My dear American Friends:
HAPPY NEW YEAR! of monkey. But MONKEY IS NEVER GOING TO BE ON OUR FAMILY ALBUM. In fact, I have been told that one of our children asked his biology teacher who taught evolution that, if monkey is our ancestor, why don't we have him on our family altar. I bet the teacher had hard time answering that question. Their teachers usually have hard time answering our children's questions. And our children always pray and thank God before they open their lunch boxes. When one of our children found that his lunch was gone after prayer, he stood on the chair and prayed aloud "Heavenly Father, there is a bad boy in this class, please show him hell...." When he opened his eyes again, his lunch box was back.
For us Asian people, New Year's day bring one more added joy (or sorrow). Because it is a day to gain another year of one's age, to the young people, including our children, it's a joy; and to the elders, especially to people like us who have NO HOPE OF GETTING YOUNGER EXCEPT THE RESURRECTION, it's added burden. The shortened time means more decisions to make in a limited time. There are so many things I still want to do for Christ and our children as well as for Churches. I wish to preach this Gospel to the last breath of my life! Especially, I wish to be able to go to North Korea and preach, but the time is short and I am praying....
Talking about a quick decision, we received eleven new children last year. There are a couple of sisters and a brother and sister. I heard this story about a brother and a sister. When sister was very sick and she needed blood transfusion, doctors found that the best type of blood was the brother's. So, they asked him if he will give her some of his blood. He hesitated for a while, but answered with determination, "Yes, she is my sister." While a nurse was drawing blood, he asked the doctor with trembling voice, "WHEN DO I DIE?" And suddenly they realized why he hesitated for a while. He thought that "giving blood" was "dying," and he was determined to die for his sister.
One of the things I am thankful for, even if I aged one more year, my eyes are good (I had only one cataract surgery), and so are my ears as well as my teeth. However, when we sing at Church, I feel that I aged a little. I hardly know the Gospel songs that young people sing at Church this days. I guess, it will be somewhat like in North Korea. They say that North Korean Christians sing hymns either by humming or in the tune of a North Korean military songs. But they are singing to God, with tears streaming down their cheeks. They may be arrested and executed, but I bet, THEY ARE SEEING GOD CLEARER THAN WE ARE!
One of our children asked me, "How can I talk to God, when I DON'T SEE HIM FACE TO FACE?" Now-a-days, there are lots of things that people believe even when they don't see face to face. Some people use e-mails... even chatting by computers they commit themselves, buy something, or have special relationships. These days, there is even what they call a "suicide club." By chatting through internet, they even commit to suicide together, even if they never met face to face. What a strange world we live in! And yet, they wouldn't believe in God, because, as they said, "they never saw Him face to face."
I guess, prayer would be somewhat like talking on cellular phones. We never see face to face, neither do we see any line, but we know that we are talking to someone. We may never see Jesus face to face, but we know that we are connected. And we know that God listens. I like Haydn. I like his "The Creation" chorus. I often listen to it on radio. When I listen, I can see God's majestic world and His Hand working through this Universe, just as if I am right there! By faith, may all of us have this fellowship and contact with God through the year of 2004!
Yours because of Calvary,
YOON KWON CHAE
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