MAY 2006

My dear American Friends:

I was preparing a sermon for a meeting of blind preachers on the Maundy Thursday. I wanted to say something about "darkness," considering the audience. Not only that, it was the beginning of the dark week-end of the passion of Christ. And suddenly, a striking thought turned on a light in my brain! It was not a dark week-end at all. Because of the week-end, because of the Cross Jesus carried, the Salvation came into this world! So the darkest days were actually the brightest days! It may not be anything at all to the other people, but to me, the thought was so enlightening that I had to talk about it to the people in the streets! In fact, I talked about it to six different groups during that week. To one group, I talked about the blind Bartimaeus who was healed by Jesus and joined the triumphant entry into Jerusalem with the disciples! That day, I baptized two blind people. Also I baptized one 90 years old lady and she said, "This is the beginning of my new life!"

I like to talk about the Easter to our children of Geon Christian Children's Home. Many of them lost their parents, and the Easter gives them the hope of meeting their parents again! One child asked me "My father was burned to ash. How is God going to make him whole body again?" We together read Isaiah 26:19 where God said, "Your dead will live; their bodies will rise, You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy...." If our Lord can make the dust to rise, why not the burnt ash! why not the drowned and eaten by the fish. They will all rise with bright new shiny bodies! My father was killed by the communists, and I couldn't even find his body. Some said that it was one of the decayed rag-like bodies I found in the front-line. So what? He will have a new body when I see him and we will praise the Lord together with heavenly voice!!

Actually, I hope that I shall have a new different body when I am resurrected. I don't like my present body! I am too weak, timid and I have too many scars on my body. All our children have scars on their lives. Some of them were abused, battered and abandoned! Some of their mental scars are deeper than their physical scars. Many years ago, one child came with burnt scars all over her face. She grew up beautifully and is now one of our dorm mothers. She never married and devotes her life for the younger children. She said that some of her children asked her about the scars. And she answered, "It's God's special present for me." And everybody wanted to have scars. They begged her for scars, so she, once time, drew black marks on the children's faces, and the children were so happy! One child even said, " I want a mark that cannot be erased!"

Next week, I am preaching about "the new relationship with the Lord." I feel that it's one result of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! One thing that makes Christian Belief stand out among all other religions, to me, is this aspect of the salvation! To some religion, salvation is "healing" or "happiness." To the Confucian, Salvation is to build "heaven-like kingdom on earth." To the Buddhist, salvation is to become free from earthly worries and desires! To Christians! to me, Salvation is no less than "NEW FATHER-and-CHILDREN" relationship with the Heavenly Father! And to the children of Geon Christian Children's Home, there is no better news than having a new Father! In fact, when I baptized one of our children last year, he said, "I have more fathers than anybody else...my dead father, father in the Orphanage, adopted father oversea and New Father in Heaven!" He has so many fathers that he can even trade one with a mother. (I told him that he can trade me anytime.)

This month, I am enclosing a copy of a letter we received from a mother who is in a prison and whose children we are taking care of presently. Roughly, it says. "Thank you for taking care of my children. I yearn to hold, love and touch my children. But I have committed crime against God and society, and I still have to spend many years in prison. But I know at least where my children are and that they are in your good care and love. I will become a good Christian even in this prison and live in the hope to see my children someday. Thank you again."

Yours because of Calvary,

YOON KWON CHAE

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