Dear Brother

My friend Sarah wrote a beautiful poem from her experiences in Korea in the form of a letter from South Korea to North Korea. Her words are inspiring, and I love how encouragements from home can always meet me where I’m at no matter where I am in the world.

“That’s the what the Gospel is – it gives us the courage to see things that are dark, and it gives us hope to realize that it’s not the end of the story.”

dear brother // spoken word about korea from Sarah Suk on Vimeo.

SEOUL / SOUL

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1. I like how every shaved ice place is known for a certain kind of shaved ice. It’s never just, “You have to try to the bingsoo here.” It’s “the chocolate bingsoo,” or “the strawberry bingsoo,” or in the picture above, “the wheat germ, almond, and mochi bingsoo.” Every place offers something special.

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2. We met up with Sarah for breakfast, and debriefed our trip to the DMZ. Sarah is very passionate about the things that are happening in North Korea, and we talked about how Korea’s history is very similar to Israel’s – the split, the corruption, and the hope of reunification one day. Sarah always reminds me that we need to hope that things like this will happen sooner than later, and I think it’s important for non-Koreans to also pray for reunification and for what will happen when North Korea finally opens their gates. I want to be a part of praying and dreaming for better things that will come in our world.

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3. I came across this watch shop in Bukchon that specializes in handmade, antique-looking watches, and they even have a section where you can customize your own watch. I love finding niche products like this, because you know that the owners are extremely passionate about what they are doing. The idea of having fewer, better things still lives on.

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4. We explored some of the older parts of Seoul, and it was incredible! They have done such a good job of preserving these parts, and in the area we went to visit, there were still people living in the houses. The buildings have been repurposed a bit to suit modern days better, as opposed to being knocked down and built overtop. At every corner, there are culture centres where you can take workshops and learn to make things like traditional Korean dolls or wooden frames. It’s beautiful how traditional culture is so alive and well here.

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5. Melissa took us to Hongdae, which is the “hipster” part of town. It’s close to an art school so there is street art everywhere, and tons of things to see and do in the area. It was so great to hang out with someone who is just as passionate about food (especially shaved ice, haha) and shopping as I am.

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6. As I mentioned before, ice cream is VERY tall here.

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7. Even when I am city hopping and living with inconsistency, I love being able to create things that are habitual, even if it’s for a short amount of time. Every morning in Seoul, I would get breakfast at Paris Baguette, where the bread would still be warm as I picked it up, go to 7-11 to get banana milk (with a straw, obviously), and then bring it back to our hotel room to eat before heading out for the day. I wish we stayed long enough so I could have tried every single type of bread they made.

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8. “Often, people come to Seoul and never leave.”

North Korean / South Korean Border

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“How exaggerated are the things we see on television about North Korea?”
“It’s not exaggerated at all. In fact, what really happens in North Korea is worse than what you see on TV.”

Today I looked into the eyes of one of the bravest women in the world. I wanted to say to her: “You don’t just look like hope. You aren’t just a symbol of hope. You are hope.”