Friday, August 23, 2013

Yongmunsan Hike

Saturday brought an amazing break from long hours at school.  All the teachers went hiking at Yongmunsan mountain - the most challenging hike I had ever trekked. After hours of rocky incline, we reached the top in time for the clouds to part revealing this view. Goodness, it was worth it!

Nature has a way of nurturing the deepest of thoughts inside of me, and the on-top-of-the-world feeling I felt on that peak cultured those thoughts even more. I felt as if I were seeing my life from a bird's-eye view. 

Often in the recent weeks I imagine I could have written the words to Joel Ansett's song [Known and Loved]. It has been playing on repeat in my heart...  

* * * 

You’re in a place you think you know / surrounded but you feel alone
You have a place to rest your head / but not a home
Feels like you lost yourself again / sit in the silence of a friend
When you are fully known and loved / you have a home
The burden you choose to bare / keeping yourself from those who care
Problems and pride play hide and seek / you’re unaware
All of the things you keep concealed / one day are bound to be revealed
We paint a picture of ourselves that isn’t real
Feels like you lost yourself again/ sit in the silence of a friend
When you are fully known and loved / you have a home
In time / may you find / peace of mind / with me my friend
* * * 
Yes, I am in a new part of the world seeing new things, eating new food, growing into a new job, and while I miss home, technology has made communication so accessible. At any given point of the day or night, I can skype, email, facebook or text and be guaranteed to reach someone from where I call home. But what do I miss the most? 
Being known.
To know a person's name, where they are from, what they do - those things are only a shallow beginning.  I miss my heart being known, instead of feeling the need to constantly explain it. As an introvert, moving alone to a foreign country was absolutely terrifying. Not because of the new sights, tastes, smells, or language - all of that excited me, and still does! But it was the daunting task of building relationships and connections from the ground up.
The Lord has reminded me that though some of the most important things to me remain in the U.S., right now my life is here. I cannot give Korea, my students, my community of roommates and fellow teachers only a piece of my heart. I need to give it all.  I have long unpacked my luggage, filling my shelves and dresser drawers.  It is time I unpack my heart and allow its roots to grow.
I do not share any of this in hopes of receiving sympathy, I came to Korea knowing this would be my biggest challenge, but I want to honestly display all of my experiences in this current chapter of my life. God has planted me in an amazing place and surrounded me with some the most incredible people I have ever met. I am not by any means giving up Skype, email, Facebook or texting, but rather I am deciding to not be so dependent upon communication with home to be my comfort and security. I am not uprooting my heart from where it is already known; I am extending it's roots to sink deeply into this new soil.
Thank you all, near and far, for faithfully encouraging me and lifting me up in prayer. God is on the move.
Shalom, ~Kate

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Finding joy in the day-to-day:

Tuesdays are journal day for homework and this week I told a student she could write absolutely anything - the only requirement being that the entry must be seven sentences. This is the completed masterpiece I received in response:

8/6/2013 - I will send letter to my tearcher Kate.
To. my forever teacher Kate

Hi! I'm Veronica.
I am so happy because I have very good teacher.
When I didn't saw you, I wonder is she scary, always happy, very good teacher.
And you are very good teacher.
When it was first class I was be at a loss for a word.
But I talk with you long time so I became friendly.
I think you will be my forever teacher ever.^^

Form. your student Veronica

While teaching in Korea is my job right now, I see it as much more than a cultural experience or something to build my 
résumé.  Praying that God will show me how to teach well so that maybe, one day, knowing English will draw these precious children to Him ~