Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Yesterday I sat on the steps of the school, listening to the boys play "Hosanna" on the occarinas while looking off at th mountains in the distance. We all knew the song... as long as no one sang the words. So they played and I hummed, without any sort of linguistic or cultural barrier standing in our way.

As I sit in the cool weather, I stare off into the distance, admiring the beaty of the misty mountains and the city buildings still further off. I think about where I am. It's amazing to be back here in this place; for the rest of my physical body to finally join my heart again, where I left if-- with these students, halfway around the world, so far away from the country and culture I call home.

The word Korea no longer sounds foreign to my ears. No matter how many times I say it...
Of courseI still get plenty of stares because I'm white or because I look lost (or because I really am lost and I'm speaking such broken Korean that all I can do is make people laugh); and everyone may assume that the only thing I ever want to eat is hamburgers or pizza; and people will think I'm dirty because I forget to take my shoes off in the house. It seems I am constantly reminded that I am a foreigner, that I really don't belong.

But for this time and season, God has drawn my heart and called me to be here. Although I may still be foreign to Korea, Korea is no longer foreign to me.



  1. Rach,
    I am so glad that you are having a wonderful time in Korea. Knowing that you are in a place God has called you is quite a delight that few experience. Keep letting God's love flow through you.


  2. tears are out while i am reading your post, Rachel. I know it's half for you, half for myself, because I see myself in your struggles, which I face everyday, especially this summer. I have been in the state for 8 years. Before I could hide in my house, among those familiar with me, among Chinese, even behind my shuted mouth. BUt this summer I couldn't do it any more. Daily I would visit patients I have never seen before. Most of cases I have no idea who I would encounter when I knock on the door and ask for permission to go in. I'd even become nervous because a nurse walks in and I am not sure how to interact with patient and nurse at the same time. Almost everyday I would be reminded my foreign identity and cultural background. I could give one example. I have visited a 82 year-old lady twice. She had told me her husband's death and her life story. Yesterday I visited her before her open heart surgery. After prayer I was ready to leave, I noticed that she raised up her right hand and arm, and then put it down. I am not a person used to shake hands with others, even when introduing myself. I 'd always wait till others and then I would respond. "Touch is very important. It brings out/expressed emotions, esp. intimacy and affection" I felt I had disappointed that lady by not shaking her hands. I realize this yet it takes a lot courage for me to change even though I know it's good, it's only a social custom. Small things make difference. If thinking of Jesus, read the Book of Mark, you amy find his struggle among his people too. His family memebers didnot understand him. His disciples, having followed him all around, didnot understand either. It must be a very lonely place, cultimated on the cross. But Just as his mission completed, Rachel, you and me are on his mission too. May God's light and love shine in and through us. Hong