Pulling out the sharpies, we all decorated our travel towels...because God opened doors and we, by His enabling grace and provision, walked through them and found ourselves in Korea for 2 weeks. MJ chose to include some verses on her towel. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" is a great introduction today, for all of the doing on our part can only be done in the strength God provides. From first to last, we are His workmanship. And to Him belong all glory and praise!
God gave us the privilege of visiting many places..too many to list and each with stories of their own, but here are a few highlights. Scouring the internet for Busan's "places to see," the aquarium caught Bekah's eye (she is a bit of a marine biologist at heart). None of us objected to witnessing the beauty of God's creatures there, nor did any of us mind riding the glass bottom boat above sharks and other critters.
While in Seoul, Mira took us to visit Gyeongbok Palace...a royal palace first constructed in 1395. Most of us (Mike being the exception) had never seen anything so old. Buildings in America just do not date back that far. There was much to take in there!
The main reason for our trip to Seoul was to be able to visit Ilsan Center. Our children were all adopted via Holt, an adoption agency with a God-glorifying history. As a family, we have enjoyed reading the stories of Harry and Bertha Holt. They are a part of our history and it was a dream come true for us to visit Ilsan where they are now buried after years of faithfulness to God in caring for orphans. Their daughter, Molly Holt, lives there and has given her life to caring for "the least of these" for the glory of God...it was an honor to meet her. Knowing she is advanced in years and going through chemo treatments, we prayed that she would have strength to meet with us. We were told we wouldn't know until the day we arrived if she had sufficient energy, but the Lord gave strength and we were delighted to visit, albeit briefly.
The details of the trip are still being processed by my feeble brain...the beauty of the multi-faceted architecture and color everywhere, the faces of all the people we came across, the variety of foods to try, places to experience, and so much more. God orchestrated the whole thing, and the details came together in ways I NEVER could have planned if left to me, but He did and we are thankful. He humbled us through the generosity and kindness of others. He challenged us and encouraged us through His people...people He took us to the other side of the world to meet from Denmark and Canada and Nigeria, etc. This family from Washington had us into their home and shared their heart for reaching the lost for Christ (crazy, eh? Though they live in Korea now, they are from right across the river from us). God wanted us to learn some things from them in terms of methodology, preparedness, and being very intentional. In August, they plan to come this direction so Lord willing we will have the opportunity to have them into our home next round :-).