Sunday, June 28, 2009
Mission Experience in the Countryside
I only wish that I had a picture of everyone worshipping together. It was a really beautiful moment. At one point, we were singing a Korean song with a really beautiful Chorus. It had the word Hosanna three times and then a bunch of Korean. After we sang the chorus a few times, the female pastor of education asked that we go around the circle and have each person sing the chorus individually. It was really stunning to hear. When it was my turn I sang the first two Hosanna's and then began to mumble something where the Korean words belonged. The voice of the whole group surrounded me as the other young adults helped me with the words. When it came time for the final Hosanna they fell silent and allowed me to sing by myself. It was an object lesson for me.
This is the Methodist congregation we were helping. The church is in a very rural setting. Because the people's homes and lives are still very traditionally Korean, the church building also has to look like a traditional Korean holy place. Most churches in Korea look more like office buildings with red neon crosses than holy sites.
This is the exception. It won't be finished for a while yet. The pastor has plans to invite young adults who are searching for God's call to come and live in the church. The second floor on the right hand side of the building will be the library.
I found true community with my Korean friends. We cooked all of our meals outside on a fire. We lived in close proximity and shared life together. We sang our prayer of thanks while we served each other. It felt like a cross between a hippy commune and church as I know it. It was really beautiful.
We also worked on the large farm surrounding the church site. These boots are worn in the rice paddies. We worked for about 4 hours pulling weeds. I can add "rice paddy cultivation" to my list of useless skills. It was a lot of fun. We also worked inside the church building. I was finally able to put my masonry skills to use (I took a masonry class in High School, which had -until now- been useless.)
This is what my feet looked like after working in the rice paddy. I was so grossed out, but couldn't help thinking, "how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news."
The weekend was exactly what I needed. On top of this amazing experience I got to watch Transformers2 and spend a few hours at a spa (a very Korean experience that, when I have recovered, I will tell you all about.)