Tuesday: This morning I’m traveling to Seoul, Korea, and then it’s a 3-hour car drive to our destination. It’s my second time to the King’s Highway Conference. I was with them last year, and now am pleased to return. We’ll arrive Wednesday evening, and then ministry will begin on Thursday. I’m scheduled to minister once daily, Thursday through Sunday morning. I said “we” because my travel companion is Ed Hackett from IHOPKC. Ed purchased a ticket to be identical with mine, which makes the transport for our hosts so much easier. So Ed and I are on the same planes all the way to Seoul and back. Ed is a fabulous brother in Christ, and I’m looking to some great fellowship.
I have felt drawn in my preparation to tell stories. Thursday I expect to share from my own story. On Friday I expect to tell Naomi’s story. And then on Saturday I will tell how God writes a story with our own lives. Thank you for blessing this conference in prayer. Ed will also be sharing, as well as a couple others.
Thursday morning: Greetings from overcast, drizzly Korea. Had a good trip here, a decent nap last night, and now am heading into the day here. I asked our hosts who collected us at the airport last night, how the crops are doing this year in N Korea, because I had heard last year that N Korea’s crops fared woefully. My hosts told me that the crops are doing very poorly this year again, this time to flooding. Too much rain, too many clouds and overcast skies. These kinds of weather conditions are predicted all week long, just at the height of the growing season. Lord, may You have mercy on N Korea and bring that nation to repentance. S Korea is not as dependent as N Korea on agriculture.
I mentioned the N Korea tensions to my hosts, and they said for them it’s not as big a deal as for the rest of the world. For them, it’s N Korea just being N Korea. Again. So they’re actually dismissive a bit toward the whole thing.
Thursday midnight: My first session this evening seemed to go very well. We had an agonizing time getting the sound system to work. The meeting was to start at 7:30, but at 8:00 pm we were still trying to get the sound check to work. Finally at 8:00, I told them to go ahead with worship, and I went up to the sound booth to see if I could help. They were novices who didn’t understand what to do, and I was able to help them. So when I went down at 8:30 to commence speaking, we were able to go. But for a while it seemed like the sound would never come together. The Lord helped us. I shared personal stories from my own journey, and the Lord seemed to grace it with His help and confirmation. Now I must get to bed, we’re being collected at 9 a.m. for tomorrow’s morning session.
Friday 5:00 pm: This morning I spoke on Naomi’s redemption story, and the Lord graced it in a clear way, I really enjoyed telling the story. Koreans are so eager for the Lord, eager for ministry, after every session there are long lines for prayer. Sweet.
Something that is striking about Korea is the proliferation of construction. Cranes are literally everywhere. Buildings are going up everywhere. I can’t recall ever being to a nation where I saw so many cranes dotting the horizon. Seoul is expensive, and so lots of people are spreading to outlying areas where the cost of living is less. The government has intentionally designed to build entire cities. Similar, I suppose, to what they do in China.
Saturday 9:00 pm: We’re back from a Pho restaurant, I had a spicy pho that made my nose run like crazy, it was a bit embarrassing actually, but I loved the meal. This afternoon’s session was a strong ending to the conference. At the close, the whole room wanted prayer, so we were praying for folks for quite a while. And then dinner. Now we’re finally back to our room and resting up for the morning meeting.
I brought a couple suitcases with me, intending to bring a bunch of Korean books back home with me, but lo, they have all sold. So I hauled two empty roller bags with me to Korea, all for nothing.
Sunday 2:30 pm: We have now hit the road for the Seoul airport, a 2.5-hour drive. We’ll make it in time for our 6:35 pm flight. We had a great time this morning in the Lord’s house. They use an acoustic grand piano only on Sunday mornings, with a small choir. We sang a few hymns, including the Lord’s Prayer. I enjoyed great liberty in preaching the word. Then we had an ordination service for an elder, the first elder to be ordained in this church in their 30-year history. Then Ed and I had a chance to pray for everyone. Then they took us out for Korean BBQ, and I wasn’t expecting to be fed a lunch before hitting the road. So now we’re absolutely stuffed as we hit the road for the airport and for home. We have been treated to extravagant hospitality and have been the delightful recipients of so much affection. The family of God is THE BEST.