Notes from the leadership journey!

Our Amazing Korean Church Family

If you haven’t read the previous post (First Hours with Ethan) yet, please do so. In that post, I mentioned attending a small group gathering of people from The Holy Flames Methodist Church (BTW, the Methodist churches in Korea are part of the Korean Methodist Church; I’m not accidentally leaving out the word “United”).

Originally, we believed that we would visit Ethan Monday (we did). We also expected to pick up Ethan Thursday morning on our way to the airport. That changed Monday when we were told that we would get Ethan Tuesday afternoon. Because we thought we had Tuesday and Wednesday on our own, we had planned to use those days for our cross-cultural experience (CCE).

When we connected with Jung-Sun, our host from Holy Flames, we said we’d need to be back by 4:00 pm, thinking that would be the end of our CCE. However, we got the impression that it would have been insulting for us to cancel out on the family hosting the small group we were scheduled to attend this evening. So, we said we’d try.

Earlier in the day, our host family took us to the border with North Korea where we got to see North Korea from South Korea. We rushed back for our appointment to pick up Ethan and were actually a few minutes late due to the heavy Seoul traffic (I plan to write about driving/parking in Seoul, at some point in the future; there’s probably no place like it!).

IMG_0427When we picked up Ethan, our host family waited for us then drove us to their apartment for a few minutes (Ethan was still screaming, at this point). Around 6:00 pm, we walked to another church family’s apartment in a nearby apartment building where we were served an amazing home cooked Korean meal, which was an extra-special meal prepared for guests. And it was excellent!

After the meal, we went down a couple floors to another church family’s apartment where they conducted their small group meeting — reviewing Rev. Jun’s sermon from Sunday, responding to a few discussion questions, and then praying for one another.

IMG_0430They finished up a little early and surprised us with a cake to celebrate Ethan’s new life with us. It was a special time — a night we will *never* forget!

To be honest, I was concerned about sharing this night with anyone else. I thought I would rather have experienced this time with just the three of us. At the end of the day, though, I believe it was an incredible blessing from God. In a time of transition, they provided some familiarity — looks, language, and Korean food. They held him, fed him, and prayed for us. Our Korean church family is amazing, and we are grateful to God for blessing us with them!

Ironically, we came to Korea with for completely separate tasks — adoption (the main reason, of course) and our cross-cultural experience. Today, these two separate things came together in a way we couldn’t have planned or imagined!

One Response to Our Amazing Korean Church Family

  1. Karen and John Dopp says:

    Hi Randy, Joleen, and Ethan,
    God Bless your new family. I know that it must be a very special and challenging experience. God definately placed the right people there at the right time for your transition into a new family. God sure is good. I can’t wait to meet Ethan. :)
    love Karen Dopp

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