It has been two days or more since my last post on Day 5. I’m not quite sure how long it has been since Susan and I landed at Dulles airport this morning (Thursday) at about 11:00 a.m. By the time we made it through customs, retrieved our luggage, and took a short ride to First Korea UMC, we hit the road at 12:30 p.m. and got back to the Fredericksburg area at around 1:45 p.m.
Our plane took off from Incheon Airport at 10;30 a.m. Thursday morning. We landed in Dulles at about 10:55 a.m. Thursday morning. So our flight was about 25 minutes long! Well, the flight was actually about 13.5 hours long but we actually gained a day with the time change. Of course, we lost a day when we arrived in Korea last week.
So we are back home now, hoping that the jet lag won’t interfere with sleep tonight. We have been up for about 30 hours as I type this.
I want to catch you up on our final two days in Korea, Lack of sleep and free time caught up with me by Tuesday.
Rev. Choi began his ministry when he saw the same homeless man in the street for several days. One day Rev. Choi asked the man how long it had been since he had eaten. The man held up 4 fingers. Rev. Choir asked him, “Four what? Hours?” The man replied, “No, four days.” So Rev. Choi took the man to a local restaurant and bought him a meal.
That experience led Rev. Choir to offer Ramen noodles to the homeless at lunch time. However, in Korea rice, not noodles, is considered a proper lunch. So Rev. Cho decided that he was going to serve rice to the homeless one day and that would be the end of the ministry. But the local people begged him not to stop but he could not afford to purchase enough rice to feed more than 100 people a day. But God had other plans, and contributions kept coming in, so for the next 15 years, Rev. Choir continued to feed rice to the homeless. This was all done outdoors. There was no building, no kitchen.
Eventually Dail was given a building to house their feeding program and the community soon open a small hospital for the poor. Today they feed an average on 1,000 people daily.
After helping serve lunch we toured the hospital and the Rev. Choir hosted a lunch of traditional Korea food.
In the afternoon, we toured Deoksugung Palace which is one of the Five Royal Palaces of Seoul. We arrived in time to view the changing of the guard ceremony.
We attended our last 5:00 a.m. prayer service, then we met as a group to talk about our experience with the service.
After breakfast, we returned to Seoul to visit 100th Anniversary Church and the Yanghwajin Missionary Cemetery. The missionary cemetery contains the remains of about 119 foreign missionaries. In 2007, 100th Anniversary Church was established near the grounds of the cemetery. Part of its mission is to take care of the cemetery and share its history.
We toured the cemetery and the mail church building. At the end of the tour, the church hosted a special luncheon for the group.
Later we finally hard a little time to be tourists as we visited the neighborhood of Insadong for about 90 minutes of shopping.
After the shopping was over, we boarded the bus for our last meal at the church, then we attended the Wednesday Evening Worship Service. After the service ended, we met in the Fellowship Hall for a time of farewell with our Korean brothers and sisters.
The next morning we would need to board the bust at 6:30 a.m. for the return trip to the airport.