Welcoming Jesus to Holland
By Wendell Karsen –
Jung Pil Yoo and his family piled into my office at Western Theological Seminary. Jung Pil had applied and been accepted into the seminary’s program at the end of August. The seminary’s housing had already been allocated, and most of the public school places had been filled. Where would they live? Where would the boys go to school?
We found a house on 8th Street that would do. The landlord scratched his head when I explained that this Korean family would need a place to live for the next nine months and that the seminary’s budget was limited. “Well, I usually rent for more. I don’t like to rent for less than a year, but… I can see they’re in a tight situation. So let’s just do it!”
The next day, I explained to the principal of the charter school near the Yoo’s new home the need to enroll three boys who had limited English and who needed to attend school together. “Well,” he said, “we can probably accommodate the older boy, but I’m not sure how the younger ones would fare. We only have a few places left, but… I can see this family would be stressed out if their boys had to go to different schools. So… let’s just do it!”
Now the Yoos had a house and a school, but where would we get all the things they would need? We sent out an appeal to stores, churches, and second hand shops for donations, all of whom said in one way or another, “Okay, let’s do it!” Within a few days, the Yoos were able to move into a house that had now become a home.
These neighbors put into action Jesus’ words: “I WAS A STRANGER AND YOU INVITED ME IN, I NEEDED CLOTHES (AND A HOUSE AND SCHOOL SEATS AND FURNISHINGS) AND YOU GAVE THEM TO ME.” Matthew 25:35.