Monday, August 30, 2010

From the Top Down.

When I think about love, I think about it from the top down.

How can love spread without having first been consumed and delighted in? A thirsty soul’s first sip of a cool water. A deep drink from a deep, deep well, and a passed cup onto the next thirsty one. And where else can this true love be found other than the Source and Creator of such affections himself? How can I love another, in fullness of heart, if I have yet to first receive it from the Truest of Lovers? It is from this love, HIS love, his gracious and abundant and ever persistent love, and the extravagant streams in which it flows, that I am able to love. It brings life!! New, abundant, and full life! Daily. Momentarily. A life in which I am now free to love! Replenished and regenerated.

It is in this deep love, we find Love himself walking the dirt roads of a broken and weary land. A land needing a Savior. One created and sustained in splendor, to reflect just a speck of his glory. A radiant, powerful speck. A land watered in the beauty which flows from a powerful Creator in the details and grandeur of magnitude, intricacy and spectacle. A land though awesome and beautiful, horribly broken and in need of a Savior.

This same Creator, who fashioned the world, we find sitting well-side. Hot and weary. Offering a new kind of water-- to a woman. The true living water. From a well that will never run dry. From which people will ever come up full and satisfied! Love gets personal. And many believe!

But, he came to bring more than a sip of water! It would take more than that to fully reveal his love. It would take more to save those he so deeply loved. It would take a flow, a merciful flow of a broken heart. The last undoing of the most perfect love as love stretched over a cross.

And it is because of this, his love for us, that we are able to love! From the bottom up. We drink deep. And are filled full! We are washed clean and given new life! In that we walk the streets of this world and get personal. To sit well-side and offer sips of the true living water we sip of! He magnifies our Love! Like drops of rain falling in a pool of water. The ripples multiply. Collide. Intersect. And spread wide. To further reach people and to further esteem the great Creator of it all! He is a jealous God. For the love of his creation and for the honor of his name! People will know him by how we love and well creation speaks for itself.

So, in that, we drink deep! We stand up, having been loved fully, and walk! We walk and as we do we love people along the way! In the fullness of its creation, because he first loved us!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

MountainChild at Ignite: 1040

We got to give away a free guitar! And in doing so raised 300,000W.

I am amazed at God's timing!

Sometimes i have to literally LOL ("laugh out loud" for those in the dark ages) because, it just gets me sometimes! It's joy... in a real tangible way! God shows up unexpectedly, you chuckle a bit at his to-do, and you keep on going! Reminded that he is present in the moments and well... he's got it, the universal IT, all under control!

I visited Ignite: 1040 with MountainChild this weekend! Ignite: 1040, hosted by Youngnak Church, purposed to partner with other Korean and international churches, through the art of music, to strike a cord of passion for those living in the 1040 window. The conference brought together people and organizations with a passion to take the Good News to those living in the most unreached part of the world. Most of who live within the 10-40 degree longitudinal lines.

MountainChild joined the festivities! Unlike the Pentaport Festival, we were able to marry our hearts for Jesus and our desires to serve with MountainChild more intentionally when talking to folks. Which was sweet! When all is said and done, I serve with MountainChild because if Jesus were here, he'd be on board too! Rockin' an awesome yellow shirt, arm band, backpack, and all!

Anyway, the conference was a huge blessing! The Lord spoke sweetly to me in a few moments! And while i've never heard the audible voice of God, there are specific moments he meets me in tangible ways and woos my heart to his! A lot of time through music. Man, the guy i marry better be up on his game... because this Jesus guy knows how to get to my heart! The art of surprise and intentionality. (take notes guys.)

For weeks i've been loving a new song from David Crowder, "How He Loves Us". It's a good one friends! Well, yesterday, the band, in perfect timing played this awesome song! As if Jesus looked down and said, "Why hello there lovely! I've been waiting for you! I gots somethin' special for you!! And yes, i DO love you! SO very much!". Sold. He was near yesterday... and in such perfect timing!

The conference was great! Good things are going down in Asia for the Kingdom... and it is moving west into the the rest of the 1040 window! Check out 1040 the Movie for more info!

The more time i spend with MountainChild the more i'm sold out for it!! The people. The passion. The purposes behind it all! I leave for Nepal in... let me check the iCalendar... 20 days! I will then see Nepal with my own eyes and I am excited!!! SO EXCITED! MountainChild is looking at the darkness in Nepal square in the eyes and doing something about it! Holistically! By addressing the practical needs of clean water, health, and environment, the people can then be released from the oppression of an early death rate (1/2 by the age of 8). Improved farming tactics and environmental conditions will release children from the fields. These kids can then return to school. Proper education will help to stop the cycle of ignorance and continued education will open doors for job training and financial stability. This will all help to put and end to the sex trafficking which funnels through Nepal into the rest of Asia. At the center of it is the Gospel! MountainChild is doing practical things in all of this... and THAT is something I can stand behind! As Pastor Jack said today at church, "Intercession on its feet!"

This morning Pastor Jack spoke about some of the progress of MountainChild and the open doors in the Himalayas for increased impact... and it too got me fired up! God is doing big things! Some of the details of that are too soon to write about... but i'm holding on! God is moving, and we know that that means!! Awesomeness is on its way! And well, it's amazing to be apart of something God is doing in the world!

My love for MountainChild is fresh... and well i think time will only continue to deepen that! So, more to come! But, as you finish reading, know that God is good and that He loves us!!! OH, how he loves us! And he loves the children in the Himalayas! He's chosen MountainChild to be a some of the hands that do some of that tangible lovin'! And, i'm blessed i get to be apart of that!

Taken by: Soyon Chun Thompson

Taken by: Soyon Chun Thompson

Taken by: Soyon Chun Thompson

* If you are in Korea and have any photography needs... contact Soyon Chun Thompson. Soyon and her husband John are moving to Nepal to serve full time with MountainChild. They in the process of fundraising for their stay! Visit MountainChild for more information!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Two Thumbs Up!

Hey there friends and family! Well... it's 12:52 August 27th and im pushing Friday! PRAISE BE! I think it's about time for a little blog lovin'. I hesitate to post this picture as a reflection of my week... because well, to be completely honest, this has been an awful week. Yea. You know, there are good ones, awesome ones, and sometimes an awful one drops in and well, you take it in stride. You keep on truckin' praying the whole time that the beloved weekend comes quicker than your next headache. And that you'll hold your cool when one more student asks you to copy the book because they didn't bring their book to class.

So. Why do i post this picture? Well... it is reflective of my deep. My ever deep longing for legit Mexican food, and my pure delight upon discovery. But, also the deep down of my soul. Past the surface junk, and ruthlessness of my students at times, life is good! And well, life is good because God is good, and his goodness is present all around me! It never changes and well in the words of my man David Crowder, if his grace is an ocean i would be sinking. So. Two thumbs up to that!

And well gosh dang it, if next week follows suit... im gonna quit.

Just kidding.

But really, this picture is from an awesome restaurant i went to last weekend with my new friend Sheila! Per her request for Mexican food (not that i objected one bit) we stumbled up into Casa Maya! A not so little restaurant in the heart of Hongdae just above the Nepalese restaurant i like so much, Yeti. Right across from the park which is home to one of my favorite Seoul attractions: Sound Box. The lovely beatbox/jazz/ tap dancing gig that plays every weekend. The same one who covers Jason Mraz right when my heart needs it most. Anyway, back to Casa Maya... we were mightily surprised! They even offered me an extensive vegetarian menu! Impressive i tell you. Well, after a feast of seafood fijitas, homemade tortillas and legit chips and salsa... we left happy! Full (not fat) and happy! ; )

Again, well done Hongdae! You have successfully filled my little heart full again!

And well after dinner, we also found this awesome place called Vinyl. A small, sidewalk, Robot faced, walk-up "bar" with grown-up juice bags. I enjoyed myself a nice Gin-Lime... in a plastic bag with a straw. And well, for 4, 000w (4$) it was a delicious cool bev on a hot summer night! Walking around Hongdae, listening to live music, with my juice bag and a sista! Awesome.

There you have it. And as i speak it is now Friday morning! PRAISE BE!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My IP Address Says No.

There are times i forget that Korea was ruled by a dictator less than 30 years ago. Kind of interesting to think about. I hardly entertain that thought most days as I walk around feeling, most of the time, as if I were in a America. Despite the foreign language. The food. The music. Oh, and the strange "who the heck are you" stares. I don't question the fact that I am generally free here. Though there are times, like this morning, I am reminded sometimes, this "freedom" is masked. When things deviate from the norm, the remnants of Korean history, more specifically those of a powerful dictatorship, still surface. Corporal punishment, and strict school regulations are an example of that mindset.

That mindset has summit new heights. Folks, please brace yourselves!

North Korea has a twitter account. @uriminzok. ("Our People") Yup, that's right! In so many ways it is absolutely crazy! Absolutely insane! First, for a country marked by its ultimate communication restriction and alienation from the world, it's a little ironic they'd jump on the ultimate social media band wagon. Twitter, really? How can a country, which restricts internet usage to all it's people, introduce a Twitter account? It's confirms the insanity.

In researching this epic Twitter account, i also learned they are rockin' a YouTube Channel. Welcome to the world Korea!! I hope longingly for two things. First, to find an up-close video of Kim Jong-Il rockin his MacBook webcam. Second, for a long arm, "check-out- my-mom's- hideous-bathroom- and-my- awesome- emo-bangs" MySpace picture. That would make my century.

What makes this whole thing even crazier is the South's reaction towards it. And seeing that i find myself sitting in South Korea as i write this... it starts to get personal.

This morning i came face to face with overt government censorship. That's right folks... via my IP address, i am Korean and well, i have no business reading it. Articles claim the South is protecting it's people from the propaganda the North . Hmm... sounds a little like the past, no? A top down enforcement of an national position. Last I checked, folks, that'd be what i call a propaganda. Isn't that what we're censoring?? I mean, isn't that what you're censoring?

Maybe not. At least that's what they're telling me.

So. You in the free world, read the articles for yourself. And for my twitter buddies, confirm for me if you will if you can access the Twitter account. You can use the lovely Google Translate to read the Tweets. As of this morning i have been officially warned and redirected, from the Korea Communication Standards Commission, to steer clear and back off the Tweets...

Fine. You want to fight? I'll change my IP address... and pray a uniformed man doesn't come to my door.

(Just kidding mom.)

Check out the deets for yourself.

BBC News
NY Times "North Korea Takes to Twitter and YouTube"
Christian Science Monitor "Why South Korea is Blocking Access"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

World Change and Rock Music

If you can't tell already... i'm a fan of this awesome organization called MountainChild!
They're pretty awesome and are doing some wicked awesome things in the Himalayas! Which, if i were you, would get me all kinds of pumped inside!

I've have the blessing of getting to know and helping serve alongside some of the staff , and well, it too has been awesome!

I recently wrote a blog for them... you should check it out! While you're at it, check out the awesomeness that is MountainChild and if you so fancy... send them a check! They could use all the support they can get!


by: yours truly

Friday, August 13, 2010


Hello there!

I was kindly reminded by my lovely Madre this morning that it has been a while since my last post! I have been waiting to cross over the 13th, and in doing so, realize i haven't written in almost 2 weeks. My apologies!

I can, now, officially, say i've been in Korea for more than 7 months! Friday, August 13th marked my 7th month and like i write, and sincerely mean, in each Greeting, i really can't believe it! My days fly by here, and well before i know it, it's friday. Another week down! I am constantly reminded that my time here is short! My sista Kel's last day was Friday and my other sistas D and Kati will be following suit next Friday! It's crazy! When i arrived in Korea they were pushing their 5/6 month mark. Well, friends, I'm well over that!

This morning I woke up to a cloudy morning which quickly turned into a crazy thunderstorm. But, fear not, it dried up as quick at it came on, and the sun is pushing to get out as i type! We've entered Typhoon season and i have one thing to say about that: BOO FACE! I HATE RAIN. Folks who know me well know that full well! Yea, that's all i have to say about that one. I am counting down the days until fall, which some folks say will make an appearance in mid-September! PRAISE BE! Folks who know me well, will also know that it is around then my itching to live in a brick fashioned town where leaves fall, jazz plays and it smells continuously of spice sneaks up. It is then i force myself upon mother nature and rock my scarves and flats regardless of temperature. Oh, how i love fall! I delightfully learned that even Koreans like Starbucks Gingerbread Lattes. CAN I GET A "PRAISE BE"?

Don't mind if i do!

But i digress.

This last month was quite eventful! I celebrated my 23rd birthday. I went to Pentaport Rock Festival with MountainChild, which was awesome! My sista Amy left Korea and we welcomed new sista Sheila to the team! We also enjoyed a nice vacation from school for a few days! Four of us, Kel, James, Becks and myself, made our way to Busan, and it was fantastic!! Read below for the full update! We enjoyed 4 days in the sun, eating good food, and doing a whole lot of nothing! What we did do was relax, and it was much needed!

Birthday Dinner at Yeti. An awesome Nepali restaurant in Hongdae.

I not really sure where July went, but August snuck up on me, and it's started off pretty well! My brother face celebrated his 17th birthday, my sista Kel celebrated her 21st, my bestest friend celebrated her 24th, and well i thank Jesus again for Skype! What would i do without it!

August is moving along just nicely, and some pretty cool things are happening! I just returned today from a small recording job. I sound cool, right? Recording gig? Never thought i'd have a future in that, but at the price i was paid today, it might be worth considering. 150,000 won (150 bucks) for two and a half hours of reading English vocabulary words. Umm... twist my arm. Let me pray about it. I'll get back to you. UH... COUNT ME IN! Two cool things came from that gig. Two pretty awesome Korean guys who are looking to make it rich in the English business who have money to pay me. First project, an iPhone English Flashcard App. They pay me for my voice. Next project, an audio Bible. Do they love Jesus? Negatory. Do they read the Bible? Negatory. Will it make them money in China? Most certainly. To do so, they need someone to read the Bible in English. Why, count me in Sir! "Sure, i'll read the Bible to you for a few hours." It never returns void. Wa wa wa.

Let's see, funny stories from this week.
I was teaching one of my Elementary classes this week about "towards and away from". I actioned by walking towards the door, " Students, i am walking ______ the door." Unanimously, "towards!" Yes students, I am walking towards the door. In kind, to teach the opposite, I proceeded to walk backwards, "Students, I am walking ______ from the door." Silence... and then one sweet, sweet voice. "Moonwalking!" Yes students, i am moonwalking! Shall we take a moment of silence? Oh, how I love my job!

I also learned from my tutoring student JiYun that Korea is home to a liger. Yup, that's right Napoleon, only in Korea, for your viewing pleasures! I think i'll have to add that to my "To-Do List". Um, Liger? Really? It's home is Everland, so when I visit to ride the Asia's largest wooden roller coaster (the World's steepest), I'll have to check out the zoo.

Well, that is my update friends! This month promise some good times! Rumor has it i might have an opportunity to attend Ignite 1040, a missions conference in Seoul, with MountainChild. Which would be fantastic! Have i told you i really like them? I do. Also, team meetings start up next weekend for my trip, which i think will hasten the weeks until i leave for Nepal! Continue to pray for me if you will, and for the folks who i will be meeting in Nepal! God is moving... and i want to just step into it!

Love you all! (Except the randos who follow my blog! But thanks for reading!) I promise to keep things more recent!

-Sarah, Potts, Pottsie, Capa, Pat

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

To The Roof: Nepalese Customs

Read an awesome article on Nepalese Customs. I think you should read it too!
Visit the blog at

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Seoul is now recognize as a "creative city of design".

I'd have to agree... one of the reasons i love parts of Seoul so much!

Check it out!

Dynamic Busan

Summer vacation couldn't have come at a better time. Six months of teaching, without so much of a vacation, will suck the best of teachers dry! Vacation fell right at the end of July, and it was the perfect opportunity to plan a trip to Busan.

Busan is the second largest, however most fortunately located, city in Korea. Located on the southeast coast, it is most famous for it's beautiful beaches and awesome city life. A city any beach-sick Californian can appreciate. Haeundae Beach heralds it's fame in a saturated blanket of well-oiled bodies and copious amounts of "parasols". Which you can rent, along with two chairs a mat, and free water, for only $15. Not the well oiled-bodies- the parasols.

The beach.

Unless one owns a car, plans to fly, or I guess navigates the city streets on your moped all the way to Busan, you must take the train. A $48 round trip ticket will save you a seat on a less than fancy, however fully functioning Mungungwa train. But, to be completely honest, it's quite enjoyable! If you're traveling with friends, bring snacks and games. The seats turn towards each other; it makes for a quite enjoyable ride! The train drops you off at Busan Station, perfectly connected to the simple Busan subway line. A short ride up line 3 will drop you right off at Haeundae Beach, and set you back a one way ticket for 1200W. Not too bad!

Unknown to us, we planned our trip on one of the busiest weekends of the year in Busan! The 15th Annual Busan Sea Festival preparations were gearing up when we arrived on Thursday, and were in full swing when we were leaving Sunday. You can probably guess what that means. Hotels we're full, at least the ones who we could call from afar, who could understand English. Though we booked in advance, I would recommend finding a room when you show up! I didn't really believe the Google Map of "motel, Busan" with it's own sea of red location dots, but it was perfectly accurate. The masses of motels is real with PLENTY in walking distance of the subway station with perfect views of the ocean! Most of which, at normal off season rates, will keep you up for $30-70 a night! Not to shabby.

Our accommodations were less than impressive, and sadly pricey. However, considering we were a short 2 minute walk from the sand, could see it from our room, and spent more time on it than in our room, it's drab soon faded and it became well worth every won. Let's be honest, you're only in your room to shower for dinner, and to crash after the sun's soaked the best out of you-- who cares what it looks like in the end, right?

On a more personal note, this trip had one goal. Relaxation. We wanted nothing more than to roll out of bed, eat delicious food, soak in the glorious sun, and do it again the next day! And that's what we did! It was delightful! I got more sun the first hour than I probably should have the whole weekend, what can you do? I have little to report about what we did during the day, except the conditions of the beach. Because my days consisted of tanning, napping, reading, music, and friends. Simple, yet sooo lovely.

The beaches however, were crazy! Literally. By 2 or 3 o'clock, no sun could be found on the sand. The beach was literally covered inch by inch with umbrellas, under which huddled folks of sun-stricken folks. Myself included. My favorite part of this was the fast food salesmen. Hunched over, most often in jeans and tennis shoes, jumping over towels and through rubber tubes, they sold everything from fried chicken to patbingsu, beer to "iced" coffee. I have never seen more people in one place with so many large objects before. And that was just on the sand.

"Parasol" city.

The water scene was an epic display as well. Thousands, literally, thousands of squealing wave riders! Many rocking the yellow inner tubes they rented for $5. Most of who were in full clothing: jeans, long sleeve shirts, hats. But my favorite were the young bikini clad women rocking the waves in hats, jewelry, denim bottoms, sunglasses, and a full face of make-up. Though comical, so impressive! How the heck do they keep it all on so well? Waterproof in all aspects of the word. Impressive i tell you. Impressive!

The masses.

We ate a lot of fantastic food in Busan. Can vacation promise anything else? I think not! Busan is known for it's fresh seafood. Fancy that. We were set on eating a delicious sashimi meal during our time, and oh, we found it! Saturday night we traveled down the coast to find a famous jazz club called Monk. Well we found it, and right down the street stumbled across what looked promising for a delicious seafood meal! We sat down. No English menu. No Korean. No English speaking staff. AWESOME! I cannot tell you what I ate, however, it was delicious! The most delicious sashimi and banchan i've ever eaten. We also found a fantastic Mexican restaurant, Fuzzy Navel, which had the most delicious taco I've eaten in Korea. Shrimp fajitas? Mojito? Um, ok! We ate it twice, once for dinner. Again the next day for lunch. How could you not?

Dinner at Fuzzy Navel

Our delicious sashimi dinner.

Saturday night, as mentioned, we visited Monk. Only a short subway ride from Haeundae, it was relatively easy to find. For 5,000W we found a table in a cozy, underground jazz club. I sipped my classy glass of house red, a chilled homeland Carlos Rossi Sangria, and sat back to enjoy the music! It was good! It's been a while since I've heard some good live jazz, and it was fantastic!

Music at Monk

Busan was fantastic! We said countless times, "Man, this really feels like vacation!" A feeling sometimes hard to come by when everything is foreign and a quiet place is hard to find. But we accomplished our one goal- relax! And well, we came back, relaxed, well-fed, and tan.
I'd say a pretty successful vacation, if you ask me!

Haeundae Skyline from the window of a random bar.

Stumbled upon this view after finding an awesome stepped path across the beach.
Gwangan Bridge.

And now we're back! Thanks for the love Busan!