Saturday, February 15, 2014

I'm respect you.

I just returned from a dinner of various seafood with Sunday school teachers and pastors and family from my church. These are some of the nicest people you will ever meet should you come to Ulsan. I told my friend Grace that I finally feel like I belong (though I expect I will never feel like I fully belong in Korea) and thanked her from the bottom of my heart for always making me feel at home there.

It was Valentines Day on Friday, and in Korea, that means the women give chocolate or gifts to their significant other. I am the only male in my office at work (and one of two on the entire floor of my building). So my coworkers surprised me with a chocolate cake (which I shared with them of course). It was a very kind thing for them to do. However, the most special thing to happen that day, and to happen in the last month really, was a receiving a small container of chocolates with this note on the back from one of my fifth graders:

This particular student, a girl named 유진, also goes to my church and I occasionally teach her Sunday classes. If this is the only student who ever says "I respect you" (or in this case, "I'm respect you," but hey, close enough) then I will be secure in knowing I have done something right.

So many days I have so many doubts. I wonder about my future. I wonder if I'm doing the right thing. More than anything else in the world, I just want to do the right thing. I am so grateful for something so simple as this note. It helps take remove some of the doubts.

These students will have so many native English teachers over the long span of their schooling as children. So many will come and go and it's very likely that most will not remember me. So I am reminded of my pastoral training at this time: we should never go after the multitudes, but instead look for the one or two that we can be friend and mentor to. 

I want to make a difference in just a few lives. Besides, the multitudes will forget you. They will not remember what you said or even what your name was. But the individuals, they will remember how you live. They will remember you by what you did for them.

And you will be changed by them too.

Forever, your friend, Jeremy

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