Busan: Responding to the Call

Weekend Trip

IMG_3690Last weekend I visited Busan (my future home) for the very first time, and I gained a lot of clarity.

Saturday night, the pastor down there exhorted my team to hold onto our calling to Busan. Yes, we are being sent by our church, but ultimately we are being sent by God. When rough patches come that tempt us to question why we are there, that calling is what we will have to fall back on.

When it comes down to it, I’m not moving to Busan for a job, a community, a housing situation, the landscape, or even for the church. The reason I’m going is because God is calling me to.

Later that night, as the pastor had encouraged, I spent some time solidifying my calling. On the beach.

Beach Walk

I was just going to take a leisurely walk home by the beach, but I couldn’t help it. I took off my sandals and walked out onto the sand toward the ocean. I tuned out the sounds of the bars and restaurants behind me and simply gazed into the endlessness stretched out before me, fading into the blackness of the night.

It was one of those moments when all distracting chatter falls away and the words and ideas that have been resounding in the deepest spaces of your being are audible. You see your whole life before you, where you’ve come from, where you are going, and a deep peace comes over you as you understand that everything is as it’s supposed to be.


I was transported back two years to another walk I took by the ocean shortly before my big move to Seoul. That summer, I felt burdened by the vastness of the uncertainty before me, but as I gazed out at the ocean that day, God spoke very clearly to me:

“In Korea, you are going to be free in a way you never have been before. Everything is open before you.”

I felt the same excitement rise up in me that I had felt that day.  Anything was possible.


The Next Two Years

One thing I know for certain is that my time in Busan is going to be a very special.

He is sending me to Busan for His purposes, but also for my good. I knew that as soon as I received the email asking me to consider going–I caught His excitement right away.

My days in Busan will not be ordinary days. As one teammate put it, even everyday actions like buying a coke at a corner store will be acts of worship to Him. Because this is no ordinary move; it’s a response to a call.


Do you see possibilities or limitations as you look ahead?

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After living in South Korea for over 7 years, Elizabeth is back in the States finding a new normal. Currently in seminary, she is enjoying unpacking questions of faith in a new context. Amidst the tension of brokenness and conviction, she continues to find grace. And above all else, she continues to pursue the God who inspires childlike wonder.

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