Be Led..even if it is to South Korea
I wanted to share with you how God led us through every step of this trip to South Korea. I will begin after the blog posted to let everyone know we needed help to make the trip possible. After the donations and during receiving them we began to make reservations, buy airline tickets and set aside the cost of travel… Counting the cost as the Word of God says to do. We seen that it was much more than we had in our pocket but we knew God had led us to go with Bethy and she knew she was to go. As the financial blessing came so did the encouragement, It showed support that she felt she did not have and was overwhelmed that people wanted to be part of her life.
We rented an apartment to stay in while we helped get Bethy’s apartment ready. It was an unbelievable deal for 9 days $350.00. Whole apartment all to ourselves, which is rare over there. Next the tickets secured. We had sold my car to a family to help. It was sold to a family who had just moved back to Tulsa from Texas, we had the opportunity to pray for healing in his knee and became instant friends with them. We shared God’s love with them and they were amazed at what God has been doing in our lives moving here from Texas. She also shared with us saying, “ We have not trusted God for our move, and it has been hard.”
Some of our church family helped us get the tickets at a discount, which turned out to be stand by that was not what we were expecting but they were so good to help get us on time and on the flight. A couple of days before we leave we get a notification that our reservations are canceled. We had no explanation just a refund immediately. We didn’t have a place to stay as the place was the only one in that area available for that time. We prayed and asked God to show us what to do, we heard stay at peace, trust I have you in my plan. So we did we got a call from the apartment manager and the reservation was back on with a discount!!! Only God!!!
We are off to the airport, settled in our seats and flying to South Korea. We have been in much prayer for this trip as it’s not a vacation but a position God told us to get in and we are obeying. On the flight, next to Mike is a business man from Korean returning home. His seat won’t lay back so Mike, the mechanical technician that he is proceeds to help. He literally takes the chair apart and gets it to recline and the man is in awe. He say’s to me, “ Who is this man you are married to, that he would do this for me?” I smiled and said a servant. He began to talk to Mike about life and ask why we are on our way to South Korea. Mike shares our story and how God has a plan. He asks many questions about God, and the ministry. He had never heard the truth of Jesus being a servant and that’s why we should serve one another. He was so excited and made it his place to make sure as we landed to secure our plans to get to the apartment. The nicest man and he has kept in touch.
While in Korean we find out fast that there are not but a few English speaking people and no bus, or taxi driver can understand a word we are saying. We have a difficult time to travel from our place were staying to Bethy’s apartment so we walked. We walked three miles one way, and the rain happens often in the summer. We got caught in a down pour and my feet were soaked, and with all the walking I’m covered in blisters. We have much to do still as we are purchasing things for her apartment, a microwave, rice cooker, broom, mop, bedding, mirror you name it, and carrying it all on our walks, no time to let the blisters heal.
Our first order of business was to locate a church family for Bethy so she is not here alone. Her job is working in a private English school teaching 4-7 yr. olds science in English. There are a few other American and Canadian teachers. It’s a smaller community than in Seoul, so no other foreigners than us. Bethy gets the opportunity to meet the other teachers for dinner. The next day we meet up with her to find out how did it go? Her attitude has changed she is silent and upset but doesn’t want to talk to us. We try to help set things up and she just asks us to leave. Hurt and shocked at her reaction, we do leave. But as we go we begin praying because we don’t know what has happened. I do know my daughter and when she is upset about something instead of talking about it she try to keep it to herself, and it comes out as anger, she hates to show she is vulnerable.
We get up again before 5 am seeking the Lord and praying for Bethy. As we return she says, “ The teachers are heathens!!!, now I will have no friends here”. She asks God to send her a Korean friend, genuine heart, to have a real connection with the community and to share her love for God.
We continue to make ready her apartment and get groceries. She starts working shadowing the teacher for three days. We find out some different things about the school, the apartment that are less than perfect. We work to make things better. In the process Bethy say’s, “ with all the unexpected that has happened I could not have done this with you both”. We both realize that we could of blew up at her attitude toward us , but we didn’t, we didn’t get offended but walked in love toward her. She is an adult, we have to trust that God is working in her as she makes choices and says things.
We are glad God led us to come with her, but we still need a church. We have time every morning as the sun rises before 5 am to get up pray, read the Word and listen to God’s direction before walking to Bethy’s apartment. We have all the things we set out to get, but want the connection God has for her. So as we are walking in the neighborhood looking for something to eat. I know in my spirit to go to Domino’s pizza, I know, I know we are in Korea eating the most amazing Korean BBQ, Donkatsu , Bulgogi , Jeon, and I hear Domino’s pizza? Even in the USA I don’t eat Domino’s pizza. But we obeyed.
We step into the little store front, it’s a take out place. I asked if she could understand English? She began to speak back to me in English…this was the nicest young lady. We met Youjin Lee, she even helped us to learn some Korean to get vegan food for Bethy. But God prompted Mike to ask her about a church, told her about Bethy and what we were doing in Korea. She lit up and put her hand on her heart and proclaimed, “I am Christian, my father is Pastor Lee”, and pointed to a church right across the block from Bethy’s apartment. We exchanged information and went our way. We walked out of there looked at each other with tears in our eyes, knowing God lead us there. We later looked into the church and visited the location. And on Sunday we prepared to attend. Of course we were apprehensive not know what to expect, if the people would want Americans there as it was a tradition Korean church, but we pushed past it all and walked in the rain to church.
Originally we were scheduled to leave on Sunday. and we had received a call from our friends that had helped us book the flight saying the flights were over booked we were looking at another week, sadly we did not have a place to stay or travel money prepared for another week, not to mention we did not have and more vacation days to use from work, having to call and explain this to the boss. We had set ourselves to pray and seek God. We looked at every avenue, we didn’t have money to buy another ticket even with the refund from the original. We did however have all our money we put aside for our house payment and bills when we returned, we knew our check would be short because we had already taken more days than just the vacation time allowed. We walked in faith, moved to Bethy’s apartment on the floor and began to look for flights. We knew God would take care of us and now we could go to visit the church with Bethy on Sunday.
We didn’t know if we would see Youjin, or even if she would recognize us, but as we rounded the corner to enter there she was, she says, “You came!!!” She meets Bethy for the first time and introduces us to the church ,and her family.
Youjin introduces us to Tim, a young man studying under her Father as a church leader who speaks English very well. He sits with us to help guide us through the service. Everyone is so nice and they invite us to stay for lunch, a meal prepared by the church from their “sky garden” a garden on the roof. It was delicious!!!
In church I recognize the hymns we are singing by the melody and sing along in English but I look over at Bethy who reads Korean and she is singing along in Korean… My heart rejoiced!!! Youjin plays the piano, her sister Sujin is in the choir and her beautiful mom a servant of the Lord, helping everywhere she can. We enjoyed meeting all the people and them sharing the produce of their garden with us. Youjin’s brother was not present at the time but stayed with a friends. Mike had a good visit with Pastor Lee and Tim, the time was too short.
We shared our story and how we believe God answered our prayers sending Youjin to us that day. They also said their prayers have been answered by us meeting. What an encouragement to each other, both right where God wanted us to be, together. We continued to spend the next day with Youjin and Junkyong her brother as they bless us by taking us to the Palace in Seoul and to eat wonderful food. Bethy has become good friends with Youjin and Sujin her sister.
As we prepare to leave our baby girl in South Korea, I have every confidence that God has placed her here in this community and will continue to use her. There is no safer place to be than in the will of God.
As we are walking through the airport in Korea, checked our bags a couple heard us speaking to one another and stopped. She said, “ You speak English!”, I replied, “ Yes we do”. I knew she had probably been in a city like us where no one spoke English. But she wanted to know why we were in South Korea. We told them our story and they were assured that this was all no accident, but God working. They happened to be from Missouri, there on business but involved in women’s ministry and wanted to keep in touch.
We are on the flight home and a nice Korean woman asks me what did we do in South Korea, I shared our story and she is amazed. She is a Korean teacher who 25 yrs ago met an American teacher and they are still good friends today. She was so thankful for Bethy coming to her community to encourage the children. She said most parents push their children to be what they want them to be, and many in their young lives commit suicide. She was thankful for Bethy’s heart for the Korean people and for us to come and encourage her to fulfill this journey.
We had several flights to get home so from Korea, to San Fransisco, to Denver, then to Tulsa. And as we leave we get a phone call saying our air conditioner in our house back home has gone out. We have to replace it completely. We have used all the money we had to get home at midnight and going home to a house in July with no AC was not ideal. We tell our son go ahead and get ready what we need to replace it. We looked at each other and said, “ If God has told us to trust Him, we will”. We had another account come to mind that we had put aside to fix up the only truck we had since I sold the best car we had. We would use it to replace the AC unit. Well it was quoted to be at least twice the amount we had but we said, go ahead.
Landing in Denver we had a little lay over and we checked into the area where our flight was, there was a group of older ladies sitting together but not talking all on their electronic devises. Mike said, “ well this is not normal” , they stopped what they were doing and looked up. You remember back in the day where you would sit and have a conversation instead of a phone, iPad or something in front of us with ear phones in so you can’t hear anything else?
They laughed and two turned their attention to Mike. They wanted to have a conversation. So he asked about their families, where they had been traveling and where they were going. One of the ladies was from here in Oklahoma. Told us about her family and that she was a great grandma and excited to be very much apart of their lives. She also told us a tragic story of losing a grand daughter in a car wreck not long ago. I remembered hearing about this and we encouraged her. She said she knew the other person involved and there was no injury to them or no police action taken against them. She said I have to pray everyday to not go to them and ask why? We encouraged her to stay praying but that it may also weigh on them that this terrible accident happened. Maybe to pray for them and walk in forgiveness…She was sure that is what God is giving her strength to do, we know God brought us together that night for this very reason.
As we returned home Mike and Andrew worked to get the AC ready by removing the old one and a friend said he was going to get us a deal. We received a pay check that was a good help toward the price of the AC unit but not enough for bills and the AC unit together. We stood in faith and went to use the money for the unit. It was 400.00 cheaper than the original quote. The remaining amount with a coming pay check was enough to pay some of the first of the months bills, and the AC unit, but we still needed some food and gas for the next two weeks. We were okay with that, we said, “If the birds eat, I will eat!”, and a check came from something Mike’s dad had sold for him…..
So much in trusting the Lord we don’t get because we think it’s connected to our job or our savings account. No God wanted us to trust Him without seeing anything but Him as our source, and He provided!!!! God cared more about those people we ministered to than us concerned with money.
I will never forget what God has showed me on this journey and the faith we grew into as we trusted Him. I don’t want to go back to living any other way.
I want to stay open to God’s plan and see His reward. Phyllis Moore taught a message entitled, “FAITH FOR SIGHT”. You need to listen to it.
Pastor Phyllis said, “ If you have no opportunity to use your faith, it can’t grow!!!” Read Hebrew 11: see how God prompted people to move in faith, and do it!!! It’s when we get the prompting and ignore it, is where we get complacent. I knew to go to Domino’s pizza, had I ignored it…..
I would of left there a crying mess without a completed mission. Faith is NOW!!!
Faith is taking action, following God as He prompts us and not doing it in our own selves. When we know God has told us something we can not allow anything, or anyone to talk us out of it, don’t waiver.
God taught us that money was not the issue for anything we faced, but faith, trusting in His direction.
Pastor Phylis Moore said this, “ When you have proven to be faithful with money, then you will be able to handle the things of God, because God is interested in loving people, more than loving money, and you will have more than you need!”
We went with our daughter because we were led to do so, to be obedient to God as He said to be a help to her. She was not always wanting us around, but she needed us as she soon found out. She wanted to set out independently but God showed her she is not independent of Him. I saw growth in her and us as we parted.
I refuse to stop there, I won’t be complacent and comfortable, but willing and obedient to trust my Father’s leading and minister the love of God to all He instructs me to do so.
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