Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Korean blessing (2) A retold story

The Korean culture has immense respect for older people - I was told the language even has a different way of addressing them to show this respect.  And since Carol and I fit in that category you can imagine how well we were treated at their anniversary service on Sunday.  From the moment we arrived through the service and meal afterwards (they said the pork was hardly spicy....well, it's all relative!) the whole church family showed such love and thanks for our part 29 years ago.  They now hold a monthly English service with Korean in the background (though the sermon had interpretation) so on this occasion we were able to participate fully.

In the sermon I mentioned the story of their church member who tracked me down when I visited Seoul for the Baptist World Congress in 1995.  I felt it was a good illustration of the hospitality and generosity of a church that expresses God's love and shares joy with others.  And, of course, it directly focused on one of their former members. People love relevant stories though I confessed that I could not remember his name.

As soon as the service was over, their pastor, Pastor Soon-jo told me about this man who apparently had been in touch with him recently.  He is a professor, now retired, who lives back in S. Korea. On hearing I was back speaking in Cambridge he then told the pastor the same story that I used in the sermon.  Not only did his memory of the details match my own (!) but he sent renewed greetings and told how he had driven many miles into Seoul in hopes of finding me because of one desire - he wanted to thank me for the support and encouragement I had given in starting the church.  More than that, Pastor Soon-jo showed me a recent picture of him, before taking one of me and Carol to send back to him.

I am so glad all this happened to me - back then and now. This is Christian networking!  Such stories are to be retold, aren't they?

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