Field Notes – China
Flying from Lexington to Beijing
· Atlanta lived up to its reputation of being the busiest airport in the country
· Seattle was a smaller, calmer experience
· Beijing airport was not what I expected – almost empty at our arrival
o Security was surprisingly quick
o No open checks on baggage
o Travelers included a plethora of young people, a cosmopolitan attire
o Few elderly coming off the planes, although there were some on our plane from the US
· A western feel, although found out that field guides about hotels convey past experience well - all things do not work as they should, bathroom sink becomes clogged during our stay
· Interesting use of lighting in rooms, the large public demand for electricity is controlled by the use of strategically placed LED’s, which don’t light up the whole room, but do light up a small area
· Warm room – the parliament was in session and rooms were heated well for members
· Blocked Internet – experienced blockage of Facebook and Youtube, but not other sites. Makes one wonder how long such blockage can have an effect
· Television – surprised at the number of shows similar to American Idol or Britain’s Got Talent. Globalization of format for culture formation/experience, localization of the talent.
Day One – Friday the 16th
· Tiananmen Square
o Young people predominate this space
o Elderly are generally accompanied by a younger person, suspect family connection
o Women holding hands – a cultural practice that is not predominate, only saw a handful of women holding hands . . . suspect it to be waning
o Being noticed – as a group we were watched, people wanted to have their picture taken with us (exception - those with Asiatic features did not receive the same attention)
§ Tall and fit soldiers on display, their appearance and conduct could be likened to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in DC
§ On Parade, a squad marched through on a diagonal line, allowing maximum exposure to their presence and sense of strength and pride
· Lunch outside the Forbidden City
o Interesting place to meet with a club leader, in a very public place
o Gives rise to the yes and no nature of news about religious experience in China, freedom – yes, oppression – yes
o Soup – leads teams from inner city Memphis, TN to China and other parts of the world as a part of missional transformation in Memphis and in China.
§ Has a model of discipleship that seems to be based on action/reflection paradigm and/or, master/apprentice paradigm
§ Training leaders in discipleship development, who gains more ground, the trainers or the trainees?
§ He gave no idea about a program, or what his training looks like
o CP Daniel
§ Spoke about how a year ago he was weeping, this year happy – I still sensed a tinge of sorrow
§ The Club he leads is around 50 presently
§ Leading the club is his full time work
§ Interpreters’ – one has a law degree, the other a Ph.D. in Chemistry from an American university, both are working for the cause and not in degree tracks . . . interesting
§ Facilitates Soup’s work by placing trainers throughout country, excited by growth of training venues across provinces in a short matter of time
o The poor greeted us expectant of charity
o Construction reminiscent of other parts of city that are yet to be built over with skyscrapers . . . not giving a Muslim appearance
o Language on most exterior signs was Chinese and English, not Arabic. Arabic found in exhibit halls
o Only a couple of pictures with people in Arab dress, makes one wonder about the acceptance of their form of Islam in the world
o Some young people at the mosque, balance of people present and praying looked to be of an older generation
· The Street & Park
o Fascinating mix of cars, trucks and bikes (rickshaws), a mixing of worlds, predominated by cars and trucks, but the bikes are not yet done
o Market – no alcohol within any of the shops we entered. Dates were plentiful. Big market had food to take home and prepare, and restaurants up top for customers to eat in
o People did not approach us here as they did in Tiananmen Square. Watched, but no approach.
o The poor had a presence on the street
o Dress was modest, but unlike that of the airport and Tiananmen Square, not cosmopolitan, but everyday wears.
o The majority of elderly people seen in public so far was here
· Dinner with Daniel, Naomi and Ruth
o Significant conversation took place between the leaders about what to share. We were informed the next morning that it was due to their unfamiliarity with tour guide and his presence. Having faced trouble in the past, they are very cautious among unfamiliar faces.
o Concerned about children growing up separated from mother and father and with increasing wealth, the pampered generation
o Concerned about having enough shepherds for the fold that is entering the kingdom
o Personally very tired, fell asleep and missed a story about a snake and a woman’s fingers
Day Two – Saturday the 17th
· Jetlag kicks in an am awake at 4:48 AM. Up and out the door by 6 AM.
· Walk the streets. Shops are closed, only place people are working are in portable curios, sweeping the street and the Apple Store.
· See older people riding the bus, they look tired and weary, no discernable younger generation. Attire makes me think they are workers, on their way to work, or heading home. I perceive weariness.
· Breakfast at Hotel – a very young wait staff, professional and proud of good service
· Buddhist Temple
o Incredible amount of young people offering up prayers and using incense
o Incredible amount of incense
o Passing through several shrines, reflects a progression from lesser concerns to the greatest, seeing the big Buddha
o It makes one ponder the parallels to Christianity and our shrines, our prayer walks, our trinkets, etc.
o Amount of smoke made it difficult to stay and observe for a long period of time
o Talked with a German intern at an ex-patriot Beijing paper. When asked about his impression of China after being here a month he replied, “the people are kind, even when they have no expectation of reciprocity.”
o He said he learned in his first couple of days not to take girls out to tea, because they will create a large bill to be picked up.
o Did not expect to find such a place by its surrounding environment. Surrounding environment was a very busy market place. It had no lead in to quietude, and I’m not sure there was any to be gained among the mass of people present.
· Lunch w/ Timothy
o Picked out a great menu
o Shared about following a mentor and then finding a school so he could be close to mentor
o Role in club is to learn and grow so that in the future he can be a leader. He views his current business practices providing necessary skill sets for ministry
o Needs 1) for the Leader – more courage, he is young, and 2) a helper for himself, lonely in the big city
· Trip to Great Wall
o Aborted due to traffic jam, fog, road closure
o Tough leadership call
· Dinner w/ American Pioneer and another Daniel
o Capitalizing on opportunities to help in Pakistan
o Focus of the Club in China is to follow the silk road. The Silk Road is the old trade route that brought traders from the middle east to China. The Club wants to plant along this route and bring joy to the middle east.
o Jet lag set in – do not know what Daniel spoke about
Day Three – Sunday the 18th
· Up early again 5:45, call kids on gchat, prepare to leave hotel after breakfast
· News of an option, to go to Forbidden City or TSPC
· Snow has fallen overnight, surprising to natives of Beijing, its spring time and the snow was supposed to be over
· Forbidden City visit
o Dropped off at similar spot as Tiananmen Square visit
o Mass of people moving toward the Forbidden City
o People observations
§ Classes and ages were more mixed than Friday
§ Those shoveling snow were middle age
o Environmental Observations
§ The snow on the rooftops and trees made for gorgeous scenery
§ The snow had cleared away the smog/fog
§ From the porch around the large buildings you could look across the city and see it stretch for miles on both sides of the Forbidden City, miles were marked by the sky scrappers
· To train station for trip to Sozhou
o Train traveled roughly 1000 miles in 5 hours, amazing
o Smooth ride, made one contemplate why America does not have such a system
o Incredible views from the train
§ Wheat growing in the fields. Near Beijing the wheat is good but smaller, near Sozhou, the wheat is 6 to 12 inches higher and looking healthy
§ Small flocks of goats and sheep could be viewed in fields along the train tracks
§ Much work has been done and is being done on basic infrastructure, like drainage ditches, collapsing old one and two story brick buildings and putting up modern apartment edifices
§ The number of nuclear power plants passed was incredible, at least 4, with multiple reactors
§ Laborers in the field were seen with hoes and shovels. A few tractors, only about 4 or 5 modern tractors in the 50 hp range. Others at 20-25 hp. Fields and plots of ground were immaculate. Very clear that China is facing a major transition in modernization of their food production. I suspect that in 10 years there will be a rapid decline in the number of collectives visible near the tracks and the farms will be tilled by large machines.
§ Cities visible – so many to count, incredible scale of building going on right now
o People on the train
§ Beeson crew was up and moving around, chatting and the like, Native passengers, no so much
§ Natives were not “curious” like those we found the Tiananmen Square
§ I did strike up a conversation with a young father of a 4 year old son. He is a doctor, surgeon. His family had traveled to Beijing for a 5 day vacation. They were returning home. We struggled through about 45 minutes of communicating. A very gracious young man.
§ Exiting the train was hurried
· Evening meal @ Holiday Inn in Sozhou
o Has the look and feel of a wealthy city
o Dinner fare is different, more meat with plenty of fat on it, less chicken
· Speaker – Mr. Too
o Presented story of life change
o His wildness, his wife’s faithfulness, Christ’s transformation . . .
o Jet lag set in again, plus following a meal in a closed off room, slept through much of the presentation
· To hotel – 11 PM.
Day 4 – Monday, March 19, 2012
· Up at 5 AM again. Cannot sleep. Tried reading a book that puts me to sleep, but that doesn’t help today.
· Discovered that I cannot post to my blog. It is blocked.
· Breakfast and devotional at the hotel. Barbara Dobson gave the devotional asking the question, for what purpose has God sent us to China, what does He want us to see, what does He want us to hear, what does He want us to do?
· Travel to tourist district
o The number of construction cranes is astronomical
o See evidence of older buildings being torn down to make way for newer ones
o See solar hot water heaters on roof tops of housing buildings
· Tourist district
o Ride on a river boat
§ Watch people doing laundry, washing other stuff, cleaning an eel
§ See laundry hanging out to dry, realize that we are looking at the back of businesses on the first level and homes on the second
§ Aggressive sellers, come into the streets to say – come and buy
§ Have to be careful – electric scooters and mini-vans use the street and do not watch out for pedestrians
§ Shops of scarves, carved items, paintings, dresses, tourist kitsch – we bargain, we find some good food – a flat bread and a red bean filled pancake delight
§ Looks like and feels like Mexico
§ One street is a main tourist hot spot, other streets are less so, we find one
· We see a little girl wearing split pants, meaning they are not connected at the point where the legs come together. They are open and allow for the child to express bodily functions when the need arises.
· We also see a little girl urinating on the side walk in the squat position, then rise up, dress herself and re-enter a store
· We see chickens hanging by the neck which are ready for purchase, they have been plucked and gutted
· We see other chickens and ducks awaiting the same future
· In a grocery store we see Oreo cookies and Nestle baby food, Pepsi and Mountain Dew
§ As we leave I notice wedding dress shops, store after store after store
§ The men and women drive scooters, they are a prime means of personal transportation, we also see some cars/vans we don’t recognize, but then there are those we do, like Ford and Chevy, Suzuki, Kia
o We see beggars
§ A deformed man stands in our midst, cup in hand, repeating “money”
§ Some of us begin to deposit into his cup
§ Our national host approaches him and asks him to depart
§ When he won’t, our national host moves him along, then asks the bus driver to speak with him
§ Our heads are spinning, what are we seeing? When I ask our English speaking host about it, he says the encounter was a kind one, that most other nationals would have beaten the fellow to move him on.
§ I ask about a social net, noting that the day before we saw a severely burned man singing karaoke outside the forbidden city who was also begging. Our host says, no social net for men like these, missing appendages, bearing the marks of being burned and severely scarred.
§ I wonder what the Church in China is doing about these souls . . .
§ In that sliver of time and space, there are no Mother Teresa’s, the mode of operation is to walk by on the other side of the street
· Travel to Shanghai
o One delightful scene personally – a load of fat hogs going to market. They were one a double decker open paneled straight truck.
o Also notice that as we move closer to the city, the city is encroaching upon the farmland, and we begin to see collective farm units amidst rising urbanization. On of our companions says China is seeing some of its best farmland lost to urbanization.
· In Shanghai
o The number of sky scrapers is incredible
o The buildings are not copy cats, but share unique architectural designs
§ We have seen housing units that are exactly alike on the way into the city, but the big businesses and office space downtown are unique
o We also see sprinkled amidst the tall buildings the remnants of Shanghai’s past
§ Two story to five story structures which look to be about 50 – 60 years old still remain in the city. They are the remnants of the first wave of building under the PRC, they occupy the space between the structures of prominence, which were largely built in the late 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. The architecture could reflect the presentation of persons in China. The young are front and center, occupying the prominent places where visitors will look and see, the aged and those of middle age are more obscured, filling in the gaps.
o We rest
o We head out for dinner
§ My personal venture with the food is beginning to wane . . .
§ Our speaker has been a mega-club leader and built large buildings that can hold hundreds, even though they have not been officially sanctioned
· He speaks of inspiration he has received from Rick Warren
· They have built, they have existed and they have been closed down
· The closure said was a gift from God, it re-oriented their vision, from a western vision of club, to what God is doing and would have them do in their own land
· From a mega-club they have decidedly decreased the size of gatherings by making more gatherings, when they grow, they split and add other cells
· Reflects a thought from Joseph and Paul – what persons have intended for evil, God has intended for good; in all things God works for the good of those who love Him
· I am sleepy again and fall asleep standing up, almost crashing to the floor . . . these environments and timings of guests are proving to be most difficult.
o Back to the hotel about 11 – time for bed
Day 5 – Tuesday, March 20, 2012
· Begins in Shanghai w/breakfast and packing, later we will go to Seoul
· Mike Rynkiewich leads a devotional time concerning Paul and his early ministry, wondering if Paul has to be sent away for 14 years because while he argues rightly, the church does not know peace. Could there be a demobilization of mission needed for churches and ministries that argue rightly, but do not lead to peace being an evident fruit of the spirit?
· People’s Square & Museum
o We find an underground shopping center that is enormous
o Street crossings are underground and above
o After bargaining in the shops, we ask the salesperson for a picture, they are exuberant
o We find a Starbucks . . .
· Find a very English looking church, built in 1878
o Gorgeous sanctuary and stained glass windows
o A sweet fragrance in this place
· Lunch and goodbyes, then to the airport
o A long wait in the airport and on the tarmac
o Anna makes a friend with the girl beside her
· Arrive at Seoul airport, very late, takes about 45 min to 1 hour to get everyone through, sleep on the bus ride
· Arrive at Vision Land retreat center about 1:30 in the morning – everyone is tired
Day 6 – Wednesday, March 21, 2012
· Wake up around 8, breakfast, prepare laundry, head to Seoul
· Around noon at Kwanglim Church offices, divide into home visitation teams, head to lunch at restaurant
o Our gracious hosts provide a full Korean meal, very enjoyable
· Off to two house church visits
o People going: Associate Pastor, Bible Women, Deaconess
o Before we arrive the receiver has 1) prepared a list of prayer concerns and 2) prepared an offering for the church
o Before we arrive the Pastor has 1) prepared a sermon for the home, 2) prepared to pray, and 3) prepared songs to be sung from the hymnal in the back of everyone’s Bible
o Format for the house church
§ Welcome to the home and being seated
§ Pastor leads in a song or two
§ Then there is the reading of scripture – everyone reads
§ The sermon – 10 to 15 minutes
§ The prayer, closing with the Lord’s prayer
§ Presentation of a gift to the host – this year it is the Lord’s supper
§ The host offers some refreshment; fruit, small cookies, drink
§ Depart after 45-50 minutes
o Impressions of the House Church Visit
§ Incredible training ground for leadership development, the inclusion of others confers their role as ministers and the culture of ministry
§ Clear purpose in the visit, have a word from the Lord for this house, prayer
§ The gift marks the home with a unique spirit
§ The women are the backbone of the spiritual life
o Questions about the House Church
§ What about the men? What about those women who work? What about the younger generations?
· In the Car with Soo – two comments of importance
o She expresses concern about our schedule, not being able to see culture of Korea
o She showed her husband our schedule, he expressed wonderment if we are architectural students . . . we are scheduled to spend lots of time looking at buildings
· At Kwanglim Church
o A video
o A presentation by Sr. Pastor Kim
§ Three concerns: secularism, syncretism, Islam
§ Two responses: word of God and prayer – they are branding this the “New Apostolic Church”
§ Have planted/assisted 50 churches on the Chinese border to assist those escaping from N. Korea
§ Are assisting 30 struggling Methodist Churches around Korea
o Q & R with Rev. Dr. Kim
§ There are questions he does not answer, especially about why build a 68 million dollar campus in a wealthy part of Seoul when there are so many who are marginalized out further
· Dinner @ Bennigans’
· Return to Vision Land at 10 PM for rest
· Call the kids on the computer
· In bed by 11
Day 7, March 22, 2012
· Awake @ 5 PM
· Laundry is returned about 6:20
· Daylight breaks around 6:30
· It is cold in the lobby – there is no heat in the lobby, where I am taking these notes. My fingers are frozen, I’ve been in the lobby for 1.5 hours. Time to warm up in the shower.
· Anna is not doing well, we decide that she will stay at the camp
o Eventually she visits an international hospital, receives a prescription for bronchitis.
o She is escorted by a very helpful associate pastor from Kwanglim
· We visit a Girls School
o We receive a tremendous welcome from the principal
§ He is the great grandson of a former premier and his grandfather began the school
§ In his opening remarks he notes that two of our group are unable to make the visit because of sickness, he pronounces their names very well, a true statesman
o We are heartily received by the girls and the programs are well prepared
§ Traditional Korean dress and the deep bow
§ Choir – beautiful
§ Lunch – we could probably have gone without the lunch – McDonalds
§ Exiting as Queens and Kings
o Along the way they treat us with coffee and tea
o The hallways are cold, some rooms are warm, most girls are wearing jackets to stay warm
· Depart for East Kwanglim Church
o Church built in a new town, not a large building, but very nicely built
o Building shares marble floors and pillar design, camera configuration, and banners with main Kwanglim church
· Visit the Leaders Center
o A hotel-like looking complex that has rooms set aside for sleeping, eating and meeting
o A chapel on the complex
o Similar design as other buildings designed by the Bishop, the pillar motif pervades Kwanglim designs
o A thought comes to me, the properties are not all housed in one place, if there is a Crystal Cathedral kind of decline at some point, the properties are positioned so that they can be sold off.
· On the bus ride, back to Kwanglim, I consult with others and decided to depart and take a taxi ride back to Visionland and be with Anna.
Day 8, March 23, 2012
· Anna is feeling much better, she is on the mend and able to travel
· In the morning we pack up because we will be staying at prayer mountain until we depart for the states
· We head to a church planted by Kwanglim. It is now independent and near the border with the North. The pastor was the executive pastor at Kwanglim, but was offered this this church after Dr. Kim was installed by the Bishop.
o Similar experience as the rest, plenty of grandeur
o We learn that he has done some renovation of the café and children’s areas
o We learn that since becoming independent from Kwanglim they have grown in membership from 500 to 3000
§ They don’t look to be independent
o The Pastor has an office with several pictures of Bishop Kim on the wall
o The youth area has two looks, one is plain, the other is like a flower shop . . . neither one reflects the techno feel we will observe later in the day at the mall and what we’ve been seeing with young people in general in China and Korea
o We lunch here – a fantastic buffet
· We depart for the DMZ
o It is raining some outside, which produces fogged up windows on the bus. We cannot see a great deal outside of the bus. One thing I notice is the barbed wire fences, and the land that is suitable for agriculture. Looks like plenty of good land for growing food is in the DMZ, meaning the war zone continues to rob Koreans of food and goodness.
o First stop is a museum with a short presentation. The tour guide is serving his mandatory two years. Before serving he was a student at Johns Hopkins. His English is excellent. His demeanor is winsome. His speech is generally within the message that he has been asked to communicate.
o We take a bus ride into the DMZ, we pass a S. Korean village and see their harvested rice fields. Our guide says the average villager farms 17 acres and makes about $82,000. There are either some hefty subsidies, or not enough rice is grown in the world.
o We do not point or gesture towards the north. We do take pictures. We enter the conference building and many of us stand in North Korea.
o We depart and head to downtown Seoul for shopping and dinner
· The Mall
o A very cosmopolitan feel . . .
o Is it any different than the Mall of America, or something you’d find in Toronto or NY City? I don’t think so.
o Trey Harris observed that the mall was filled with young girls and guys, some elderly, but no men of working age. Yeonjang attributed this to the late work hours of the workforce.
o We head to Prayer Mountain
· Prayer Mountain
o An older facility than Visionland
o There are points when one thinks it needs a serious facelift soon or it will be in a state of disrepair, at least the lodge where we stay.
Day 9, March 24, 2012
· South Kwanglim Church
o We are met with coffee and then given a tour of the educational wing of the church
o We are ushered into the sanctuary – that looks like many of the other churches – for a meeting with Bishop Kim
o Bishop Kim’s talk lasts about 2 hours and has a range of topics: leadership, worship, post-modernity, etc
§ On Leadership
· He read from John where Jesus talked about being the good Shepherd, and made a clear connection to the role of the Pastor as being a Good Shepherd like Jesus.
· He spoke to the necessary for a Pastor to have vision
§ Post-modernity has three concerns
· What’s your story
· What’s your imagination
· Who’s your community
§ On worship
· He is concerned about the loss of liturgy
· He is concerned with entertainment evangelism
o Crystal Cathedral entered the conversation here, they were a congregation that had many visiting worshippers, but a very small church body
§ His call to ministry
· Born into a believing family – Presbyterian
· A child raised in N. Korea, learned to speak Japanese under their occupation
· Also learned Russian in their occupation of the north
· conscripted as a medic/surgeon in the N. Korean army
· praying for a way out to the South
· @ MacArthur’s landing at Incheon, he and his body guard walked into the American/S. Korean lines, leaving behind their uniforms and rifle, taking only his medic bag
· in 5 minutes he was interviewed and sent to work healing the S. Korean soldiers wounds.
· At other points of the war, fully surrounded, deep life of prayer and miraculous deliverance
§ On prayer
· Essential to his routine and spiritual life
· Place where he gets vision
§ On Methodism
· For a long time, Korean Methodist Churches were all small, under 200 members. Pastors were primarily concerned with the satisfying the Bishop and Superintendent for a better appointment, instead of attending to their flock.
· In 1974, they changed their constitution to a Call system, not an appointment by the Bishop
· Since then, several churches have grown steadily because Pastors are attending to their flock and not the Bishop or Superintendent
o Question about his role as Bishop – he may contradict his comment by his actions with Kwanglim and its satellite churches
o Lunch – another great spread, the hospitality is incredible and serves as a challenge to how we host people we have never met
· Downtown to Museum
o Admiral Yi – 2 times demoted from his command, once almost receiving the death penalty, he came back and is noted for defeating the Japanese navy with 12 ships against their 133 – Perseverance
· Return to Prayer Mountain
o Pizza, Debrief, Bed
o The Debrief’s have been good, but not nearly enough of them for these many days.
Day 10, March 25, 2012
· We arise early and load buses for church visits
· First Church – Kwanglim Methodist Church
o Two events – Sunday School visit and Worship service
§ Sunday School
· Attend the Kindergarten class
· Plenty of helpers – all women, the age group has a pastor assigned to them and he is present
· Essentially a church service for the children, they will not worship in the sanctuary with their parents
· Enthusiastic music and music leaders
· They say the Apostles’ Creed, recite the Lord’s prayer, have a choir number, and take up an offering – reflecting elements of their parents worship experience.
· Generally they also have a sermon from the age level pastor, but today, they have a mixed media presentation. The media includes actors and video. It’s something related to Genesis 3. The kids react vehemently to the character of the devil.
· At the end they greet us as visitors and we give a brief greeting.
§ Break – Kwanglim is good when it comes to inserting coffee breaks. At this time we also meet with Dr. Kim again. He greets us and gives us a copy of his new book of sermons.
· The church is prepared for us with translation devices, English programs and songs printed in English
· Everything is large: choir, orchestra, flowers, number of ushers, presence of pastors in the balcony
· A formatted service that sticks to the bulletin, UM High Liturgy
· The Presiding Elder who serves as song leader has a tremendous voice and when we sing the Lord’s prayer, it is majestic
· Sermon is lost in translation
· Second Church - Yoido Full Gospel Church
§ Arrive late and the sermon is in process
§ Largest church service I have ever been to, about 12,000+
§ Retired Pastor Rev. Dr. Cho is speaking
· His preaching involves times of prayer, corporate reading of scripture, the crowd responding in repeating what he says, singing
· I’ve never seen anything like it where the Pastor is the orchestrator and the people are the orchestra
· They also say the Lord’s prayer together
· While we wait to meet one of the staff we see the young peoples worship and they begin with an opening song, segway to the Apostles’ Creed and then into another song
· This strikes me as being charismatic and liturgical at the same time, with a large reliance on teaching a theme that runs through scripture . . . a happier, more hopeful, propositional theology
· Return to Prayer Mountain
o Tour the 1800 seat chapel, impressive and a warning (mold in the building) – be careful what you build, how you build it, and what you think you’ll use it for in the long run. It needs a significant amount of repair.
o Prayer Walk – the stations of Jesus’ life, including the resurrection
§ Impressive amount of work in utilizing the mountain side to display the work of Christ
§ Makes one wonder why don’t we see more of this expression in our own country? It could be significant for children and adults in formation practices.
§ I appreciate the calming of the storm, the empty tomb and the dinner at Emmaus
o Communion in the Upper Room
§ Luke 1.35 is going through my mind – With God all things are possible. That is the angels remark to Mary at the annunciation that she will bear the Son of God. Being in that place brings this to my mind once again, that God has led me to see, do, and be a part of some amazing things, and there is entrusted to me a stewardship responsibility, so that others may also see, do and be a part of God doing things which seem impossible, in their lives and in the lives of unending others
· Complete the night at a Korean Spa
o An incredible cultural experience
Day 11, March 26, 2012
· We pack and depart prayer mountain
· First stop – Foreign Missionary Graveyard
o The Korean church is incredibly thankful for those who have sacrificed to bring the Gospel to them.
o In the presentations they speak with an irenic spirit, noting that many Catholics were martyred before the arrival of the Protestants and that helped to lay the groundwork for an openness to the work of the Spirit
o Surprised to see the bullet marks from the Korean War on the grave markers
o The museum was an impressive display of content, artistry and technology which puts forth a compelling context for understanding the church in Korea.
· Lunch – our final one in Korea
· @ The Airport, ready to fly home . . . Countryroad, Take me home, to the place, I belong . . .