HAPPY NOVEMBER from our little multi-cultural "family"! (L-R: YoungMi, Me, Beth, InHye)
Anybody else having trouble believing it's already November? I'm sorry it's been such a long time since my last post. The past month included, but was not limited to...

-A boat-load of relationship-building (my favorite!) - with church members, elderly, teens, members of the community, even deepening those within our team.
-A "seminar week" back at base during which we learned more in-depth about topics such as apologetics and ethnocentrism, presented cultural projects we did about each of our respective teams, and caught up with members of the other teams.
-Planning, Praying, Discussing, Ministry, then more planning, more praying, more discussing & more ministry...phew!
-Korean lessons: cooking, language, customs - you name it, I'm learning about it!

(YoungMi: after teaching me how to make my new favorite Korean dish - Tteokboki...SO good!)

Aside from the "logistics" of what's been going on, the Lord has been stretching me to new extremes. I have had to learn in new ways - sometimes the hard way - how to rely on Him alone, how to lay things at His feet instead of taking them on as burdens, how to rest in Him...the list really goes on...and on...and on. Whatever I'm being taught at any given moment, I am sincerely thankful that this is a relationship rather than a one-sided worshipping of a seemingly-unattainable "higher being." I think I would give up entirely if I did not know and trust that God listens to me, walks beside me and even carries me through the most difficult of times.
All of that said - I think I set myself up for difficulty by going an entire month without posting...I know with all that my heart and mind have been taught, I cannot possibly share it all on here. In light of that, I will share with you one thing which really stuck out to me:

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone
who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," -1 Peter 3:15

I will admit that back at home in the "Bible belt," with friends who share my beliefs, I am rarely challenged to act out this passage in my own life. In the context I'm in now, however, my faith and beliefs could be challenged at any given moment. I am so thankful for this opportunity to not dwell in my own safe bubble, but to really own what I believe and why I believe it! I know that some who even read this do not agree with or understand "the reason for the hope that [I] have," but I am glad to say that I'm ready to give an answer to any and all who ask! It's easier to be bold when in a foreign country with the purpose of sharing my faith...however it really is my prayer that my heart's desire is to display and give an answer for my faith in my own city and culture as well! I love the end of this verse..."But do this with gentleness and respect." I am so sad to say that this is not often displayed in interactions between believers and non-believers...this is something I've had to realize is due to the fact that although we serve a perfect God, we are not perfect, but are in fact hugely flawed! This is not an excuse, but something many have brought to my attention even in moments here in which I've shared my beliefs with others...I sincerely hope that I can remember the need to "give an answer to everyone who asks" in a gentle and respectful way regardless of how the person I'm speaking to feels about the faith and beliefs I claim. I hope this can become more and more natural to me here and will translate as I make the move back home eventually. Well folks, this concludes yet another installment of "word vomit by Courtney"...just kidding! But really, I am thankful for those who take a genuine interest in the process that is taking place here and the work the Lord is doing in England, as well as in my own heart. I covet your prayers and hope you know you all are in mine.

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