Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Trying to Connect the Dots

Returning from South Korea two days after the horrific shooting spree at Virginia Tech, I could not help but reflect on Korean culture and society in light of the tragedy.

I fear that there may be some backlash or hostility toward Korean immigrants because of the violent actions of one long-time US resident from South Korea. I remember seeing pictures of Korean shop owners protecting their businesses with fear and trembling during the ethnically-focused strive and riots in LA in the early 1990’s. More recently, the backlash and harassment of Arab-Americans in the aftermath of 9/11 demonstrates that some Americans are fully capable of displaced anger and retributive violence. I also worry that the Korean association with the tragedy will result in more restrictions on immigration that will impact the number of Korean students able to attend Drew and other institutions of higher learning.

I was heartened by the rapid response and compassionate messages of condolences from several political and religious leaders in S. Korea for the victims of violence. Rather than defending the right to bear arms (as our President did), the South Korean President expressed his utter shock and dismay “beyond description” as well as great sympathy for the victims. I know from my own conversations with Koreans that they find America’s lack of gun control and toleration of violence incredible and a major flaw in societal structuring; this in contrast to the relative peace and safety of Korean society and virtual absence of guns and violence. Although Korea experiences a high suicide rate—due perhaps to the extreme pressure and competition for young people to perform and success in education and business—murder, theft and major are rare.

Given my interest in global AIDS, it was interesting to learn that Korea has one of the lowest infection rates in the world: .01 percent. Compared to Malawi which is at least 15% or Swaziland with 42%. Although the sex industry has grown in recent years, IV drug use is not a major problem, and homosexual vs. heterosexual transmission is about equal in numbers. Still, there are less than 4,000 cases of HIV/AIDS in South Korea.

Though AIDS is not a major problem in Korea, Korea may be the country that discovers the best vacine or cure. When I googled AIDS in Korea, I found an article in the Korean Times that announced: "World's First AIDS Vacine Factory To Be In South Korea". Apparently, Vax Gen, a leading, US-based, AIDS vacine maker, built a production facility in Songdo, Inchon, and is completing clinical tests for its AIDS vaccine.

Here is yet another connection between Korea and Malawi, East and West...

Cross-Cultural Friendships

Homeward bound, as our plane crosses the international date line, I am reflecting on cross-cultural friendships, specifically those that developed between Rebecca and me and our hosts during this trip.

I knew Se Hyung Lee from Drew and from his participation in a Nouwen retreat I lead a few years ago for United Methodist ministers in Northern New Jersey. And Rebecca had met him when he visited to Drew to see us and set up this trip. But we had not met his son, Jon, a student at Carnegie Mellon University, who met us at the airport and was fully bi-cultural, bilingual, and a delightful host. We felt very close to him and his father on this trip.

Likewise with Rev. Jongbok Kim, senior pastor of Yeonsoo First Methodist Church, and Mrs. Kim, founder of the Elim House retreat center for people with disabilities, where our pastors’ retreat was conducted. Rev. Kim’s humble spirit, Mrs. Kim’s creativity and contagious love for Henri Nouwen as artist, and together their commitment to ‘downward mobility’ and vision for compassionate ministry with the those often neglected by the world, was inspiring and exemplary. The four of us hope to travel together to a world area of need sometime in the future.

Also, Rev. Jong Soo Kim, founding pastor of 3,000 member Seshin Methodist Church, and Mrs. Jong Soo Kim, fluent in English and so proud of their daughter, Soung Ae, a student at Drew, hosted us for two days. The more time we spent together, the closer we all felt to each other, and we began to think about how we could do ministry in the world together, possibly in Malawi, together. Seshin Church already has 50+ missionaries and mission projects worldwide, and a new church plant in Malawi would truly be a great thing to do together.

Finally, I’ve been friends for many years with Younglae Kim, a former professor at Drew and who still teaches in the DMIN program, and now Associate Professor of Christian Education at Methodist Theological Seminary in Seoul. But Rebecca had not met him until this week. Younglae invited her to preach at the Seshin Church where he is an associate pastor, served as her translator, and spent all day Sunday with us. What a friend, and what a gift Younglae is to the church and academy. I’m sure we will continue to do many ministry projects together, in the USA and Korea.

Cross-cultural friends, indeed, are a gift to be received with gratitude, as Henri taught.

Monday, April 16, 2007

DMZ Panmunjeom

Our last day in Korea was spent at Panmunjeom in the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea was deeply moving.

Our gracious hosts, Rev. and Mrs. Jong Soo Kim, spent the day with us and showed us the many sites along the border. Near the Bridge of No Return I noticed a photograph of an old man weeping for his northern homeland. It gave me a sense of the suffering of displacement and longing for reunification. Most interesting was decorated gate across Freedom Bride, and how close one can get to the border. I asked our hosts, “If I crossed here, would I be shot?”

“Yes,” Rev. Kim told me.

“And if a North Korean tried to cross here, would he be shot?”

Again, the answer was “Yes.”

The Joint Security Area conference room is the only place where North Koreans and South Koreans can come and make peace.

Our final stop along the way was the Odusan Unification Observatory at the northern most end of the western battle line dividing North and South Korea at the Im-jin River. There we enjoyed an exhibit of various products from the North and saw a multimedia presentation anticipating reunification. From the observation deck we looked across the river and saw the “promotional town” in North Korea constructed, we were told, to give the South Koreans the impression that life in the North is good and prosperous. The houses looked nice, the farm land rich, but there were only a few people walking around or living in the houses. As everyone now knows, North Korea is desperately poor and in need of basic resources.

I was deeply touched when Rev. Kim asked me to pray for those in North Korea. Gazing across the river, it was my privilege to pray for the health and well-being of our brothers and sisters in North Korea, and join Rev. and Mrs. Kim’s heart-felt desire to see the border open and a reunification of two peoples divided for over 50 years. May it soon be so. Amen.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Korean Christianity

Dr. Younglae Kim invited us to spiritually savor some of the distinct features of Korean Christianity:
1. Saebyuk gidohoe (early morning prayer meetings)
2. Chulya Gidohoe (all night prayer meetings)
3. Tongsung gido (praying out loud in unison)
4. Tongdok (reading Scripture as both part and the whole)

He invited us to participate in 5am morning prayer meeting at his church. We managed to get up before that sacred hour and find our way to the second floor chapel of Seshin Church, which was filled with the devout. Methodists, of course, are not Pentecostals, but the intensity and fervency of their prayers in unison as with one voice was unforgettable. Some would pray loud and long from their seats, others cried out to God standing up, all prayed with their hearts and bodies fully engaged, sometimes rocking back and forth, visibly in contact with the Spirit of God. Rarely have I seen the spirit of prayer as James describes is so well exemplified: “The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

Younglae also explained to us the religious concept of tongdok. Tong means ‘to come together’ in unification, integration, harmony. Applied to theology, tongdok means to combine two ways of praying or reading the Bible. There is a tong method of reading the Bible both as part and as a whole. For example, reading the story of Noah and the flood in part is to focus only on God’s punishment of sin and the need to start over with humanity. Reading the story as a whole, that is, in light of the whole Bible helps one see and appreciate the greater love, promise, and covenant between God and his people in salvation history. “Let’s tong together” is the way Leonard Sweet of Drew University talks about the pastors’ conference he and Dr. Kim are planning for May 22 in Korea, to which 10,000 pastors have been invited. See www.tong21.com

Related to the practice of tongdok is a theological insight I first learned from Rev. Paul Yonggi David Cho, pastor of Yoida Full Gospel Church (the world’s largest church with more than 500,000 members), on my first trip to Korea in 1984. When we study what the Scriptures say in part and as a whole, we come to learn the “logos” or general Word of God for all people. But when we also prayerfully seek a personal word from God in addition to the general word, we come to know the “rhema” or personal and applied word of God for me in my particular situation. Carefully distinguishing the word as logos and the word as rhema is an important spiritual practice, one that was reinforced for me in seminary as I learned this method from my professor, Henri Nouwen.

Malawi Connection?

This year is a sabbatical year from Drew to focus on my Malawi Mission with CitiHope International. In some ways, my trip to Korea was a distraction from my primary mission. But somehow I felt that a Malawi connection would be made, or rather, that there was a providential connection between Korea and Malawi that would become evident during the trip. Sure enough, it happened first at Elim House on Friday night and later with Rev. and Mrs. Kim at the Sky View Restaurant on Sunday night.

After dinner on the third day of the pastors’ retreat at Elim House, I was taking a nap in our room. Rebecca walked, woke me up, and announced that one of the Methodist pastors, Rev. Kwon, wanted to give me $1000 for the CitiHope Malawi Mission. I responded that I would wake up for that. I went out to the lounge area to speak with Rev. and Mrs. Kwon about why they wanted to support the mission. He explained through our interpreter that God had clearly spoken to him during their prayer time today, and that he was supposed to give me this amount to help feed the orphans in Malawi that I had spoken about at our dinner table the night before. Of course, I was deeply moved and delighted by his spiritual conviction and generosity, and we made arrangements to transfer his donation to CitiHope. Rev. Kwon is pastor of …… and he said his church may want to support the Malawi Mission monthly in some way. Thank you, Lord, for speaking clearly to Pastor Kwon, encouraging me that others want to join me in this mission, and confirming in my own heart that I am moving in the flow of my gifts and calling to help save the lives of 1,000 AIDS orphans in Malawi.

It happened again over dinner with Rev. and Mrs. Jong Soo Kim. Before the first of several courses were served, high above the city, overlooking the skyline of Seoul at the setting of the sun, Rev. Kim said to me, quite unexpectedly and without prior discussion: “Tell me about your ministry in Malawi and how we might help you there.” It doesn’t take much encouragement to get me started. If someone cracks a window, I’ll proceed to open it all the way. So, I told him and Mrs. Kim about what CitiHope was doing in Malawi to feed 12,000 orphans in seven care centers, providing nutrition and medicine to 38 medical clinics, hospitals and schools, and how we were working with pastors and churches in dealing with the many issues around HIV/AIDS in the congregations. He seemed interested in possibly planting a church in Malawi, and we agreed to pray about what God might have in mind for us, not only in Malawi, but in Nepal and India and other needy places of the world where the Seshin Church as mission projects.

Similar, providential, conversations occurred in the course of our trip to Korea, and I cannot help but believe that there will be a strong spiritual connection between Korean churches and Malawian churches, and joint mission projects in the months and years ahead.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sunday in Seoul

Today is a National Day of Remembrance for People with Disabilities. Accordingly, I preached on "The Mystery of the Man Born Blind" (John 9:1-12):

I’m a seminary teacher. That’s my main job and profession. But I also have a calling to relief and development work in the world, particularly in developing countries like Africa. I’m a man on a mission to help save the lives of 1,000 AIDS orphans in Africa. More specifically, my organization, CitiHope Internatonal, is involved in food and medical aid in Malawi—one of the poorest countries in the world, population 12 million, with 15% AIDS infection rate, leaving over 900,000 orphans.

Last month I was in Malawi, Africa, where I visited a school for the blind run by the Presbyterian Churches of Livingstonia…. I was deeply touched and inspired by how those who were visually impaired learned to read and write, and gain vocational skills. The kids formed a choir and had the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. One young man in particular, whose name was GIFTED, certainly lived up to his name. He played a simple, hand-made, guitar (really needed a new and better one), and made it sound divine. His songs came from the deep place of this heart. When the entire community joined in, their voices were like angels. And the smiles on their faces when we gave them each a gift—just a new toothbrush and paste—lit up the classroom. and delighted our entire team.

It was obvious that the healing presence of Jesus had touched them in a profound way. His touch did not result in physical healing of their blindness, but a spiritual cure of their soul. They knew themselves to be children of God, and they were whole in body, soul and spirit. Truly, God’s glory was revealed in them, just as it was in the healing of the man who was blind since birth in Jesus time.

How did Jesus touch and heal?

In the Gospel account (John 9:1-12), the disciples ask Jesus a question about the connection between sin, sickness and suffering in the life of a young man who was blind since birth (John 9:1-12).

I’m sure each person here knows someone who has a disease or affliction, or suffering through no fault of their own. Still, we may wonder why? What is the cause? Who is to blame?

“This man is blind,” the disciples announced to Jesus. “Who is at fault? Is his blindness due to his sin or his parents’ sin?

The disciples were expressing the common conception that sin and suffering are linked by cause and effect. There were many theories (then and still today) about how sin causes sickness:

• Some Jewish leaders of Jesus’ time believed in the theology of ‘prenatal sin’—that somehow a man could be born in sin, through no fault of his own, as a carry over in this life from some pre-existent state. The idea was that the soul in its former state may have sinned. Thus the question: “was it this man’s sin … that he was born blind?”

• Others held a belief in ‘ancestral sin’—that we inherit the consequences of the sins of our parents and ancestors. For the Scripture declares: “I am a jealous God, visiting the inequity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 20:5). Thus the question: “was it this man’s sin … or his parent’s sin that he was born blind?”

• Many, in Jesus’ time, and still today in parts of Africa and Asia, are sure that sickness and suffering are the result of an evil spirit, or an evil curse from a Witch Doctor (Wa Fwiti), and that only a traditional healer (Singana, Shaman) can diagnose and remove the evil affliction.

• Most people simply assumed that if you suffered greatly or were sick, it was because you personally must have sinned. Job’s friends held this theology (see Book of Job). For example, in Malawi, Africa (where I was last month on a mission), many believe that AIDS is God’s judgment on immorality, as if God inflicts punishment on sinners in the form of the HIV virus! The theory of sin as the primary cause of sickness and suffering could also be applied to other leading causes of death: cancer, malaria and TB.

• Are there similar theories of cause and effect related to people with disaibilities. Do we think that the reason they suffer is because they sinned or made a mistake.

Few would deny that sinful behaviors sometimes result in adverse consequences (but not always). Few would deny that those who sin or who are sinned against often suffer. But many go further than this and attribute divine will to human suffering as if God inflicts punishment in the form of disease (like AIDS) on those who have sinned (particularly sins of the flesh).

If you add to these cause-and-effect theories more modern understandings of germ theory, bacterial infection, and virus transmission, suddenly the causes of sin and suffering become multi-factored.

Jesus is called the “Great Physician who heals both body and soul. When confronted with the issue of “who’s at fault?” Jesus refuses to answer the question of cause and effect. Instead, he focuses on the opportunity for God’s glory to be revealed in the young man’s healing: “Neither this man nor his parents’ sinned,” Jesus said, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” (9:3)

And then Jesus healed the blind man by three means: 1) he used the medicine of his day, 2) he tapped into and channeled the power of God as one sent by God, and 3) he required the active faith and cooperation of the young man born blind, to open his eyes and cure him:

1. “Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it own the man’s eyes” (9:6). Saliva was considered medicinal in ancient times, especially for eye disease. Even today, if we burn or cut our finger, we immediately put it in our mouth to lick it, cleanse the wound, and help heal it.

2. Jesus also declared himself the “Light of the World” sent by God to teach and heal “as long as it was day” (9:4).

3. Jesus also required faith and cooperation from the one who needed to be healed. Immediately, he sent the man to the Pool of Siloam to wash in the healing water. ‘Siloam’ means sent, and this is mentioned because it’s significant. According to William Barkley, the Pool of Siloam was the freshest, cleanest, closest body of water to the city’s aqueduct, and the source waters were ‘sent’ directly into this pool. There was something healing about the fresh water in the Pool of Siloam. Clean fresh water has healing and restorative properties, just as dirty, stale water has bacteria and causes disease. Fresh water was (and still is) a source of healing power.

Thus, Siloam may refer to these three sendings: to Jesus, sent by God into the world to teach and heal; to the blind man, sent by Jesus to the pool to bathe; and to the source waters, sent forth by the leaders in the city into the Pool of Siloam.

The Church of Jesus Christ is called not only to preach Jesus as the Light of the World and Source of Living Water, but also to continue his ministry of teaching and healing the sick. Just as you are already doing at Elim House.

So, what happened to the young man born blind? After receiving the mud pack on his eyes and bathing in the Pool of Siloam, he went home seeing. The neighbors could not believe that this was the same man, who sat begging on the road, or that such a person could receive sight, but the young man insisted that truly, he was the same man (9: 9). He simply presented himself as a living testimony to the power of God, good medicine and healing faith: “One thing I know, I was blind but now I see.” (9:25).

This young man of faith inspired a hymn we still sing in church. Do you know the name of this hymn? That’s right. “Ämazing Grace.”

Application:

I know this church has a special ministry to people with disabilities, including with those who are visually impaired. And so do I. How can we each apply these insights to our own ministries of compassion and care for those who are poor, lame, maimed or blind? How can we learn to touch and heal as Jesus did, without judgment, without determining cause and effect, and requiring the faithful participation of those we seek to help?

Jesus taught us by example how to touch and heal the sick in the way he touched and healed the young man who was blind since birth. Let us follow his example by 1) using available medicine of the day, 2) tap into and channel God’s grace; and 3) engage the support and participation of those who would be healed—knowing they have resources to share.

Nuclear Threat from the North?

“U.S. Maintains Patience, gives North Korea more time” read the headline today in the Korean Herald—an English newspaper in South Korea. The Saturday deadline the US imposed on N.K. to disable their nuclear program in return for favorable energy aid passed without compliance or progress. US patience is growing thin, the news article said, regarding the North Korean position to retain its right to continue a nuclear program.

A very different viewpoint is common here in South Korea, at least among the Methodist pastors I’ve talked to. They say that South Koreans are not nervous about the North and don’t really view them as a threat. Sure they have nuclear weapons, but only as a bargaining chip and to assert their ‘force-to-be-reckoned -with ‘status in the world. Truth is, I was told, the Koreans in the North and Koreans in the South feel very close these days. And the US really has no right to insist that another country give up something (like nuclear program) that they are not willing to live without.

I was surprised by the relatively mild reaction of South Koreans to the North Korea nuclear threat. I spoke with pastors, students and one national politician about the real and perceived threat, and without exception I was told that the nuclear threat is overplayed in the West. There is a very warm regard toward North Koreans, and the rhetoric of is viewed simply as posturing: “threatening the US is a way to get attention, more food aid and energy resources, and ultimately a more favorable trade agreement,” I was told. “But North Korea may be capable of firing a nuclear missile toward the US and striking us,” I objected. “Maybe so, but they won’t use it. And why should the USA get to determine who is allowed to have a nuclear program and who cannot?” Some Koreans are sympathetic to American military presence in the country, but there seems to be growing opposition. US military bases, I was told, were moving out of the city and closer to China.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Retreat Day 3

On this third day of the Henri Nouwen Spiritual Direction Retreat, we led participants in the spiritual discipline of writing and sharing one's personal and sacred story--which Henri called "My History with God."

The idea is that each of us has not just a biography, but that our personal narrative can be viewed as sacred history in which God's hand is evident at every step along the way, and that it may be only in retrospect that we see and understand the guiding hand of God through the seasons, experienes and influences of our lives.

Henri told his story using the Rebrandt's painting of the Return of the Prodigal Son. I told my story by drawing and identifying seven Ebenezer stones of God's faithfulness on my journey thus far. "Hitherto hath the Lord help us" was the text I used for this witness (I Samuel 7:12). Rebecca drew a time line on the whiteboard and marked the events, people and places that have shapped her life. Everyone had time to represent and share their sacred story during the retreat--which turned out to be the most important exercise of all.

We came here expecting to introduce Henri Nouwen spirituality to Korean pastors, but we found that Henri was quite well-known in Korea; most of his books have been translated into Korean, including our own. But was most surprising was how the ministers and wives enjoyed Rebecca and I as a clergy couple co-teaching the workshop. Without much self-consciousness, we were modeling the values of mutuality, collaboration and servant leadership. Other ministers and their spouses seemed to catch a vision of how they could co-lead and minister together.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Retreat Participants

Kim Jin Kook, a graduate students at Methodist Theological School in Seoul, is serving as our technologist at the retreat. In addition to running the multimedia equippment used for presentations, he captured these pictures of the ministerial leaders participating in the spiritual direction retreat at Elim House:



















Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Spiritual Direction Retreat at Elim House






Walking with Henri Nouwen is the name of the pastors' retreat on Spiritual Direction that Elim House Retreat Center. We are in our second day of the 4-day retreat with 50 pastors, spouses and church leaders as we focus on three Christian disciplines that help us 'live the questions'of the spiritual life: 1) the Prayer of the Heart in silence and solitude; 2) lectio divina or the meditative and devotional reading of scripture as we seek a personal word for us today; and 3) the spiritual direction of the church or community of faith. Much is of this is new yet builds on familiar practices of Korean spirituality.

Our text for the retreat is Spiritual Direction by Henri Nouwen, one of the many books by Henri published in Korean.






Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Journey to the Heart



Here at Hypsung University in South Korea, I'm lecturing on "The Spirituality of Henri Nouwen" to the seminary and graduate students, and showing film clips from the new documentary on Nouwen called "The Journey to the Heart." Its the same one being aired this week on many PBS stations in the USA.

Check out Chuck Colson's review of the documentary:

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20070407/26771_Henri_Nouwen_and_'Journey_of_the_Heart'.htm


Henri Nouwen has become popular in Korea, and most of his books are now available in Korean language.

Arrived in Seoul

After the 14 1/2 hour, 3 meal, 3 movie, completely full flight from JFK on Asiana Airlines, we arrived in Seoul around 3:30am. John Lee, a graduate student at Carniege Mellon, and his friend, met us at the airport and checked us in to our hotel: The La Vie D'or Resort and Country Club.


After a brief rest, we had a traditional Korean lunch with Drew alumni and then went to Hypsung University where Rebecca spoke in chapel on God as Poet who speaks the Word.


We return to Hysung University tonight to do a lecture on "The Spirituality of Henri Nouwen" and show the film documentary--Journey to the Heart--which is also airing in the USA this week on PBS stations.

Too tired to say much about our first day in Korea, but the weather is fine (65 degrees), cloudy, mountain are little hazy, the streets are crowded and the people
warm and friendly.


Its time now to find the pool...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Arrived in Seoul



After the 14 1/2 hour, 3 meal, 3 movie, completely full flight from JFK on Asiana Airlines, we arrived in Seoul around 3:30am. John Lee, a graduate student at Carniege Mellon, and his friend, met us at the airport and checked us in to our hotel: The La Vie D'or Resort and Country Club.

After a brief rest, we had a traditional Korean lunch with Drew alumni and then went to Hypsung University where Rebecca spoke in chapel on God as Poet who speaks the Word.

We return tonight to do a lecture on "The Spirituality of Henri Nouwen" and show the film documentary--Journey to the Heart--which is also airing in the USA this week on PBS stations.

Too tired to say much about our first day in Korea, but the whether is fine (63 degrees), cloudy, mountains a little hazy, the streets are crowded and the people warm and friendly.

Time to find the pool and fitness room...

Google Earth Zoom in on Seoul



It's strange to go East, toward the land of the rising sun, by going West into the sunset, then north on the polar route to the Orient.

Enroute to Seoul... crossed the prime meridian...lost a day of our lives...on this long, 14+ hour flight on Asiana Air packed with weary travelers.

Are we there yet?

Easter Sunday Heading East


A blessed and joyful Easter Day to you!

It's after midnight, early Easter morn, and the family is sound asleep.
The Easter eggs are dyed and ready to be hidden for the girls to hunt in the backyard, which they still love to do every year, even though they are fully teenagers. Easter Sunday Service at Central Pres promises to be one of great music with the sound of joyful Easter bells in celebration of the ancient Christian (pre-Christian) Feast.

Several years ago, when I was first involved in ministry to the children of Chernobyl, I learned how to say in Russia the traditional Easter greeting: Kristos Voskres! Voistinu voskres! (Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!)

But this Easter Rebecca and I are heading East. We fly late tonight to South Korea to teach and preach and be among the Korean Methodists. Now I need to learn the Korean version of the Easter greeting: Kristo gesso! Buhar ha sho nay!

Our hosts and sponsors for this week are Dr. Se Hyoung, Professor of Systematic Theology at Hyupsung University Graduate School and Dr. Younglae Kim, Professor of Christian Education at Methodist Theological Seminary in Seoul, Korea.

They invited us to co-lead a 4-day 'spiritual direction' retreat for Methodist pastors and their spouses based on the Korean edition of our newly published book by Henri Nouwen entitled Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith.


http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Direction-Wisdom-Long-Faith/dp/0060754737

If you want to follow our Travel Log this week, here's our daily schedule:

April 8, 2007

Depart JFK for Seoul, Korea

April 10

Arrival at Incheon in the early morning
Rev. Jongbok Kim and Mrs. Kim, and Dr. Se Hyoung Lee will pick us up at Incheon Airport and help us check-in at Lavidol Hotel near Hyupsung University.

Lunch at Hotel
hosted by Hyupsung University (with the President of Hyupsung
Univ. Dean of Theological School, Dean of Graduate School, Chaplain, and Rev. Kim and Mrs. Kim)

1:30 p.m. Afternoon Worship with the Graduate School Students at Hyupsung
(Rev. Rebecca J. Laird will preach)

2:30 p.m. - 5:20 p.m. Dialogue with Students at the class (Topic:
Henri Nouwen's Spirituality. Presider: Dr. Se Hyoung Lee)

6:00 p.m. Dinner
hosted by Yeonsoo First Methodist Church
Stay at Laviedol Hotel

April 11

Check in Elim House (where the pastors' retreat will be held)
Retreat begins at 7:00 p.m. on April 11 and ends at 7pm on April 14, 2007.

April 14

Check in Songdo Ramada Hotel

April 15

Dr. Christensen to preach at Yeonsoo First Methodist Church.
Interpreter: Dr. Se Hyoung Lee

Dr. Young Lae Kim will host Rev. Rebecca J. Laird who will preach at Seshin Methodist Church.

Lunch: Traditional Korean Feast followed by Korean traditional musical, visit to historical sites (Insadong, Namdaemoon, Namsan's Korean House, Kyoungbok Palace and
others) and shopping.

Stay at Incheon Songdo Ramada Hotel

April 16

Free day

April 17

Return to USA

I will try to post a Travel Blog as time allows, and reflect a bit on Korean culture, church and society, and see what connection there may be (if any)to my Malawi mission--the main theme of this Blog site.

Thanks for visiting my Travel Blog.