Off to Church

24 Jul

Traveling across the South Korean countryside we were able to see farms and gardens tucked away in any available space and to start to process some of the tragic and amazing sites, smells and conversations that we had already seen. Our plan is to travel from the city of Daejeon to the capital of Seoul and meet up with some of our partners in the train station. Fortunately the announcer on the public address system shared information in English so we did could collect all our luggage and get off the train. We arrived at the end of the line about two hours after our departure and we missed our new friends Kurt and Hyeyoung who were behind us and preparing for the end of their first year with young adult volunteers, (YAV) but we were also anxious to see our partners in Seoul. As we moved up the escalator we were greeted by Pastor Pack and his associate Pastor Jonathan. It was so very good to see him again after the time he spent with us in Syracuse and working on Hurricane Sandy relief. A walk through the city was in order. We visited the largest book store in Korea and had lunch, and then wandered down the main street seeing statues of Admiral Yi Sun-shin and King Sejong the Great as well as visiting the Gyeongbokgung Palace. A gorgeous expanse under the mountain and beside the river so as to have the most benefit from the spirit of the earth. The palace was painted in the traditional colors of green and red and protected against the birds that would try to nest along the roof. After exploring some we headed out of Seoul and to the city of Goyang and our host church Ilsan Hosu. A test was upon us as we were separated into groups and a family would take us in for the evening. Language would be a struggle as none of us spoke Korean and most of our host families spoke only a little English, but food and a hot shower would cover a myriad of obstacles and pave the way for friendship and fellowship. This foundation would help us as we awoke on Sunday and returned to church and Sunday school, Morning worship, fellowship time, and afternoon worship. In the United States, we struggle for one hour to set aside for God and our partners in Korea spend six to eight hours on Sunday singing, praying and spending time in God’s Word. Later that evening we were able to relax and for perhaps the first time let off some steam. Our hosts put us up in a hotel for the evening and gave us a bout two hours of rest before dinner. It was for most of us the first time we were not vigilant at al of the social mores that in the United States are no longer politically correct. Our day was long and full of so many times of fellowship and fun. It was a great day to spend in Church and as the body of Christ, because even though we do not speak the same physical language, we are still serving and loved by the same God.

Pray with me for energy and stamina as our students head toward the finish line. It is a wonderful experience but also a daunting one and we are so blessed to be in this place with people who care so much about us. Amen.

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