We finally have access to the internet to let everyone know what’s up with the South Korea team!
Everyone was excited to step on the bus to leave Boot Camp right at the end of the Commissioning Service! We had a pretty good load of Commissioning food brought by family and friends and enjoyed pizza, soda, candy, etc. at the airport. We found a place near our ticket counter to settle in and eat and re-tie a few duffles. We didn’t really get any sleep, and our ticket counter opened about 4 AM, so we checked all of our luggage and headed to the gate after a short while.
Quite a bit of napping happened on the five+ hour flight to San Francisco! We had a comfortable amount of time to get to our gate at the international terminal but didn’t have to wait too long to board the plane for our 12-hour flight to Seoul, South Korea. We enjoyed being fed three times and more napping!
We were picked up and got to ride in a nice large tour bus for our four-hour ride to Gwangju. The cities are big and modern with lots of high rises and in between, it was a lot like being on the interstate in the U.S. The weather is a little warm and humid, but compared to Boot Camp, it’s great!!! All in all, travel went really smoothly. Thanks everyone for praying!
Our hosts picked up some pizza for us and we went to the church to eat and meet the pastor. Then we toured the school where we will be teaching at first and met the teachers. Afterward, we were taken to the apartment building where we will be staying – by this time it was after 10 PM and everyone was REALLY tired. They were able to get us three “apartments” in the same building, with the two apartments of girls being next to each other and the boys one just upstairs. The kitchenette in one of the girl’s rooms will be our team kitchen. The kitchen has a refrigerator, sink, stovetop and a rice cooker – no oven, so we won’t be baking anything! The apartments have the kitchenette with a table and a couple of chairs, a bathroom and a small room with only a desk you sit on the floor to use that has a computer and some closets. (We couldn’t connect to the internet, so this report had to wait!) And we were pleasantly surprised to find a washing machine on each tiny balcony – now to learn how to use it – it’s all in Korean! We just got our bedding set up and a little organizing and then went to bed about midnight.
Tuesday was our day to catch up on sleep, get organized and get plans figured out. After a late breakfast, our host came over mid-morning and took the lady leader to the bank to exchange money and to the store to buy a few food items. A couple of team members got to go along and see the big EMart. Later, we sat on the floor with our hosting missionaries Korean style and had a long planning session about the whole summer, then went back to the school to have a planning session with the teachers.
There are four classrooms we will be working in, with the ages ranging from 4-10 years old. We have assigned two team members to each classroom, and both leaders and one team member to rotate around to help and to cover for team members when they take a turn in the team “prayer closet.”
After the planning session, three of the teachers took us out to dinner, compliments of the school! We ate a variety of Korean food and everyone LOVED it! Then we all went to a dessert cafe. It was really wonderful to spend time with the teachers we will be working with, to get to know them and get comfortable with them before starting to teach English – they are a lot of fun!
Today, we came to the school this morning to start teaching. They are getting acquainted with the students as this report is being written! We will eat lunch here with them and school will end at 4 PM.
This evening we will do several of our team classes and get ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow our schedule gets crazy!!! Thursday and Friday this week, and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday next week, we will teach at the school from 8:50 AM – 4 PM, then be taken over to another church to teach from 5 PM-9 PM! (Wednesday will just be the school). We eat lunch at the school each day and supper at the church each day. Weekends will be big catch-up days for classes, memory verses and anything else! Everyone is ready for the challenge and looking forward to it.
Everyone is so excited to be here and we are so thankful that there are so many of you praying for us! We will report again on Sunday (while we have some free time!).
Abby H. – Korean culture is so welcoming and the kids are so cute and eager to learn English. So far God has provided me with the endurance to get through Boot Camp, which was something I couldn’t do without Him. I am so excited to continue stepping into a leadership position and teach English and the love of Christ.
Zach M. – We have now had our full first day in South Korea. We have gotten to see some of the city, and experienced some incredible food! But in just one day, God reminded me of so much. As selfish people, we so often only focus on what’s in our bubble; and begin to ignore what else is in the world. On top of that, because we are young, we have a tendency to believe that our age prevents us from doing His work. In one day, God has reminded me that He equips the called and that everything is possible through Him; and that there is a whole world who still needs to hear the good news.
Ashlynn M. – I am in South Korea. I’ve only been here less than a week and already it’s more than I expected. The first night we got here, we dropped our stuff off at the church, took a tour at the school, ate some pizza (which was a really good cream cheese pizza) and went to our apartment, where we are staying at. Last night, we went to a Korean restaurant and had rice, sushi, noodles, and kimchi. The food was delicious. Today was our first day teaching school. We taught the kids the days of the week, shared names and sang songs.