Tuesday, April 10, 2012

:Home Stay: Day 3

I should certainly mention this, because it DID happen.

Day three was a Sunday, and my mentor teacher took me to her church.

After waking up and having breakfast with the family, everyone got ready to head off to church. For some reason (I didn't get the explanation), my mentor teacher's kids would be travelling by bus and arriving later. I went with my mentor teacher and her husband in their car.

My mentor teacher (MT) explained to me that usually she is in charge of teaching/leading a small group of young kids in a lesson before the real church program begins.
--(...Ok, it's been a long time since I regularly attended church, so words are failing me. I'll try to describe everything the best I can.)--
When we arrived at the church, I was ushered in the building and up some stairs. Up there, in (probably) the only room on that floor, I encountered the first group of church-goers. They all squealed and jumped and whispered to their friends and family beside them as soon as they saw me. Most of the people here were children (girls) and their mothers. I was introduced to many of them, and then we sat down on the floor and the bible lesson began. It's interesting that we sat on the floor. For a very odd moment I thought, hey, they're in the habit of sitting on the floor so tables and chairs aren't a necessity. It felt kind of strange to me, sitting on the floor, because there was a small pulpit, and I had to look up much higher than I was used to.

I should say now that everything was said in Korean. I've been told that there are English services, but the services I participated in were all in Korean. My MT (I think she called in about it) didn't teach this class that day. Instead, a much older girl led the lesson.  After this lesson (or at least half of it.. I'm not really sure), my MT's daughter came down to get me. She took me upstairs to the main room. There was a stage, pews, instruments, etc. All the kinds of things you'd see in a church. A teen boy (I'm guessing) led the people in worship songs, and then pastor took over and began the service. I have to say, just being in that church and experiencing a Korean Christian church was an awesome experience. I am curious about what the English services are like though, because it'd be a bit hard on me to go to Korean services all the time and not know what everyone's saying.

Something that surprised me was that both of my MT's kids played the piano during the choir performances. I thought that was really cool. Also, as I was flipping through the hymn book, I noticed some familiar songs. They songs were in Korean, but the many had English titles and I recognized ones that I'd hear on the radio at home.

After service,  I joined the congregation for lunch on the first floor, went through several more introductions, and tried to speak to the children who sat with me. They wanted to speak to me but were either too shy to speak English, or didn't know the right words to say. I too wanted to speak to them, but the same reasons prevented me from doing so. I don't know what to do, besides learn as much Korean as I can before the next visit (my MT asked if I'd like to visit once a month). Sometimes I feel quite hopeless, wanting to use more than just survival phrases. Hopefully we'll be able to have better conversations with each other in the future. Honestly speaking, I want more Korean friends. I don't want them to be too shy to talk to me, or think it's too troublesome to get a point across. I have tons of patience for them, and I hope that they'll have tons of patience for me.

After church, my MT's husband drove me home. It felt kind of rushed. Maybe they had other things to do that day. The drive was quite far (they live in the next province). Either way, I'm thankful for that weekend, for all those experiences.

'Til next time,

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