Though we’ve made many stopovers in Seoul in transit to or from Nepal, we have only had one occasion to minister in the country. One year, one of the graduates of the Bible college in Indiana invited us to minister at the Methodist church he was attending in the country while he was stationed at a nearby military base. Both Delron and Peggy were given opportunity to preach. One of the highlights we have always enjoyed when laying over in South Korea is the opportunity to attend services at Yoido Full Gospel Church and to visit Prayer Mountain. We even had the privilege of getting to meet Dr. Yongi Cho on one of our visits.
Delron had a great time exploring the city Seoul during his layover on the way to Nepal. He wrote about the visit:
“Seoul is my kind of city—very neat, clean, and orderly. It seems to have been designed for people just like me–and Adrian Monk. It is very English friendly, so it is actually easy to get around. Browsing through a stack of tour brochures, I picked out the various attractions on the map and figured how to get there on the subway. I actually did what would have cost $35 on the tour bus for $3 in subway tickets and $3 in entrance fees–plus, I got to stay as long as I wanted to and read all the descriptions in the museum and see the whole thing rather than the few spots that the tour groups pass by. In addition, I didn’t have to go to all the trinket shops that tour busses focus on. I even went to the places that the average tourist never even hears about for just another $2 in subway fares. My real tourist adventure was at the Gyeongbok Palace. The palace actually consists of a large compound of residences and government building that date back to the end of Fourteenth Century. The original structures were destroyed by the Japanese at the end of the Sixteenth Century and remained in ruins until they were reconstructed in the late Eighteenth Century, two hundred seventy-three years later. Included in the compound is a very informative museum that explains not only the history, but also the culture of the Korean people. One of the highlights of my visit to the palace was the re-enactment of the official changing of the guard and the royal parade of the king and queen. The regal display of the traditional costumes and customs was incredible. After taking a journey into Korea’s past, I stepped into their present by spending some time in Yoido, the government center. This ultra-modern district boasts impressive business centers, the General Assembly building, and beautiful parks in the city center and along the waterfront. It is also the home of Yoido Full Gospel Church, Dr. Yongi Cho’s thirty-four-thousand seat auditorium. I visited the church and sat in on part of a service. The usher said that the speaker was going to preach in English so there was no translation service available. When the speaker began I assumed he must be just making an introduction for the guest. When they started turning to Bible passages, I thought maybe he was going to take an offering. Although I know that they don’t normally pass the plates in the service, I thought maybe that was what was happening since this was a special meeting. When they started putting his points up on the screen, I figured that he must actually be the speaker, so I finally excused myself.”
“On the flight to Kathmandu, I was upgraded to business class. When I checked in at the airport, I went through the regular line rather than using the self-check-in kiosk. The whole time I was standing in the long line, I kept asking myself why I hadn’t used the self-check-in machine. When the agent offered me the free upgrade, I knew why. He said “If you don’t mind…” Why of course, why would I mind?! The business-class section was only about one fourth or one third full; obviously, they had not extended to offer to many other passengers.”