My dear American Friends:
I was talking with our children about the seasons of life, and one child bluntly asked me “What season are you?”. I couldn’t answer ‘spring’ neither ‘summer’ nor even ‘autumn’…but perhaps I am closest to this season ‘late autumn’ when leaves are changing and leaving the trees. But autumn leaves are beautiful and I wish to be remembered as autumn leaves.
As we are aging, we may lose some hearing, our voice may change, our eyes may dim and our hands and feet may lose power. BUT HAVE NO FEAR! Our ears start to listen to Heavenly voices clearer, our eyes start to see the Glory of God better and our hands can grab the Hem of His Robe and our feet are marching toward His Kingdom. So, we may lose something, but also we are gaining much. It’s because winter is heading toward a new spring.
Another thing that I found about aging is that we start to sing in a different choir. When I served as the President of the Senior Preachers’ Fellowship, I organized a Senior Preacher’s Choir. The Fellowship had 700 members and the Choir also had 25 members. They sang well, although their voices were not like a Youth Choir. And, I found something else. I began to ENJOY SINGING ALONE… rather than singing in a choir. I cannot stop singing, as praise and prayer are two important pillars of Christian life. It’s spiritual breathing of Christians. Prayer is inhaling breath and praise is exhaling breath. So, instead of joining a choir, I tend to sing alone… sort of a solo-choir.There are a few hymns that I like to sing alone like “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…. I was blind, but now I see….” I used to see only a part, now I see lots of things. Some things I regret, some things I repent, but all things melt in the great love of Jesus Christ. I enjoy singing alone to the sky. And winter sky is great orchestra!
Another kind of gain as we age are our children and their dedication. I have a son who is about to follow my steps and I thank God for that. It’s not, it’s never easy steps, and the CROSS IS NOT EASY TO CARRY, but he is willing and I am already borrowing his help as I speak at the Churches etc. And not a few children of mine, are already working with me at Children’s Home, Christian University, Churches and what not. I thank God, and I thank you for all my children in this Thanksgiving season.
This fall, we received a few more children who are the children of North Korean defectors. As these defectors escape North Korea, not through the 3 mile mined Demilitarized zone which means certain death, but traveling secretly through the wide continent of China for many months and years, without passports, without money, being constantly chased by the Chinese police and North Korean agents. By the time that they reach South Korea, they are so exhausted that they need to be hospitalized and the children come to us. And of course, Christmas is new experience to them. While they were in North Korea, they were joyful whenever they were told to be joyful and they laughed whenever they were told to laugh. But now they KNOW WHY THEY ARE JOYFUL and why they laugh, because the real Savior was born.
At Geon Christian Children’s Home, our children are planning a Christmas program as usual, for friends and neighbors, especially to those who do not attend Churches. They will be performing the Birth of Christ several times for guests and visitors. It may not be much for the audience, but for our children, it’s the most important performance and they spend lots of time practicing in the midst of mid-term and final examinations. And of course, who acts what part is also important. Everyone wants to be Joseph and Mary, but we cannot have many Josephs and Marys, so they take turns. Baby Jesus is also sought-for position, but we had an incident in the past in which baby Jesus was angry and walked off stage. Also there was a time when we used actual dogs and cats at the manger scene. They were friendly, but then they did not help to keep the manger calm and clean. Actually, the manger where Jesus was born, I bet, was not a clean place. Jesus was not born in a clean manger, as this world is not a clean place. JESUS CAME TO CLEAN THIS DIRTY WORLD, we know.
One of our children said that he wants to be a shepherd when he grows up. I explained to him how rough and tough job it is, as it also is a dirty job. I am not sure if he changed his mind, but there are not enough sheep in Korea for him to be a shepherd anyway. So I told him that he needs to be a minister, because we are all God’s sheep. At Geon Children’s Home, we already raised many servants of the Lord. And the way our Home grows and the way our children grow, it may even become a CHRISTIAN SERVANTS’ HOME, which is my earnest prayer.
Yours because of Calvary,
YOON KWON CHAE
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