FROM YOUR PASTOR’S HEART July 3, 2023
How do you describe a trip of ten glorious days in an exotic land in a few paragraphs? That is my challenge for today. Let me begin by saying that the city of Seoul is a tremendous blend of ancient cultures and modern conveniences. This city of ten million people contains beautiful palaces, museums and temples, as well as wonderful restaurants and shopping places. The skyline is filled with massive buildings and all types of manufacturing plants. Yet, the thing that captures my attention most is the people. It is a mixture of ages and stages of life, with many foreign visitors walking the streets. I met people from around the world in Seoul, including Tennessee and Texas! No doubt, the highlight of this trip for me in Seoul was the visit to the DMZ. It was very emotional, as we prayed for the people of North Korea.
Our return to Daejeon was emotional, on a totally different level. It was a joy to reunite with Pastor Yoo and the people of Riverside Church. Some of the children that we had worked with in 2017 and 2018 were there at the service. They had pictures of us together, and there were notable changes in all of us. I am deeply grateful to Grace Shin for being my translator for the message and for the entire trip. She took great care of all of us. Pastor Yoo did a wonderful job showing us around Daejeon and the surrounding area. It is a more traditional city, with most of the signage in Korean. So, we were very dependent upon, and grateful for, those who were able to tell us what we were about to eat, before we ate it! Our tour included a two-hour drive to a “nearby” lovely beach. My heart was overjoyed at reconnecting with this dear brother and fellow pastor!
Our two days in Busan were truly magical. It is a beautiful coastal city that draws people from around the globe. Even in the rainy weather, the beach was magnificent to behold. We were blessed to have as our guides a couple that were friends with the Shins. He is a retired math professor from the university. They were very sweet people, who gave us a full day of sightseeing and fed us a great lunch. We had the opportunity to talk with them about how God has blessed our lives and how He had worked to bring us to visit South Korea. We did our best to share the message of Christ and show the love of Christ, in every city we visited. We had a wonderful time in South Korea, but the sight that brought the most joy to my heart was being back home in Cordova, TN.
Serving in love, Bro. Jim