Friday, November 11, 2011

Hello from Korea & Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ!

It is hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner--or feels that way. As I was shopping in E-Mart, I noticed little Christmas trees on display for the first time. Of course, that got my brain spinning in that direction: I wonder how Christmas Choir practices are going, I wonder where they will be singing, I wonder if this will be the year, I wonder what my family will do this year, I am excited that the children are doing a Christmas play this year, etc. As these thoughts flooded my brain, I confess to a bit of homesickness. I sure do miss your faces!

So, before I get too far ahead of myself with future holidays, I want to take a moment to say, "Happy Thanksgiving!" I am so thankful for each and every one of you that read this now. You are an important part of my life, and I am forever grateful to you. You have prayed with and for me, you have given of your time and instruction, you have chatted and laughed with me, you have rejoiced and cried with me, you have been (and continue to be) a part of my life.

As I reflect upon my list of things to be thankful for, I comprehend again that it is a list I could spend a lifetime writing. During my time in Korea, I am keeping a gratitude journal. Whenever something happens for which I am grateful, I often pull this little book out and make a note. I do not pull it out as much as I ought, but the things on this growing list include magpies, English-speaking children so excited to just say hello, hearing a youth choir singing Dancing Generation in Korean on a street corner, many references to times of prayer and worship, and beautiful weather for a walk along Gapcheon.

Youth from Gwangmyeong Church, Seoul Churches & Beyond

Part of the Lottle World Group (Photo by KTY)
I am on a mission to connect the young people across the churches in Korea. As an initial foray into this endeavor, I and like-minded folks are scheduling fellowship events for youth in the Seoul area. Our first attempt was a trip to Lotte World, a local indoor/outdoor theme park. At this event, we had representatives from 3 different churches. I was surprised to discover that the groups did not know each other at all. For a next event, we want to choose a venue that is more conducive to inter-group interaction. Be in prayer as we continue to plan--for direction and for this mission to spread from person to person.

During the month of January, there is the annual youth camp/convention. This event unites youth from across South Korea.  I do not yet know whether or not I will be in the country at the time of this large meeting, but many of the young people from my Gwangmyeong church will. By that time and during the meeting, I am praying for a build in the excitement about connecting, praying, and working together with young people all over. The best is yet to come! And, of course, that includes a shift to broader purpose (meeting more than for fellowship). The goal is to engage young people in ministry--ministry that is God-driven.

THANKFUL!!!! A young lady with whom I just completed a Bible study will be getting baptized very soon!!!

Thanks be to God who does all things well! Thanks be to God whose love is without fail and without bounds! Thanks be to God who made a way for whomsoever will! All glory and honor is due unto his name!


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