Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Travels to Daejeon

My most recent trip to Tokyo and Korea were a part of my work with Global Study Connections, which works with international students and families who are looking for study abroad opportunities.

I have been fortunate that a few of my past colleagues have come on board in partnership with me in recent months. Hae Jin Lee who went to high school and college in America and lived with Dottie and I for a period of time has been a big help in our work in Korea as has Eunkyung a friend and counselor with an established Korean agency.

On this trip Seulki's parents as well as A Young's and Hae Jin's all made sure I was safe and well taken care of during my stay. Over a period of about 10 days I traveled to six different cities with Hae Jin, Eunkyung and Hwang,

Our first stop was in the city of Daejeon, which is south of Seoul. The trip was a two hour car ride through the country-side of S. Korea, where I saw for the first time what I would call "rural" S. Korea. Lots of farms and rice fields and small village with the most modest of houses.

While the purpose of our trip was meeting with students and parents in these various cities a real side benefit was stopping to eat in small traditional Korean restaurants - great food!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Preaching at the Kangnam Joongang Church

On Sunday, July 4th I had the opportunity to preach at the Kangnam Joongang Baptist Church in Seoul, South Korea. This is the home church of one of our students A Young Kim and her family. A Young was very active in our own church in Dexter during this past year where she often ran the PowerPoints for my sermons. The Kangnam Joongang church has an active membership of over 5000 people and six services on Sundays with each service having an attendance between 600-800 people. They have a pastoral staff of about 40. They have a full orchestra and several choirs including a 60 member college choir. While large they are a warm and caring fellowship of believers. I was simply in awe of the many ministires, schools and universities this church has helped spawn both in Korea and Asia. Read their weekly church magazine. This is a short clip from the sermon from Daniel 3:16-18 - God is Able, But if Not.

video

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Amazing Adventures in China

I have spent the last 12 days in China and now my time in China is coming to an end. I began my travels in Beijing for 4 days then to Hangzhou, then to Changxing, then back to Hangzhou for more meetings, then to Ningbo and then Wenzhou and the back to Hangzhou then to Guangzhou and finally to Shenzhen. (see my blog - Amazing Asian Adventures) During most of my travels I stayed with students in their homes. In all these cities we held parent and student receptions, lunches and dinners with individual parents and meetings with consultants and schools.

What has impressed me most during my time China has been our students, as well as their parents. While Mengli (Diana) organized and led most of my trip she was joined by several other Academy students including Yuxuan, Chuqiao, Bolin, Adam, Cody, Soki, Lily, UB and Pan Yao who all played a significant leadership role in the various meetings and receptions, as well as organizing the smallest details of my travels. The parents of these students have also taken care of the vast majority of my travels, meeting, meals as well as the receptions. My gratitude can not be expressed by words, I am simply overwhelmed by the show of hospitality and affection by students and parents alike.

I tried keeping a blog, but it was blocked in China so while I am in Koren (the next leg of my travels) I will try to post my journal to Amazing Adventures in Asia.

For now you can view the following photo galleries: Beijing Photo Gallery, Changxing Photo Gallery, Hangzhou Photo Gallery, Ningbo and Wenzhen Photo Gallery, Guangzhou Photo Gallery and Shenzhen Photo Gallery. Also photos in: The Forbidden City and Wuzhen Ancient City.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Visiting with Boarding Alumni

Recently Dottie and I met You Jin Choi in Boston for a two day reunion. You Jin lived with us during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school year. She was the student who played the piano for us every night while we all worked at the dinning room table. She was also an important part of the Academy's band and jazz band program and ultimately gained acceptance at the Berkley School of Music, although she chose Michigan State University instead.

She and her sister flew in from Lansing, Michigan to spend time touring Boston and visiting with us. We quickly picked up things from when we last saw each other - each of us teasing the other to the point of tears. We thank You Jin for taking time to visit with us, it was a wonderful two days filled with great memories.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Eating Korean at Harvard

Dottie and I spent New Year's in Boston with students and alumni of the Academy's boarding program. Hae Jin, who is a sophmore at Bentley University, served as our guide and found us a great Korean restaurant near Harvard University. Joining us for lunch were also Cindy Yang, a senior at the Academy, Nam Lee, a freshmen at Colby College, You Jin Choi a junior at Michigan university and her sister who is a student at Seoul University.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mengli visits WPI

Diana (Mengli) who is now in her third year living with Dottie and I has now begun to apply for her university studies. Of course with three sons having graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Instittute (WPI) and her interest in engineering we have been strong cheerleaders of WPI as one of her considerations.

On Monday she and I along with Ina who had to have her passport update at the Korean Consulate in Boston and Cindy Yang who had an admission interviews with Northeastern and Emerson Universities all took off for Boston (and Worcester).

The picture here is of Diana at WPI. She had the opportunity for an interview, tour of the campus, lunch with a student and sitting in on a freshmen physics class. It was a good day for all 3 students and Diana especially enjoyed her time at WPI.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hae Jin and NaRae Come to Visit

Its been two years since Hae Jin and NaRae graduated from Foxcroft Academy, but their love of Foxcroft keeps them returning for periodic visits. Hae Jin is in Boston studying and NaRae is in New York, both enjoy their university studies, but both also miss the quiet and simple life of Dover.

While here they had a chance to visit with faculty members and enjoy some of Dottie's home cooked meals. They also were kind enough to invite some of our younger students from their home country, Korea to join them for a Korean barbeque meal which we prepared in celebration of their coming home to visit.

We miss both Hae Jin and NaRae but are so proud of the young women they have become and the excellent job they are doing with their university studies.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two Birthday's to Celebrate

With 50 students in the dorm it seems we are always celebrating someone's birthday. Being so far away from home, dorm parents make sure each student gets a cake or a special meal or some treat to recognize their special day.

This past week Dottie and I decided to celebrate two of the students (A Young and Manjing) birthday with a special meal. Dottie made pulled pork served with lettuce, kimchi and rice in a similar fashion as a traditional asian barbeque meal.

We ended the meal with an American traditional cake and ice cream, which the students also appreciated.

Masquerade Ball

On Saturday night over 150 students participated in the 16th Annual Masquerade Ball sponsored by the French Club under the direction of French teacher, Ms. Teresa Brzustowicz.

Dottie and I also joined the festivities and enjoyed watching the students come into the Ball with all of their creative costumes.
Here are a few more photos from the evening.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Visit to Gordon College

Two of our children attended Gordon College (Jayme and John), a Christian college just north of Boston. We always welcome the opportunity to share about Gordon College when any of our boarding students inquire about a Christian college.

Ina has had an interest in Gordon for over a year and since we were traveling to visit Ellen this past weekend we decided to make a short detour to Gordon. Diana (Mengli) who was with us had never been to a Christian college campus and decided she too would like to visit the campus.

Students had an opportunity to talk to professors in the academic areas of their interest. Ina talked to people in the education department as well as the chair of the French department. Diana hung out with a phyics professor. They also had an opportunity to attend classes, talk to students and attend chapel. They both also made it to the cover of the Gordon Blog.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Boarding Students Join Pep Rally Celebration

Since last Monday students have been celebrating Homecoming week, which culminated in our annual school-wide pep rally on Thursday night. It was encouraging this year to see how many of our boarding students participated in events all week long including Thursday night's pep rally.

Students painted in maroon and white while yelling, screaming and shouting various school chants had most of the boarding students wondering if they had been transported to a different planet. Our own Ina, who has been a cheerleader for past two years led most of the chanting with other cheerleaders. video
Since Thursday nights boarding students have been sending video clips such as the one above home to parents, because words can't describe the experience.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Cooking Chinese

Each week our Admissions office is stacked with care packages from around the world. The care packages are sent by mothers wanting their children to have some food that is native to their own land. So food items like kimchi, squid and bamboo shoots find their way to Dover Foxcroft, Maine.
While all of our boarding students eat their meals in our dining hall students also enjoy cooking some of the "goodies" that their mothers have sent. Our apartment has become one of the places for students to bring items from their care packages and cook a meal that reminds them of home.

Dottie in particular is very good in the kitchen with students. It is amazing how these young students quickly bond with Dottie as they enjoy the nurturing of a mother. It reminds us that these students are still just children in need of sense of belonging. We hope we provide that in a very small way.