Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Experience of Isaac (Part 6) - Leaving Chile

I don't really know how exactly this happened. I don't remember if I wasn't made aware, or if I had known it but hidden it from my friends for a time. We were leaving Santiago.

This was going to be an exciting year, I felt. I had finished two full years at SEK, and I was seemingly getting adjusted to this Asian kid in Chile life. For the fourth grade, we got to move to another part of the school, and I always enjoyed having a change, so that alone felt exciting. It was good to see a lot of my friends again and I was glad to be able to start playing basketball with my buddies.

The next thing I know is that we are leaving for the airport. Why did my parents not let me know? Or if I did know, why was I hiding it from my friends? That will forever be a mystery to me. 30 minutes before leaving our old-blue apartment, I knew I only had time to make one phone call. I called my dear friend Glen, who was at school at the time (I skipped class that day to go to the airport). His mom picked up and was kind of wondering what in the world I was doing calling her at this time of the day. And it was hard to explain what I was doing. Since Glen wasn't there, all I could do was to leave a message. I told Glen's mom to tell Glen that I was going to miss him, and wanted him to let the rest of our classmates know that I was heading to... the Estados Unidos de America.

She was kind of in shock, and I could tell she didn't really know how to respond to that. I believe she just said that she would let him know, and we ended the conversation. All I remember doing after is getting into someone's car to be dropped off at the airport. It was just my mom, sister and I that were flying. Dad was either already there, or waiting to come.

America was so different.. and going through customs was the hardest thing ever, as a child. So much tension. So much hustling around. Carrying heavy luggages. A foreign speech. Just when I thought I was settling into life for good, we moved again, this time over the hemisphere.

I still remember that lady who was talking to us being.. so mean. No emotions, no smiles, no expression. Those are the moments in life when you just feel your childhood being taken away. Especially, when you are the one who has to talk to her. There was nobody at the booth who could speak Korean, so we had to speak Spanish to her. I had to translate for my mom, and all those words coming out of her mouth that formed a question just seemed like a test that we had to pass, that we had to answer correctly, or we would be sent back home to Chile. Anyhow, let's fast forward this dramatized moment. We miraculously get in. Mom says we were going to get in anyway, but I think she was saying that our of faith. It just seemed like there was no reason why we should have been given access to come in.

So anyhow, life was a new start, again. I take a look outside and again notice that the streetlights are different shapes. This gives me the awry feeling I felt three years ago when I exited the airport in Santiago. Something about them streetlights... from the familiar to the unfamiliar again.

We settled down at the Kang's. Again, like the Jung's in Santiago, it was a family of three kids, with the two elder kids being girls and the younger being a boy - Ashley, Esther, and Joshua. They lived in a nice part of Los Angeles called La Brea, which is right in front of what is now the Grove. The first few weeks of American life was pretty solitary for me. I had no friends, and no way to communicate.. since I did not speak the language. I had to communicate to the kids in my broken Korean, only to realize that they did not speak any Korean, nor understood any. During the short period we stay in La Brea, I remember struggling because I wasn't home. I was in another person's house, and although that family welcomed us as much as possible, it was still relatively new to me so I just had to grit it out.

This brings in mind to me what it is to be like God, homeless. I wrote a little bit regarding this in my Kankakee post,  but I'm going to write a little bit more again, because this matter can never be repeated enough! I can most confidently and bravely say that this is the meaning of my existence in the whole universe, and the focus of my life. So, let me take a look really quick and read the Kankakee post so I won't be repeating myself too much.. I'll be right back..

Okay, I'm back. Great. I haven't written regarding Genesis 28. Just to let you know ahead of time, I'm probably going to speak again regarding Gen. 28. One of my fave chapters in the Bible. But to be brief because I wrote so long already, and just to drive the point: Jacob had received the blessing from Isaac that was supposed to be Esau's. Warned by Rebekah, he has to leave his own house, away from the comforts of his family, where all his resources -- food, shelter, and fun -- were. He is kicked out of his own house by the threats of his own blood brother to kill him. He basically trades the comforts of his bed, to the bare floor outdoors, and substitutes a stone for a pillow. You must be very desperate if you cannot find anything else to be your pillow. No hay? No mounds of sand? No folded clothes? Shows you what kind of situation Jacob must have been in.. Anyhow, it was in that kind of situation that God revealed to Jacob, His heart's desire, Bethel (translated the House of God).

Strange how God would reveal it to a tricky person like Jacob, somewhere in the middle of Genesis. Wasn't Abel was a really good kid? and wasn't Adam the first man on the earth? God revealed it particularly for Jacob because he was under a certain condition, a homeless one. He was in a state that matched God's situation of being homeless, and only in this kind of state, was man able to sympathize with God.. I'm not saying we should all end up becoming homeless to experience what Jacob experienced. These times will come eventually, a sudden transition in life from the familiar to the unfamiliar. I just like to encourage you to read Genesis 28 in a prayerful way during that time. Jacob received this clear revelation in his homeless condition. (I'm also not saying that being in this state is the only way to know God's heart's desire regarding His house).

I'll end it here :) Didn't want to end the entry with just me, me, me, so had to add this small addition. I don't know what I'll write next week.. I might move back to my dad's side of the story again, or continue on my line.. Check back next week..

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