Thursday, August 15, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Korea

Dear friends,
I am now writing to you from my house in Delaware. We've been home for a few days, but I wanted to write a wrap-up post for the end of camp and our travel back to the States. Coming home from Korea felt a little bit like stepping out of the wardrobe from Narnia. My friends and I had an amazing time in Korea and have now stepped back into our "normal lives" that are pretty much unchanged. I think everyone is missing Korea a little and recovering from jet lag and colds to different degrees, but instead of mourning the end of the trip, I am asking God to keep me thankful for every gift he graciously gave us through the month!
Now a brief recap of our last days in Korea--
Last Thursday was our last day of teaching. Many of the students and teachers were sad to see camp come to an end, but we made the most of the day by having fun with our kids. As soon as I walked into my classroom, several of my boys came up to me and said, "Teacher, today is last day. No study, only games?" I smiled and told them we would not be using our workbooks all morning and would have a lot of fun! We had our last Bible study with them and then spent most of the morning playing fun and educational games. At the end of the morning, Diana and I wrote in the students' journals for the last time, and the students wrote notes to us. Then we gave them special desserts and sent them to lunch with our love. In the afternoon, Diana and I taught the government-sponsored kids from Eumseong for the last time. Though their English wasn't as good as that of our EMC kids, they became very dear to us because of their fun and loving spirits (especially the girls).

Level 4 EMC class, complete with Ricky, the little stinker, blocking me (:
our Eumseong class
walking behind the school on a beautiful evening

On Friday, we attended the closing ceremony for our Eumseong kids and then for our EMC students. The Eumseong campers watched the EMC closing ceremony, where God's name was lifted up! Our EMC students performed the David and Goliath musical that they had been preparing all throughout camp, and they did such a good job! Afterwards, we had to say goodbye to all our students who then left to go home. It was sad to see them leave because we don't know if we'll ever see them again! But I continued to remind myself that the Lord knows and loves each one, and my friends and I will continue to pray that the Lord will call them as his own and they will follow him all the days of their lives! After the students left, we took pictures with all our Korean friends and coworkers before lunch. During the afternoon, Mrs. Baumann discussed with us how we would re-enter America physically and emotionally and how to process our experiences before the Lord. Campus was so empty after the students and some of our co-teachers and friends left. Fortunately, we were able to go out for a really fun last night in Mungyeong with our Korean friends David and Scott. They took us out to a delicious Korean barbeque restaurant that raises their own livestock-true farm-to-table haha (: Then, we walked to a café for a delicious, traditional bingsu dessert. We ended our time out at HomePlus, a store we have come to know and love (: Back at the campus, we talked together and soaked up our last moments in Korea and went to bed kind of late.

 Josh's class
 with Bruce, Valerie's co-teacher and a dear friend to all of us
with Diana, my co-teacher
with David, one of the EMC staff and now good friend
Valerie and Audra with Scott, another staff member and friend
 (Pray for him as he enters the Korean military next week!)
 Bruce, Hannah, Josh, and Jun
the girls (:
 Jun (Mr. Crismon's co-teacher), Josh, and Bruce
 dinner on Friday night

On Saturday morning, we said our last goodbyes and drove to the airport with our friends from California. Our plane left at 6pm, and we flew to Toronto, where we completed customs, and on to Philadelphia, where we were greeted by our families!
I was definitely happy to see my family, sleep in my bed, and eat some of my favorite foods. I've experienced pretty minimal jetlag, but some of my friends are having a more difficult time readjusting. Please pray for them! And if you think of it, pray also for the hearts of all the students we taught. Thanks for following along with us on this amazing journey!
With love,

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