February 2011

My dear American Friends:

HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR of the rabbit!

The Lunar New Year's day is Feb. 3rd and 2nd and 4th are holidays too. The trains and buses are, as you might say, 'sardine-packed' by the people who go to see their parents and anscestor's tombs. Our children, presently growing or the grown ups, mostly come to me. They bow to the elders and the bowed elders are supposed to give them some allowances. So, on that day, you will see lots of our children chasing the older brothers and sisters to bow and earn allowances. In my case, most of them come to me, several hundreds, and it takes a fortune to give them all allowances. I don't give each of them much, but it's a part of a job as an orphanage director.

It's rabbit's year. Korean people love rabbits... there are many stories about rabbits. For instance, when we were growing, we were told that there is a rabbit in the moon baking the rice cake. There is a story about a race of a rabbit and turtle. The rabbit, being confident of victory, took a nap on the way and lost the race eventually (Is this your fairy story, I am not sure). Anyway, I used this story in my sermon to the children. I said that the reason for the lost race was 'looking at the opponent rather than the goal.' I guess that's the reason for our failures in many cases. Paul says in Philippians 3: 13 "...one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark..."

These days, I am learning HOW FAR IT IS from HAND TO MOUTH. Our twins are learning to pick up things, cookie crumbs for instance, but they still do not know that they can take it to their mouths. At first, they were so surprised to find their hands... they didn't know that those hands belong to them. Now they are learning the distance between their hands and their mouths. Pretty soon, they will learn the distance between their tongues to their brains... knowing the taste etc. Sooner or later, I know that they will learn the distance between their brains and their heart... for instance, the distance between seeing the need for the mission work and actually wanting to do something. And the next stage is to learn the distance between heart and feet. That is, wanting to do something and actually doing it. For instance, wanting to go to the mission field and actually going. I want all our children to become missionaries, or is it too big hope?

We are having historically cold weather. We never had so much snow before, and the roads are slippery. Even if it's freezing, it's beautiful and our children enjoy making snow men. The ice on the road is dangerous and a couple of our children are already on crutches, they even made a snowman on crutch. At first, I didn't like it, but on my second thought, perhaps it would be a good warning sign. Talking of the warning signs, many strange things are happening in this part of the world. For instance, 'mouth and foot' disease is spreading fast in Korea, and we had to kill and bury almost 3 million animals under ground... volcanoes are spewing burning rocks into the air in Japan... In Thailand, they found 1,500,000 tons of dead fish on beach on Dec. 31... On 8th of this year, Northern New Zealand beaches were covered by the dead birds etc. etc. Actually, to you and me, it's nothing strange, because they are the signs that JESUS IS COMING BACK. I preached a sermon entitled, "What time is it?" I believe that it's the time that Jesus is starting to "reap with a sharp sickle in His Hand." (Revelation 14: 14)

The other day, I preached a sermon on the Grace of God, and I commented about God's fairness 'giving equal time and air to the righteous and the bad.' After the sermon, a lady came up to me and asked, "Are you sure that God gives equal air to all? My son has lung-disease and can't get enough air to his lung... Does God love my son?" I answered, "Of course God loves your son"... but I really didn't know what to say after that.... I guess there are people in this world who don't get even enough air. How precious is the time and air we breath every moment. And how we should use them wisely. In fact, next week, I am going to preach on "DO NOT BE AFRAID OF DEATH, BE AFRAID OF LIFE!"

Yours because of Calvary,


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