Sweat and Waffles

I just got out of the shower after climbing Bonghwasan. I am still dripping with perspiration since it takes a while for my body to cool down even after mild exercise. Today on Bonghwasan I met up with a squad of Korean soldiers at the intersection of several trails. They had rifles, radio equipment, and full uniforms on, and some of them looked sweaty, so I wasn't the only man perspiring on the mountain today. I said hello and got some stares then moved on. I enjoy greeting the older folks on the mountain. Some ignore me, but others smile and return my greetings. 

On my way down the mountain, a white-haired gentleman caught my eye, sprang up from his bench, and ambled over to greet me. I plucked the ear buds from my ears and reached out my hand to shake the one he offered, imitating his style of politeness. He looked up at my sweaty forehead and then placed his palm on it in curiosity. I suppose he could not believe the sheen on my brow was actually water, but he discovered , to his surprise, that it was, and then wiped his hand on his pant leg. He then looked at the dark, damp spot on my navy blue L.L. Bean T-shirt and lifted my shirt from the hem to unstick it from my body. He laughed and said a few words that ended with "showah" and then repeated that word, which I knew was "shower," and I nodded, grinning, saying, "Yes, I need a shower!" He laughed and then we said our goodbyes and I went on my way. I turned to look back once more and saw him looking after me, so we exchanged waves.

I think that an older Korean person could start a mountain mission - just go up and hang out, drink some tea or shikhye, play a little baduk, and share the Gospel as God leads. There always seems to be older people hanging out on the mountain looking for someone to talk with.

On the way down the mountain, I began to pray. I think that Spirit-filled music helps set the tone for prayer. When I listen to the words of the songs and meditate upon them for a few moments, then the Spirit of God speaks to my heart and fills me, sometimes with joy, sometimes with peace, sometimes with love, but always with God's presence which brings brokenness as I am alone with Him in the midst of His natural revelation. Today He filled my heart with love and I began to pray for all the people getting ready for school at GGCA and then for young people that I know who need a revelation of who God is in a personal way, so that they trust Him and receive Him to be their Lord.

Yesterday after Survey of Doctrine, I was introduced to of the Chinese restaurants near the church. I was glad I went, because I got to try the split-bowl lunch. You get two different things to eat in a bowl that has two compartments. In one compartment I had sweet and sour pork and in the other I had black bean sauce noodles a.k.a. jjajangmyeon. I could eat that every week, and maybe I will! After the meal, I went with Pastor Steve, Dawn, and Tain to pick up Petros and Sujin and we all headed down to Caffe Tiamo for a Bible study with some Japanese students who are living in Korea. 

This was the second week of the study from a book called Firm Foundations. With a small whiteboard and a marker, Pastor Steve reviewed last week's lesson for the one new Japanese student as Sujin translated. I was sipping on a cold drink that we were given that tasted of dates and some sort of other fruit. I wish my mother had been there to taste it. After the review ended, new teaching began, and we all started on the firm foundation of God and His word. I loved hearing the Japanese women reading Scripture in their own language. Our time was punctuated by moments of laughter since our interpreter, Sujin, has a wonderful sense of humor that pops up at times to keep things light and fun, showing the joy of our Lord. Near the end of our class time, I began to smell some wonderful aromas of something baking or toasting out in the main cafe area, and the next thing I knew, a platter of waffles with gelato, whipped cream, a banana, and chocolate sauce was placed on the table in front of us. I thought, "God! Tell Pastor Steve to close in prayer so we can taste this before the warm waffles melt the gelato!" God answered my prayer in his time. Here is a picture of a Bible study group just before we got down to the business of eating:

Can you see the waffles to the left of Sujin's elbow?
We had a great time of fellowship with the newest member of the Bible study group. She went to a mission school in Japan that had been founded by American missionaries over 100 years ago, and so had come to know the Lord through the school and a local church. You cannot see her face in the picture above, but she is seated on Pastor Steve's right, beside the girl in the pink polo shirt. We also met by chance a friend of Petros and Sujin who happened to be in the cafe with friends. Her son is named Daniel, and he is 7 years old. I'd love to meet him. This lady was invited to join our study in the cafe any time she can make it.

Mission work here seems to be a lot of here a little, there a little, casting your bread upon the waters and seeing what the Lord returns to you after many days. I need to grow in this area of connecting with people, so pray for me.

Oh, and here are a couple of works of art to brighten your day.

The words on the picture say, "Falling in Love at First Sight." How would you caption this Thai work of art? 


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