Brent Chrishon and Family – South Korea (PART II)

So returning to our current experience in Korea, as my wife and I have been discussing with bemusement, the ‘Jong-ub theme’ is repeating itself—of course this time in some unforeseen way!

One of the non-Christian young ladies I mentioned earlier, God is using to cause my wife and I to constantly examine our hearts and look to Him for wisdom in how to move forward. Her name is Hye-Won, but she prefers to be called Clair. Clair has joined herself to my family ever since my wife prayed for help one day when she was out a very large store here in town. My wife was having a tough time with all three boys, as well as finding what she needed, because she was unfamiliar with this huge store called Home-Plus. In answer to my wife’s prayer, Clair walked up and asked in English, “Can I help you?” Clair helped my wife at the store, and followed them back home to the church and she has been coming to the church to see us almost every day since!

Initially, we didn’t know what would evolve of our relationship, because Clair didn’t know we were Christians until she followed Anika home to a church! And also in the beginning, Clair said she would not want to be around any praying or talking about Jesus. So we had no idea she would come so often, since every time she comes, there is some occasion to pray, and of course, talk about Jesus. She said at another time she would never attend any worships services.  But since then, she is starting to come to our worship services, prays with us, and even comes to our church on Sabbath!

More importantly, Clair has provoked my wife and I to have many discussions and prayers about how much we should let her come here, what boundaries we should and shouldn’t set, and more generally, what is the limit of our love and patience toward her needs (even the ones she is not aware) and our needs?  How much should we seek our own? Is that right to do in the mission field?

Listen, just by saying this, I know many people reading this will instantly have an opinion on what we should and shouldn’t do. But my point for sharing this, and I think every thoughtful person can acknowledge, is these are the types of Christian experiences which begin to manifest the principles in Christ’s words, “according to your faith, be it done unto you.”  In many matters no one can draw a line for another. Here I am speaking about how much you may be willing to give. Some people give more than others. Some people sacrifice more than others. And as I have been told recently, some people do things where they think they are sacrificing but in reality it is that they don’t manage well. The reality is, God knows our hearts and motives for why we do what we do, and people (including our own selves) don’t know those true motives as clearly as the Lord knows them.

I don’t know if you can connect with this kind of situation or not, but I am sharing this as a small example of some of the glory of giving yourself, imperfections and burdens and all, to mission work. The Lord ordains situations which are fine-tuned to reveal you to yourself and cause you to pray and seek counsel from the Lord, and ask new questions, and test the foundations of what we believe. And this is a good process; it causes the Christian to draw closer to the Lord as our only sure, tested, and faithful Source of strength and wisdom.

Simply put, this situation which we are still in, presents a basic question which arises especially in missionary work.  The question is: “What is the balance between the spiritual needs of others and my limitations in terms of what we are able to do and give?” But don’t miss this: I think Christ wants us to constantly challenge just what it is that we think our limits are in what we can do. Certainly we must always be balanced, but I think that Christ clearly wants us to have life experiences that stretch us, in His wisdom, and facilitate our growth in His service.

So the two points combined are this: our uniqueness, burdens, and limitations, instead of excluding us from missionary work, can often be the means in the Master’s hand for reaching others! This is especially evident when you give yourself to mission work in a foreign land.  And giving yourself to the mission Christ is leading you into, making this endeavor in your heart for even one soul Christ will use you to touch, is so worthy of your great sacrifice! For one precious soul, Christ would have left heaven to come and die to redeem.

We learn so much and have such a great opportunity to grow when we give ourselves to full-time missionary work! But our strength, endurance, and joy must come from focusing on and remembering the blessings that come from desiring to emulate Christ’s character as we understand Him! And Jesus will help us to fulfill the work He has led us to take up; Jesus will be there to strengthen us as we stretch and grow for Him!

So returning to our current experience in Korea, as my wife and I have been discussing with bemusement, the ‘Jong-ub theme’ is repeating itself—of course this time in some unforeseen way!
One of the non-Christian young ladies I mentioned earlier, God is using to cause my wife and I to constantly examine our hearts and look to Him for wisdom in how to move forward. Her name is Hye-Won, but she prefers to be called Clair. Clair has joined herself to my family ever since my wife prayed for help one day when she was out a very large store here in town. My wife was having a tough time with all three boys, as well as finding what she needed, because she was unfamiliar with this huge store called Home-Plus. In answer to my wife’s prayer, Clair walked up and asked in English, “Can I help you?” Clair helped my wife at the store, and followed them back home to the church and she has been coming to the church to see us almost every day since!

Initially, we didn’t know what would evolve of our relationship, because Clair didn’t know we were Christians until she followed Anika home to a church! And also in the beginning, Clair said she would not want to be around any praying or talking about Jesus. So we had no idea she would come so often, since every time she comes, there is some occasion to pray, and of course, talk about Jesus. She said at another time she would never attend any worships services. But since then, she is starting to come to our worship services, prays with us, and even comes to our church on Sabbath!

More importantly, Clair has provoked my wife and I to have many discussions and prayers about how much we should let her come here, what boundaries we should and shouldn’t set, and more generally, what is the limit of our love and patience toward her needs (even the ones she is not aware) and our needs? How much should we seek our own? Is that right to do in the mission field?

Listen, just by saying this, I know many people reading this will instantly have an opinion on what we should and shouldn’t do. But my point for sharing this, and I think every thoughtful person can acknowledge, is these are the types of Christian experiences which begin to manifest the principles in Christ’s words, “according to your faith, be it done unto you.” In many matters no one can draw a line for another. Here I am speaking about how much you may be willing to give. Some people give more than others. Some people sacrifice more than others. And as I have been told recently, some people do things where they think they are sacrificing but in reality it is that they don’t manage well. The reality is, God knows our hearts and motives for why we do what we do, and people (including our own selves) don’t know those true motives as clearly as the Lord knows them.

I don’t know if you can connect with this kind of situation or not, but I am sharing this as a small example of some of the glory of giving yourself, imperfections and burdens and all, to mission work. The Lord ordains situations which are fine-tuned to reveal you to yourself and cause you to pray and seek counsel from the Lord, and ask new questions, and test the foundations of what we believe. And this is a good process; it causes the Christian to draw closer to the Lord as our only sure, tested, and faithful Source of strength and wisdom.

Simply put, this situation which we are still in, presents a basic question which arises especially in missionary work. The question is: “What is the balance between the spiritual needs of others and my limitations in terms of what we are able to do and give?” But don’t miss this: I think Christ wants us to constantly challenge just what it is that we think our limits are in what we can do. Certainly we must always be balanced, but I think that Christ clearly wants us to have life experiences that stretch us, in His wisdom, and facilitate our growth in His service.

So the two points combined are this: our uniqueness, burdens, and limitations, instead of excluding us from missionary work, can often be the means in the Master’s hand for reaching others! This is especially evident when you give yourself to mission work in a foreign land. And giving yourself to the mission Christ is leading you into, making this endeavor in your heart for even one soul Christ will use you to touch, is so worthy of your great sacrifice! For one precious soul, Christ would have left heaven to come and die to redeem.

We learn so much and have such a great opportunity to grow when we give ourselves to full-time missionary work! But our strength, endurance, and joy must come from focusing on and remembering the blessings that come from desiring to emulate Christ’s character as we understand Him! And Jesus will help us to fulfill the work He has led us to take up; Jesus will be there to strengthen us as we stretch and grow for Him!

“This is what the LORD says:
Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight…”

– Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV)

 Brent Chrishon is serving as a volunteer in South Korea as a Bible teacher and church activities leader, along with his wife and three boys.  They are serving through NAD Office of Volunteer Ministries and Adventist Volunteer Service.

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