Sunday, August 11, 2013

Prayer from TOPIK

Hello Everyone,

Here is a link to the TOPIK facebook. Their post addresses the upcoming 68th anniversay of Korea's liberation from Japanese occupation this Thursday August 15th. It also includes a prayerful reflection on the division of North and South Korea and the work still to be done. I invite you all to join in this prayer.

"O, God of Peace!
We pray that there be no more war in this land, and that we can be proud in the global society of the trust and friendship of the north and the south. Make us embrace each other, not with careless words and slogans, but with a burst of sympathy from the bottom of our hearts. Make us to love each other, being proud of that we are children of God and that we are sisters and brothers of one blood. Allow us to prepare the space of Grace which will enable us to share the Agape meal and to wash each other's feet."

Peace and Reunification Common Prayer Sunday

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Goodbye For Now

Hello everyone,

Lots of exciting things have happened since the last time I’ve checked in.

Big stuff first, after an exciting journey through the world of bureaucracy, I have finally received my Korean visa. From this date forward, I am legally allowed to enter the Republic of Korea for a sojourn of one year!

The other exciting news is that I have made it to the half way mark in my fundraising goal of $10,000. This means that in the next week, I will have a plane ticket to Seoul. I would like to go ahead and thank everyone that has donated so far. I couldn’t do this without you guys and I am so very grateful. This also means that I still need raise $5,000. If you would like to donate, you can do so online at:

As for me, I have spent the last month in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas. I haven’t actually lived in Lubbock in the past four years while I’ve been in college. But, it is still the place that I call home and my stay here has reminded me why. First of all, I have a wonderful community of friends and family here. As I prepare to leave to Maryland on Tuesday, I have a lot of hard goodbyes to make. Most of all my wonderful father. I wonder who is going to hassle me non-stop when I’m in Korea. And I wonder who is going to leave all the lights on in the house while I’m gone. Though I have to thank him for being as supportive as he has been in the face of his only kid moving to the other side of the world.

Quality Time With West Texas Friends
 I also recently got the opportunity to visit the place where this all started. I made the drive two hours North to Quarterman Ranch, the church camp where I discovered the joys of Christian community and service. I had the blessing of going out to dinner with the counselors that worked out there this summer. It is incredible to think that they used to be my campers. It is hard to let go of something that has been a huge part of my life for the last 10 years, but I feel confident that it is being left in the best possible hands.

Other than the goodbyes, my life has consisted of lot and lots and lots of little chores that never seem to diminish but rather multiply exponentially. Nothing hard, just lots of little things. Like tax forms, and backing up files, and taking pictures, and canceling my phone service…and on and on. I looked and my journal the other night and realized in the past month my entries have changed from descriptions and reflections to mostly nothing but To Do lists.

The big task has been packing. Since I will be leaving for Korea from Maryland, I have to have my entire next year packed up by Tuesday. Currently, I’m playing a game called put everything that might be coming along in one pile on the floor and hope it fits in two bags.

In addition to this, I am trying to get rid of things that I don’t actually need. I know that one of the most influential Bible stories when it comes to mission service is the story of the rich man who goes away from Jesus sad because he has many things. Bearing this in mind, I am trying to get the things I no longer need to various charities and organizations that can actually put them to use. To give you some idea of the extremity of this, here is a picture of my car all packed full of things to give away.

I’m a bit of a pack rat so it’s been hard. I pretty much spent the whole time repeating the advice that the presiding bishop gave all the YASCers like a mantra. Travel Light. Travel Light. Travel Light. Travel Light.

As I prepare to leave Lubbock, I feel more confident than ever. It gives me great comfort to know that no matter where I go and how long I stay there, I will always be able to come back here and feel at home. At the same time, I remember that I have left this place before and made a home for myself in Maryland that is just as much a home. There is ½ a truth in the old saying that home is anywhere you hang your hat. That place is home, but so are the places where people love and support you, even when you’re not there. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that home is any place you have hung your hat. Goodbye for now Lubbock. I’ll see you again someday.

Peace and Blessings,