gained freedom? Are you free from sin, from the law, from the trends and fads of the times? As John 8:32 says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” We have gained this freedom for free by knowing Jesus and His truth. Jesus came to this world to die on the cross so that we might receive and live in this freedom. However, we foolishly return to slavery like people who have never known that freedom, and we get false senses of security from social status, economic stability, and academic merit.

When you envy the world and want to abandon the words of the Bible, or when you feel like you are suffocating, I hope you will remember the truth and freedom we have in Christ and hold onto Him. May this Christmas and new year be a time of enjoying and demonstrating the power and truth of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection.


Translated by Ye-Jin Ahn

Papers Presented at Korean L’Abri during the Pandemic

There was a lot of construction during pandemic, but many articles were also presented in L'Abri Korea. Please select the pieces you want to read and let us know by email (yangyang@labri.kr), and we will send them to you as PDF files. (Some are not available due to copyright). If you ask for any copies of Forums (collection of students' essays), we will send you a copy of it while any are left in stock.

Articles of Guest Speakers

L’Abri Forum Vol. 4 (2020)

L’Abri Forum Vol. 5 (2021)

L’Abri Forum Vol. 6 (2022)

L’Abri Forum Vol. 7 (2022)

Translation from L'Abri Members and Families

Articles by Korean L'Abri Board Members, Workers, and Research Fellows

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