L'Abri Newsletter, May 2023

May 7, 2023

Dear praying family,

Heavy rain is like a double-edged sword. It was the spring rain that came after a long time that breathed life into the cracked, dry land yet also caused damage by flooding Jeju Island and the southern parts of Korea. Just as both gladness and nervousness come with seeing a guest who is visiting after a long time, both the hearts and minds of people work together and exist, whatever the circumstance.

In the rain, the land of L'Abri is busy. The sound of ready-mixed concrete turning, the sound of cutting woods, the shouts of workers, and even animals barking at the same time. It is also full of the smell of spring. - the smell of grass, the flowers, the spring greenery – and fills L’Abri with a sense of life. It’s an afternoon that makes me wonder what sort of sound and smell you are experiencing now.

In April and May, L’Abri was full of workers who helped with the maintenance of surroundings. Since the end of April, the construction of the retaining wall to protect L’Abri from the back mountain has been underway. Though this was the most urgent task, we didn’t dare think too much about it because of the high expenses, but with the legacy left to L'Abri by old BukKyung and Cynthia Kim, and the ideas and hard work of KwangSik and his crews, we were able to start it. Watching from the side that God is working here and there, I feel my heart overflowing. However, as construction tends to go beyond budget, please pray for the necessary expenses to be covered and for the safety of workers so that construction can be completed well.

Around the time when construction of the backyard was in full swing, repair of the front yard deck began. Former worker ChoongSeong and his wife, SeongSil traveled far from Ulsan (southern-east) to help clear and replace damaged woods (even in the rain) and safely repaired the deck in two days. Working with a happy family of faith was like a slice of heaven for me.

Managing old buildings can be daunting and difficult. Many times, we may feel the desire to repair all the necessary parts at once. Please pray that we will wait in hopeful anticipation of God’s will and timing for carrying out the remaining construction projects and repairs, such as the guest bathrooms.

In mid-May, about 10 people who are high school students and teachers from the Seed of God’s Will School. We will hear lectures from Dr. KiJin Sung - “Scientism: The Limits of Science and the Truth Beyond Science” -, KyungOk - “Christian’s Attitude to the Problem of Suffering”-, and InKyung - “How to Deal with Heresy?”- I will be leading the Bible Readings and the movie discussion. During this period, TaeYoon and HyeonJi, who were helpers last term, will be helping with meals and other matters. Please pray that the workers and helpers will help students keep their souls guarded from the trends and dangers of contemporary culture.

There are things to celebrate as well. A girl who came to know Christ at L’Abri several years ago will be having a wedding here on May 13th. Please pray that the workers will be able to prepare the wedding ceremony, food and supplies, and that the couple will obey and grow in the Word of God through any future circumstance and in every situation.

InKyung returned home safely from the Members’ Meeting in the Netherlands, and KyungOk had a wonderful time giving a lecture titled “Charlotte Mason and the Living Book” at the Humanities Academy in Seoul. I have obtained my counselor’s license and am grateful for the prayers and love of many people and for God’s care through this journey.

InKyung is scheduled to give lectures at Daedeok Hanbit Church, Salvation Army Youth Group, and Masan Reconstruction Church in May. Please pray that God will give wisdom and discernment for what he needs and what words to speak. Inkyung and KyungOk’s strength and health are decreasing as time goes by, but I am grateful to witness the joy of God’s people becoming strong and trying to follow Him as Caleb did.

With the 1st summer term approaching from May 26 to July 6, please pray that the Holy Spirit will send people who need L’Abri, send the necessary finances, and send workers who value souls and have their hope in heaven.

Recently, while meditating on chapter 11 of the Book of Numbers, I found myself among the Israelites who always complained. Israelites were delighted because they were free and no longer enslaved people, but they missed their old lives in Egypt. They had two minds. Though they were enslaved, they were mistaken as follows:

  1. they lived in recognition,
  2. they suffered, but at least they had food, clothing, and shelter,
  3. they could get what they wanted, sticking to Egyptians like parasites
  4. they could live without a critical mind about the outside world,
  5. they had no idea of the value of freedom and responsibility.

The Israelites didn’t know that living in freedom as God’s people surpassed the safety and stability of their previous life. Similarly, for those with no hope for the kingdom of God, the wilderness was just a path of hardship and suffering without meaning. It’s not just a problem of Israelites long time ago. It applies to us today. Those who know the precious freedom God has given become desperately disillusioned with the enslaved life and the grooming of idols, and long for the excellent and true love of God. What about you?

With love,

SamWon Lee

Translated by Ye-Jin Ahn

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