Thursday, March 26, 2015

What Was That?

       Well, it has been more then a week since publishing a post. I am sorry about that. It has been one of those weeks. Let me catch you up a bit. I have been able to find a great church family here. New Phili has been great. I just want to give them a shout out for all of their help. I also want to shout out Emmaus. They are a student organization that is part of New Phili. I have been to Gangnam and many places and Seoul. What a great four weeks it has been. I have met many people and seen many new things. That is an incredibly short version, but what i wanted to talk about is the reason this has taken so long to get to you. I have been trying to debate whether or not to explain in detail what has been going on, but I think it would be good to share with you all.

       Two weeks ago, I awoke deaf in my right ear. "Wow Ryen, that escalated quickly!", I hear you saying. Well, that is how this whole thing started. So naturally, I waited a few days before going to the university doctors(in which I was thoroughly scolded for). When I got there, they did a quick examination of me and told me to go to the hospital. This was because they did not have the right equipment there. Ok, that is fine. I made an appointment for that Monday and went about my daily life stuff. On Monday, I went to my appointment. This is where things became a little more interesting. I would come to find out that I have advanced inner ear infections in both ears. I'm like, "Ok, this is fine. Infections happen all the time right?" The doctor then proceeded to explain how i needed to get brain scans. This is the turn that started to scare me. The docs thought that the infection was going to spread to my head. They said it was to early to make a decision on my deafness issue yet. This past Tuesday, I went to get my brain and ears checked out. In between, I was taking medicine to stop the infection. The CT scan results showed that the infection DID NOT make it to my brain, but they did tell me how close it was. Ok, one crisis avoided, but "lets see about them there ears." I jokingly said. However, it turned out to be no joke. The test came to tell me I was in fact deaf in the right ear. Mind you I had a decent idea, but knowing this is a lot more serious made me take a few moments to think. I asked if it was a temporary thing. They said it was to hard to tell. They wanted to wait until the infection was gone. An infection that I still have. They told me not to give my hopes up. There is a large chance from looking at the results that hearing would not be restored. "The infection comes first. Then we will try what we can for your ears." Now I am in a place where I am not very sure what to do. I go back next Tuesday to see if the infection has cleared.

       How am I taking this? I think I am doing well. I am taking life one stride at a time. However, listening to a single person is hard. If I am struggling to pay attention, I apologize. I am thankful for the one ear that still works ok. I do not intend for this to hamper my spirits at all. I am going to enjoy the limited time I have here in Korea. In the end, I  still have the other ear. However, I am well aware of the frustrations yet to come. Thank you all for your prayers and aid during this odd time in my life. I love you all! Also, don't worry about me! I will be just fine. So what's next for me? I am not sure. I guess I will just see where this path takes me. My hope is in the Lord, so I think I'll be just fine no matter the results. Who knows, God could have a valuable lesson to be learned.

       So thank you all for reading! Honestly, it is awesome to see the amount of people who have read the blogs. It is awesome to know that others are engaging with my journey. Again, I just want to thank New Phili and Emmaus. Also, I really want to thank my friends and family who have come around me in support of this rough time. So, thanks you amazing, beautiful people. Remember that old saying, "You never know what you have until you lose it?" Well, come to find out it is very true. I know this weeks blog was a little heavy, but know that I am on the upward swing. There is still some hope that my right ear can be restored. Therefore, please pray! I love you beautiful people.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Moment Finally Came

       When we as humans go through a major change, we don't fully realize the situation until a few days after arrival. Well this realization finally hit me, but before I go through that, allow me to catch you up. I am doing well. They tell me it will start warming up any day now, but that has yet to be seen. Classes are great, and the proffs are not half bad either. I found a church family and an international campus ministry! That is pretty cool. I walk quite a bit, and this is not a flat campus as ODU is. Hills are everywhere! you cannot escape them. I guess it will help my efforts for getting in shape. Thank you for all the prayers and support. I think I finally got over jet lag. It was very hard this time. I still get very confused on how to read signs, but I am now learning proper Korean! Well that is a QUICK update but I really wanted to get to the main topic I wanted to talk about.
       Last weekend I went with some new friends to a place called Sinchon. Here is where people go to eat great food and just have fun with friends. It was fantastic! I enjoyed some good food, and we went to a Korean styled karaoke! It six of us in this room singing badly but with no shame. I have not had this much fun in awhile. In that moment, time seemed to slow down. While the others were singing away, I came to an interesting realization. "Holy crap! I am in South Korea!" This was the thought that occurred to me. You could say, "Ryen, you have been there for 2 weeks now." You would be correct, but that does not really mean anything. What matters is that I am now understanding just how incredible my situation is. I am going to university in South Korea! It was a moment in wich a much needed reality check was presented.

       This was good for me to experience. I understand that this would normally come much earlier, but this time was different for a reason I could not pin point. Then it hit me. I was just going to school. It did not feel very different because I was in the mindset of going to school. It was just another semester for me. It sounds dumb, but it is actually a routine i have gotten into. Every fall and spring I get ready for more school. However, this moment of reality helped me understand that this was way more than just a simple semester. This was an adventure like no other. Finally, my mind is ready to take this on!

I know this post was short. I have another coming out soon. I has just taken some time to work on it. Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dreamers Will Dream

Ok, today I am going to address a question that has been popping up these last few months. That question  being, "Ryen, why do you do it? Why do you want to travel so much?" The only response to that is why not. If the opportunity to experience something new comes my way, I will not shy from it. This could be described as fool-hardy, reckless, risky, or even naivety. Those allegations may not

be incorrect. Many of my choices do have plenty of risk involved. I might even be naive when it comes to certain things, but one thing I won't be is ignorant. I will be filled with such knowledge and understanding that can never be achieved by sitting still in the U.S. God was a creative and innovative creator. Some who read this may not be Christian and that is ok, but hear my plea. GO AND SEE THIS BEAUTIFUL WORLD! My faith has only made this place a more wonderful creation. Through the looking glass that is the Gospel, I see hope for this world. Why would I not want to see that world up close?!

If you are thinking about being a traveler, understand one thing........... you should not go only for the site seeing aspect! Those who have traveled their fair share would agree. The main reason to go to a place should not be the place, but it should be that place's people. Without people, there can never be culture. Without the culture there would never be any of those pretty buildings and temples. Mind you, those things are fantastic to visit and see, but what is the point if you miss the people who made history history. Yes, the Great Wall is amazing, but what about those who died building it? What is their story? Where are their descendants? Was it worth the sacrifice? If all you do at these historic sites is take pictures, than you have missed the point entirely, and should not be there in the first place. So please, please do not be just another shallow tourist! Being one only makes a mockery of the places you visit. Instead, where ever it is you travel, go there with the mindset of wanting to be part of the story taking place. Trust me, if you do this, the experience you take with you will feel genuine and fulfilling. You will make true friends in other, far off lands, and you will be part of their stories wich turn into their history. I may only be a footnote in the places I have been, but the people I have met and the things I have seen is an incredible part of me. They are now parts of my stories, and will be part of my legacy.

It is my belief that we are all meant to be travelers in our own way. If that is only walking to the person 2 feet away from you, then may that be a great journey. However, if you are called to cross oceans and cultures, my friend it is indeed a noble calling. Though that calling may be great, know this truth very well. It will call you to make sacrifices of yourself and those in whom you care about. Your time is not your time. To travel is to be selfless. The truth is, if your calling is to make such large leaps of faith, then you must understand that you welcome hardship. This is just something that comes with the territory. I can unpack this all day, but I think I will leave this for another post.

In an upcoming post I will cover my various inspirations, but that will take some time to shift through if I am honest.

To travel, love, serve and to embrace this world through the Gospel is my calling. What is your's?

P.S. Share your calling down below with a hand drawn picture! Let's get creative now guys! As always I love you guys!