Derrick & Jenny – Wedding Live Stream

Derrick & Jenny, Family News

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Wedding Ceremony Begins at 11:00 AM Eastern Time on Saturday, June 27th.

Thank You!

To all who joined us for the live wedding stream on Saturday! It was a great success, and we are thrilled for Derrick and Jenny as they enter this new chapter in their lives together.

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Wedding Updates – Adam & Valerie

Adam & Valerie, Family News

Valerie and I are thrilled to see the final details coming together for our wedding on March 3rd, 2012! It is hard to believe that it is less than a week away.  🙂  We have set up a new website for our wedding, and have posted additional wedding details at this location.

Adam & Valerie’s Website: www.joyfullservice.com

 

In addition to specifics with the wedding location and RSVP form, we are also excited to provide a live video stream of the wedding ceremony on March 3rd. (On Adam & Valerie’s website)

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David & Priscilla – Engaged!

David & Priscilla, Family News

David & Priscilla ~ Engaged November 16th, 2011

It is my joy to announce the engagement of my brother David to Priscilla Keller of Jacksonville, Florida. David met Priscilla about four years ago while working at IBLP, and has had the opportunity to get to know Priscilla during her times working at IBLP over the past several years. In September of this year, David sensed the Lord’s direction to begin a courtship relationship with Priscilla and contacted her father.

With the enthusiastic support and full blessing of both sets of parents, David and Priscilla began a courtship which quickly blossomed into an engagement on November 16th. They are making plans for a Florida wedding on February 4th, 2012.

Our entire family is thrilled to see the Lord’s work in bringing David and Priscilla together, and look forward to taking part in their wedding in February. For pictures and more details on the story, visit David and Priscilla’s wedding Web site at http://davidlovespriscilla.com/

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Engagement Pictures

Adam & Valerie, Family News

Adam & Valerie - Engaged on November 5th, 2011

The Lord answered prayer in giving us a beautiful day on Saturday to take some engagement pictures. Rachel Johnson, a friend of ours, did a great job taking these photos at Cantigny Park. We were very thankful for the warmer weather and lingering fall colors to capture this special season in our lives. Enjoy the pictures!

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Adam & Valerie – Engaged!

Adam & Valerie, Family News

Saturday afternoon, November 5th, 2011, marked a very special milestone in a beautiful story that God has been putting together. With the full blessing of both of our parents, and the clear leading of the Lord in our deepening relationship, I asked Valerie Mueller to be my wife.

Our family first met the Muellers when we moved to Illinois nearly twenty years ago. As another large Christian homeschooling family, we had a lot in common and enjoyed getting together from time to time.

Valerie and I were both involved in different areas of ministry with IBLP in subsequent years, and it was probably about seven years ago that Valerie began to stand out with more significance. Although we never really had the opportunity to work together closely, I admired her love for the Lord, joyful spirit, and desire to serve others.

Last October, shortly after my arrival in South Korea, I began praying more seriously about the potential of beginning a courtship relationship with Valerie. After returning to the States in July, I called Valerie’s father in August to share with him my interest in Valerie.

Mr. and Mrs. Mueller were thrilled, as were my parents, to see the Lord’s apparent leading in this area. After a few days of prayerful consideration and discussion, Mr. and Mrs. Mueller shared with Valerie my desire to begin a relationship. She was delighted to hear of my interest, and our hearts were quickly knit together as we officially began our courtship on September 10th.

We have rejoiced to see the Lord’s hand so evident in leading us together! From the full support of our families, to the parallel vision and calling in life, we can only step back and say that God has done a miracle! For many years we had both been trusting the Lord to bring His best at the right time, but never did we imagine how fully the Lord would answer that prayer!

Valerie and I look forward to sharing the story in more detail in the days to come, but we wanted to publicly announce our engagement so that you can rejoice with us in God’s goodness! Right now we are looking at March 3rd for a wedding date, and we will post further details on our Web site as plans are confirmed.

“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:3

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A Joyous Capstone

Adam's Updates, Family News, South Korea

Nine months have quickly passed in Korea and Mongolia, and in our final week in Korea we had the great joy of seeing the culmination of thousands of hours of work by our Korean staff over more than two years as they worked to complete a full Korean translation of the Basic Seminar.

Attending a Basic Seminar in Orange County, CA as a young man in his late twenties, Mr. Hwang saw the great spiritual value that this seminar could bring to the people of Korea. It was there that he first had the vision of translating this seminar into the Korean language. Now, exactly twenty years later, Mr. Hwang had the joy of seeing this dream become reality.

Of course no “seminar” can truly change a life, but the Word of God is powerful, and when Biblical principles are understood and applied to daily life, the blessing of the Lord brings a joy and peace that carries us through the storms and uncertainties of life. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 that when we build our life around the truths of Scripture, we are like a wise man that built his house upon a rock. (See Matthew 7:24-27)

Over 100 Koreans attended this first seminar, and many encouraging testimonies were shared by the attendees. Mrs. Ha was in tears as she shared with my parents how happy she was to hear the seminar in the Korean language. I talked with one girl who had previously heard the seminar in English, and asked for her impression. “It is really different.” she told me, “When I listened to the seminar in English, I had to translate everything in my mind, but now the message goes in deeply.”

Among the attendees I was thrilled to see the senior pastor and two others from the church in Jeju Island that Mr. Moon and I had gotten to know during our memorable visit last January. They enjoyed the seminar very much, and hope to host one at their church in December.

May the Lord bless the seeds of truth that have been sown in the hearts of the attendees, and may the application of God’s Word bring great blessing to their lives and families.

 

 

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Updates from Mongolia

Family News, Mongolia

A long-awaited day!

In March we had the privilege of doing something that I have long-wanted to do! We helped with getting the place ready. As the flow of people began to increase I helped with registration as best I could with my limited ability in Mongolian. Part way through the first session I walked into an auditorium where nearly 200 people were seated, listening attentively to the message of a seminar that has greatly influenced and impacted our family’s life.

This is the third Mongolian Basic Seminar that has been shown now. What a blessing to see a people group that I love, listening so attentively to the Seminar in their own language!

One of the neat stories that came out of this week was from a couple who recently had begun coming to church. They came to the seminar and there decided that they were going to burn and destroy their idols! It is amazing to think of the reality of some of these things here in Mongolia. Praise the Lord for working in many lives during the week!

As the attendees were leaving after the last session there were “thank you’s” that came from many. One staff person noted that by the end of the Seminar there were more smiles on the faces of the attendees than at the beginning.

The following week, though it was much smaller, we were able to hold the same seminar for English speakers, most of which were Koreans. Our whole family was able to attend the Seminar as well, which was a blessing as I have not been through the whole Seminar for a few years.

Basic Seminar Follow-Up Course

Following the Basic Seminars my Dad began teaching a seven-week, condensed, follow-up course to the Basic Seminar. With so much information and many practical truths shared in the 32 hours of the Basic Seminar, it is helpful to be reminded of the truths shared in the Basic Seminar at a slower pace, as well as being able to ask questions. With about 45 people in attendance, my Dad shares on a principle for one night, sharing on a new principle each week. Many sit and hungrily listen to the life-changing truths that are shared; many of them taking notes as my Dad goes through the power-points. And, if he goes to fast for them to take down what is on the slide, they let him know so that he can slow down or go back to the slide he was on so they can copy it down. They are hungry for the principles of God’s Word! We have had several that have shared testimonies for the group, of what God has done in their life through applying these Basic Principles of life.

Trainings at the Ulaanbaatar MK School

We have gotten to participate in some trainings, as well, while we have been here. One of the on-going trainings that Samuel and I have been involved in is for the UBMK (Ulaanbaatar Missionary Kids) School. It is a school for Korean missionary children whose parents are serving in Mongolia. We have the opportunity to speak into the lives of 60+ children and teenagers. The leadership have been very gracious and hospitable. It is a nice way to continue our connection with the Koreans even as we are here in Mongolia.

A Final Class for Some College Seniors

The opportunity was given to Samuel and I to teach the final class for a group of College Seniors. There teacher, a Korean lady, had invested in their lives in the previous 15 class times and wanted us to give them a challenge as they go out into the world. There major is English, which allowed us to teach them in English without translation.

What a privilege and exciting opportunity! Samuel and I planned what we would teach and arrived at the University. God’s ways are so much different than our ways! Samuel and I walked into the University, only one of us a graduate from high school (though Samuel is very close, graduating this year!) going to teach a class of students who were going to be graduating from College! It was a special opportunity though as we shared about the importance and impact of the choices that we make.

One of the illustrations we used was of a block tower. Each block in the tower represents a choice that we make. If we choose to make right choices we will have a solid tower, however if we make wrong choices, our “towers” will not stand when the pressure comes. After completing the building of a good tower we tried the tower with a couple of tests. The final test was having 170lbs. of weight placed on the tower-in the form of Samuel :-). As Samuel stood on the tower he was challenging the students with the question of, if little choices really matter. Does it really matter if I steal money? Even two dollars worth? As the students sat there and watched, some agreed that that would not be a problem. Each block however represents one choice. When Samuel was ready, I pulled one of the blocks from the tower he was standing on. The tower fell to the floor and Samuel, having much practice, came down and safely landed on his feet. But, the tower was ruined! Did one choice really matter?

As we were nearing the end of the class time, we asked if any one had any questions. A young man in the back row raised his hand, “How can we rebuild the tower once it has fallen down?” “I wasn’t listening to that part could you tell it again?” We were able to explain to the class how when we do what is wrong, we can make it right by going back to the one we hurt and asking for their forgiveness. What a blessing to know that the message we were sharing had reached this young man’s heart. And that he, a young man probably in his twenties, was willing to raise his hand and ask that question in front of all his classmates.

Fun on a Mountain!

With only twelve short weeks here, we decided that we should take advantage of the free Saturday we had and take a climb up Script Hill. I really don’t enjoy hiking, but today I was actually one of the ones suggesting we go.

Rebecca prepared some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and some chocolate chip cookies to bring with us on our hike. We got ready to go and walked down to where we could get a bus that would take us within about three-quarters of a mile from the foot of the mountain. We could have taken another bus from that point, but we just walked instead.

Script Hill is a steep shorter climb and we made it up in about 20min. We ate our lunch at the top of the mountain, before hiking further up the real mountain. It was a lot of fun and I actually really enjoyed the hike. We got to climb up some steep parts and got to take a lot of nice pictures. It was a special time of building memories and of walking through memories from the past. At the top we each ate our second cookie and sang a couple of songs in Mongolian before heading back down the mountain and returning home.

Trip to Turtle Rock

A driver was called and before too long we were on our way! After driving for about an hour and a half we arrived and were able to climb “Turtle Rock”. Adam came to Mongolia for a 12 day visit and was able to join us for this special trip, which included each of us getting to ride Mongolian horses as well as camels! Below are some pictures!

Thank you for your prayers for us!

In Christ,

Sarah Waller

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Saved by a Baby’s Cry

Adam's Updates

Here in South Korea it has been fascinating to hear the first-hand stories of families affected by the Korean War. Although there was much tragedy and suffering, there are also incredible stories of courage and commitment, and miraculous evidences of the Lord’s hand of care and protection during some of Korea’s darkest hours.

Last evening I was talking with Mrs. Kim over dinner, and she shared the story of her parent’s escape from North Korea during the Korean War. It was October of 1950, and Mrs. Kim’s father served in a public office in the city government in Yeon-an, a city near the border of South Korea. His supervisor perceived that the war was coming to a close, and the situation was becoming increasingly dangerous for people living in North Korea.

All men 18 and over were being conscripted to join the North Korean army, so this sympathetic supervisor worked to move his non-communist staff over the border to an office in South Korea. Mrs. Kim’s father took advantage of this opportunity, and successfully crossed over with his 15-year-old son, a daughter, a nephew and another boy on a “one week” leave.

Back in Yeon-an, Mrs. Kim’s mother was growing more and more concerned. The war dragged on and on as she struggled to care for her two daughters and 10-month old son. Growing rather indignant at her husband’s irresponsibility to leave her alone with the children, she began contemplating a risky escape to South Korea to join her husband. She concluded that it would be better to die trying to escape than to be left to raise a family with no husband and father in communist North Korea.

Courageously stepping out with two young daughters and a baby boy strapped to her back, she began the journey to join her husband. But traveling with children was not easy, and Mrs. Kim’s mother was caught by the North Korean soldiers. Charged with fleeing the country, they were immediately put in prison. The loud cries of the baby echoed through the prison into the night sky as they tried in vain to sleep that night.

But the Sovereign hand of God did not allow them to perish in imprisonment. That very night a senior Japanese officer just happen to visit the prison and heard the loud cries of the baby. Angry that they would be so cruel and heartless as to imprison a mother and baby, he sternly reprimanded the guards. I don’t care if they are trying to flee the country, he told them, you are to release them immediately!

Awed by this unexpected deliverance, the mother and children continued on to the coast where private boats were being used under cover of darkness to carry people over to South Korea. Trudging through the long mud flats with her children, they sought for a boat to take them over. But every time the other passengers saw them, they strongly objected. The baby that had saved them from prison was now a dangerous risk. If anyone made a sound during the crossing, everyone’s lives would be in jeopardy.

Back and forth across the mud flats the mother trudged, her hope fading. Physically exhausted, and in great pain from a broken wrist from a fall during their travels, the mother stared across the rippling waters into the blackness beyond. With no hope of a boat willing to carry them, there was no way they could make it. Perhaps she should just wade into the water and drown. “Mother, don’t die.” The small voice beside her startled the mother. How could her daughter have known her thoughts? Taking her daughter by the hand, she turned back to the mud flats to try again.

But the Lord had not forsaken them. He had a plan for their lives that was yet to be accomplished. Finding another boat in the darkness, the mother appealed to the captain for passage. She did not have the high price required, but she gave him everything she had. The older man looked with compassion at the mother and children, and over the objections of all the other passengers, agreed to take the family on board. And there the miracle happened. The baby slept peacefully and did not make a sound the whole night!

Going from just a few scattered verbal directions, the mother somehow located her husband and son, and what a joyful reunion it was! It seemed too good to be true, but the Lord had something even more wonderful in store for them. There in South Korea, one by one, the entire family came to Christ for salvation, and today Mrs. Kim and her husband are being used of the Lord in some very special ways.

What a blessing to see the hand of the Lord working through prior generations to preserve our lives and prepare us for the opportunities set before us! What an awesome responsibility to faithfully use what God has entrusted into our hands!

“You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom.
I hope you will make good use of it.” — John Quincy Adams

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A Visit to Mongolia

Adam's Updates, Family News, Mongolia

It was 1:15 in the morning when the boarding announcement came over the speakers at the Incheon airport in South Korea. I joined the crowd of weary travelers to board the plane for Mongolia. High winds that morning had delayed the plane coming over to Seoul, detaining our departure by seven hours. A rather frequent occurrence in the springtime, I gathered from my discussion with a Canadian businessman sitting beside me in the airport terminal.

Nevertheless I had much to be thankful for as I presented my boarding pass and made my way down the gate to the aircraft. Our travel agent in Korea had called our office to apprise us of the delay, so I had made the most of these extra hours before leaving for the airport with Mr. Moon.

The rest of my family had arrived in Mongolia at the end of March, but preparations for the first Korean Basic Seminar and related technical projects necessitated my continued efforts in the Korea office. But twelve days could be spared for a visit to Mongolia to spend some time with my family in this unique country. Lydia and Samuel would celebrate birthdays that week, and I know this season of life as a family is both brief and precious.

But the Lord had another blessing in store for me as I took my seat on the airplane. The lady next to me was on her way back to Mongolia from Tokyo with her two-year-old daughter. The poor little girl had been traveling for seventeen hours, and was completely exhausted. A family picture and some words of encouragement helped put the mother at ease, knowing that I was not bothered by her baby’s crying.

As our conversation turned to what my family was doing in Mongolia, the lady’s interest deepened. Gerelay said that she had seen in on TV how people would go to a [church] and they could just talk to God and share the burdens of their hearts. She wanted so much to do that, but didn’t know how.

Tears came to my eyes as I experienced the joy of sharing the good news of the Gospel to a longing soul that had never before heard why Jesus died! It seemed so wonderful that Jesus would take the punishment for the bad things we have done, so that we could be restored to a relationship with God. She wanted to visit our apartment and talk more, so I left her with some contact information.

Gerelay was thrilled to accept our invitation to come to church with us on Sunday, and asked if she could also bring her two sisters. It was her first time to attend a Christian church service, and the preaching was from the book of Acts, outlining one of Paul’s sermons. “Wow, that’s amazing!” she told me, “Those are the same things you were telling me on the airplane! Did you plan that?”

We invited Gerelay and her sisters to our home for lunch afterwards, and talked again for over an hour, sharing as clearly and simply as I could the message of the Gospel. It was all so new to them, but they were so hungry for the truth! Gerelay and her sister came back to join us for the evening church service, this time bringing her sister’s husband.

They came back again on Monday night for the Basic Seminar follow-up course and were impacted by the testimonies that were shared. One lady was a former Shaman, deeply involved in spirit worship, but had been set free from the fear and bondage of this false religion. Praise the Lord for His working through an airplane seating assignment to bring the light of the Gospel to a family so ready to hear the truth!

Time with family was wonderful! There was not much room at our place in Mongolia, so I rolled out a bed on the floor of the office each night. Quarters were small, but that had no relation to the ministry opportunities abounding all around us. Sarah and Samuel were teaching at a Korean Missionary Kids school two days a week, while Dad led the follow-up course meetings and Financial Freedom seminar.

Translation is under way for the Financial Freedom textbook, a manual outlining Christian principles for managing finances. Sodoo, one of our staff, explained to me that currently there is only one book available in the Mongolian language that talks about finances from a Christian perspective, so this comprehensive manual will be very helpful for Christians all over Mongolia as it explains concepts so different from those taught during 70 years of communism under Soviet rule.

20 Years of Christianity

During my visit I had the opportunity to attend a Christian Symposium event, marking the 20-year anniversary of Christianity in Mongolia. In just twenty years, the number of Christians has grown from almost zero to tens of thousands. It was touching to hear the testimonies of some of the pioneer missionaries that came to Mongolia in those early days.

After the fall of communism, the Russians pulled out in a single day, leaving the nation to fend for itself after 70 years of having the government provide everything for the people. Stores were empty, people would stand in line for hours to buy bread. Even the most basic medicines were all gone. And yet missionaries came, braving these difficult circumstances for the joy of bringing the Gospel to those who had never heard the name of Jesus.

Korean missionary Dr. Hwang told of being forced to move 40 times in those early years, and of having windows broken and stones thrown by Mongolians upset with foreigners disrupting their country and thrusting their nation into poverty by taking away socialism. But still the missionaries persisted, knowing that the love of Christ would ultimately win the hearts of the Mongolian people. Dr. Hwang’s voice broke with emotion, tears streaming down his cheeks, as he rejoiced to see this glorious day with hundreds of Mongolian pastors and Christian leaders gathered to thank God for His work over the last 20 years in Mongolia.

An Alaskan man came to present to the Mongolian Christian leaders the oldest known Mongolian Bible in existence today. This 1846 New Testament bears tribute to God's work in this nation over previous generations.

What made the event so touching was that we knew a number of these people. In the slide show we saw pictures of Pastor Enkhee, a bold Christian leader in the early days that had preached at Isaac’s funeral, and Pastor Dugermaa that prayed over us as we left in 2007. Officiating the event was Batjargal, the director of a Christian radio station where I had participated in some radio broadcasts in 2004. It was this man that drove our family out to the burial site for Isaac on the day of the funeral.

It was also a joy to see Ewen, the man that I had helped some years ago to make the Mongolian Bible available electronically for the first time in Mongolia. He is now on the committee for the Mongolian Bible Society, and working hard to finalize an important revision for the Mongolian translation. Right now there are no Bibles left to be purchased in Mongolia, and Ewen and a handful of others are working as hard as they can to finalize some typesetting issues so that more Bibles can be printed and brought in to Mongolia.

Video Highlights

Here are some brief video clips from the Symposium.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Rick Leatherwood and his wife were some of the first missionaries to arrive in Mongolia in the early 90’s. Rick went on to oversee the team that translated the Mongolian Bible used by most of their churches today. The translation was completed in 2000, and a container of 10,000 Bibles was brought in for the people of Mongolia. Within 24 hours, they had completely sold out.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Margret Currie came to Mongolia in the early days when food was difficult to obtain. In this video excerpt, she shares some of their experiences trying to purchase eggs. Margret went on to be involved in a prison ministry, reaching out to men in prison that were dying of starvation and exposure while doing forced labor in the rock quarries.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

This missionary from Austria shares some of her firsthand experiences in Germany and Mongolia. These are the kind of stories that you don’t hear from the media! Her whole message was excellent, but I was only able to capture the last four minutes in this video.

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Easter Memories

Adam's Updates, Family News

If you had asked me last Saturday morning what I planned to do for Easter, I would have had no idea that the next morning I would be folding up a blanket on top of an air mattress 160 miles south in the little town of Waegwan, and heading out to Camp Carroll Army Base for an Easter Sunrise service.

But the Lord knew much much I needed that little encouragement, and had already been preparing the way. James Staddon, a friend from West Virginia arrived here in Korea just a few days before the rest of my family flew over to Mongolia at the end of March. I stayed back to work on some pressing projects at the Korea office, and James came to help with some design work that was also needing to be finished.

Enjoying good fellowship in our work together, James and I also took time for the occasional hike in the mountains and visit to the Korean War Memorial. James’ father had served in the US Air Force and was stationed at the Osan Air Base a few years after the close of the Korean War.

This was James’ first visit to Korea, and seeing the Osan Air Base was one of the things that he wanted to do during his month here. In the Lord’s providence, it just so happened that James learned of a good friend in the US Army that was currently stationed in South Korea, and James and I were thrilled to accept Andy’s invitation to visit the Osan Air Base.

The date was set for April 23rd, and James spent some hours poring over Korean subway maps, working out the 40 mile route to Osan. The adventure of traveling public transportation in a foreign country is hard to understand unless you have been there, but it definitely adds to the excitement. Most of the signs, announcements and instructions are in Korean, so you learn to be a keen observer of others and piece together what information you can find.

Meeting Andy and Renae at the main gate, James and I were escorted onto the Base. This was my first time on a US military base, and I was amazed at the size and well-kept condition of the premises. It was like being in a little America.  🙂  The sidewalks were level, the streets free of trash, and people pumped their own gas at the gas station. They even had American restaurants built right on the Base!

Andy and Renae treated us to lunch at Chili’s. Whew! I hadn’t eaten a lunch like that in six months! Afterwards Andy drove us around the base and showed us the airfield. James also wanted to see the chapel where his Dad had attended years ago, so our tour continued up and down the little streets of the Base.

The Chapel

With perhaps 20,000 people at the base, I guess I was a little taken aback by the chapel. A small sparsely maintained building probably built in the ’70s stood in stark contrast to the large modern churches seen all over Korea. 20,000 people serviced by a chapel that seats 281? What does this say about the spiritual interests of the sons of the very nation that brought the Gospel to Korea?

Sitting down with Andy and Renae for a soda after our tour, I began to get a little more of a picture of the hunger for real spiritual fellowship so often faced by Christians serving in overseas military bases. In a year and a half that Andy and Renae have been in Korea, they have only had one American visitor to their home.

“Oh, we should have planned ahead and had you guys come down to our home for Easter!” Renae remarked. Andy’s eyes met mine as he inquired, “Do you have plans for tomorrow?” I looked across at James. No, we didn’t have any particular responsibilities… We hadn’t exactly prepared for an overnight stay, but I knew the fellowship would be mutually encouraging, -and a grand adventure for James.  🙂

Extending the Adventure

A few minutes of discussion and a phone call confirmed the decision, and James and I climbed into Andy’s Ford Escape for the three hour drive south to Camp Carroll Army Base near Daegu. Andy works at Camp Carroll, but makes occasional trips up to the much larger Osan base for supplies not available locally.

The time passed quickly as James and Andy reminisced on their times together years ago, and Andy went on to share about his experiences as an officer in the Army. I asked him how he was able to stay strong as a Christian during his time in the Service, and found his answer of particular interest.

Spiritual Survival in the Service

A. Put your flag down as a Christian. Be the first to let your comrades know that you are a Christian.

B. Let your light shine. Clean language will be the first thing that others notice. Know what you believe, and be prepared to share with others.

C. Get in fellowship. Get involved in a Bible study where you can have regular times of spiritual fellowship and accountability with other guys. This is essential. Without this fellowship, you will not be able to make it.

Both Andy and James’ father had been greatly benefited by ministry of the Navigators, a Christian ministry that majors on discipleship and personal spiritual growth.

It was nearly 10 PM when we arrived at the apartment, so we settled down for the night, setting my alarm for 5:30 for the Easter sunrise service. The next morning I stepped out into the chilly morning air, thankful for the borrowed coat, and Andy escorted us onto the Base. We joined about 60 others on cold concrete benches in the outdoor amphitheater.

Sunrise Service in Korea

Slowly rising in the eastern horizon, the sun began casting golden beams over the top of the building as we sang about that glorious morning 2,000 years ago. As the chaplain reached the close of his message, the sunlight had descended to illuminate the rough wooden cross, now decorated with flowers. It was a moment to remember.

Returning to Andy and Renae’s home for breakfast, we enjoyed more fellowship together before setting off on a drive through the nearby mountains. Spectacular views for a young man that spent most of his years in the American Midwest, the mountains were much larger and extensive than those near our office in Gimpo.

Purchasing train tickets for our return journey proved to be a little more complicated of an endeavor than I initially anticipated. The electric Metro trains are cheaper than the diesel express lines, so I was trying to figure out the cheapest route by connecting to one of the Metro lines half-way to Seoul.

Sitting in the back of the office at a conference table with a few of the station workers, I figured out what was making my metro map so difficult for these men. I had one of the rare multi-lingual English ones, but the other names were in Chinese, not Korean. Noticing our delay, Andy came in and helped us obtain the needed tickets. It would be standing room only for the second half of the ride, but the train would take us all the way to Seoul.

Winding through the mountains and thundering through tunnels, the train ride gave a fascinating panorama of the South Korean countryside. What a special way to spend Easter! I am so grateful for the kind hospitality of Andy and Renae, and the beautiful weather the Lord afforded us for the trip. This was an Easter that I will not soon forget!

More Pictures

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