After two months of trip to Southeast Asia and to Korea, my family and I made it back to Houston in one piece this past Tuesday. Although I already miss certain people, places and aspects of our trip, I am realizing that there is no place like home. It truly is good to be back!
I will be sharing more about the trip in the weeks and months to come especially about which areas of the world we will focus on to do our missions work more effectively, but these are some of the things that I have learned and experienced during the trip that I would like to share with you now.
First, I have learned about the importance of participating regularly in corporate worship. Due to our heavy and hectic schedule and also the lack of freedom to hold public worship services in certain countries, it was not always possible for us to worship God with other believers corporately. I always knew that participating in corporate worship service is a must for a believer to thrive and grow in Christ, but never did I fully realize how dry my soul could get without it. Corporate worship service is a medium through which God pours out His grace and power upon His children! It is our lifeline without which we cannot survive as a Christ-follower. This trip has helped me to have a deeper appreciation for our Sunday corporate worship service.
Second, I have learned that people become most attractive when they love and serve God with all of their heart, mind and soul. I have met many missionaries in Southeast Asia and also in China. Many of them were not all that handsome or pretty physically speaking. But there was something about them that made them very attractive and precious, and that something was their love and heart for the Lord. Unlike the physical beauty, this beauty does not and will not fade away as years go by as they continue to love God and serve Him wholeheartedly.
Third, I have learned that physical family members and relatives are precious gifts from God and we must cherish them. Since I left Korea in 1978 when I was thirteen years old, I have not been able to go back and visit the relatives. I kept in touch with some of them for the first five years or so, but after that communication stopped gradually. But what joy it was for Lynette and I to meet our relatives after some thirty years and reconnect with them all over again! Words cannot express how happy and excited we were when we met them! Unfortunately, some of our relatives are not Christ followers and they are getting old. We felt the urgency to pray for them diligently and share Christ with them before they pass away from this world. That is the greatest gift we could give them.
Lastly, I have learned that our children are much more resilient than we think they are. Our parents and some of our older relatives kept asking us if our children are healthy and have been doing well during the trip. They were very concerned about our children thinking that they are too young and fragile for all this. Some of them even said to us, “Why are you making your children go through so much hardship?” But the reality is they did just fine. Yes, the climate was harsh and unbearable at times, the food was quite different and often unpalatable and the sleeping accommodation was frequently uncomfortable. They did get diarrhea and eye infection and suffered with eczema more than they do here in America. On top of this, they did not have their friends, Game Cube or computer to play with. And for the most part, they had to sit and amuse themselves and listen to their parents talking with a whole bunch of missionaries hours and hours at a time. But they are all healthy and Lynette and I think they had a great time during the trip. Let’s not forget that our children are more resilient than we think they are. Allowing them to go through some hardship especially when they are young is much more beneficial for them than pampering them with all the toys and comforts of this world.
I know that many of you remembered us in your prayers while we were traveling. And I sincerely want to thank you because, we know, without your prayer support, our trip would have been much more difficult and painful.
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