Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Very Busy Orientation

It's already Feb 12, Thursday of the second week of orientation. I can't believe how quickly this is going. The days are so busy here and there is hardly anytime to do anything outside of the orientation program. What little free time I've managed to scrape together in the evenings has been taken up with pingpong or reading some strange C.S. Lewis books about a guy who travels to Mars and Venus to "save the day" - that is mankind or Venuskind.

Yesterday evening we went a very interesting Korean show called Nanta. I guess you could call it the Korean version of blue man group without the blue pant. There were also four stars as opposed to three, but there was very little talking and a lot of percussion. They also incorporated a lot of audience participation into the show. Everyone I talked to loved it, me included (I didn't really talk to myself, but my mind confirms my appreciation of the show).

I've met some very interesting people in this program, quite a few who are in their thirties which really surprised me. I even met one woman who was my neighbor in Chicago. Actually she lived a few blocks away, but close enough to be called a neighbor when your three thousand miles from home. I just happened to meet her when we visited a palace last Saturday and then again last night I ran into her in downtown Seoul walking around by herself as we enjoyed two hours of free time before the show. She is Jewish, but she expressed a desire to go to a Christian worship service.

I also met one lady, Hera - who is not in the TaLK program, but is at the orientation sight taking another class with another group - who is from Gyeonsangnamdo province. Hera's home town is only about 20-30 miles from Hadong and she offered to help in anyway she could. I met her through an early morning prayer meeting that I attend with about 10-12 other TaLK members each morning. Yesterday she just showed up, so we welcomed her. Perhaps God has sent an angel to help me along this journey. Anyway, this brings up our prayer meeting. Last Thursday I met a man named James after one of our classes. As we talked we found that we were both Christians and as it turned out he had found several others. He had taken the initiative to start a morning devotional group and he invited me to join. The next morning I went and I was pleasantly surprised to see 13 other Christians gathered to think about God's word and pray. We are praying for the TaLK program as a whole and specifically that God can use each of us as His messengers to the rural people of Korea. I have been greatly encourage by these young Christians and their desire to live Godly lives in the hope that others might come to Christ through their example. Please pray for us to keep in contact throughout our journeys and to meet together once a month or so to pray and encourage eachother.

One final word before I go. Through daily bread each morning, God has been greatly encouraging me. When I arrived last week I was a little aprehensive about what was going to happen over the next several months, but this week God has answered my apprehension with His wonderful promises. I have been studying John 14 (John 15:1-8 today) and God clearly told me not to be afraid, but to trust in Him and Jesus. He promised that when I do so he will not only make everything right, He will make me a very fruitful blessing for the people of Hadong. His promises are truly great, even beyond belief when we really think about them, but when I meditated on them and who he is I repented of my unbelief. God is the creator of the heavens and the earth and the Sovereign rules of all things, nothing is too great for Him. Therefore I believe His promises and I believe that he make me a most fruitful man here in South Korea. Thank God for His wonderful promises.

Until next time, May God richly bless you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Safe Arrival


It's been almost a week since I was able to write. I am very happy to announce that I have arrived safely in Korea and after spending a wonderful day with a few friends from KyungSung center have settled into my room at our orientation training center. The room is small but very nice and I have two roomates, James from Las Vegas and Johnny from Toronto. They both seem very nice, but we'll see how the next 17 days go. Anyway I am very excited because today we officially begin our "tours of duty" as TALK team members.

I got up early this morning (several times actually - 2:00 AM then 3:00 AM, then 4:00 AM and finally got out of bed at 5:00 AM) and got to spend some nice quite time praying and meditating on God's word. Today's Daily Bread passage was from Amos 5:1-27 and through it I was reminded of one of the great Bible promises - "Seek God and live". I thank God for this word and this wonderful opportunity to practically put this into practice. As I prayed I repented that up to this point I have not truely done this. I lived a nice complacent, easy going life but I never really gave my heart to seeking God. But I believe that God brought me here and gave me this word on the first morning of this journey to help me to really focus on this. I also thought about what seeking God means practically in my life. I was brought back to my key verse for this mission journey which is Philippians 3:10, "I want to know Christ and the Power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, becoming like Him in His death." I was reminded that seeking God practically means to follow Jesus example. This means living my life for others so that they can find theirs in Jesus. May God help me to remember this all the rest of the days of my life so that I can really seek Him and help others to find Him ias well.

The day is about to begin and strangly I'm already tired - I think it from my struggle to read Amos chapter 5 out loud in Korean. That effort took almost 1/2 and hour and I'm convinced that the security guard thinks I'm a babling fool. But, no matter, because the Bible says being a fool for Christ is a good thing. I have to go now, but I'll write soon.