Saturday, February 8, 2014

Prayers for Peace

The Lunar New Year brought a much welcome long weekend! It was a wonderful time of rest and relaxation, but also life-enriching experiences. Sarah invited Abby and I to join her on a trip to Ganghwa Island to spend a few days with new scenery and visit the Peace Observatory. As we trekked up the hill to the observation deck, North Korea emerged across the water from seemingly no where. It was completely surreal. I have never experienced the cliche "near but yet so far" so flawlessly.

As the three of us took moments to pray onlooking the North's shore, all that consumed my mind was: if we were doing this across the river, we would be executed.

But some exciting news did arise this week: on February 4th a meeting was held between North and South Korea to arrange family reunions that will take place at the end of the month. It's hard enough being separated from family because of distance...but to think of the families that live within miles of each other that aren't allowed to be together because of an oppressive government?

As with so many other struggles the world is currently facing - big and small - I don't want the aching of my heart to stop with acknowledgement of how blessed I am. May I never be satisfied with feeling "blessed." That is just not enough.

Though words and pictures could not possibly touch your heart as deeply as experiencing it yourself, here are just a few simple shots to help see it through my eyes:

A map of Ganghwa
(the Observatory being on the northern-most tip).
The tan on the map marks North Korea.

Catching a glimpse of North Korea, up close and personal.
People were just walking around,
participating in their normal daily routines.

Sketches from a concentration camp escapee.
His heartbreaking yet empowering story is told in the book Escape From Camp 14.

A room in the observatory dedicated to prayers and wishes for unification.
It was incredible seeing the commonality of hearts in people from all around the world.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! ~Psalm 133:1

Where are you today?
Are you working? In class? Busy at home with the little ones? In this very moment I challenge you, no matter where you find yourself, to seek peace and pursue it in your corner of this world ~