Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Splendid Sunday in Busan

Since today was Sunday, I headed to Busan for church, which required taking a bus. I was surprisingly nervous, owing to the accident I was in on Friday, but the ride was blissfully uneventful. Accompanying me were my friends Diane and Beau. Owing to my inability to catch a taxi in time, we ended up taking a later bus than we had planned, so we got to church about five minutes late (it takes us an hour by bus to get to Nopo-dong station in Busan, then another hour by subway to get to the church).

The sermon was fantastic, as it usually is. Esther Berg is a great missionary pastor. I really enjoy my church here, despite the distance, because it is so awesome to worship God with such a diverse group. There are people there from the USA, Canada, South Africa, England, Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, and, of course, Korea. It really is a special, powerful experience every time I am able to go.

After church, Diane, Beau, and I, along with our friend Rebecca, went out to dinner at T.G.I. Fridays (we were all craving some good Western food). It was ridiculously expensive, but so worth it. Then we stopped by a grocery store where I was delighted to find such rare treats as oatmeal, maraschino cherries, feta, and chocolate pancake mix. After that, it was back on the Subway, and then onto a bus for Gyeongju. I love riding on buses here - they are clean and comfortable, and it's a great time for napping, reading, or conversing with friends.

Tomorrow should be nearly as fantastic as today. Some friends and I started a cell group last week and are meeting for the second time tomorrow. The way we have things set up, each week someone different will host the group, and the host will be in charge of either preparing a devotional or moderating a discussion on the topic of their choice. Last week's meeting was stimulating and refreshing, so I am looking forward to more of the same.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"