Random Thoughts

This blog is called What Was I Thinking? and from time to time I have random thoughts, as, most likely, you do too. Today, I thought I'd share a few since I have some photographs to accompany them that could bring a little joy into your life.

There is a beautiful older lady in our church named Jenny who comes to Sunday morning services and attends Bible college classes Monday through Wednesday each week. Pastor Steve picks her up in the white Starex van after collecting me, and drives us all to the church for Bible college. Like many Korean people, she is generous to a fault and, being a Korean mother, she is concerned if men living on their own are eating well. One Monday after class, she treated Pastor Steve, Tom, and I to lunch at a restaurant near the church. As you can see from the picture below, she ordered enough food to feed a small army. We felt like prodigal sons dining on the fatted calf. Other church members have done similar things. It's all grace.

On our way to and back from the restaurant, we were treated to the sight of spring blossoms on the magnolia and cherry trees. Here are some pictures of those.

As I stood under the tree above, a breeze came along and I was showered with white magnolia petals. A spring storm that smelled good. I took a back street on my return to the church and saw some forsythias peeking through a fence and a still life with a chair just begging to be photographed before the trash man came to haul it away.

Here's a neighborhood barbershop. I wonder if it's a place where old men hang out and shoot the breeze?

Near this barbershop, a new coffee shop has just opened, and it is a two minute walk from our church. I dropped in the day before the grand opening and since I'm not a coffee drinker, I ordered a cookies and cream frappuccino to be neighborly. The woman gave me a 500 won discount for being one of her first customers, and the drink was yummy.

I took some pictures of the shop and sent them to Dawn Doorenbos via Kakao message, so she would know what she was missing. Nice and friendly, isn't it?

My next visit to the shop was after the grand opening hoopla had died down. I was on break from Bible college class, so I was out stretching my legs in the neighborhood, planning to head to a convenience store for a carton of chocolate or coffee milk. As I walked past the new coffee shop, the proprietress who had waited on me before called out and waved, so I went in. She was training a new employee, so I decided that I'd try a vanilla bean frappuccino. I placed my take-out order and sat at a table to wait. I watched them owner training the young lady, showing her how to measure out the correct quantities of the various ingredients and how to blend them all together. The last step was to top the drink with whipped cream and a little garnish of chocolate sprinkles. I could just see the two women from their shoulder up as the stood behind the counter with their backs to me. There was a short hiss followed by a loud POP! and a shriek, and suddenly the air was filled with flying white globs of whipped cream which sailed from the little kitchen area out into the dining room to decorate the walls. For a moment, there was a startled silence, but then an exclamation of dismay filled the air. The unlucky proprietress turned to face her stunned employee and it was like a scene from an episode of I Love Lucy. Both had whipped cream on their hair and faces, but the owner had taken the brunt of the fallout. Her hair and face were coated white as was her shirt, and when she saw the employee's reaction to her appearance, she ducked down behind the counter and crawled over behind the register where she used a somewhat clean towel to remove some of the sticky mess. The immediate concern was how to finish my drink, so they carefully prepared another canister of whipped cream, topped my frappuccino, and handed it to me with embarrassed smiles and laughter. I went again with Pastor DeVries this week, and we all laughed about that day. She had trouble with the whipped cream again, as you can see here, so I think this will be a running joke for a while.

Last week was also supposed to be our send off for Tom Staalesen to Japan. I asked people to pray for him and we have all been praying for him and God answered in a way we hadn't anticipated. He closed a door. We all thought that Tom had the provision of a volunteer job at the prayer house on Fukuoka. He had a plane ticket and he was ready to go. But then the word came that there was no place for him among the volunteers, so he is still among us, and we are choosing to believe that God knows best and has a better plan in mind that He will reveal in due time. 

Because she thought Tom was leaving in two days, one of our Korean sisters, Joy, decided that she would show him some of the sights around Seoul before he left. I was invited to come along. We hiked up a mountain, saw the presidential residence, the Blue House, from a distance, gallivanted around some pretty neighborhoods, and ended up in a section of Seoul near several universities to eat cheap, delicious Chinese food for dinner. My personal mission that day was to take pictures of flowers to send to my mother in Maine where winter was lingering like an unwanted guest. She can hardly wait to fill her flowerpots with beautiful annuals to greet visitors as the climb the steps to the door of her home. Here are some of the pictures I took that day.

On the way up the mountain
On the way down the mountain with Joy and Tom

We met theses two gentlemen near the bus stop.

I took these pictures along the sidewalk near the palace in Seoul.

There is beauty in the things God has created, even in the middle of a huge city.  These next pictures were taken near the Blue House. Security is very visible in this part of Seoul.

I have a few more random photos to share and then I will be finished and I will begin packing for my trip to China which begins tomorrow morning when Pastor Steve takes me to the limousine bus at 7:30 am.

I took this photo on my way back down the hill from the Yeomyung School. Yesterday I taught class by myself since Pastor Steve and Petros were attending the funeral service of the father of a church member. Yes, it's an ugly statue, but not everything in Korea can be beautiful. It's a landmark I pass going to and from the school, so it has meaning for me.

During the break time at Bible college, Lydia puts out snacks for us to eat. Tom nicknamed these rice munchies "Scooby snacks" and he was right on the money, because I was thinking "dog treats" when I spotted them.

Dawn's mother, Linda (left) and aunt, Glenda (right) came to visit her. They were in Seoul five days and then headed off to Cambodia to visit Dawn's sister and niece. They will return to Seoul for four more days, but I will be in China. This is a picture of them waiting for their bus to the airport.

"Would you like that gift wrapped?" That's what I think when I see take-out pizza boxes. The boxes themselves are colorful enough, but the addition of a red ribbon makes it feel like you are receiving a gift from someone. I like this pizza shop, because they give the option of sauce without corn in it.

It has been rainy this week of April, and the umbrellas are everywhere. I snapped this photo from the front steps of our apartment building. Two boys in school uniforms were on their way to class. The school uniforms in Korea usually include ties, sweaters, and blazers. The students look very stylish, but athletic shoes with ankle exposing short socks often complete the boys' outfits and this strikes me as funny.

This last photo is to remind you to pray for the Baby Box ministry here in Seoul. This ministry is being featured in our church bulletin for a couple of Sundays to remind us all to pray.

Ahhh! The random thoughts have been cleared from my mind. Maybe there was something in this entry that made you laugh or smile or think a lovely thought. That's my hope. Pray for my China mission. I'll blog again when I can.


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