Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hello from Korea

Hello, all!

As it has been some time since my last communication, I will take a few moments of your time to chat with you about my life in Korea. It is hard to believe that I have been living here for more than four months. The days pass by so quickly it seems, and there is so much to be done.

The first semester of the school year has ended for students and teachers, and I am enjoying the reprieve that is summer vacation. During that stretch of time, I am still required to come to school (except for my 8-day holiday). I write to you now from my temporary desk in the main teachers' office. As only a handful of teachers are required to come in, we all work together in the same office with the vice principal. Due to the shift in office space, I am meeting more of the teachers and learning that some know more English than I previously thought. Prior to this office placement, I only casually greeted the lady now at the desk across from me, but I now know that she lived for a year in the States ten years ago. We shared a good laugh over the use of charades to convey meaning. I am becoming increasingly fluent in charades; I hope to become reasonably fluent in Korean.

English Camp

During the first two weeks of summer, I taught an English camp and learned more of my students names as a result of the smaller class size. How I wish to know more of them! I enjoyed teaching the same group of students everyday; it provided a greater sense of progression and purpose to the lessons.

Some of my students.

During the camp I taught various lessons on culture, media, and literature. The media insert included an introduction to Veggie Tales. As a result, I now have a handful of students who are at least familiar with the lyrics of the "Hairbrush Song."

Now that I do not have students to teach, I find I miss them greatly.

Church Camp/Conference

During the week of August 1-5, members of UPC of Korea came together on campgrounds near Jeonju. As to the specific location, I think, the grounds are located in Hwasan. I know that we grocery shopped and ate at a restaurant in Gosan, and we picked up a sister and her daughter at the station in Nonsan. While I cannot guarantee that I have the specific town for the site, I can speak of the beautiful environment in which it is situated. My motel was located on a river with mountains all around. You could hear the laughter of the townspeople and vacationers as they floated, fished, and played in the water (The river was not very deep at this spot).

The main building in which the services were held.

The mountain setting was apt for the topic of the evening sermons with Bro. Harcove of Dallas, TX. Over the course of the week (Monday-Thursday), Bro. Harcove preached on nine mountaintops with God: lordship, instruction, prayer, provision, vision, preparation, sacrifice/giving, commission, and hope. At the end of every message, people pushed back the floor cushions and gathered near the front to pray (or stayed near their cushions and prayed). I cannot even begin to express my joy at these times of tarrying in the presence of God, as such are among my favorite things. What a joy it is to pray with my brothers and sisters, to stand sometimes and just watch God do his thing!

Prior to service.
We did not have pews; everyone brought floor cushions on which to sit.

On the evening Bro. Harcove spoke of sacrifice/giving, he told of living life with an open hand. In the sixteen years since God dealt with him about letting him have control of the people and things in his life (to give and to take away), hardly a day has passed in which he has not given something away. It is his goal to give to another every day of his life. He called on us to seek God for the purpose behind the things with which he blesses us. That evening he handed out 300 $1 bills to people between the ages of 14 and 40. As I am between those ages, I received one as well. How odd to reflect that it was the first time holding a dollar bill in more than four months.

Sis. Park and Sis. Heo

I am glad for new friendly faces--the opportunity to meet more people from around Korea (and fellowship with people from my church in Gwangmyeong). I wish to thank Sis. Heo and Sis. Park for acting as my guides, as well as the people who graciously served as my translators during the morning sessions--Grace, Seungyong, and Sis. Heo (younger). I would be remiss to not thank Sis. Kim and all the board for their work in organizing this meeting. Thank you to all the ministers that spoke. Thank you to the talented singers and musicians who led in worship during the services. Thank you to the people who prepared the food and washed all those dishes. Thank you to all my brothers and sisters in Korea; I was met with such kindness, friendliness, and love.

Here is a clip from after service on Wednesday night:

On a side note, I have this prayer request: I want you to pray with me for revelation of truth with regards to holiness and for an understanding of the role of the altar.

Sunday School

On August 7, I taught my first full English lesson to the kids during the Sunday school hour. I will now be teaching a 15-20 minute lesson in English every two weeks. My first lesson was "Made to Worship," and I taught them to sing what my class at home in Heavenview called the "Clap Clap Song." The children were so cute and mostly picked it up. I want them to know the joy that comes worshiping God.

Some of the kids in the Sunday school class.
Class is held in the sanctuary with only about 10 regular children in attendance.

Be in prayer for upcoming lessons. I have so much on my heart to teach them--little seeds to plant here and there.

A Little Other News

A friend of the one of the young people visited church last week, and after talking with her a bit during altar call about everything that was happening around her, the three of us (friend, young person, and I) agreed to start a Bible study this Sunday. Be in prayer for this study.

Furthermore, I am still in contact with the family that ministers at the nearby Baptist church (just around the corner from my apartment). Continue to pray that I will be a witness to them. I want them to know the truth--and all their congregation.

Thank you for your prayers!

Prayers and love,

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