Gracie Henson – Hinds – South Korea
I have been in Seoul for about two weeks now, and it has been wonderful! My team includes me and five other girls from Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. We are working at a school here that is for N. Korean refugees, and we live with some of our students in apartments that are spread throughout the city. We help teach English classes, help with the rooftop garden (we harvested potatoes Monday), attend P.E. classes with the students (this includes Korean style dodgeball, ping-pong, and hiking up the mountains around us), have Bible study, and clean. Most schools do not have janitors, so the students are in charge of cleaning. We eat all three meals at the school, and each meal usually includes rice, seaweed, and kimchi (fermented cabbage) in addition to the main dish. Some of the food we have eaten so far has been duck stew, dumplings, tofu, squid soup, and fish cake. They've also served us pig intestines as well as fish intestine soup, but I didn't eat either of those things! The food is better than it sounds though!
I live with my teammate, Sarah, and four refugees. Two are from N. Korea, and the other two were born in China, but have N. Korean parents. We also have an amazing house mom who speaks very little English. It took a few days to adjust to the language barrier, but everything is fine now! Only one of the girls at the apartment can speak English well, but she is gone most of the time. Google translate has helped us a lot!
We have gotten to know some of the students and hear a few of their stories. They are just as unbelievable as the stories you read about, but it is even more heartbreaking when you KNOW the person who experienced it. I have heard small portions of how other students have gotten here, and it is unbelievable!
The school teaches them about the Bible and has chapel services, but this does not mean all of the students are believers. Please pray that the students would be receptive to the Gospel as they hear it at school and in our homes. Also pray that the girls at our house would want to form relationships with us. They like to stay out late, and most of the time we are asleep when they come in. When they are home, they like to stay in their room with the door shut, and they don't come out unless they have to. Pray for God to give us the words to say as we talk to the girls, that our conversations would lead to Christ and that we wouldn't get comfortable with just small talk. Pray for my team that we would keep our focus on the Lord instead of the things that can easily distract us. All prayers are greatly appreciated!