After an amazing, busy week at SYME, I had the privilege of visiting Seoul with a few new friends. Our primary purpose for going was to visit Gyeongbokgung palace, but we took the time to do many other things while we were in town. When we first got off the subway, and started walking through town, we got all excited to see two ladies dressed in the traditional Korean dress, called hanbok. Soon enough, we came upon the palace, where there were ladies dressed in hanbok all throughout the palace grounds.
The pictures simply do not do justice to the beauty of that place. It is larger than it appears, and it seems to go on endlessly with more and more throne rooms, terraces, and other buildings. Every piece of wood is painted, and there is particularly a ton of detail up and down every single beam of the roof. The colors are vivid, the walls stand super solid, and the view is absolutely breathtaking.
Once outside of the palace, there is a long, wide walkway between two extremely busy highways. The center of this walkway has a field of grass where kids play, couples walk, and animals have fun. On the cemented area, there is a small stream of water that runs down a timeline of Korean history. All of it makes for a pleasant walk throughout the city.
But on the day that we were walking down this busy street, there was a small stretch where yellow tents were gathered, and people crowded about. It turned out to be a day of remembrance for several hundred high school students who were lost at sea one year ago. Pictures were on display of all the students who were in the accident, as several parents stood by with signs, saying, “Our sons/daughters have been lost at sea for over a year. Help us find them.”
While most displays had pictures of the students, and information about the tragedy, one particular display was a boat that had a bunch of messages or letters sent to the lost students. Some people were even trying to get signatures for a petition for a more thorough investigation of the whole case. Everybody was clearly desperate, and the atmosphere at that one location was extremely solemn.
It seems interesting to me that they all knew what had really happened, but seemed to act like there was still a chance that those kids could come back. They knew the truth, but they were doing everything in their power to still have hope. I had just gone through a majestic palace with incredible, gorgeous detail, and that was not enough to satisfy the hearts of these people. Though the city boasts of an extraordinary skyline, and architecture of top quality, there in the very center of the city, the cry, the hurt and the need of the people spoke louder than their material well-being. Little did they know that as they mourned the death of their students, my heart mourned that they were lost in a sea of a different kind.
The scene that I witnessed and the thoughts that went through my mind that day will never be forgotten. But stronger than the memory of those tears is the memory of The One who does bring the dead back from the spiritual sea. I would not have been walking those exact streets in Seoul if God had not sent me to answer the pleas of some of these people.
The need also goes way beyond Seoul to the hearts of every person I meet. This is the beautiful mission that God has called each of us to, though in different ways. I was clearly reminded of how God wants me to swim them from the sea of misery to the ocean of grace, so that they can find real hope, satisfaction, and life.
Please continue to pray as the need for truth here in Korea is so real. I am thankful to God that He is so much greater than any situation, or fear that comes our way. May His Word continue to touch lives, and may the small ministry of SYME continue to give an example of how worthy God is of our efforts.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ Isaiah 6:8