A Weekend at The Frontiers

10 Sep

This past weekend was one of my favourite here so far! Jin Ju and I went to visit a rural community of Christian peacemakers, as part of an NGO called The Frontiers (their website is here). Currently they do quite a bit of work in East Timor, which explains why they got a YAMENer from Indonesia this year. I think I’ve mentioned Cindy already, but I’ll reiterate that she’s also on a one-year service term here in Korea, and we got to visit her!

The Friday evening journey to The Frontiers was long (as in two hours). We had to take a subway almost to the end of our regular line, then transfer. Wouldn’t you know it, we went past our stop and had to backtrack. When we finally made it to the correct station, one Bruce Lee was waiting to pick us up. Fancy that! He drove us through many winding roads in a car that reminded me of Alice Otterloop’s father’s car (if you don’t get this obscure reference, all I’m trying to say is it was quite small and cube-like). It was dark by this time, so little did I know we were venturing toward the mountains, through fields and fields of rice, soy beans, and peanuts.

Me, JungJoo (former IVEPer), and Cindy (current YAMENer)

Once we got there we were reunited with Cindy, and JungJoo, who acted as our trusty guide for the weekend. We had dinner with the family there, and several community members . Basically how this place works is that everyone lives, plays, and works together (altogether I think there are currently about 8-10 members who actually live there). And here we were, being welcomed in as part of it! After dinner we played a couple games – one was a variant of Dutch Blitz; the other was called Dixit, and is extremely fun and imaginative.

The next day we got to see everything in the daylight! JungJoo, Cindy, Jin Ju and I wanted to go for a walk up the road, so us two visitors were promptly fitted with standard-sized gumboots (and by standard Korean size, I mean too small for my generous Canadian feet!). We quickly found out that this was because the road running up the mountain often runs through the very river it parallels! So we splish-splashed our way up and down, taking many pictures of the AMAZING scenery.

After lunch that afternoon, (still needing our gumboots) we were put to work – get this – picking peppers! I only make a big deal of this for people like my dad, who will be slightly disbelieving of the fact that I did something akin to farming. And it was fun! There were only 4 rows of hot peppers, but we went through and picked every one of them. Then we got to pull out the plants themselves, because I guess once they’ve born fruit they’re kaput. The best part of all this is that I now understand the appeal of growing your own food. It’s nice to know where it comes from.

One of my furry friends – there were many to choose from there!

The rest of Saturday afternoon was lazy, and I got to finish my book, play piano, and even cavort around with the six or seven kitties who live there! In Matthew 6 there is a passage that says not to worry about what you will eat, or what you will wear. Well, I haven’t been worried about those things here, but I had been lamenting not the day before about how long it had been since I’d touched either keyboard or cat. And here at The Frontiers, I got both! So yeah, it’s true what that chapter says. God knows what you need. (I am of course being incredibly tongue-in-cheek here. I didn’t neeeed these things, and I realize there are people out there who really struggle with the idea of God as provider when they don’t even have their basic needs met…but I still think this was a little wink from God, saying “I got your back”. It was just a reminder that God also cares about life’s small joys, too.) That evening we watched “The World’s Fastest Indian” on their projector screen. (It was pretty good for a movie starring an old man! Anthony Hopkins, to be exact.)

The next day was Sunday, and our last day there. We had “church”, which was basically a 5-person bible study. Then, after lunch, Jin Ju and I decided to take advantage of the sunny weather by walking an hour to the subway station. Through rice paddies we went, marveling at the beauty of it all! (Speaking of knowing where your food comes from…it was actually sort of surreal to see soybeans/edemame on the vine, rather than from a freezer bag.)

We were pretty tired when we finally got home, but all in all were pretty pleased with the whole thing. We were rallied upon to visit again soon, and we definitely want to take everyone up on that offer at some point. The mere two nights there were some of the most relaxing, beautiful, Kingdom-reflecting times I’ve had in Korea yet, and I will not soon forget it.

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5 Responses to “A Weekend at The Frontiers”

  1. Natasha September 12, 2012 at 5:30 PM #

    “something akin to farming” – Debo, you crack me up!!

  2. Auntie Elfie September 11, 2012 at 12:26 AM #

    LOVED reading this!!! Love the part about God winking at you!! 🙂

    • Natasha September 12, 2012 at 5:31 PM #

      Me too 🙂

  3. Stef September 10, 2012 at 11:13 PM #

    Girl, you are el best-o! I am really enjoying reading your blog, and am encouraged in my own spiritual life by what you are experiencing in yours. God IS good!

    I am also being reminded that there is SO much out there beyond my own world and culture. I guess it’s been a long time since I’ve been away! Be encouraged that I am thinking of you and praying for you, as I am sure many others are. Love you!

    Stef

    • Deborah September 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM #

      Thanks, Stef! I’m glad to hear you are encouraged by my stories. May God wink at you where YOU are!

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