Thursday, November 12, 2009


BEWARE: Random tangents and lots ...

On Friday night I considered going to Busan. I wanted to meet with others, but their plans were not solidified. Regardless, something needed to happen. I wrote down a list of some touristy and site-seeing destinations I wanted to visit (and never got to more than two of them, which is fine, fine).
i had not yet seen the fall colors, something i miss dearly after spending some high school years on the east coast, and needed some time to refresh. Although I considered Seoul again, it was time for a much needed break. I longed to be away from everything here and in the presence of the creator. I longed to feed myself in more than one way.

soo...despite not knowing what my friends were doing, I was Busan
bound alone. 1 bus to the bus station --> 1 hour+ long bus ride to Daejeon --> 40 minute bus ride to the bus terminal in daejeon, and a --> 3+ hour ride brough
t me to Busan.... the loooooooooooong trip WAS GLORIOUS, indeed.

on this journey, my eyes and soul were fed. I was so thankful^^ that I was able to see the beautiful mountains and trees, catching the last glimpse of Autumn colors as the leaves fell from the trees and winter began to blow its way in with a chill. (IT WAS FREEZING this weekend!)

My spirit was fed.
On Saturday.... I read 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galations, and Ephesians +. I began to dig in and cherish a word of comfort and encouragement. I've been so torn up about my decision to stay in the same shigol/city until summer that I haven't slept at night. the kids at school are getting crazier and there is a lot of uncontrollable frustration and tension... Sometimes I
live in the WORLD, living up to someone else's expectations and letting my heart and patience go. While talking to my K scholar again tonight, we considered giving
up if we weren't working together in the future.. but NOOO. That's not the point. "I suck" (as some koreans say when they feel they are bad at something) in a lot of ways. Life away from our comforts and norms is not easy, but these are the test and trials we are to endure as we build strength to build up others. I came to love and share the light I'm given. instead of becoming hard and angry with my students, i must remember what it is to love. because i was loved , i can love..... . (Please help me love the child that I'd rather ask to leave and never come back for she, too, is hungry and broken; please let the light shine through. ---For he who said, "Let your light shine out of darkness", made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Back to the story: during my travel, I discovered that friends were heading in the same direction. so.....another 45 minute subway ride brought me to 자갈치 , the huge fish market.

and so my stomach was fed! We had the most delish, fresh
seafood for lunch. fresh it was moving as we scorched it over the fire bringing it to its final seconds of life. ) :

then we ate pho. The best pho in Korea.

Then, we had waffles...

Then, we had 찜질방 food. Satisfaction at its best.

We landed at a decent 찜질방 (a lot of people come through here?) near the area we spent most of the time shopping and eating.... it had a fantabulous view and refreshing baths... (and Angella got an amazing pic of the bridge that lights up with different colors at night.)

After a short sleep, I woke up at 5am to someone's obnoxious alarm and decided to rise in awe of the night lights. As dawn approached, the ships headed out to 'sea' one by one and two by two, more and more they came. I watched the clouds roll in and out and...

dark become light... and night become day.... (cell phone pics) :

~some of them went out to sea on on ships, they were merchants on the mighty waters~

~where morning dawns and even fades, you call forth songs of joy~

if i rise on the wings of the dawn, if i settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me


~he has made his light shine upon us~

Then retracing my travel, back I came the next day. The real world!!

As the week progresses, I will continue to find meaning in life and my purpose here despite the obstacles in our way.


Friday, September 18, 2009

How I got my first ride with the police.

I had already had an eventful evening. (The only one in quite awhile.) Dinner and supplementary teaching, and a trip to the GS for ICECREAMMM. I'm addicted. In bed...I get a message from person 'B'. "I have a bite that's black and it hurts. " 'Okay, explain your symptoms, please."
"It kinda hurts. It's black and on the bottom of my foot. (It wasn't on the bottom. hahah)" "Please. I think I need to go to the doctor ASAP. Is it gangrene? Someone said it could be."
I look up gangrene and already knowing Person B's mosquito bite history, it is nothing but a blistered bite. I know 'B' is freaked out, so I figure out all my options because I'm ridiculously tired and just want to go to bed. I ask the neighbor (thank you!) and determine that all I can do is bring some first aid supplies. I'm chatting with Niel...and ask if there is anything someone can do in Korea at midnight for someone with an infection. I kept telling my friend it was nothing and we should wait it out. I determine that I need to calm my friend's fears and I head out with supplies, anyway. I keep this good guy on back up, just in case I can't keep the Korean convo straight with the locals.

I arrive to see my friend near the local GS Mart (I had just been there, haha) to find that the infection is really nothing much..."No, it really is. I'm gonna die. They're going to have to amputate." It's nothing hon...You'll survive. So I hand some wipes and cleaning stuff over and advise that it get checked in the morning at school. (After 7 years of the First Aid experience, I was almost positive it was okay. Kill me if it wasn't going to be...)

Person B and I keep talking while I noticed two guys walking up to the mart and sitting down. The younger one (which actually looked older than the 30 year old) was very wobbly and sounded a little mental (just the alcohol). He was totally gone.... "hyung, hyung, hyung... do this, do that... or what's going on?" hyung, hyung" all night.

Person B and I realize we should part ways...It's getting late and almost after midnight. We get up and Peson B agrees to walk with me part way because I came out.
We walk 2.5 blocks and realize the guys are a ways behind us, following. Are they following? Nah...Let's just walk fast. Hurry, I say in Korean and English.... Then she stops and they catch up with us. (AAARRRRGGHHHH)

"Where are you going? Where are you from?" They ask us. "You speaka English?" Yes, we speak English. "Yaeah..Eng-u-rish" I'm going home, I say. We want to go home. Home, me go home. Understand? The guy keeps looking at us and continues to get closer and move in. I ask "where do you live? Are you students? We really want to go home." (I'm kinda laughing on the inside and smiling too much, cuz I have no idea what I'm doing or how I'm getting home now.) Go, go... We want to go. Person B keeps asking what they are saying. Are they saying bad things? No, the y are not. I give her the info.
Then... chingu one, two (boy points at person B and other dude. Then (points me and him) three, four. Fuuurriendu!! Frriendu..? Understand? ) Yes, but we just want to go home. Anyway, it goes on (1,2, 3, and 4 and fffuriendu) and then we get dragged back to the GS Mart (literally.) Friends. We are willing to follow because they won't let us leave or go home and they have us in their hands already.

We talk and talk. Or I talk and let Person B answer if she understands. The guy is 30 and the other is 26 in Korean age. Creepos. One of them is from Seoul.... "We go home. You home. We want to take you home. Drinking? Drinking, drinking? Come. Come with us. Friends. Friends." NOOOOOO. NOOO It just goes on... and I'm going crazy. I want to go home. So we get up and say we're going ,but they don't let us go. They keep grabbing us and taking us back. I'm laughing the whole time or trying to suppress it and Person B keeps "It's all your fault, ...... Look what u got us into. I think I'm going to die. What are we going to do." I think I heard that it was my fault at least 20 times. Ugh, who got out of bed? I'm laughing because (I realized this morning) I'm on adrenaline and really not sure what we're doing. I'm not too afraid, just a little nervous. Person B just freaks out and raises her voice. "We'll be fine."

We head into the GS...sit there for 10 minutes and I keep laughing and B freaks out. We look out the window and they don't leave... arghh.. I call Niel, Help. What do I do? Can u translate for me? I can't do this alone. The whole time, I'm laughing. sorry friend. Niel translates and we now had to wait for the police. polishi...THey will come. They come... waitee. Okay?
Time rolls by and we look out the window. They're still there... And now we freak out because we are so upset that we called the police because these are nice guys. They just drunk men that can't get their hands off us and want friends to go home with. We really feel bad. What do police do?

Suddenly, some guy (who had been sitting at another table listening to us the second time we came back who had disappeared) drove up in a black car and pretty much scraped the side of his car on a chair. Could've run someone over.... he gets out and starts yelling at the guys or doing something (we can't tell as we are watching thru a window) Another guy comes and gangs up on them. It gets messy.
Our stalker dudes then step aside and start throwing fists at each other and gettin in a fight. Yeah...whose gonna win???? Eventually, all four men sit down and begin some civil conversation. WTF?

We're still worried what the police will do to the men? = (
Finally, the police drive up and walk into the GS. U come. Let's go now. Are you okay? Sure, I just wanna go home, I think. Home? Please? Thank you.

They take us out the door and walk person B home. I'm motioned to follow and go with them. We walk back and they say get in. ugh??? I get in the police car. (Yay my first ride in a police car and in Korea of all places.) My heart is racing as I fall into the car. "house, where? WHere is your house?" Go, right, left, right blah blah. They drop me off at my doorstep.

I get in and collapse on my bed. I start laughing and can't stop... then, I can' sleep because I realized how lucky and blessed I was to be with a friend and know some great people. It could have gone bad. Thank you so much for good friends.

I was exhausted today, but I did the best job in the whole of two weeks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.

Monday, September 14, 2009


let me be...

Clarity in the darkness

I've been reminded of Psalm 23 several times in the past week and weekend. It was once one of my favorites. Although it is often associated with funerals/deaths because of it's popular use at funerals (at least on t.v. -that's reality, right? never used it in a service I attended) I find this piece relevant to my life.

Even though I may be walking through difficult times and dark passages (certainly not the darkest valleys as this passage suggests), I am comforted by the almighty comforter. I walk in uncertainty of my personal teaching situation and location, for the setup was not as I originally envisioned. but in his presence I am guided on paths of righteousness. Even though I live not in the place and countryside I envisioned, I realize how much beauty there is among the students and people around me.

Everyday is a challenge that deserves little complaint and a pause to remember what we came to do. Only in times of shadow and uncertainty, do we really understand the need to be still before we can see the light which brings clarity. as in..."when it is dark enough, you can see the stars." I must've quoted this a few times, too....I just love it.

"he leads me beside still waters"

Our excursion through 대구 looking for 찜질방 brought us to the wrong side of town (the cab driver...). I admit it was frustrating, but as we were directed out to find another cab or place to stay, we had been led to still waters. This was one of the best parts of the weekend, not to mention being in the presence of some amazing people. As the city lights shined on either side and to the right highrises reached for the sky, the view of a body of water along the cityside was breathtaking. He truly leads us beside still waters. Here I felt the serenity in the peace of the night.

The journey and path we take is not perfect. There are some rugged regions and pits we may stumble into and out of...but how we rebound and work through these spots in our journey, builds us.


Last weekend, I also met my Korean family. People that come to meet their relatives, often say there is an intense set of emotions. Indeed, there was. If you care to know, I'll talk to you or process this later. It is still difficult for me to fathom.

Today was a really challenging day at work. The students were not compliant and happy with what was supposed to be a really good lesson.... The song was bomb at training and went over well with other same grade levels in different schools...but it just didn't work out. I will try harder and know that tomorrow is a new day. not everything is perfect.

The scholar and I asked about one of the Kindy students. (He's so cute, I named him Patrick because he was wearing Spongebob for awhile and really likes Spongebob. Most students had names already) The teacher said he was one of the older students that has developmental issues. He usually skips his sessions and sleeps through them, but he came for English class today. I was deeply touched and will remember above all of my bad days that I am here to teach and care for these students. I want to understand his story, everyone's story. The power of a story.... He's been one of my favorite students. I always fall for these types without realizing it. Please help me to love each individual.

Anyway, I have some major LPing magic to do.

Peace and cheeri0

Saturday, August 22, 2009


moonlit paths direct
The Morning Calm whispers peace
a soul sings softly

New sights, sounds, smells and stories

We are finally in our provinces. Some say it feels like prison, how they control us. Moments into orientation I began to think such, but began to view the beauty surrounding us.

Although it is dead and quiet at our location, we have rolling hills of green behind the campus and much better air than the city. Our situation may not be ideal, but we cannot control it, only grasp the opportunity to grow and appreciate what we do have. It's not that bad.

For now, I'm learning a lesson in patience and peace. I felt ready weeks ago.

Until then, may our hearts and minds be open to the new experiences and opportunies.

cheer-e-o yo

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Love People.

THIS IS WHY I CAME, to love people and to extend my reach beyond the city borders. Is it how I am living? Sitting in church again woke me up to this realization, yet I still need to fully wake up to my surroundings and learn to love where I am. I hear the same message. It either a psychological reinforcement or the repetition of individuals when lacking subject material to speak about. Only possibly it is one of the fundamental ideas which we should base our life. The latter is much more praiseworthy.

I'm sure I can justify it now, this journey I take. It was clear then and it becomes more clear now.

Challenge me to wake up even more and to remember why I am here.

I do apologize for those that have not seen my true heart and motivations.
However, apologies are useless.

It is only the change of heart and actions that reflect our inner souls.

Make me whole again. Live and love, I must.

Growth is beautiful.
Love God, Love People

Tuesday, July 28, 2009