Saturday, February 28, 2009

MY six month marker

today. february 28th. is my six month marker.

i have learned so much.

most of you know what it's like to go on missions trips and come back and be so completely overwhelmed by everything you've just experienced and learned. you can't put it into words. there isn't anyone who can understand. and its completely wonderful. and its completely lonely.

i've been to a couple different places. not as many as some, but a couple more than most. and i'd like to think i've experienced a bit of "life" here and there. but God brought me to korea to be nothing. to have no one. to listen. to learn.

i got an email today. it wasn't my favorite one, to say the least. but something i've learned since being here is i shouldn't just sit around and ponder things. i need to ask God the questions. so i did. "why?" i mean, He's big enough to answer. "why failure?" "why disappointment?" "why when we try so hard...for you" and, He answered. cuz He's cool like that. He used rob bell and josh kelley, haha. i'll share part of His answer...

the worst mistake is giving up
pulling back when you've had too much
of not knowing where you belong

the one thing i am certain of
is time will change each one of us
for this you're not on your own
so open your voice and be strong

you are not alone
you are what you believe
you are not alone
you're a part of everything

when life gets you down
set your soul at ease
you are not alone
you're a part of everything

-----, He chose us. He believes in us.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


hugh, one of my canadian coworkers, is about to lose one of his preschool classes at the beginning of march. it's really affecting him and that is hard for me to sit back and watch. (in general people working at hagwons look at their job as a job.) when i got a chance to talk to hugh in private about everything that's going on, he said something that shocked me. he used the word love about his students. he looked right at me and said it. it was real. then he looked back in at his class and just watched them. i realized right then that whatever financial or educational reasons our boss has for this change, NOTHING could be as big or important as how he feels about each one of them. jokingly we refer to hugh as the old man... being 25 and all, haha. but in reality, there are moments just like that that make me realize he really is worth respecting.

on wednesday evenings life church hosts a service at a cafe they started. i've gone for the past 3 weeks and, not surprisingly, enjoy the mid-week refreshment, encouragement, and fellowship. after the testimony given this week (which you should ask me about sometime) i quickly fell into conversation with a lady i'd met the week before. her name is joyce (easy enough to remember!). she's korean, but at the age of 12 moved to chicago. about 6 months ago she moved to korea for the first time with her husband. she was 7 months pregnant. now she has the most adorable baby boy, christian. however now she is facing struggles she didn't see coming --relating to family life in korea. not only has she had to adjust to korean culture but she is also dealing with family expectations. her questions are real... where does christian family culture, american family culture and korean family culture differ? how do she and her husband stay true to christian family values when they conflict with korean culture? and then the underlying does she use this as a testimony to her nonchristian family and korean friends? her questions and frustrations and goals are so different from mine. there is little for me to connect with. yet, they are so powerful. and i was truly moved by this young korean-american mother standing in front of me.

i love that the people i meet and interact with in my day to day are so different from me and each other. God is bringing people into my path that are wise and inspirational. even if i haven't got the slightest idea of how to be a part of their lives. least i'm watching and learning for now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


thank you to all those demanding folks out there... here is your new post. (actually it's just my siblings.) and really, there isn't much to tell.

it's a new week and it started out well. on sunday mornings i meet up with amanda and her part-time roommate marge to go to life church. our bus ride from suji to suwon is about 40 mins-if traffic is decent. church continues to be a highlight of my week. its been great to get back into english worship (even though i still feel that spanish worship is what heaven's like) and listening to a sermon in english is just top-notch, haha. in case you didn't pick up on it...teddy didn't come to church this week. he and most of my coworkers went on a ski outing sat-sun. he told me to ask him again next week and to keep asking... so please continue to pray with me.

one of the hard things about living in an international community is the turnover. and korea is no different. this week life church had a "despedida" for one of its couples. and while i don't know them, the general sadness got to me and reminded me of my past SCS community. it's been a while since i've been in this kind of community, and i can feel myself quickly needing to adjust back to numbness when it comes to goodbyes. on a brighter note... every week life church brings in new people. it's such a blessing to have new friendships being formed each week.

there is a new sense of busyness at school. the year is ending, graduation is coming, a new semester is beginning and new teachers will be arriving. to add to the lovely work atmosphere, our boss decided to ban us from using computers at work. we'll see how long that lasts. there are only 3 of us left that remember the last ban, so it might last a little longer... while i wouldn't say that i was smiling finding out this news, i did see the positive difference that came as a result. during 5, 10, 40 minute breaks coworkers were more apt to talk to one another than all split off and check facebook or the latest sports' scores. oh, and other work news: jon has decided to declare himself head foreign teacher. haha. he's bribing/blackmailing me to go along with it... i get his current desk if i play nice. if not, he'll give it to morgan. grrr! haha, only one more month and then he's out the door! ... ... actually. i will miss him.

book currently in hand: murder on the orient express (agatha christie)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

my miracle

my coworkers are interesting people. i thoroughly enjoy their company in the work place, but there are few of their social contexts in which i feel comfortable. there are these three gents: hugh, jon and ted. they are friends from canada. they like to party. a lot. and this past week that meant 7 nights in a row for teddy. ...i'm not trying to make them sound like horrible people, but this background is important. anyways, the boys are a couple years past college and so, to me, its a lil strange that they still "party" or "get sh**faced" (as they like to say) as much as they do.

for the past 2 weeks i've been attending an english church in the bigger suburb city nearby, suwon. life church has been an amazing blessing already and i feel like i'm experiencing a whole new korea now. i've actually met foreign christians here!! this past sunday the speaker talked about miracles. how so few christians are believing in miracles today. we are eager to work for God, but our faith is not standing out. he challenged us to ask for a miracle. to ask for something we REALLY wanted but knew we couldn't get by any work done ourselves. so right then and there i prayed. i asked God for the biggest thing i wanted: teddy to become a christian. and i kept praying: give him a desire to seek you. give him the interest to come to church. give him the need for a different lifestyle. give him friends that will be good for him. and then church was over and i didnt give it another thought.

monday rolled around. it usually does after a sunday... at our awesome kimbap shop "sharon's" i was enjoying my wonderful dolsot bibimbap dish, when... teddy asked me if i'd heard of these 2 churches nearby. i said i hadn't...why? his response: because i was thinking about trying one of them out, and i know that youre religious. i smiled and told him that he was always welcome to come to church with me and amanda (a mutual friend). and he said that he would really like to!! he said he wants to go and it'd be a good time for reflection!! i love and hate those moments. because theyre so great but then i'm left speechless :-\ all i managed at that point was: yeah, it'a a good time. you should definitely come! as the meal went on, the conversation shifted. but as we were walking out and paying he asked me what time church started and where i met up with amanda. as i took a detour to get some coffee, i couldn't stop smiling. i felt like one of my best friends had just given me the coolest gift totally out of the blue.

my God is so big,
so strong and so mighty,
there's nothing my God cannot do
(...i'm a lil kid teacher...)

please pray for teddy.