Before I lose track of time and forget the first thoughts I had on L’Abri, I want to leave a record of what this place has come to mean to me.
In 2018, I was admitting my loneliness and overall depressive mood as I found it hard to adapt to life in Argentina. I had come back to Argentina in 2017 after eight years of living abroad, and fitting in with the family and the Korean Argentinean community proved to be extremely difficult. I felt awkward and unlikable overall and this seeped into my self-esteem—causing it to hit rock bottom. My mom, who saw all of this and yet couldn’t do much to help, suggested I take some kind of long vacation. She mentioned L’Abri, and I remembered having heard of it in Korea as well. The name had never stuck with me, so throughout the first half of 2018, I kept forgetting about L’Abri until I read a book by Francis Chan, where he mentioned it. After this, I decided to Google it and see if times matched up, and when I saw that everything would line up so that I could go to the Swiss L’Abri on a summer term, I decided to give it a go.
Fast forward to a journal entry I wrote back during my student days at L’Abri in 2018 to explain my initial thoughts of this fascinating place:
When I came here, I didn’t have any expectations of the “institution” itself, but had expectations on what God could and would do through it. And after three weeks here, I can say that I like L’Abri in a subtle, profound way.
I say subtle because there hasn’t been any dramatic “wow” factor happening, but in the midst of the daily work, study, fellowship, solitude, and meals, there’s something slowly shifting gears in me. I can’t pinpoint it and say, “AHA! This is what’s transforming and nourishing me!” But I feel something solid building deep down in me as I meet His nature, His Word, His people. And this is how it’s profound.
I feel like God had been telling me for some time that if I truly wanted to be a Kingdom of God agent, I first needed to receive love from Him. I thought I had been doing that, but seeing how badly my broken relationship with family affected my self-esteem and identity proved I was receiving His love theoretically and not practically. Thus, I’m learning to delight in the Lord every day… to be mesmerized by His beauty and glory and honor and majesty.
After writing this journal and having many subtle epiphanies, I came to trust God in a deeper way, so that even though I didn’t know how I was going to afford my trip to Korea, what kind of jobs I would find, or how my friends were going to welcome me, I knew on a deep level that this was a trip I had to make. And God gave me just what I needed for that trip. He provided the exact amount of money I needed, the exact jobs I could work, the exact communities I needed. Most importantly, I learned and experienced a deep joy in all that God kept pouring into me.
To be continued….