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posted by Kris Martens February 03, 2013
Korea mission update Feb2013 | deborahwiens

Hello Friends and Supporters!

This letter finds you roughly half-way through my year of MCC service in Korea.

Me with co-workers and friends

Life here in Chuncheon has been wonderful to me. Ive been challenged and blessed in so many ways.

Ive learned much through my position at the Korea Anabaptist Center. I may be in a land with churches,pastors and believers galore, but that doesnt mean it isnpart of our broken world. Ive realized that the Korean church, despite strong numbers, still struggles to practice grace. And Ive noticed just how important the message of peace is in a country that is still technically at war with its neighbour to the north. My heart has quickly matched its beat to those of the Korean people  I pray for this countrys future everyday, holding on to hope that peaceful reunification with North Korea is not outside its grasp.

But enough serious business! What am I up to on a daily basis? Im usually found with my hands in many small projects, including updating the KACs English website, writing newsletters, editing translations, and preparing and participating in bible studies and English lessons. Two of the things I love most about daily life here is the hour lunch break everyone takes together  actually taking the time to sit around the table and eat a homemade meal  and our daily devotions. These things foster a sense of community and ground us each day, and I wouldnt have the quality relationships that I do with my co-workers if not for these practices.

As for life outside work, thats always somewhat unpredictable. Rather than living with a host family, Ive been put up in the KAC guesthouse (an apartment).Currently Im living with a Mongolian student, and will soon welcome a thirdroommate! Ive been so blessed to live with young women I get along with, even though our cultural backgrounds are different. As for activities, I fill my week with small group and church, but then there are also the impromptu outings and meals I get invited to that keep things interesting and varied. Since arriving here, Ive got to attend a Korean weddingdo a few rigorous mountain hikes, experience the outdoor markets and high-end department stores, witness a traditional Korean thanksgiving (complete with offerings and prayers for ancestors), explore several Buddhist temples and monuments, get acupuncture, learn how to make several delicious Korean dishes, and enjoy the tropical-feeling beach on the east and southcoasts. Ive struggled my way through Active Korean 1 with two very patient language tutors, and Im currently working through book 2.

One of the main highlights of my year so far was theNortheast Asia regional MCC retreat I got to attend in Beijing, China. It was wonderful to hear what other MCC individuals are doing in China and the Koreas! I also took advantage of the change of scenery by using some vacation time to explore Shanghai and Hong Kong. Would you be surprised to learn it was worlds different from Korea? I was happy to return to a culture I understand a bit more.

So, now that you know what Ive been up to, Ill finish by saying a BIG thank you for your support while I’m here. Ive started so many priceless relationships in my short time here, Ive learned even more about the character of God, and Ive grown spiritually, emotionally, and socially, in ways I dont fully understand yet. Not a day goes by that Im not thankful for Gods guiding me to Korea.

Thank you for being a part of the journey.

Blessings in 2013,



deborahwiens@neasia.mcc.org | deborahinkorea.wordpress.com