I thought my cough and various other annoying "ailments" would just go away after awhile as I am usually quite healthy and think my body should be used to fighting off bugs from different places. But, since it has been about a month now and I don't feel any better, Elizabeth and I thought it might be a good idea to see if there was anything "pin-pointable" by a doctor and an easy remedy. We heard that Yonsei Severance Hospital had an international clinic, so we headed there yesterday morning as it's the only day of the week we can go and walk-ins are accepted from 9-11:30. The new hospital was just completed a couple years ago and is the biggest in Korea. Gorgeous! I've never been so impressed by a hospital. While waiting to see a doctor we spoke with an American couple and another couple from France/Ireland. The doctor was very sweet, sympathetic, and spoke English perfectly. Apparently I whatever virus I had at the beginning which was just affecting my chest it seemed, moved on up to my head and clogged things up there which an turned into, or caused an ear infection. The doctor made a funny noise when she looked in my ear and then had the intern do the same, guess there's a lot of fluid in there and it grossed her out!=D She prescribed four different prescriptions and almost a fifth, but I insisted I didn't care about discomfort for a bit longer as long as it eventually went away.
Ok, I need to stop cut down on the content of my blogs a bit. As much as I enjoy writing about things, I don't have the patience or time to sit here and recount in such detail. The good news is that I now have medication and am already feeling better including having my taste/smell back, no decreased hearing/headache/pressure on my ear, and the fluids are flowin out better. Now I need to see if the school will reimburse me a bit because we don't have health insurance yet since we don't have our alien cards yet.
Elizabeth and I have been reading a book together called, Relic Quest. A former police investigator goes in search of evidence for the true mount Sinai (Jabal al Lawz) in Saudi Arabia and then the Ark of the Covenant, which is thought to be in Saint Mary of Zion Church in Aksum. All of his searching is guided by scriptures in Exodus, which often give very clear details, including terrain, landmarks, dimensions. I visited Axum when in Ethiopia last year and it is indeed a very far out of the way place that attracts a very small amount of outsiders. What a great hiding place for it to be kept. The author says that Ethiopians (at least some) claim that they have successfully protected the Ark for more than two thousand years and a divine appointment from God gave them poverty so that they would only have th Ark to think about. To me, it would also keep them from abusing their possession of it and prevent too many curious folks from finding it and attempting to take it. For us, it's interesting and exciting read though our beliefs wouldn't waiver even if nothing was found, but for non-believers or skeptics, it seems like a good read which makes the scripture come alive and see that the Bible is real and indeed more than made-up stories. Many more thoughts on this at a later point.
Elizabeth and I are still trying to find a place to worship on Sunday morning. We went to a pretty small gathering two weeks ago, a Chinese/American/Korean mix of people. They meet in a basement of a building and it is kind of like house church in that their is no official pastor and the service is very participatory. After and a half or so, there's a break for lunch, everybody brings something to share. Discussion on weekly readings and prayers are shared after lunch. Last week a couple older ladies invited us and another American couple to their apartment for fellowship after that, so sweet.
On the flip side, wee struggled with wanting to know the music, both the language and tunes, but maybe that's something we are supposed to get past. The distance is also a bit far, a bit over an hour. Today we attended one of the "mega-churches", it was quite LARGE! A Massive amount of people, we sat in one of the many overflow rooms and watched on a tv/listened on our earpieces to the service as it was translated into English. Probably the weirdest church experience I've had, though the first time can always seem a bit strange.
My feelings after a month of being here are that this isn't a place we will be long-term. It feels very much like preparation for working long hours, dealing with foreign situations/people, and learning more about perseverance and how to be independent from family, financial support and the total familiarity of home and non-stop Western culture. I'm sure God has more to reveal to us and I am doing my best to patiently wait and be open to experiencing or doing whatever He calls us to do. The materialism and modernity of Korea is of course very enjoyable/appreciated, but at the same time I feel like I get too wrapped up in it. Maybe that means I need to work at casting off the hold it has on me forever and live with it, or maybe it is a sign we would be more effective as servants of the Kingdom in a country where it's less of a burden. Prayer would be much appreciated as we seek to discern our purpose. It's hard to stay positive and see myself as fully used often times when the days are spent trying to get kids to listen so that they can become "successful", that's what speaking English is supposed to help with.