Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Goodbye Letter # 07 - Deborah Antle

Many of you don’t know me, but I arrived in Cheonan in November 2008 and taught at one of the high schools until January 2011.  I attended KNU International English Church during that time.  When I left Cheonan, I didn’t leave Korea.  I went to Gwangju (the little one in Gyeonggido, not the big one down south) and taught at another high school.  So, to me, I wasn’t really saying “goodbye” back then.  It’s time to say it now, though. In January, I’m going home to America and, as far as I know, I’m not coming back.

I’ve been attending a Korean church while living in Gwangju, but KNUIEC has remained, in my heart, my home church in Korea.  I wasn’t there at the beginning of the church, but I was there for many beginnings.  I was there when Josh quit working as a professor and became the church’s full-time pastor.  I was there when the youth group began.  I was there when the first babies of our "baby wave" were born into our church.  I was there when the church voted to start the long-term partnership in Bangladesh.  I was there when Shannon and Adam were voted in as our first Youth Pastors.  I’m grateful for the privilege of being part of you, and I’m SO proud of you!

My life is richer and wiser for having been a part of you.  I remember when, one Pentecost Sunday, we had about 10 or 11 people read Scripture in different languages, and something like 9 of those people were reading in their native languages.  That was an extraordinary moment for me, realizing I was experiencing the “many nations, one family” concept of the Kingdom of God, and I didn’t have to wait to be on the other side of the grass to see it.

God’s sending me back to America now, but I’m going back better.  Korea and KNUIEC will remain a part of me, for the remainder of my life here, and I’m certain that influence will stretch into eternity.  I truly, deeply, and eternally love you.

Your sister in Christ,

Deborah Antle
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