My dear American Friends:
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
How would you answer if one of your children ask you this question? "Why do you close your eyes when you pray?" One of my children did, the other day, and I didn't know exactly how to answer. My answer was something like "When you open your eyes, you see only someone near you, but when you close your eyes, you see the world beyond, you see unseen things, most of all you see God." It's true, isn't it? You see God when you can see beyond your present troubles, aches and needs. We usually spend first few days of the New Year in prayer. Our prayer mountains are full of people even in this piercing wind of below zeroes. Some are shouting in competition with the wind and some are crying. Of course, lot of people try to spend the first few days with their families, but lot of Christians feel that they need to SPEND THE FIRST FEW DAYS WITH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. There are so many things that we needed to talk about with our Lord....lot of things that we even forgot to pray.
I confess that many times I wrote to my friends that I will pray for them, and some I even forgot to pray. From now on, I decided that when I write 'I will pray', I stop everything and pray right there. I realize that I may not be as good prayer-warriors like some of the other Korean Christians, but as I am getting aged, I find many more things that I can not do but praying. I find some of the things hard to believe even for me... some of the things that I even hesitate to ask. It's like the prayer of the father who had a spirit-possessed son in Mark 9, he brought the son to Jesus and prayed "I do believe; HELP MY UNBELIEF!" I call it BASE prayer. There are SOPRANO prayers, praying at the top of joy and gratitude, and then, there is BASE prayer, praying at the bottom of a pit, praying really an impossible prayer. But wouldn't you know that IT TAKES BOTH SOPRANO AND BASE and everything else in between that make a good choir. It's like Paul's words in II Cor. 12 "when I am weak, then am I strong!"
This month, I am enclosing a picture of my wife and I when I received "the Faith and Service Award" at the 70th Anniversary of William Jessup University, formerly San Jose Christian College.(President Jessup is standing with us). It was my privilege and honor to be recognized by the University that I graduated. When I came to study at the Bible College 1956, I had $7 in my pocket. I don't know how I could have finished my study, if it was not your help and God's Power. When I went back to Korea to work in the war-torn country, I had $70 in my pocket. I don't know how I could have started a Publishing House, Churches, a Bible College, an Orphanage, Radio work etc. if it was not your support and God's Power. Actually, it was not so difficult, because God had already won the Victory. Like John said, in I John 5:4-5 "This is the victory that has overcome the world (past-perfect-tense)!" All I had to do was just to follow Him and win the smaller battles! I always remember Abraham Lincoln's words (remember I studied also at Lincoln Christian Seminary) "Without God's help, I can not succeed, WITH IT, I CAN NOT FAIL!"
We had a very colorful Christmas. It was cold and everybody was blue, some visitors wore red Santa suits, we had some snow and the world was white and then in the afternoon, we had sand storm from China and earth turned yellow. THE WORLD WAS ONE HUGE CHRISTMAS TREE and our children were happy. January is usually a MONTH OF PRISON EVANGELISM. Remember Korea is a cold country and prisons are even colder. And I have number of correspondence students there. I usually go there and share hot rice-cake soup with them. At our Childrens Home also, we share hot rice-cake soup together. They say that without eating it, we can not gain one more age, which I do not particularly care. But we wish you a Happy New Year anyway.
Yours because of Calvary,
YOON KWON CHAE
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