Sunday, June 21, 2009

Absent :(

Today could have been really bad. But God, of course, was able to use it for good.

I had been feeling kind of icky over the course of this weekend; really hot and somewhat nauseated, and of course all of the fatty American food I ate this weekend didn't help me feel any better. So early this morning I woke up and felt so awful I didn't even know what to do. I ended up semi-passed out on the bedroom floor. Next thing I know my teammate Laura gives up her bed for me (since mine is on the top bunk), and the 3 teammates staying in my room are surrounding me in prayer, despite the fact the I just woke them up at 5 am, sick. Later, another teammate gave me medicine (since I didn't bring any of my own), and Laura stayed home with me because I wasn't well enough to go to school.

When initially thinking about all of this, it's hard to see any good. But God really showed me how my team came together and trusted in Him first of all. Then everyone pulled together to do their best to make me feel better.

God made it easy to count my blessings today.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Seoul's a dance, you learn as you go.

Just a few things I've learned after living in Korea for 2 weeks...

-It's okay to smack when eating around friends.

-Always have clean feet!

-There is a different trash for food, paper, plastic, and "wastes" everywhere.

-English on -t-shirts and signs and stuff never really makes that much sense.

-Americans are too big and have too big of feet to shop in Korea... and they aren't afraid to let you know.

-Kim (keem) is your friend.

-Eat at places with pictures on the menu.

-Move fast when in the city.

-Be quiet on the subway. (but trying to make people laugh on the subway is one of the funniest things ever!)

-Deoderant is really expensive.

-Don't eat toast soaked in butter after not eating eating any butter for 2 whole weeks!

-Girls hold hands with girls, and boys hold hands with boys.

-There's a certain way to use a squatty potty.

-People clean the floors like you're gonna eat off of them or something... but then later you actually do.

-Koreans never sleep!

-Don't eat too "deliciously" because napkins aren't so common.

-Age, church, lunch, tissue, coffee= agie, churchie, lunchie, tish, coppee

-Air condition is really really really cold after going without it for 2 weeks.

-It's okay if people stare at you sometimes... or all the time... everywhere you go.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Praying for Manna

So much has happened in the past week!

With a crazy and hectic first week of school behind us, we were shown a new part of the city by two of our local friends. We rode bike by the Hang Kang River, and spent the day enjoying Seoul in the beatuiful weather. We did a little shopping too, despite the fact that we were kicked out of a few stores either because they thought we wouldn't fit the clothes or our feet were too big for their shoes!

Also in the past week, I had the opportunity to do something I've always said I would NEVER do... so I had a bowl of dog soup. And no matter what anyone says about, I'm now convinced that the rest of the world is missing out. It tasted like turkey leg! I also ate a silk worm chrysalis. Not nearly as good as the dog soup. Let's just say it was my first and last one.

Besides all the touristy stuff, though, we moved into our new apartment, with university students that we haven't yet had a chance to get to know. It was hard leaving my old roommie S, even though I was trading a flour with three other girls for my own bed. I believe that God placed me there, just to teach me. I have never known anyone with a passion for God as that of S. Every night, she would ask us to read the Bible and pray with her. And although I couldn't understand her Korean prayer, God did, and I could feel her heart for Him in every word she uttuered. Her fervor for the Lord is truly unmatchable.

A new week of school has brought a new load of challenges with it. For the first time at school over the past few days, I've begun to feel somewhat bound by the language barrier. It's been somewhat difficult for me to let go of me completely and know how to reach out. There have also been team struggles, that God is working on as well.

But there have also been great things. I recently felt a burden on my heart for a certain student, A. I just felt she hadn't been as open to our group as most of the others. I began to pray for her, and the next day, God answered my prayer. I was sitting next to A randomly, and I when I saw an opportunity. I was able to say one little thing to her. Later that day I found out that she was in my small group, and since this point she has a huge smile on her face every time I see her. I continue to pray and have faith that God placed her on my heart that day, and that He will open doors for this to be a great relationship. So so so excited to see God do more amazing things!

Pray for:
Student S
Student A
Team struggles
God to send manna

Sunday, June 7, 2009

So few words.

I don't even know where to begin... I have already been in Seoul for almost a week, and I feel so completely overwhelmed with joy.

God is good
I guess I'll start off with saying that I have an absolutely wonderful team. What an answered prayer! Everytime I prayed for this trip in the weeks and months preceeding I prayed for team unity.. God has certainly answered that prayer above and beyond. We already have been able to open up to each other in honesty and love and become each others friends, prayer warriors, and encouragement. (and have the kind of fun together that can often take lots of time to build in a relationship.) So far we have been living in an apartment but today we will be moving in with the students. It has been a great chance for us all to just get to know each other without any distractions during our orientation time.

God is great
Hanguel <-- Korean... not as hard as I was anticipating! I've already started learning a few words, and today we will start learning for an hour a day while we are at school. But it has been pretty difficult odering food and getting around since none of us really know anything that useful. Many young people do speak a little English though, and they are usually very eager to practice a little bit when speaking to us. They seem much more confident in their English than we are in our Korean. It's been really fun talking to random Koreans that we run into on our long subway journeys with their broken English and our couple of Korean words! God is good... again No one has starved yet.. though I think one of my team members is close! But seriously, I like everything I've tried, so no complaining here. My favorite is the boiled lizard eye balls.... JK. Nothing quite like that... yet ;)

God is still good
Today is our first day of school! While here we will be helping to teach beautiful refugee students to better their English skills. But more importantly we will be pouring out the love that Christ has put in our hearts onto them. We are such a blessed people, and we all have more than enough love to share with those who are hurting and need to know the healing love of Christ. It has been such a joy in the learning process so far and getting to see the hearts of my team members break for these precious students.

He just doesn't stop
New friends. A couple of the students have been staying with us for the past few days, and it has been nothing short of fantastic. L and R have showed around different parts of Seoul, traveledith us, laughed with us, help us order food, and have already become such great friends. L has been such a great Korean teacher and quizzes me when we are walking around and riding the subway on all of the words and phrases she has taught me. Now as we will go to school today I feel somewhat vulnerable. I know that I will fall in love with all of the rest of these students just as with L and R, but this leaves me wondering what God will ask me to do next. A couple of days ago we watched the movie the Crossing with the two Korean girls. As they cried and shared with us their stories I was amazed at how hopeful they had been in the midst of their circumstances. These students have been in situations that we as Americans can't even fathom. Yet through all of this their love has grown stronger for the Lord. I am humbled that these precious students call me friend. Chen hang chen gu

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sunny Skies

No... I don't mean the ice cream unfortunately, for you fellow Buies Creek friends of mine. The other day I received a fortune cookie that read, "Let the sun shine on your soul." I immediately thought, being the nerd that I am deep down.. what a great pun that I can use in my blog! Over the past few weeks I have been watching the weather in South Korea, and it's been nothing but sunny skies in Seoul with highs of about 75-80 degrees. As I sit here so sleepily getting in this one last post before I take off to the N.O. airport, I can only imagine what God has in store for this summer. Keep praying.

And now I'm off... to let the SON shine through me in Seoul. <-- I'm very excited at this point that my pun has now come full circle.