First Sunday

I do not have a clear recollection what I did my first weekend here in Korea beyond attending church on Sunday morning and meeting again many of the people I had been introduced to last year and seeing some other people that I had not met before. The Korean Greater Grace Church is warm and welcoming to visitors, and they sing a special welcoming song to people who are coming to the church for the first time. Either the guest introduces him or herself or they are introduced by the friend or family member who brought him or her to church that day.

After the service, lunch was served, and different groups met together. There is a young adults group, a group for children learning English through Bible study, and there is a rap session for any who wish to participate. The raps are valuable since they help clarify what was spoken in the message, and anyone can ask a question or make a comment. Pastor Steve has the gift for discerning hearts behind questions and making sense of what people are saying through the interpreter or in their own words. His grasp of Scripture is amazing, and he uses chapter and verse to answer questions and address comments while referencing the messages he has spoken and adding helpful illustrations. He is quite the Bible teacher.

After the service, we traveled together to Vicolo Caffetteria, an Italian restaurant in the Myeongdong area of Seoul to prepare for the arrival of the Filipino and Chinese guests that were coming to the East Asian Conference. 

I changed into some black pants and shoes and a white shirt to serve as a waiter as did others of us. While we waited, we were greeted with cool drinks by Paul, the Korean Christian who owns Vicolo and opens it special for this welcoming dinner each year on the Sunday before the conference begins. Once the guests arrived, we served them two kinds of salads and pizzas, and a variety of pasta dishes, each one oh-so delicious! 

Dessert was homemade vanilla ice cream (or gelato) topped with crushed frozen espresso. Mmmmmm! The after dinner fare was sweet too - two songs by a young Korean singer who played guitar and sang from his heart, a medley of classical and Christian songs by a Korean violinist, a song from some of the Chinese believers in our midst, and some words of welcome and truth from the Bible by Pastor Steve and Pastor Samuel.

I wish I had taken pictures of that evening, but I did not. It is always a pleasure to serve our brothers and sisters from other places and to see them enjoy the food and the fellowship. I remember getting to know Pastor DeVries' younger daughter, Emily, at this dinner, serving alongside her, and answering her question, "So, what's your story?" Never have I been asked this by anyone her age. I was impressed with her forthrightness. After cleaning up, we all went home and slept to be ready for the next day, which, for me, was to act as a host for a trip to Nami Island.


  1. dan… LOVE this blog! of course i love your writing anyway, but "sounds" like life there is a blessed adventure. i will pray that you learn to independently get around, get a tolerance for the heat, and get your rest. (that's the italian mom in me) we love you and continue to pray for you…Roberta & Beverly

  2. Please send one heaping portion of whatever that food is... Looks so good! You know the address... :)


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