Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Childhood vs. Adulthood

From the time I was seven until fourteen I went to Brownsmills Seventh-day Adventist Church when I visited my father in New Jersey.

After the congregational prayer we would sing, “Hear Our Prayer O Lord.”

Hear our prayer O Lord
Hear our prayer O Lord
Incline Thine ear to us
And grant us Thy peace

As a child I hated that song. It didn’t make any sense to me. Why would we ask God, even plead with Him to hear our prayers when we knew that He did. In the Bible it clearly says that God hears us when we pray. I had been taught from a very young age that Jesus loved me and loved to talk to me, and prayer was how I talked to Him. So, why would I plead with Jesus, after praying to Him, to hear me? It didn’t make any sense. I never sang those words at Brownsmills SDA Church. I refused to sing something I felt showed that I did not believe what God had already blatantly stated in His Word: He hears us.

Since that time I have been to many churches. And I have not been to one that sang “Hear Our Prayer O Lord” as the habitual post-prayer song. Until this past July. I am now twenty-three years old, married, and have moved into my first USA home. We attend the Cookeville Seventh-day Adventist Church. The first Sabbath we visited the church I was enjoying the service when I was caught off guard by the tune and words that the congregation sung after the prayer.

Hear our prayer O Lord
Hear our prayer O Lord
Incline Thine ear to us
And grant us Thy peace

As the music filled the church I smiled cynically as I recalled the sentiments I’d had as a youth.

I called my dad after church and said, “You’ll never guess what song we sing after prayer!” As a child I had explained to him my frustration and complete dislike for the song.

However, I noticed something has begun to change. I sing the song now. I hear my heart crying out to God in the words, “Hear my prayer O Lord, hear my prayer O Lord…” I ache to know that He hears me, that He listens to my voice and that I will have His peace. Sabbath after Sabbath I have now sung, “Incline Thy ear to me, and grant me Thy peace.”

And it makes me wonder. What is the difference between the child and the adult? Is it that now in my maturity I realize my lowly position and my need to prostrate myself before God so that He will turn His ear toward me? Is it because of the disappointments and struggles I have gone through spiritually that make me want to beg God to even hear my prayer?

In my heart I have questioned whether it is maturity that makes me sing these words or the loss of childlike faith and implicit trust which sang “Jesus loves me this I know.”

by: Beth-Anne

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Flying to America via Japan

So Sunday, May 31st 2009 I woke up to find our apartment cleaned up and ready for us to leave. Matthew had stayed up all night to finishing cleaning and packing for me because I was still recovering from my appendix surgery. I have the greatest husband.

Joony, one of Matthew's students came to say goodbye to us at the school and Ruth and Cleo with Pastor Kim took us to the airport. Ruth and Cleo came because Pastor Ryu and his wife were also flying to America, but they were doing recruiting. So Cleo and Ruth went to see them and us off.

Yes, I am wearing a dress on the airplane. A dress and sneakers because I couldn't bear the thought of wearing jeans the whole airplane ride back, since my surgery still made my stomach sore.

Pastor Kim, me, Ruth, and Cleo. We're so awesome.

Pastor Kim, me, Matthew, and Ruth.
We had a snack as we waited for Pastor Ryu to come and then we all said our goodbyes and headed to the plane. Our goodbyes were almost over, but since Pastor Ryu and his wife were flying on the same plane to Japan we had one more goodbye left.

This is our last picture in Korea.

This is Korea from the airplane, our last glimpses of the place we called home for about 10 months.

Traveling, especially by plane is very weird. It's almost like time travel or something because you get inside and then after a period of time you can be somewhere completely different.
The flight to Japan was short and then we said our last goodbye.

We were ready for some hellos!

Looking at shops and watching tons of people go by with face masks.

We had a 8-9 hour layover in Japan. So we tried to find some places to sleep, especially since Matthew hadn't had any sleep. We got some French fries from McDonald's because we were starving. Somehow our vegetarian meals had not been ordered. Then walked down until we found some empty chairs.
Storing our bags underneath I laid on the chairs and Matthew lay on the ground to keep the bags against/with us at all times.

Matthew woke up before I did. We wrapped the jackets around our heads to keep out the light and then Matthew gave me his jacket because I was so cold.

Peaking out of my cave.

This is money we got in change. We could use the US Dollar but we got change in the local currency.

It so happens that we went to sleep by Starbucks and were really excited because they had one veggie sandwich! So for our mid-day snack we had half a veggie sandwich each....

And white chocolate mocha....mmm. My favorite.

Then Matthew tried to throw paint on me and got the whole place messy!

So we decided to get more French fries because we were still hungry and weren't sure about the meals on the long flight.

This was a banner by the McDonalds, it showed other cuisine we could dine on. We chose McDonalds.

This was the awesome waiting area. There were regular seats in the other areas but this was where we decided to wait because it was more comfortable and I could lay down. This is also where they had "art" splattered on the walls. It was colorful and pleasant to be around.

After eating, waiting, sleeping, eating, waiting and more waiting we finally got on our flight to America.
We were going home.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Final Goodbyes in Korea

This post is a bunch of final goodbyes and pictures of people that are so dear to us.

This is at my favorite restaurant. A bibimbab restaurant and we met Judy and Karen there to eat for a lunch. Matthew and I both taught Judy (tan shirt) and I just taught Karen.

We were near to the hospital and so Judy and Karen said they would help me to bring cookies to the nurses who took care of me when I had my operation.

It turned out that it was a good thing they helped me because the nurses had rotated to a different floor. And this way they were able to translate my thanks and give them the cookies I'd made.

At first when the nurses saw me they thought I was sick again! But once everything was explained they agreed to a picture.

This is the hospital at Juan station. Sixth floor on the tall side. The emergency room is the low building to the right with red on part of the sign.

After leaving the hospital we all headed to get dessert. Judy wanted to take us to a fruit drink place but we couldn't find it. So we went to a gelato/waffle place. The waffles were so good...best I've ever had. The restaurant had salt and pepper shakers that were filled with chocolate and mocha powder. We had a P shakers and I told them that P was for pepper and the other one would have S for salt. (In Korea they don't have salt and pepper shakers). So Karen went and checked out the shakers and so there was a S and P.

This is Karen, she is about a year younger than me and she really connected to me in class. She is a sweetheart and even came to my last vespers program so she could see us one more time.

They gave us Korean magnets and a doll for me that was dressed in a Korean traditional hanbok. They did that because they knew I had wanted a hanbok but hadn't bought one.

Judy helps out every week to make cookies and do other activities with refugee children from North Korea. She was a very sweet and giving lady.

Another day for lunch Eunice (middle) took Kelly Ann, Matthew and I to lunch at Pizza Hut.

Eunice was in my second religion class and it was that class that really made me search out and plan for my religion class in a new way. They were all so eager to learn.

This is after we ate. Eunice was close to both Kelly Ann and myself and together we watched Eunice grow in her relationship with God. I ask you to pray for her because I don't know how she's been doing and miss emailing with her. I ask that you would pray for her to seek God more and more.

This was one of my classes and they wanted to treat us to lunch that last week as well so they took us to VIPS. It had a great buffet selection and they were really nice to take us out. As you can see there was only one guy but they all studied hard and I'm sure they will continue to do well.

This is the 5th All Day club taking us out to Ashley's (one last time!) for lunch.
Back row: Patrick, Sunny, Emily, Estelle. Front row: Veronica, Kelly Ann, and Claire.
Awesome Pastor Kim, our driver and Pastor.

More van pictures!

At Ashley's. This was the blue room. By the time we'd left we'd eaten in every room there. We ate there a lot. Now being in America, I might miss it every once and a while. =) Matthew knew this group better than I did because he had the chance to work with them more because of scheduling.
This was supposed to be our crazy pose shot...but it's not so crazy. =)
These pictures were from Saturday after church.

Carl and Tom.

A church member, Lynn, and in the front are Sarah and Thomas.

Claire, Patrick, Emily, Henny, Estelle, and Sunny. 5th all day club.

Junior teachers: Joanne, Amy, and Eileen.

Junior teacher Coco, and the choir leader for our Christmas music program.

Junior teacher Kelly.

4th All Day Club members Abe and Brian!

Eunice and her children John and Cherry.

Audrey, a former all day club member. I never taught her but we all became friends through out time there. She was really sweet to Mama when she came to Korea.

This is Orion, his wife May and their son Thomas. They are both junior teachers, but when we came to Korea Orion was working in China as a undercover missionary.

After church Paul and Mary came over to say goodbye.

They were some of our dearest friends.
After those sad goodbyes we had to go and do our saddest goodbyes...to the other foreign teachers. We had become like family and now were leaving.

Leilani gives Matthew a dirty look for leaving.

This is a terrible picture, but it's what we have for the last time.
Solomon, Leilani, Grazania, Kelly, Cleopatra, Ruth, and the new teacher who had come to teach our classes.
We ate together, had fellowship, shared a prayer and a hope and said goodbye. It's easier to type it now than it was to live it then. They were our home away from home. Mixed emotions were everywhere. It was a crazy time.

Then we went home and packed...