Three days of beautiful people, high fashion, flattery and no thought for money… who could want more? I could, and I did.
Although my surroundings were engulfing, I didn’t realize they were a distraction until the Lord snatched my attention. He brought me back into focus and awakened my heart (and the hearts of His people) for Him while overseas. On my first real day out and about in South Korea (SoKo), my new American friend introduced me to her Korean friend. I was honored and grateful that I’d have help with this huge language barrier. I spoke very little Korean, just enough to say “Hello,” and “I don’t speak Korean.” One day, in a dual attempt at conversation between a native Korean and me, I was asked about my drinking habits. Reluctant to answer – as I was informed that it is custom to drink in SoKo and not drinking can be offensive – I shrugged my shoulders and pulled out my innocent smile. My white flag. My no harm intended face. The face that I used out of context in the States and to my own self-advancement countless times before. Only this time, it was heartfelt. The Korean guy cautiously asked “why not?” With a regarding smile to his apprehensiveness, I put my hand over my heart and said very passionately, “I am a Christian and it is my belief in my heart that God doesn’t want me to drink.” I paused. A once welcoming face turned to a stern and intense gaze, then as if pulling the words from the puddles in the streets vibrating with thought as the cars drove by, “I do not drink either; because I too am a Christian, all the way. So that is good.” The most peaceable smile imagined crossed my face. Maybe it was a “spirit knows spirit thing,” or maybe I was just relieved that the Korean guy didn’t out me for being disrespectful. (Little did I know this was laying the ground for the later coming discussion!) Nonetheless, the whole mood changed and we exchanged heartfelt beliefs about our next moves in life. He was leaving in a few weeks for the Philippines to further his English studies and would then travel to South Africa for missions and evangelism training. WOW! I was elated to meet someone else with the same heart for outreach and willingness to go wherever God sent them. And off to dinner we went…
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming next week!