A Common Easter Prayer by the Churches of North and South Korea

God of Resurrection and Life!
Today we face many difficulties in the journey toward, peace, reconciliation and cooperation which we have been walking with many tears and prayers.
Our steps towards our yearned-for homeland are blocked.
North and South, we are moving backward toward conflict and confrontation.
War clouds hang over us in this atmosphere of disruption, misunderstanding and conflict.
Oh God, nevertheless we pray with full trust to you, God of Resurrection and Life.

God of Mercy!
We now first confess our sin.
While we say that we want to let the flower of national reconciliation and peaceful reunification bloom, we have not been able to be the seed that falls to the ground to yield the bloom.
While with our mouths we speak of national reconciliation and of being one,
in our hearts we have criticized, despised and blamed the other side.
Rather than follow God, we have sought only material things, military strength, and logic of power;
we have closed our eyes to national suffering and the reality of division, pursuing our own easy life.

God of Justice!
Help us to work for your justice and peace;
let us not surrender to injustice in fear of the powers of darkness and death;
lead us to stand firmly against those who speak of a false peace and against the powers of division.
Awaken us to recognize and crush the false peace and to build a history of true peace.

God of Life!
Let our people become one independently and live the life of reconciliation instead of confrontation.
Guide us to struggle against the power of division and cultivate a history of peace and reunification and national resurrection.
Lead us in the North and the South to wholeheartedly keep and implement the June 15, 2000 and October 4, 2006 Joint Statements.

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ
who even today is victorious over the power of death and injustice,
who cares for those who suffer and wipes the tears of those who weep,
who works as the Resurrection, Life and Holy Spirit.

This Common Prayer was jointly written by the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK—South Korea) and the Korean Christian Federation (KCF—North Korea).

Peace--Here, There, and Everywhere

Tonight I see that—in a nutshell—North Korea has renounced all its nonconfrontational pacts with the South and nullified the North-South maritime border on the Yellow Sea. Experts say an invasion is likely, and South Korea has responded by fortifying its border defense. Where I live, near the army base in Uijeongbu, I have noticed more military vehicles driving by lately. I’m not worried about any attacks, but should there be one, my area will probably be a bit affected as we are relatively close to both land and sea borders and have a high concentration of military personnel. Please pray for Kim Jong Il, Lee Myung Bak (SK’s president), Obama, and their ministries of defense to engage in a just, effective, and peaceful dialogue rather than compete in violent shows of military might. Please pray for the troops also, to choose love over hatred and fear, whatever the cost.

Tonight I had dinner with Osee, a fellow from the Congo who is working in Korea through a program parallel to mine. Having read of the recent massacre in the Congo, I asked if his family was safe. He said they are, but it causes him a lot of anxiety. Please remember his family—and his country—in your prayers for peace and healing.

Finally, please pray for aid and healing to flow like a river through Gaza. Pray for peace and hope to triumph over fear and despair, especially among the traumatized children. And pray for all those with blood on their hands—that’s all of us, at least indirectly—that God would show off his power to redeem the most “unlikely” of people and events.

Grace for this Community

Please be praying for God to rain some grace down on Sarangbang community. We are suffering from an intense and painful ordeal affecting students, teachers, and church people alike. I know that God has purposes to redeem this deep hurt, but prayers for grace in the meantime would be much appreciated. And may God’s love heal us and set us free.

Balance

First of all, thank you for praying for my mouth! I didn’t have the heart to tell you, but my gum copied my tastebuds and decided to get an infection too. But now everything is well!! Healthy, healthy, healthy. :)

Now I would appreciate prayers for balancing teaching, learning Korean, tutoring other teachers in English, exercising, being on the computer, talking to friends back home, building relationships with people here, and relaxing. It’s pretty overwhelming, and I need wisdom as well as strength. Thanks!

Health

I wondered how many weeks it would take for my stomach to adjust to the food, but thankfully I haven’t had any problems! Now if only my mouth would cooperate…
The week before I came, I had 7 ulcers and half a dozen infected tastebuds. I had to numb my tongue before eating! Then they all went away until a few days ago, when my tastebuds started getting infected again. I haven’t needed to start numbing my tongue regularly again, but please pray for it to heal and for my mouth to stay ulcer-free.

Visa? Check!

Thanks so much for praying about my visa! It came in today, just in time for my flight. And Mom thought I was a procrastinator… looks like the last minute might just be God’s perfect timing. :) Catching all my flights is the next thing to pray for. Thank you!