November and December 2004

My dear American Friends:

I am writing this letter in November, but it may not reach you until December, so my wife and I, with 80 children of Geon Children's Home, wish you HAPPY THANKSGIVING and MERRY CHRISTMAS! Along with 800 students of Seoul Christian University, members of Seoul Central Christian Church and Kehwa Church of Christ, and also Lord knows how many listeners of our Gospel broadcasting want to thank you for your faithful support from the depth of our heart. Many moons changed and much water passed under the bridge (Korean expression?) since we started this work (forty two years exactly since I returned from the schooling abroad) and you have been so faithful and helpful throughout the years. How can we ever thank you for your help.

We appreciated your financial support, but we appreciate more your prayer support. We can feel it coming through sometimes like a push in the back or sometimes like tidal waves. Sometimes it comes down like a shower, sometimes it pushes up like earth quake. I was talking with some big Russians (looking like Mafias and it turned out so) in the streets of Vladivostok, Russia, the other day. First it started with ordinary conversation and suddenly I felt this wave inside of talking about God. I did and we talked on for hours. He eventually invited me inside and I had a prayer with him. I knew that somebody was pushing me with prayers at that time.

The most impressing gift of love we received recently was from a prison. This is a prison where the mother of one of our smaller children is serving her life-term. Actually, she somehow became pregnant again in that prison and another baby was born. They permitted her to nurse the baby until he became one year old and then the baby was sent to us. It seems that the baby was very popular among the inmates and they recently took up an offering and sent to us. And it brought tears to the eyes of all of our workers. They say "the East is east and the West is west," but the love for the babies is the same all over the world. Actually, the world is getting smaller and there is not much pain that is not felt around the world immediately. It certainly is a better world that we live in today... we must be thankful. I wonder how Herod could get away with killing so many babies. I wonder how Kim, Jung Il (North Korean dictator) can get away with starving so many babies in North Korea.

But then, there is something that is so difficult to change between the East and the West. I was talking with a young American missionary and he was complaining about the buses that do not leave until it's full. I said, "Your mind need to become ASIANIZED if you want to work in Asia... to be able to wait until tomorrow if you can not finish it today. WESTERNIZED mind try to analyze and scientify immediately, while Asian mind try to philosophize and poeticize. When you look at a moon, for instance, western mind try to get there first while the Asian mind try to write poems about it. I am not saying which is good, I am just saying that mind need to be Asianized to work in Asia. It may involve "doing things tomorrow even what you can do today," and I feel that Jesus may have hinted it when He said, "Blessed are the meek...." Perhaps that's why Jesus was born in a manger of Bethlehem.

In November, we are having many Conventions and conferences...Korean Christian Convention, Preachers' Conference etc. this year. And usually Korean Conventions have a schedule of bathing together in a hot spring (this, again, has something to do with Asian mind). And in this kind of bathing, we do not hide anything. Actually, where there are conflict of ideas and plans, we take bath together and the arguments are liable to melt in the hot water. And of course, it's good for health. Recently, I spent one week in Russia holding Evangelistic meetings and Seminars, and they asked me if I wanted to take bath. Actually, I didn't have time. I preached all day and they wanted more. The world is hungry and thirsty after the preaching of the Gospel! I have been saying it all my life, But God has been saying it for more than two thousand years! MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yours because of Calvary,


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