I still have two more Richmond posts to write, but today my heart and thoughts are in Asia. I guess by now everyone has seen the reports on social media coming from North and South Korea.
Sometimes it seems that I focus on trivial matters in the Christian world - how to get silly boys to listen in class at church, how to respond lovingly but truthfully to hostile comments on FB, how to find balance between people always needing/wanting something and living my own life...and these 33 people are facing the ends of their lives just for living out their faith. What would be the first thoughts on my mind in the morning if I lived in North Korea? Would I wrestle with the reality of never getting a break from being a caregiver the first 1.5 hours of every morning, or would I wrestle more with whether or not my husband and I should continue having devotions (even owning a Bible in NK is grounds for a lifetime of imprisonment, if not execution)? A simple act that I take for granted every single morning in North Korea is an act of defiance and a blatant declaration that Jesus is more than their Savior but their Soveriegn LORD...higher than even Kim Jung Un.
I spend my days wondering how and what I can fit in my schedule (and some days like last week dealing with unexpected surprises from UPS that Buster dismantled into the mud while we were gone and I missed church cleaning up those medical supplies) while these people are probably wondering if and how they'll get the chance to say good-bye to their loved ones.
It really puts things into perspective. My prayer is that every soul who heard the Gospel from these 33 believers will allow the seed to take root, and that King Jong Un will find the execution spark he has ignited will start a fire he cannot quench. I pray their families will find comfort during this time of grief, when they cannot openly grieve for their "criminal" family members, and that neighbors will not socially ostracize them but will support and encourage them during the difficult months ahead. And may I be grateful for the freedoms that I truly have.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
Briefly changing time periods, we stopped visiting Civil War Era sites, and switched to the Revolutionary War. When Patrick Henry and others were trying what to do with ongoing issues with England, their group was dismissed, making it treason for them to meet and discuss political matters without being called back into session. Richmond was the nearest location to Williamsburg (the then capitol) that had a place big enough for everyone to meet. The Pastor of St. John's Episcopal church agreed to let them use their building for the meeting. It was here where self-trained lawyer Patrick Henry ended his speech with "Give me liberty or give me death."
|Our tour guide in the church that has been expanded three times from the original building.|
If you ever visit Richmond, this is a must on your list of places to do. It's not a free tour, unlike other museums, but it is educational in a great way, the tour guide is open to questions of any kind, and the elevator from the street (entrance from the street to the visitor's center is not accessible and we had to enter on the other side of the block) takes you directly into the cemetery. I must say, I was not prepared for the door to open and immediately be facing tombstones. I almost felt like we were in a movie. But the cemetery itself is fairly accessible, as is their brick rampway to the visitor's center, and the tour guide easily adjusted the tour entrance to make it work for us. An incredibly awesome place that will make even lukewarm history learners interested. And I must say, I learned quite a bit.
One quick note, the walkways around the church block are accessible, though there are a few spots around trees where the roots have buckled the bricks or the sidewalk and it take a little maneuvering.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Richmond homes, their styles, closeness in proximity, and constructional materials, reminded me a lot of Washington, DC. It was too cold to walk the streets and enjoy the views, but I did manage to snap a few pictures from the van window.
I'd like to visit Richmond in the springtime when it's warmer and walking weather.