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Showing posts from January, 2015

5 F's: Fun, Feet, Fear, Faith, and Following

So, here it is, Monday afternoon in Seoul, South Korea. It is 45 degrees fahrenheit and overcast, and I have just come home from a morning of Bible college classes and three different shopping excursions in search of supplies for this weekend's winter retreat. This weekend, Tain, Dawn, and I have planned to have some fun activities in addition to the sessions in the Word of God with Pastor DeVries and Pastor Sam who is coming from India on Wednesday to be with us. We have brainstormed some games to play that we hope will have people laughing at themselves and others, and enjoying our time together as brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Friday evening we will have a couple of games and a service that will culminate in our first ever foot washing ceremony, or whatever you would call that. Having never experienced such a thing before, I searched the Internet for advice on best practices and necessary materials. Last month, I had my feet washed twice when I had a Thai massage, and it was …

IKEA Trip (For My Friends in GGCA's 7th Grade)

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Recently, I received a package of letters from the 7th grade students in Greater Grace Christian Academy in Baltimore. Their letters asked questions like, "Are you having fun?" "Have you eaten anything really weird?" "What is your greatest challenge living there?" "What are you doing for the holidays?" "How were your trips to other countries?" I sat down yesterday and wrote an email that included a response to each student's question or statement, and I promised that I would send them some pictures of the trip I had planned to the new IKEA store that opened in Gwangmyeong. Instead of an email to the class, I think it is easier to blog my trip, so here it goes...

This is a picture I took in my room before I left the apartment on Friday afternoon. My orange inhaler and my gummy vitamins are on the bureau along with some other things I couldn't be bothered to clear away. I had my L.L Bean winter coat on with a pair of gloves and a …

Blue Skies,Part 2

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I truly enjoy taking pictures of fruits and vegetables. They are very cooperative models who don't squirm or blink, and they always look good, especially in group portraits like this one taken in Dali, China within an hour of my arrival at the hotel. I shot this photograph on my way down a street with Tain in search of noodles to eat for lunch. Here's a picture of the guy standing over the steaming kettle where he cooked individual portions of noodles, bowl by bowl. 
Those hot noodles were placed into a larger bowl along with some broth, something like pulled pork and some other tasting meat trimmings, and handed to us to take to what I thought of as the "fixings table" which had various vegetables and spices to mix in to our noodle bowls. Was it good? It was so good that I went back there for dinner the same day.
Now, before you jump to any conclusions, no, we didn't hop off the train from Lijiang and go immediately in search of food in Dali. From the train statio…

Blue Skies, Part 1

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As I was looking through my photographs of Kunming, Dali, and Lijiang China, I noticed again and again how blue the skies were, so I have entitled this portion of my travel blog "Blue Skies." Blue skies, sunshine, white clouds, mountains, and good friends were all to be found in these places in China.

When we arrived in Kunming, China, it was dark. I remember taking my fleece hoodie out of its zip pocket of my suitcase and putting it on, and then riding a bus from the airport to a stop near our hotel called the Nissi (as in Jehovah Nissi) Holiday Hotel. The check-in desk was just off the sidewalk outside in the windy, cold night air. Dawn was whisked away like Elijah in his chariot of fire by sisters from Kunming while Tain checked us in. Zinan was taken away by Chinese brothers like Enoch who walked with God and was not. I was suddenly alone in a dimly lit, two bedroom hotel room that smelled of cigarette smoke, a bit hungry, and missing my roommate for the past eleven days.…