Our first day in Seoul was spent primarily at the KCCC building where we learnt a little about Korean culture, the FISU games and got to know each other as a team.
We started the day by sharing with each other how God led us on this trip and how we were currently feeling about being in Korea. I know I can speak for many of our team when I say I am thankful for the pesky AIA staff who kept on texting me to get my application in. As a group our feelings ranged from being excited and jacked up about the trip to being nervous and terrified of the unknown.
One of our staff members then gave us all a debrief on Korean culture. We learned many table manners which have come in very useful as we seem to spend much time bonding with athletes and pastors over meals. They are so incredibly hospitable. The pastors and church leaders are filled with such joy when they can treat us all to a meal. I love the richness of mealtimes in Korean culture – it seems a lot more sacred than how we do things in North America.
After some education in Korean culture, we learned a little about the FISU games. Did you know the mascot of the Gwangju University Games is Nooribi and is the angel of light? About 30% of the city identifies as Christian. Because of this there is a high degree of Christian influence on the village. More than just Nooribi, the Korean Campus Crusade ministry has supplied more than 1700 student volunteers to serve in the athletes village. Talk about Christian community! The village is where will find ourselves for the next 12 days, noticing, serving, listening and wondering into spiritual conversations.
It was a jam packed day of learning and bonding! Can’t wait to share more stories with you.
For the team,