Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"He felt their pain."

A friend from this summer called me up today and shared the following story with me...

In short, the story is about a 28 year old Korean American missionary who has been in Seoul since June 2008. He planned on being there a month or so, but felt compelled to stay after getting involved in refugee work. Since then he has been in Seoul as well as in and out of China working to help refugees.

He knew good and well that this work in China was very dangerous, but that's not what mattered to him. So on Christmas Eve, he attempted to illegally cross into the North. He crossed over the icy river with a letter to the leader himself, crying out for peoples' freedom. He has not been heard from since. It is suspected that he is mostly likely now being detained by the government. The story also mentions that when his parents began to have feelings of what he may be up to, that they told him to keep doing what he had been in Seoul, where he was safe.

"Why in the world would he put himself in this situation?" is the question that most of us want to ask. Why would he leave this comfortable, easy life of the few?

I try to put myself in this situation (well not this situation [don't worry Mom]), and wonder what I would do. When everyone seems to be against me. The Spirit is telling me to go one way, yet everyone is telling me otherwise... even those who may seem to know better. What do I do? ...what seems to make sense or what I know I'm supposed to do even when I'm not sure why...

The following was quoted from an email Park sent to his parents on the 23rd of December:
"Know that I am the happiest in all my life... Incredible miracles are happening in the liberation of North Koreans right now.... We are going to see a big and beautiful change in Korea and in the World this year!"

Robert Park set out to raise awareness of what is really going on, and now, because of his sacrifice, their story is reaching countless masses. It is, after all, because of HIS sacrifice that any of us may receive the freedom which determines the value of it all in the end. So what will we do?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Entertaining Angels

Before I came home for Christmas break I took a little trip up to Indiana to visit an old friend from last summer. Indiana is a lot colder than Louisiana, so there was a little blizzard that got in the way of my original travel plans home... 2 short flights turned into 4 flights and getting home four hours later!

I boarded my third flight of the day, from Baltimore to Orlando and sat in between two unsuscpecting ladies who seemed harmless enough. Neither of them really spoke to me, which, at this point, I considered a good thing. I couldn't count how many times I had already been asked that day the same string of questions you get from strangers you meet while traveling... "Where are you going...
Oh, where are you in school...
Well what are you studying...
Kinesiology? Um, that would be...
Well, what do you do with that...
Missions, huh, well-- (fillin the blank with their opinion of where that would get me)."

Maybe now it would at least be a little easier to get a good nap in, especially since it had just gotten dark outside. All three of us dozed off and on until the flight attendant came by to bring us some snacks. I ate a few Cheese Nips and then offered my Southwest honey roasted peanuts to the woman on my right in the window seat. "You don't like peanuts?" she asked. "Sure, I'll take them, thank you." I really do like peanuts, but no matter, that was unneccesary talk.

This was the extent of our conversation, until something sparked it... that string of questions. But at some point in the procession of it all, I began to feel at ease. This woman had a very comforting spirit about her. She was so easy to be around and just easy to talk to. I really felt like she was considering everything I was saying, not just speculating from her own point of view at what I, to her just some young college girl, was doing with my life.

Essentially what I ended up telling her is that I have no idea what I am doing with my life. I have ideas, and I am trying my best to follow Christ, but I'm not exactly sure where He is leading me. I shared with her my heart for culture, diversity, and language. I told her all about Korea and my plans to return. In the end she said, "He's putting it in your heart right now. Just keep following Him, and He'll show it to you. He'll take you where you need to be."

By the time our flight was done, we had traded stories and email addresses. I had told her all about Katrina, and she had shared her experiences with 9/11. But deeper than all of that, I knew that God had placed my by someone special on this flight. The connection was there.... because Mrs. D and I really are family... sister in Christ! Another of His followers to give me a little extra encouragment in my journey. Before she got off the plane (where I was to remain for the very last leg of my treck to New Orleans), we hugged and said goodbye, nice to meet you, etc... but I couldn't help but think to myself of the verse in Hebrews 13:2 which says, "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Blogger Revived!

I sit here pondering what to say... what to write to get back into the blog that I started just about a year ago. I first began keeping this blog because after a close friend of mine started blogging. (Thanks Mer!) I wasn't sure what exactly I would blog about, or if my life could be interesting enough for people to want to actually take time out of their day to read. So I decided to blog about a huge adventure that was awaiting me. That adventure has come and gone, but in another sense it is still such a real part of my life. It changed my life and many of my priorities. It is now what consumes much of my day to day thoughts and conversation. Now I can only wonder why it took me as long as it did to hear God calling me back to Seoul next summer.

A couple of months ago I began throwing around ideas of what I might spend my time doing next summer... knowing that if I was going to anything other than just getting a summer job, I should probably start thinking about it sooner than later. I had many mediocre ideas, none of which really holding my attention. I actually felt somewhat wary about getting too excited about any of these ideas because I hadn't really started praying about any of them, and I knew I couldn't seriously consider any of these before I had lifted it all up in prayer. So after a week of really asking God to reveal to me what He would have me do, I was offered different mission trip opportunities, which I began to think might be the right answer. Still none of these really gripped my heart. Suddenly one night, while talking on the phone to a team member from Seoul, I felt as if God was telling me that I would return to Seoul next summer. I went to my room where all I could manage to do was pray and cry.

I later explained all of this to a friend who replied, "Well wasn't it obvious?" I stopped and thought for a moment... and it did seem pretty obvious. Now that Korea took up the majority of my thoughts, why hadn't I seen that, of course, this is where God wants me to go? I think often times we can be looking so hard for what God wants us to do or where He wants us to go that we so easily miss what He's trying to tell us in those sweet, still whispers.

So now the new adventure begins... or maybe it just continues! So back to Seoul next summer, and blogging too ;)