Summer has arrived in Seoul, Korea and I am uncomfortable. It is not Korea that causes my discomfort, but the hot weather. Within moments of stepping outside, my body’s cooling system engages and beads of perspiration dot my brow.
Summer is the time for tasty, cool foods like mul naengmyeon, thin, buckwheat noodles served in a tangy, slightly sweet broth with ice floating on top. If the noodles don’t cool you off enough, you can always eat pat bingsu for dessert. Traditional pat bingsu looks like a huge snow mountain in a bowl decorated with colorful fruits, sweet red beans and rice cake pieces and sweet, creamy condensed milk.
Since returning to Seoul on June 1st, I have been staying in a one-room apartment south of the Han River. To go to the church, I must depart at least 90 minutes before I need to be there. Thankfully, my June schedule has been less travel intensive. I’ve been at the church on Sundays for the morning service and afternoon rap session, Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings teaching the book of Acts, Wednesday evenings for prayer meeting.
Summer brings visitors to Korea. The first Wednesday of June, we had guests from Kansas City. James and Janina McKelvey through on their way to be with Pastor Doug and Bethany Pearson in Vietnam. Richard Kang, a brother in our church, brought guests who were staying at his home through Airbnb. This Sunday we are expecting a visitor from Zimbabwe who is studying at Soongsil University in Seoul.
This month we are also expecting guests from other countries who will be attending the East Asia Conference. Our guest speaker will be Pastor Matti Sirvio and we are anticipating great things from God and the gathering of the saints.
One of the great blessings I experienced in June was having a new appreciation for the Body of Christ here in Seoul. I know that I belong here for as long as God gives grace and a purpose for me to be here. It’s great when you are in a place long enough that you no longer feel like a visitor, but like part of people’s everyday lives, like you are expected to be there.
Petros Jung and his wife Sujin invited me to a spring concert where their children, Samuel and Hannah, were performing. They made me feel like I was the guest of honor just for showing up. That’s a grace blessing. So is getting to hang out with our young people like Victor during lunch after Sunday morning service.
I made potato salad last Friday for a cookout for KONIS staff members. I meet with the KONIS teachers only once or twice a month, and yet I was invited to share in quite a feast. Blessings upon blessings.
Last week, one of the doctors from the hospital Bible study group suggested we read a new book. He remembered that I had recommended one at a Sunday service he had attended. His desire thrilled me along with the fact that he had brought it up in front of our group. If all goes well, we will start reading Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus in August. – Dan Dunbar
God is listening. Keep the prayers coming