This Is Not All About Doughnuts. Really. It's Not.
Hmmm... Eat? Drink? Let's at least go check it out. It turned out to be a...
Somebody said, "Hey! That's a picture of pie! Could it be...?" We went inside and discovered it could. It was an American-style diner with a glass case filled with at least eight kinds of pies, a U-shaped formica countertop with stools, a chalkboard with specials, and a menu filled with American foods including hamburgers, ice cream sodas, and milk shakes. I said, "Let's sit down and eat something, so we all ordered some sort of dessert.
Yes, those are homemade old fashioned plain doughnuts on the counter in front of Nick - 3 for 10 kuai - so I bought three for all of us to sample. They were the real deal. If you're ever in the neighborhood, go down to the end of Foreigner Street, look for the big Eat Drink sign, and stop into the Serendipity Diner.
Now let's travel back in time to the day after I wrote my last blog post. December 3rd started out with a few, tiny snowflakes that didn't "stay on my nose and eyelashes" as the song My Favorite Things says. I got on the subway headed for Myeongdong to teach the Bible class at the Yeomyung School and spent many minutes crammed up against a wall, unable to move, sweating due to the BTUs being given off by all the bodies on their ways to work and school. When I finally reached my stop, I exited the station and saw this:
BIG fluffy flakes of wet snow that stayed on my coat and my glasses when I got to the Dunkin Donuts shop to purchase the munchkins for the students to eat. Passersby must have thought I was slightly insane, because I was grinning from ear to ear as I walked down the street. Oh, it is the little things that God brings into our lives that give the greatest joy! And for each of us, the little things are different, and God keeps track of them all and blesses each of us from time to time with unique, personalized gifts, like a good doughnut with good friends or pretty precipitation while you're on your way to buy doughnuts.
I can hear some of you thinking, "Is this going to be a doughnut blog?" Hmmmm. Maybe. We'll see how it goes. I wasn't planning it this way.I'm ever fascinated by the way God leads. Pastor Matti shared an illustration last night that resonated with me. He said that we as believers are like the little child that a father puts on his lap in the car and lets put our hands on the steering wheel. We feel like we are driving the car, but it's actually our Father whose hands are on the steering wheel and whose feet are pressing the accelerator and putting on the brakes, and it is our Father who knows where we are going. I have had that experience many times now in teaching Bible classes and preaching messages. My confession is that 1 Corinthians 1:27,28 are absolutely true and I am living proof that God uses the weak, the foolish, the base and the despised things of this world to accomplish His purposes.
At the Yeomyung School Bible study we were studying the life of Moses and God's deliverance of His people from Egypt, and I found myself speaking about miracles and the God who makes impossible things happen as theme that developed over several weeks. Interestingly, the Yeomyung School's fundraising performance was also called Miracle this year.
(God just worked it out that way, like He worked out the doughnuts and the snowflakes.)At the class Christmas party, we ended up talking about one of God's greatest miracles of all, the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, who came to do what was impossible for any other human to do, which was to pay the penalty for our sins and give us the free gift of eternal life by grace through faith, because He loves us so.
Meanwhile, back at the church, we got ready to celebrate the birth of Christ with some decorating,
|Final exam day.|
Korea's own native son, Jongil Park came to visit on his way to and on his way back from the Philippines, and he shared about his time in Argentina and other South American countries where he ministered as a Greater Grace missionary.
Our brother Tain paid us a visit after being away in Thailand for several months. He started planning the 2016 East Asia Conference to be held here in Korea next July. Maybe YOU should come...
And then there was the special visit by our favorite pastor in Korea, Pastor Steve DeVries. He arrived in time to send off two precious sisters to America, Dawn Doorenbos and Jadzia Switek, both who lived and served God in Korea for many years.
Pastor DeVries was not scheduled to visit Korea, but God used a banking error on my part to make it necessary for him to come for a short time with us to fix my mistake. (I entered the PIN on his bank account incorrectly too many times and locked myself out of the account.) It was a classic case of Romans 8:28 - God working all things together for our good.
December 25th brought us visits from Mary and Joseph, three fatherly shepherds, three wise girls, and an innkeeper...
...musicians and singers...
|Samuel and Hannah with proud papa Petros|
|Amazing James on the oboe|
Two days later, I was at the airport, ready to fly to China, but before I left Korea I drank a big dose of...
Mercy. I arrived in Kunming at 3 AM Monday morning and was brought to the Luo home where I have stayed before. Such hospitality! Such Christmas decorations!
After spending time with the brothers and sisters here and sharing on Wednesday evening about the wooing God who seeks and saves us when we are lost, we boarded buses and traveled here to Dali where we are in the midst of having a wonderful series of meetings. I will be returning to Korea next Tuesday evening to resume ministry there for two months before jetting off to Budapest for a week.
What is in store for 2016? God only knows. More unexpected happy discoveries, I hope. You never know what you will find when you set off walking by faith. Doughnuts? Rainbow flower pots? New friends? An interesting door to knock on? As we heard last night, faith is acceptance, belief, but faith is also expectation. When you take the step of faith down that road you've never taken before because God says, "Go," expect that He's got something awesome for you (most likely Himself) somewhere along the way.