Saturday, December 27, 2008


Tonight, I went out for a drink with some girls that I have not hung out with in a while. They also teach English here in Korea. They do not know the Lord, and while we were at the pub, they started making lists about guys that are "doable" in Daegu. Then, then they asked me for my list, and they both know that I have a relationship with God, but that tells me they really don't understand what it means. I told them after they insisted on me having a list, that I have never had sex before, and will not having sex with anyone in Korea unless I get married here (slim chance of that). I said, I am saving myself for my husband. They said nothing, they did not mock me, they did not say good for you, they just sat there for a second, and went back to their own lists. It did not hinder them from being any less open with me, but then again, they were both drunk. They did repeatedly say after that that I was probably wishing I wasn't there with them, and I would say no I am glad to be here with you. I figured this day would come eventually, and I didn't know how they would respond, but God gave me a peace right before I told them. I knew in my heart that I had to tell them, that God wanted me to. Be praying for them that God would open their hearts.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tis the Day Before Christmas Eve...

It is the day before Christmas Eve, and my heart is filled with joy and great anticipation. Being so far from family really brings you to embrace the reality of Christmas. Not the presents, the commercialism, or even great company (aka family and friends). I am faced with the greatest love story in the world. God in all His gracious love sent His Son to Earth. He left perfection to join the dirty grunge of this sin ridden world. He walked it for 33 years and lived through so many things that we experience such as betrayal, grief, and loss. We do not have an unsympathetic High Priest. He chose to start His journey as a helpless child and live in the family unit. He could have come down as an adult, as a King, but He came so humbly. He brought us hope that night, the hope of the world came. All who were living in pain, sorrow, and a hopeless situation were given an alternate ending to their stories. He brought us peace that night. He would grow to crush the head of the serpent and defeat the thing that causes us so much strife. He is our peace. Love came that blessed night as well. For how could there be any greater love than from the One who came to die for those who were willing to put Him to death. In two days, we celebrate His birth. Let us rejoice and celebrate well, because is the best news we will ever have! Merry Christmas friends and family! I love you all.

P.S.- I am now going to Seoul for my vacation, God answered quite quickly. God even cares about our vacations. = )

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Depressing Vacation

I never thought the concept of vacation would be depressing, but I have just arrived upon the realization that this year's "vacation" could be vastly depressing. I do not have enough money or time to go home and see me family. I do not even have enough money to go to Japan, unless I take the 14 hour fairy, no really, it is 14 hours long. My church friends do not have the same time off as me, and my friends in Seoul are not responding to whether they will have time open on those days. I really hate this. God knows because I am constantly talking His ear off about it. I never thought that I would be praying so much about my vacation. I am fine with my situation here Daegu, I have peace about these 12 months, but I am freaking out over figuring out what to do for my 5 day weekend. A vacation should be refreshing, not stressful. I really don't know what to do, so I guess I will keep talking to God about it.

On top of the vacation drama, I am starting to get my first case of the Christmas blues. My family will all be together in Italy as of this weekend, and I will not be with them. I hate that fact. Today, my coworker, Chloe got a package in the mail for Christmas from her family and had to hold back the tears. I know that the reason for the season is not family or friends, but sharing the beauty of Christ's birth with them is something you take for granted until you don't have it. I am praying that the Lord will be my comfort, and fill my heart with joy despite all these things that are happening right now. I will still probably call my bosses Scrooge because of this all year long.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Need A Change

You know how there are those things that always happen in your life. They are inevitable, and your reaction is consistent each time they occur. I wish my reaction was not so consistent, I wish that I would change, and there are things around me saying, "you can change." It is so hard to believe that after 23 years of handling something the same way. In "Breaking Free" by Beth Moore, she talks about being free from things that enslave you and hold you in bondage. One of her points is that we must believe God, I find myself not believing Him a lot of the time. Especially when this issue arises. Have I given into self-defeat and demise? No, I am slowly beginning to realize that the road to freedom is a long one. It takes time to be free, to change 23 year long habitual reactions. Coming from the generation of convenience and comfort, I want my life to change NOW. The road is long, hard, and painful. Many good things in life that are worth something do NOT come quickly or easily. How sad it seems to me, that I am still waiting for Him to put the pieces of my heart back together even though it has been 4 months...In this moment, I am having a fantastic realization, maybe these 4 months He has been put the pieces together. If there is anything that I know, it is that God does things differently than I expect Him to. I am praying for a change. Maybe over this year God will break me of these things that could kill me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Wooer...= )

Today a passage that I have been clinging to since this past May came more alive for me. Since the wave of hard times began, I have been enthralled by these words. It is still one of the most beautiful things to my ears.

"But to those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction. He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food." 
Job 36:15-16

At Bible study this morning, one of the girls brought up that "being wooed" is a choice. He is wooing me from the jaws of distress, but I have to let Him woo me. I have to accept His love, His chivalry. Essentially, I can choose to be stuck in despair about my affliction, or I can accept His "wooing"/love. Choose to see past myself and look towards what He is doing for His glory and namesake. Chivalry was never dead. = )

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Testament to Who He is...

"I will lead the blind by the ways that they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."
~Isaiah 42:16~

A dear friend of mine sent me this verse today, and it touched my heart. I realized that it is a testament to who the Lord is, and what He has done for me since I first got here. He lead me blindly to South Korea, I had no idea I was coming until June or July, I can't remember which one. Then I got here, and it was all so unfamiliar, yet He guided my every step. Over a time of loneliness He brought me a church, and a community. He also is teaching me some really hard, but invaluable lessons that bring more of His light into my life. I just found out today that my new Korean co-worker is a believer! I asked her how her weekend was and she said that it was good because she went to church. I have never been so excited to meet another believer! I am no longer the lone believer in my work place, the Lord is making my rough places smooth. She wants me to visit her church with her one Sunday and hang out, I told her that I would love to do both. Praise the Lord! He has never forsaken me at any point of this journey. He gives me grace to face every day that is before me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

He is Literal...

This is from my devotional today. God is so literal sometimes that it shocks me, because I am expecting Him to always speak in some coded mysterious way, and then He lays it out so plainly. 

"How can we say. 'It could never be God's will for me to be sick.'? If it was God's will to bruise His own Son (Isaiah 53:10), why shouldn't He bruise you? What shines forth and reveals God in your life is not your relative consistency to an idea of what a saint should be, but your genuine, living relationship with Jesus Christ, and your unrestrained devotion to Him whether you are well or sick."
-Oswald Chambers

Note the mention of "unrestrained devotion", it really seems funny to me that you can be restrained by your physical body, but at the same time, in your relationship with God, you can be unrestrained/free from all burdens. I think I allow my physical restraint to effect my spiritual state more than I should. For what more does God desire than my whole heart?  

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The point is being driven home

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect."
-I Cor. 15:10

Heard a sermon today about the passage in John where Peter is asking Jesus about the fate of one of the other disciples. Jesus tells him in essence, "...what is that to you? You must follow Me." (John 21:22) Peter is comparing his path to the path of the other disciple. I was struck in the sermon by how often we compare our paths to others. It is a universal truth, everyone compares themselves to someone else, but we do not often think of it that way. We just tend to see it as noticing the state of their life or even "caring" sometimes. I am not saying it's bad to know about other people's lives and circumstances, I am just saying we should not start comparisons. I know, because I have been doing an abundant amount of comparing since I got to Daegu. This sermon also had a special place in my heart because it spoke of hardship again. I keep hearing many sermons on this, that life is not easy or glamorous. God is putting them in my midst probably because I am living in the middle of this truth. There is no hope in this life except for Jesus Christ and His gospel. "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect." I Cor. 15:10 Since arriving in Daegu, South Korea, I have been sick the majority of the time. For two weeks I had a sinus infection, then I had food poisoning the next weekend and threw up for 13 hours straight, and now I have bronchitis. God is constantly drilling into my head that He may not take away the hard things, but I must follow Him. I look forward to the day that we are restored in Heaven with perfect bodies, and no sin.  My hope is towards Heaven and Christ. Nothing else can satisfy. He has been graciously bringing people into my life to encourage me, and surround me over the past week. I now have a Bible study, and friends that I grow in Christ with, who will pour into me/vice versa. This is the beginning of my third month, and these first months have been nothing short of amazing, discouraging, and mainly draining. I keep on hearing that after 3 months it picks up. I think as of this last week, it has finally started to come around. In the middle of these hard times that are getting better, I remember that it is by God's grace that I know Him, and that I am here. I never would have said Daegu was God's grace in my life a week ago, but now I am seeing that everywhere He takes me is by His grace. He leads me on His path for me, and all I can do is ask for grace to face what He has in store for me. All I can do is follow Him. Pray that I would do the like and nothing further.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."
Psalm 100

Thanks God.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Batter my heart

"Batter my heart, three person'd God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seek to mende;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee' and bend
Your force to breake, blow, burn, and to make me new.
I, like a usurpt towne, to 'another due,
Labour to'admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet, dearley 'I love you, 'and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie,
Divorce mee, 'untie, or breake that knot againe,
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you 'enthrall mee, shall never be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Worst Birthday Ever....

My 23rd year of life began today, and I am sad to say that it was one of the worst birthdays ever. There were a few things that made my heart ache as I checked facebook this morning. Then, certain songs came up on my iTunes when I put it on shuffle that made me pretty sad. I arrived at work 10 minutes early because we were having a mandatory work lunch together, I hate those with a passion. It means that something bad is going to be said or my boss will lecture us on how we are never good enough teachers, blah, blah, blah. Today, it was a different type of announcement. The director of my English school announced that he has sold the school to a lady. By the grace of God, she has agreed to keep our contracts the same and keep us on as teachers. I was not happy to hear that he is leaving, I really like him. The first thing I did when I heard the news, was pray for her, and her time as my employer/school director. Usually, new employers like to make their mark and change things, which means more work for us. I do not want to be asked to come in on weekends or early. After the lunch was over, I had classes and today is my short day. I only have four classes that I teach on Wednesday, but 3 of them were absolutely awful today. If any of you have ever taught before, you know how just one bad class can suck the life from you. Now, imagine 3 bad classes. After classes ended, I was looking forward to going home, but I heard that we were going to dinner. We went to the same restaurant, again, for dinner. It has one kind of food, galbi. I have no idea how it is really spelled, but it is like pork cooked on a grill that you wrap in lettuce with kimchi, radish, and other greens. It is really good, but twice in one day is enough for me. I had already eaten dinner that night too. Dinner came, and I sat next to our new director who is a woman. She seems pretty nice, and her English is descent. My other boss, Scott (he is the vice president of the school) got wasted on Soju again, just like the other two times we have gone out. The new director said she was going to bring me a cake tomorrow because it was my birthday today. We'll see if she remembers, it was nice of her to at least mention it I guess. There were a few bright spots in my day. Andrew got me a present, it's a mug, and if you know me, you know that that is right up my alley. Chloe and I had a good talk at the dinner about certain heart aches that we both are feeling. When it comes down to it, I felt alone today, and that is the worst feeling a person can feel any day birthday or no birthday. A few more bright spots were coming back to the apartment after the dinner and seeing the packages my family had sent me, the messages on facebook, and talking with my cousin Ann online. God reminded me at the end of the day that I am not alone. I think all this is just a reflection on my deep desire for meaningful relationships that I do not have here. Still praying that God will bring them and trying to remember His promises/truth.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Come to the waters and drink...

Lately, I have been desiring deep fellowship. There is a church I attend here, but my relationships with the people in it are still superficial and have not even scratched the surface of depth. I am discovering that it is not just enough for me to have a church, I need the people in the church as well. In my cynical state, I have a hard time letting those people in. I feel that many of them are cheesy, what an awful person I must be to not even give them a chance. Korea is such a challenge because I know I am in the right place, in the middle of God's will, but there is no perfect fit here. What I mean by that is that there is no particular person that jumps out at me in this time to be deep meaningful friend. God has always provided those for me since I can remember, now they are all so far away from me, across the is so encouraging hearing from them, but I need someone here too. My prayer is that the Lord will bring someone who will pour into me, or I may just shrivel up soon. God has so graciously provided me with so many opportunities to minister to others and share about who He is, more than I have ever had in my whole life, but it is draining at the same time. I will hold fast to 2 Cor. 12 that says His grace is sufficient for me, and in my weakness He is strong. I will believe that the Lord is leading me more towards understanding the measure of the fullness of His love which has no limit. A love, which no one can separate me from. I will come to the waters and drink.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have been doing things to make my apartment look more home-like or more like my place I should say. The other night I took one of my boring wooden crates, it wasn't stained or anything, just plain raw wood, and I painted it. Here is a pic of it after two nights of labor. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

God Moves

The story of my time in South Korea comes to this in the last two months, God always moves in ways I do not expect. He has given me so much courage that I know is not my own. I say things that would scare the living day lights out of me to say so bluntly back in the states for fear of turning someone off to God, but here it is all so different. The times I do not even see it coming, then God shows up in the middle of another conversation. He has been reminding me that He is the Sovereign One. I do not need to worry when it seems like no one has changed by the end of the conversation, God stands Sovereign, and He will do as He pleases in His glorious time. Last night, I heard a few arguments as to why people do not believe in God, and they only seemed to drive me more towards God. Their conclusions of life were all so hopeless, and pointless. It is so true that some people are blinded with veil over their eyes, and do not see what is so plainly in front of them. I am praying that many veils are removed this year. Please join me in doing the same.

Monday, November 3, 2008

How Quickly I Have Forgotten..

"I want to hear the thunder of all You are. To be captured inside the wonder of all You are. I want to live, I want to breath, to search out Your heart, and all of Your mystery. You are the First, the End, time cannot hold You down, so why save a wretch like me? Cause no eye has seen, no ear has heard. No one knows all of Your mystery. I want to hear the thunder of all You are. To be captured inside the wonder of all You are. I want to live, I want to breath, to search out Your heart, and all of Your mystery. Your glory burns in the stars, shine down Your light, let us see who You are." 
-Phil Wickham

When I arrived on these shores, I knew that none would satisfy, but the Lord. All that had taken my heart captive was removed from my life, except for Him. I could say honestly, "Lord, I have nothing but You, and none can satisfy me, but You." Now, the wonder has faded, my heart is finding its way into that place of complacency. My heart has began to chase other things. Now the words of my pastor at Redeemer in Lubbock echo in my ears, to paraphrase, he said we are a generation that thinks God owes us/convenience. We believe that we are supposed to have a comfortable, romantic life with the job we want, a great salary, with a spouse, healthy children, and for ourselves to be healthy as well. Amidst my chasing the things that will give me comfort, and make my life "better", I have realized that God has become the second thought. I am like a stupid sheep, my heart is swayed so easily. My focus has been self-centered. God has been showing me so many different things on prayer lately, I have been looking, not applying, and lack of prayer is pride. I have let the selfishness/pride lead me to think that I deserve something different than what God has graciously given me, and where He has divinely placed me. I know I am a fool to hold so many worldly things so dearly. Pray for my heart, that I will once again begin to consider others. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The List...

Today I will only post a list of things I like and dislike about my experiences in South Korea.

-the immense amount of pollution
-the smell of the sewers/trash
-how dirty it is, sometimes I think it is comparable to Mexico
-people constantly pushing past you, pushing you out of the way
-the work-aholic society
-the sewer smell that comes up from my shower drain, I can't seem to rid of it with anything
-my bed that still feels rock hard even though I put 5 blankets and a comforter on top of the mattress
-sky scrapers everywhere, I want real scenery

-Korean food
-how cheap take out is
-how helpful Koreans are, they will go to great lengths to help you solve your problem
-the large number of English teachers that all live in my area
-my co-workers, they are great
-the fact that there is an international church I can go to here
-the people at my church
-the fact that I am starting to pick up little phrases in Korean
-I have a washer, I don't have to go to the laundry mat
-I live next to a mountain I can see sometimes (depends on pollution)
-the adorable open market down the street from my apt.
-how God is working and moving in ways I have never seen before
-the public transportation, I love the subway
-downtown and all its shops
-learning to pray more
-all the coffee shops, there is at least one on every corner
-seeing God's protection and provision in my life

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blasted Pollution

I have conveniently discovered that the pollution that floats over from China, is what has made me sick. My tiny illness has turned into a sinus infection. There is some info online about sinus infections, and I wanted to look and see what they suggested for cures. The website said that sinus infections are caused by irritation of your sinuses due to allergies, or pollution. I have not had any allergies here so far, this leads me to the conclusion that my infection stems from the lovely pollution produced by China. My friend Bhavani, used to work in a pharmacy back in Canada, and she told me what I should take. Now, I just have to translate that into Korean. The good news about Korea, is that you do not have to have a prescription to get the meds you need. This could be bad news for drug abusers, but in my case, it works out. I do not have to get an appointment with a doctor, I can just go to the store and buy the meds. I hope they are cheap. The sad news about my annoying sickness, is that I have to miss celebrating my friend Ryan's birthday. Everyone is dressing up 80's theme, it will be hilarious, but I will not be there...I will be at home, try to let my body recover before a new week of teaching begins. I think being around all the smoke downtown would be bad for me as well. I am going to try to make it to church tomorrow, and stay for their Biblestudy afterwards, I am hoping my body will let me do that.

On another note, the weather has finally started to turn here. Today, the high was in the 60's, it's about time, especially since October ends this week. The trees in the mountains are starting to turn colors as well. It is really quite beautiful to stop and to look at them from my window, or whenever the pollution is not blocking them while I am in the city. I will take a picture of them and post it on here soon. I am looking forward to the colder weather. I love the fall. The crisp, cool air, the smell of fire wood, and a cup of some hot tea/cider makes my heart glad. I wore my fall coat for the first time today. I just wish I had a fireplace. One day, I plan on living in a city that has fall/winter weather, and my apartment/house/studio/flat will have a fireplace.

Hope you are all finding yourselves in good health physically, and spiritually as this month of October comes to a close. Love you guys. Thanks for all the prayers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday, half way through the week already! wow...

This update was inspired by different events that occurred from Sunday till now. I will start by letting you all know that the board game was a great success. Here is a picture of what it looks like at the top of my entry. All the kids love anything where they can compete, throw dice, spin something, etc. Today, they all asked me if we could play again. I am going to create more games since this one was such a big hit. The next thing I should let you all know this that I made cookies last night, with a toaster oven. YES, friends and family it is possible. They taste normal, they are actually softer than they would normally be. I took the cookies to work today, and everyone liked them. Even the delivery man who brought us dinner took one. When he brought me my food, he saw the bag of cookies and the biggest smile broke out on his face. I gave him a cookie, and he left with a smile on his face. The man brings us dinner every night, and I hardly ever see him smile, so that was nice. The third thing I wanted to mention, is that I always buy food from this corner store near my school. You know that you go to a place a lot when the store cashier notices that your hair is different. Today, I did my hair curly again because it was raining outside, and the cashier says, "Oh, you have different hair style." I say, "yes." Then he says, "Well it looks nice." Hahaha, I think I win one of the awards for most loyal customer.  My fourth item of discussion, is one of my students. Her English name is Alisha. She is my most advanced speaking student. I look forward to class with her every week, because all we do is speak English for 45 minutes straight. Since she is so stressed with everything academic in her life, I always ask her what she wants to talk about. Her day begins at 9am with school and the schooling doesn't end until 10:30pm. This girl is burnt out! Last week, she wrote my co-worker, Chloe, a journal entry about her schedule. Through the broken grammar, you could hear her anger, her exhaustion, and her plea for a break. She is only 11 years old. Her journal entry ended something like this, "My God, don't you think it's about time someone gave me a break!" As I was reading her journal entry today, I almost broke into tears. I wanted to take her away from all of it, and let her know that she is worth so much more than what she achieves in school. I am thinking of ways to make my class with her a safe place where she can talk openly, and rest at the same time. I want to meet her parents and tell them that they are crazy! I will only do the first thing mentioned, since the latter is not possible. I want to tell her that there is someone who does not expect her to be perfect, who knows it is not possible and because it is not He took on all her mistakes. He defeated them all, now, through Him, she can have perfect peace, worth, and meaning. That is the end of my soapbox, for today at least. 

I think I am getting sick as well. I will spare you all the gory details except to say that my head is kind of stopped up, and my throat has a tickle in it. Pray that it goes away soon, that it stops at this and does not get worse. It was hard enough being in one of my classes today, standing for 45 minutes when I felt so weak. I try not to let the kids know, they would just take advantage of the situation, at least that is what they did when Chloe lost her voice. She is still sick too, so pray for her as well. It comes in waves, for example, right now, I feel fine, but, in an hour, it might be feeling really weak.  

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One month Anniversary

This is my fourth week of teaching here in Daegu. I can hardly believe it. Sometimes, I still feel like I will be leaving soon, and that this is some kind of summer job. Now, that I am a bit more settled, know my way around, have a bit of a paycheck, and have cleaned out the old stuff I did not want in my studio/apartment/flat, I feel like I should dive into the culture more than I have. I want to get to know the language a bit, I know that I will never be fluent. It is so different from any European language, and that drives me crazy! A new alphabet, and different accents in each city so that I have no idea what each person is saying to me. I was way more motivated, and intrigued when it came down to learning German, Spanish, and even a bit of Italian over Christmas break last year. I am also learning that some of the people who scowl at me everyday when I pass by them, might not be angry, that is just their face. What a sad thought. Anyhow, back to the point, I want to make an effort to communicate with the Koreans in their own language, and not just expect them to give me grace because I am an English teacher (foreigner). I hope to make some Korean friends soon, maybe at my church, that will help me with my Korean, and if they want, I will help them with their English.

The line up for this weekend is a bit interesting for me. Friday night, after work, I have to go out with my boss and co-workers. It's like a work social time outing, but it is mandatory, haha. Honestly, the last thing all of us want to do is go out with our boss on a Friday night. He says we will not be out for long, but last time he said that, he ended up drunk off of soju after 2 hours. The only thing he would talk about while he was drunk was work. I am hoping he does not get drunk again tomorrow night, I do not want to sit through another rant about how we are not perfect. I hate to burst his bubble, but we never will be, haha. That is another thing that drives me crazy here. The standard is always be perfect, which, inevitably sets everyone up for failure. The whole country works crazy long hours, and send their kids to school for at least 12 hours a day. I have yet to meet a child who does not go to some academy to learn more after regular school ends. These long hours of learning are paired with a dependency on their parents until around the age of 18 or 19, which equals I don't even know what. I am shocked and amused at the same time whenever I analyze this situation. I know there are normal kids who do turn out well in this country, and I hope some of them will come from our school, but only God knows what will happen to them. Sorry for that rabbit trail, back to the weekend. Saturday, after mandatory bar outing with my boss, I will go hang out with my friend, Tammy. I met Tammy at the first church I visited here in Daegu, and I am so excited! We are going to paint, she was an art education major in college, so we are already clicking. It's been a while since I've painted, so I am looking forward to a little artist expression. On Sunday, I will go to church, then probably go home and create a board game for one of my classes. Yes, the class is so boring that even I fall asleep during it, so I am attempting to make it more lively with a board game. I have never made a board game before, but I will let you all know what kind of a response it gets.

The week of Halloween we are having lessons purely about Halloween. I am so excited, that means that I get to teach the kids whatever I want about that holiday. We are decorating, carving pumpkins, wearing costumes, and handing out candy. It will be so much fun. I will post pics after it happens.

You guys can be praying for my health, and my co-workers health. This is the time of year when everyone gets sick. Pray that we stay well, Chloe is already sick, pray that she kicks it soon, and is back to a normal energy level. Hope you all are well. Thanks for your continual prayers and words of encouragement. Love you!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bad Night

Tonight, I was out having dinner with around 8 other english teachers. These are the majority of the people I have suedo "gotten-to-know" over the past 3 weeks. Near the end of dinner one girl starts to bash Christianity, and then another one joins her. It was heart wrenching. I know there are moments to speak, but I didn't think this was one of them, especially, since she had been drinking. If I had said something, I felt like I would have been attacked by everyone at the table. The only positive to this situation is that I saw my co-workers tense up when the dis fest began. I felt one of my co-workers watching me out of the corner of my eye. I am guessing they knew that it bothered me, I don't think they know the extent to which it hurts me. Tonight, I am grieving once again, for the english teachers in Daegu. All things that were said about Christianity were clear evidence that these girls were only seeing religion, rules, and fallen people. They are missing the whole point, the good news! I pray that get a chance to tell them, and that they will listen. I pray that my life will be a testament to it, so even when there are no words, my actions will speak for themselves. I knew something like this might happen eventually, but the reality of it is so sad. I also think that sometimes people work so hard to disprove Christianity, because at the end of the day they want to feel good about the way they live their lives. No one wants to feel guilt, or be told they are wrong. I ask again, that you join me in praying for the english teachers of Daegu. The greatest thing is standing right in front of them, but they refuse to see it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Lord does not waste time

Welcome to a new week, and a new turn in my year long adventure in Daegu, South Korea. This is the third week I have been here. Things are starting to feel more familiar. You know that you have almost completely adjusted when Korean no longer sounds like a foreign language, even though I still have no idea what anyone is saying. I no longer notice the way that all the Koreans stare at me when I walk by. The transition to teacher-hood is in full swing as well. You know that you are a teacher when you start to correct all the emails people send you. Yes, in my head, I put in commas, and replace words. My English has improved, and will be amazing when I leave here. My job is a blessing, even on the hard days. At the end of the day, it does not even feel like work. That is a good sign to me. It's not that I do not work, I work hard for 8 straight hours Monday-Friday, trying to help children comprehend the difficult English language. It feels more like fun, or playing sometimes. My one wish, is that I had more classes with advanced students who could understand the words coming out of my mouth. Back to the point of this post. This week one of my students is on break. I have three classes with her in the week, they are all cancelled. As a result, today I had a break with one of my co-workers, Chloe. She is going through a hard time, so we talked for an hour. In that hour, I told her a bit about my life, and then about the guy who hit on me at the bar last week. She asked me what my high-standards are. I told her, that any guy I date, has to have a personal relationship with God. I explained that it is not religion, but a relationship. She did not let me elaborate enough to share the gospel with her, but I am hoping that it will happen in the future. Now, she and Andrew, both know that I have a personal relationship with God. I am praying that their hearts will soften, and they will let me be vulnerable with them. I am praying that the gospel be heard, and not fall on deaf ears or hard hearts. Please, pray for them with me. It is only week 3, and God has already paved the way for me to share with both of them. He certainly does not waste time. Also, pray that my life, and the things that are unspoken, would be a testament of God's glory, gospel, and goodness. Thank you, for your love and prayers, they are felt here so often. They are needed so much as well.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

God has a sense of humor

Here in Daegu, South Korea, it is a tradition for all the English teachers to go out on Wednesday nights. 95% of us do not start teaching until around 1:30, so we can afford to stay out a little later at night than the average crowd. Wednesday nights are designed with the purpose of seeing friends, relaxing, and forgetting the first half of your week. This was my first Wednesday out with my co-workers, we went to Commune. It is a bar that has open mike night each week. I think Andrew, Chloe, and I will do something one week, I am excited about it. Anyhow, so last night I meet this guy at Commune's, or I guess I should say he found me. He introduced himself and did not leave my side for the rest of the night. One thing that annoys me about guys, is that so many of them feel that they have to brag about everything in front of you so you will think they are amazing. The random guy continues bragging about how he knows everyone in Daegu, blah, blah, blah, and then he starts to tell me that he is not afraid of committing to a relationship. He says that he is not a big hook-up guy, and has very high standards. I tell him that I do not do the "hook up" thing either, and that I have high standards as well. Naturally, he asks me what they are, so I tell him that any man that I am in a relationship with has to have to a relationship with God. He is stunned, so I ask him if he knows what that is, at this point in time, he still has a blank look on his face, which compels me to explain what I mean. After I explain to him what a relationship with God is, he says, "so I guess I am not up to those standards," and I said "no." The funny thing is that that did not deter him from trying to get my number, and asking me to hang out this weekend. He did not leave my side the whole time, then I left, and thankfully he did not try to follow me. That is why I am thankful for Andrew, he makes me feel safer in strange situations here. He knows that I value having him around. So I say that God has a sense of humor, because I never thought that something like that would happen. There is one thing that makes me sad. Today, I realized that what I value, and hold dearly: the gospel, and my relationship with God; is all foolishness to my co-workers. I am praying that it will become life, and that they will yearn for the Lord within the deepest recesses of their souls. Pray for the english teachers in Daegu, the harvest is so ripe, but there are so few workers.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oh, What a Difference One Letter Can Make...

Today and Monday were both test days. I gave all my students their monthly test. Some did quite well, and others did awful. Now, I know how my teachers felt grading my tests in grade school. The amazing thing is how much of a difference one letter can make. On the phonics section of one test a little boy was supposed to spell "rope" and ended up spelling "rape". Another kid wrote "dike" in an attempt to spell out "bike". I am very busy now grading all the tests, recording the grades, and then sending the progress reports out to the parents.

Thank you for all your prayers over me finding the church on Sunday. I can't say that I found it without any trouble, but I got there with God's help. I made it to the right subway stop, but then I had no idea where to go because the directions were pretty awful. After about 10 minutes of wondering around, I found two Korean guys on their smoking break. I asked them if they knew where the church was, and they took me into the store where they looked up directions online. As if it wasn't nice enough of them to quit their breaks for me, one of the proceeded to take me all the way to the church. I guess they saw helpless lost puppy look on my face, haha. Another amazing thing, is that I did not get upset over not knowing where I was going. It did not freak me out a bit, which is not characteristic of me. Anyhow, the Korean guy and I chatted along the way to the church, he was really nice, I wanted to give him a hug, but felt it might cross some kind of cultural boundary line. I am so thankful for all the gracious and kind Koreans I have come across in my first week here. Praise God for His provisions!

OH, and it is my one week anniversary for being in Daegu, South Korea. One week ago, I arrived in this city, and to this studio I live in. I was tired, lonely, and scared. It is amazing to see all the things that can happen in one week. Praise the Lord!

My new picture is of two drawings that my students made me. They are both sketches of me, or should I say, Teacher Julia. = )

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I am Teacher Julia

Today was my second day of teaching. It surprises me a bit to say this, but I love it. Maybe after a while passes, the excitement will fade, but I think that this is going to be right up my alley. The reason why it surprises me is that I always said that I would never teach. At this point in time, I think I will only stay for one year, but after this year, I might get my TOEFL certification if I really enjoy it. God has blessed me with kids that are behaving. I am so happy that they are listening to me and haven't checked out yet. The only annoying thing is that my boss will not give me a break. His critiques should be for someone who has been teaching for a few months, but it has only been two days for me. He comes into my classes and observes them. After the class is over, he tells me everything I did wrong, and what I have to do next time. I am trying to be patient with him, and learn from his experience but it is already getting under my skin. Honestly, no one in the office likes his feedback which should speak volumes to him. On the first day of classes, I got in trouble because I talked too much in my advance speaking class. This class only has three girls, they are all painfully shy so it is like pulling teeth to get them to talk. They also have questions about the text we read together, so I try to explain the American idioms to them. Every time my boss walked by, he would see me answering their questions. He told me that it was not important for them to understand what they are reading. I almost laughed in his face, which would have been very disrespectful and unprofessional. My question for him is how can you read something you do not understand? Sure you can pronounce the words, but they hold no value, so there is no point in reading them. I will try to get them to talk more, but I am not going to stop answering their questions. I think it also scared him because the text was discussing moral situations, and the girls had to answer questions about the moral situations. It was cool because God opened a door for me to make sure that the girls know that no one is perfect. I think that perfection is highly valued in this culture, so my boss probably did not like that. I hope that they remember it, and do not forget it. It is amazing how much pressure these kids are under to perform well in everything. They go to school, and then they come to our program, which is essentially more school. Some of the kids have classes until 9pm. I think I am going to start praying over my students before class, that God will tug at their hearts.

Another fantastic thing is my co-workers. I love Chloe and Andrew, they are wonderful. They have been willing to help me figure out everything I have had questions about over the past few days. I am also learning more about Korean food, and I love it! There are some things I will probably never crave, such as dried squid, but for the most part it is all pretty good. The past few days I have been adventurous and tried dishes with seaweed, kimchi (I don't know how to spell it), and other things that I cannot even begin to spell or pronounce. Most of the food is really spicy, I love spicy food, so I feel like I am in food heaven right now. At the end of year, I know I will be wanting my American food back.

Tomorrow is the end of my first week. Thank you for all of your prayers, they are felt and continually needed. You can still be praying that I would be the gospel to my co-workers, students, and other acquaintances. Finally, that I will not get lost trying to find the church I am attending on Sunday. I have to ride the subway to get there and then walk, it should not be bad, but I am directionally challenged so we will see what happens. Love you all, and would love to hear how you are when you have the time. = )

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It all begins now

I am finally in Daegu, South Korea. My plane flew into Seoul yesterday night and I was taken to a guest house for the night. This morning, I took a bus to Daegu. It has already been an adventure in these past two days. On the bus ride I met a Canadian man and his Korean wife. He gave me the run down on Daegu, but to be honest, I don't really remember much of what he said. Most of it was about how Daegu is very different from China or Japan. They were both God's grace to me, because when the bus got to Daegu there was no one there to pick me up. They let me use their phone, and waited with me while the whole process got straightened out. The Korean wife's relatives showed up to pick them up, they also helped straighten out the mess. My favorite part of it all was the fact that a Korean lady that I had only known for 2 minutes yelled at them over the phone for me because they were not there to get me yet. As soon as my ride came to get me, they took me over to the school. Today, I observed classes through jetlag, and tomorrow I will begin teaching. Now I am in apartment, or room I should say, haha. I was shocked when I first walked in, but the more I look at it, the more I know that I can live here. God is already stretching me, and it is only day 1. I met all of my co-workers today, they are great, but none of them are believers. I know this will be a great opportunity for me to minister to them, but right now I really miss having community around me. They say that you experience shock when you leave college and go into a job that is not minstry based because you are surrounded by non-believers, and it's true. I had friends in Lubbock that did not know the Lord, but I did not spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with them. All I can say now is pray for me. Pray for quick adjustment to jetlag, that I can be a light to my co-workers, and I can find community to pour back into me while I am here. Love you all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I have the visa

After months of craziness, and two days of running around town like a chicken with its head cut off, I am ever so thankful to announce that I have my visa! Tomorrow or Sunday I will be flying out of Houston. My adventures in Korea start in just a few days. When I get a chance to, I will update the blog. I don't know when I will have internet, but I hope it will be soon. Thanks for all the prayers, they are felt.

Monday, September 1, 2008

What do you hope in?

So my journey and struggle to get to South Korea continues on. My recruiter does not understand that I did everything necessary for my criminal background check. I have an uncle who called the capital for me, did research, and asked around. They told him that I did everything right. Now I have yet to convince my recruiter of it. Patience is a virtue that I am learning, some people are surprised that I still want to go to South Korea, but I suppose that I am stubborn. It is also probably the Lord pushing me towards this end. What a crazy ride this whole thing has been, and I am learning sooooooo much. One of my friends said that all of these things may be testing of my faith. I didn't really like that statement because it is hard to take in. It means that there is probably, indefinitely, more hard things ahead of me. Not a fan of that, but at the same time, I know that my friend is right. There is no choice in my situation but to trust Him. All these circumstances have brought me to my knees, but there is no place I would rather be. New things are coming to life, and words on pages are no longer words, but life. I thirst for Him on a daily basis, in the deepest recesses of my soul I know that I cannot make it through the day if I do not hear from Him. I see that my hope can be built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. Dear friends, please make Him your hope in these days, because nothing else can sustain or satisfy.

On another note, I went out this weekend with my sister and some friends for her birthday. We went to this one place where some sleezy fellas tried to hit on us. One of the guys insisted that he was not hitting on us, he was just there with his friends. The only reason I mention them is because it was so sad. One of them was older, and highly innapropriate, I will not repeat some of the things he told me. The only reason he told me these awful things was in an effort to impress me and the other girls. I can only feel pity for this man because he feels that his worth is defined by the things he has done, the money he has, his social status, and his job. Maybe the things he said were all lies, but that is what he thought would make him impressive or worthwhile in our eyes. How tragic, that so many people feel that they aren't worth something without all the excess. I hope that one day someone can tell that man, when he is sober, that someone loves him as he is. There is a God who knows him without the money, the job, the status, the relationships, the popularity, and the prestige. This God loves him without it all.

My last tidbit for today is to let you all know that I have a tattoo. I got it yesterday! It is the greek word agape on my wrist. I will post a picture of it soon.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Justice Prevails

It turns out that I did everything right for my documents that I sent to South Korea. I have people who researched it for me and told me that Korea can not expect anything further from the state of Texas than what we have already given them. Thirty minutes ago I emailed my recruiter about this, it will take a lot for me to not rub it in his face, I know that is so mature. The email I sent him already had some attitude, I told him that the documents he already has are all that he will get from the state of Texas. I am waiting now for his response to my email, I probably won't get it until late tonight, haha.

A huge wave of confidence and peace has swept over me for the first time in a long time. Today, is my sister's birthday so I am glad that I can celebrate with her without this thing hanging over my head. Freedom, is the only way to perfectly describe this feeling. Yes, freedom. = )

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When I am weak then He is strong

The pathway is broken, and the signs are unclear. I don't know the reasons why You brought me here, but just because You love me the way You do, I'm gonna walk through the fire if You want me to. Cause I'm not who I was when I took my first step, and I'm clinging to the promise that You're not through with me yet. So if all of these trials bring me closer to You, then I will go through the valley if You want me to. May not be the way I would have chosen, when You lead me through a world that's not my home, but You never said it would be easy. You only said I'd never go alone. So when the whole world turns against me, and I'm all by myself. I can't hear You answer my cries for help, I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through, and I will go through the fire, if You want me to.

-Jenny Owens

The Calm in my Storm

Last night, I received another email from my recruiter. The email said that some of my documents do not have the stamp they need from the Capital in Austin even though I sent them to the Capital. Tonight, I talk with my recruiter to see what this means. Honestly, I feel very small at the moment, and extremely out of control. That is reality, I am not in control, it's just funny how I don't face it until moments like this. I will most likely be really straight with my recruiter tonight about this shady business that is happening, and tell him that I will not tolerate it. Maybe I will not be going to South Korea anymore...maybe I will have to stay and find a job here in Houston.

I am in the middle of a great storm, there is only one calm in my storm, one consistency that does not change. I have been listening to the Jimmy Needham song "Hurricane" religiously through the past two days because I feel like it describes my life now. Last night, a good friend pointed me to James 1:2. So now I am praying that I can consider these trials as pure joy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

the path takes another turn again..

I am not going to Italy anymore. In the last post I said that nothing is set in stone, here is resounding proof that it is true. So Houston better be ready for me because I will be here until the 3rd week of September. I am angry, and wish that I could just relax. It will not be so bad, but that is not what my heart is telling my head. It is screaming in ten different languages. I take peace from words that my friends Michele and Aubrey sent out today in updates about their lives. They both acknowledge that transition is hard, but surivivable if we know the One to run to. Now my feet are hitting the pavement hard.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My journey takes a new turn...

I came upon this morning with great hope. God had impressed great things on my heart, and there was so much hope for the future that He holds in His infinite hands. After church, I came back to my aunt and uncle's house, checked my email only to discover that my date of departure had been moved! The date has been moved to the third week of September. I sat and stared at the email in disbelief for about 2 minutes. Then I began my melt down which lasted for 3 or 4 hours. What three more weeks delay means for me is that I would be in Houston for a whole month, doing nothing during the day, and hanging out with my sister at night. Hanging out with Jess would not be bad, but the hours leading up to that would be unbearable. The next thought I had was that I would go back to Lubbock for a week during that time, but after much thought, and talking with people wiser than myself, we decided that it would not be the best thing to go to Lubbock. That in itself was a hard realization to come to. There is nothing I want more than to go and be with everyone there again. I think God wants to teach me something that requires me being away from my friends, and it sucks. So I was still stuck with Houston for one month at this point. My parents then chimed in with a solution, go to Italy. So right now I am looking at a week in Houston, then flying to Italy, and hopping a plane to Korea after a few weeks there. It is not set in stone by any means right now, but that is the tentative plan. After going through 3 months of this whole ordeal, which means trying to get to South Korea, I have learned that nothing is set in stone until it actually happens, haha.

I was still restless after all this so I went to a haven of mine, Starbucks. Over a Vanilla Latte, I began to read the book "Breaking Free" by Beth Moore. In the next hour, God had addressed everything that had come up in this dramatic fiasco of a day. It never ceases to amaze me that He always has it under control, no matter how crazy it looks, or how dreadful it feels. I also read a bit of Job, he knows a bit about struggle. I was drawn to one passage in particular, Job 36:15-16 says, "But those who suffer he delivers them in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction. He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food." It continues on to more incredible things, I suggest you read it all if you never have, it puts good perspective on our small lives and God's majesty. I am waiting for the place that is free from restriction, but I do not know what it will take to get there. Let me know if you have any thoughts on that...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Life before leaving...

There are a few more days left before I leave the country completely, and I have acquired a few funny stories along the way. Let me start with saying that life is strange in this in between period. I go from day to day in a sort of fog wondering if I ever will really leave or be stuck in this limbo forever. I kind of feel like a pod person, it's really lonely. I am half here, not a whole person. Most of the day there will be things that remind me of everyone at home, yes, Lubbock has become home over the last four years. In vain I try to hold back tears, I try to occupy myself with mindless little activities, running thousands of errands, watching movies, but they all end eventually. The point of this melancholy tirade is to say that I'll take a laugh where ever I can get one. That is my preface for the first story. About two days ago I was at an outlet mall with my parents picking up the last odds and ends that I need, so we went into a makeup store. I approach a lady who works there, ask her about my skin type, and what she thought would be best. After telling her I tend to have oily skin at the end of the day, she smiles, nods understandingly, and states that this is a trying age to be in. Then she proceeds to say that her grand daughter who is 12, is starting to break out a lot as well. The next question out of her mouth is, "So how old are you sweety?" and I respond, "Well...I am 22." Needless to say that she was shocked, and then backtracks by saying, "well, don't you look young for your age, you will love that when you are 40." I am thinking, well I am not 40 yet.

The only way to properly introduce my second story, is to tell you a bit about my grandmother. My grandmother is one of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet. She is deathly afraid that I will fall in love with someone who in not American while I am overseas. Her logic is that if I marry a Korean, German, French, Australian man (the ethnicity doesn't really matter), I will never come back to the United States. If I never come back to the States she will never see me again. Today I had lunch with my grandmother, and she was thrilled to discover that I will be living near an American Air Force base. She hopes that I will meet a tall, handsome, American man there, and come back to the States. My grandfather was a tall man, so I think she wants me to meet someone like him. Anyhow, once I meet him I am obligated to send her a picture. I just smiled sweetly across the table and told her I would send her a picture if it ever did happen. Hahaha, not likely to happen, but I will save those reasons for another day or maybe if I happen to fall in love with anyone there be sure you will hear about it on this blog.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Blog

This is my blog that I will be keeping while I am in South Korea. Read it for all the updates, stories, and ridiculous tales of my life in the next 12 months.