It is a long journey from Scarborough, Maine to Seoul, South Korea, one that began with a bus ride from Portland, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts, then continued with a flight from Boston to Detroit, Michigan, from Detroit to the airport in Incheon, another bus ride from Incheon to Uijeongbu, and then a ride in the car from the bus stop to the house where I am living. My parents would be the first to tell you that they are no longer spring chickens, and the travel took a lot out of them. Blessedly, we arrived at the house at bedtime and they were able to shower and go right to sleep.
I had many things planned for what I believed would be my parents one and only trip to Asia. I wanted to show them how I lived, the people I love dearly, and the beautiful country of Korea and all its culinary and cultural delights.
The church body here in Seoul was amazing. My parents LOVED getting to know these people that I have been talking about for the past two years and they quickly saw what God used to draw me here to Korea - the precious people. Mom and Dad sang in service twice (once with me), and Dad preached one Sunday morning. My parents accompanied me to the visit the doctors I meet each Wednesday for English Bible Study and were present when I taught the North Korean students at the Yeomyung School.
I have always admired the way my parents express the love of God to people. God's life flows out of them of them effortlessly. When we went south to visit beautiful Jeju Island, they ministered to the couple who ran the guesthouse where we stayed.
We had a lot of fun together. It was hard to see them go when I took them to the airport and watched them disappear into around the corner into the security and immigration lines. I am very grateful to God for giving me the parents that I have known and loved these past 54 years of my life. They came and showed me the truth in what Jesus said in Mark 10:44 - "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
I look forward to being with my parents again in a few weeks when I return to America for a visit to Maine and Maryland. It is good to go home to a place where you are loved and wanted.
I am in Kunming, China as I write this, planning an open house for a school we hope to start here in August where I will be the principal, if that is what God wills. Right now my heart is torn. I want a school to start here in Kunming and I want to be with the people that God has placed in my heart in Korea.
As I was reading Hosea 11:8 last week, my heart was pricked. God said to his people, "How can I give you up?" That is how I feel right now. This past year, I have grown attached to the Korean people I minister to, and I believe they have grown attached to me without our realizing it until just recently. I have cried about this and poured out my heart to God asking Him to please help me. If I could clone myself, one of me would happily be a principal in Kunming and the other me would joyfully continue serving in Korea. I am asking you to pray with me that God's will be done, that my heart will be settled, and that I would also choose Love as my parents did.
Lastly, I encourage you to come to the East Asia Conference this August. Pastor DeVries and Tain Palanun have planned three weeks of Spirit-filled adventure (if you can come for all of it). The first week is spent in Seoul getting to know the church and the work being done by Greater Grace here in Korea. The second week is the conference in Uijeongbu where believers from Korea, China, Thailand, and perhaps the Philippines and Japan will gather. The third week is a missions trip to Japan. You can come for one, two. or all three weeks. I think details of all three weeks will be on the GGWO.ORG website. Asia needs the message of grace. Pray about coming here to catch the vision for Asia. Choose Love!