The trip so far has been absolutely amazing, and it has only just begun! Both flights went really well, with just a minor delay, and I had no problem at all meeting up with the Korean missionaries who came to get me. They seemed to be almost Brazilian with their friendly way of grabbing my suitcases as soon as I arrived, insisting on getting me something to drink at the convenience store, and talking the whole drive to the Word of Life building.
After a good night’s rest, today has been a really nice day to just hang around. Besides getting familiar with my apartment, I have spent time helping to print and prepare some of the material for all the students that will be arriving on Tuesday. The missionaries also told me that I could take a walk through town if I like, so long as I know my way back. As I walked up the streets, I was surprised at how much this particular town resembles Brazil. People were bustling everywhere, trash, and animals were all over the street, cars were parked in every nook and cranny, and stores lined the narrow street, one after the other, all bunched together.
One of the highlights of my day has been listening to Samuel Song, the director here at Word of Life, speak about all kinds of things. All the missionaries here are so much fun, but what intrigued me about Samuel was that he brought the Bible into every conversation. During lunch, we were talking about the difference in culture, and Samuel brought out how he has tried to teach his children to have a balance – to be interactive like the Koreans, yet responsible like Americans. In this process, he mentioned that He has tried to remember to discipline them, but show them that it is for love. His words went something like this, “I believe that God is the perfect father towards us in that He loves us, and disciplines us at the same time in the most perfect way for His children. I want to show them that, and be a good example.”
Later on, I was helping to prepare some materials for the students who will be arriving, and Samuel was discussing with a couple of other missionaries the possibility that they may be changing their location over the summer. I do not know very well what their situation is exactly, but it sounds like they are needing to be out of their current building before too long, and that they do not know yet where to go, even though they have looked. As they were wrapping up their conversation, Samuel simply said, “Well, Moses and Abraham did not know where to go, but God led them. “
I don’t think Samuel realized it, but His simple faith in God has already been a blessing to me, and greatly encouraged me. The Koreans also seem to have a transparency about them that I have not seen for a long time. While I was cutting up some of the materials, Samuel had a meeting with someone right in the lobby. All the missionaries have open offices, where people come and go all day with whatever they are doing. Furthermore, they seem to speak so freely about what is on their minds, and to make themselves available should I need any help.
Needless to say, things have gone really well and I appreciate your prayers thus far. Things have gone by so well, and it has already been very encouraging to just interact with these missionaries. Please keep praying as students come in next week, as other teachers come in, and as we continue to prepare. I can’t wait to see what all God is going to do here, just like he used Nehemiah….