My dear American Friends:
HAPPY NEW YEAR! We usually have two New year's days. One is Lunar New year's day which we usually spend eating rice-cake and sea-weed soup at Mid-night. And another one is regular American New year's day which we usually spend praying at Church. We usually pray about two hours after mid-night praying for each other and some others who need the help. Did you know that Christians are probably only kind of people who pray for someone else?... even for someone you never met? even for the enemies. Buddhists usaually pray for his (or her) own soul and Confucianists usually pray for his (her) future life and good relationship with the others, but Christians pray for the other people most of time, just as Jesus prayed for those people who were crucifying Him on the Cross.
Our children really had great Christmas. They really like Christmas stories. They think that Jesus being born in the manger is somewhat like their own birth stories. Although they do not really know, some of our children were not born in hospitals. One baby was found in a rest-room of a train station, one in a street, and a couple in an abandoned shack. Besides, they were moved from a place to another until they reached our Home. So the stories of the Baby Jesus and Mary rejected by the inn-keepers really touch the hearts of our children. Besides the Baby Jesus had to travel to Egypt escaping the swords of Herod's soldiers, just like some of our defector's children had to escape the pursuit of the North Korean agents and the Chinese police. By these unfortunate experianses, they feel that they are really the CHOSEN ONES BY GOD. So they appreciate Christmas stories even more.
As the New Year started, I receive many cards and letters from my former students... many ministers, missionaries, social workers and wonderful Christian house-wives. Frankly, I am afraid that I do not remember them all and I suppose that I forgot to send cards and encourage them. I am afraid that I am not young any more. Someday, I may even forget my own name, I may even forget the Love of God like some aged Christian patients I go calling on in the hospitals. BUT It's all right, AS LONG AS GOD LOVES US, IT'S ALL RIGHT. Our relationship with God will always continue! He is my Father in Heaven and that's all I want to remember.
The smaller children in our Babies room were invited by the City hall to perform during an Art's Festival. There were thousands of audience and our children were a little scared. And much more interested in crowds and back screens etc. In fact, they made many mistakes. But because of their mistakes, the audience loved them more. In fact, they received more applause and received the POPULARITY AWARD. Thanks to God Who loves and aids those who are not perfect....
We finished the repair of one dormitory and our children are enjoying the new, clean and warm rooms. One of the rooms that we are building is what we call 'INDEPENDENCE ROOM.' It is the corner where our children learn and practice how they can live independently after they leave our home. They learn to cook, clean, study and sleep independently. Once a while, we go to visit them, and try to eat their overcooked or half-cooked rice and side-dishes. In fact, some of them are difficult to swallow, but we eat them anyway appreciating their spirit.
Our Children's Home's Christmas celebration was broadcast nationwide by a Christian radio station. Some of our older children made testimonies and I preached a short sermon. And then after the meeting, we all shared the treats of breads, reminding ourselves that Bethlehem meant "house of bread." Actually I was under the weather and was having headache as usual. I really felt that God stopped my ailment when I stood before audience. After all, my prayer is to die on the pulpit and for that, I need to be up there even if I have to crawl.
Yours because of Calvary,
YOON KWON CHAE
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