A Welcomed Retreat

Trip Start Aug 19, 2012
Trip End Aug 27, 2013

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Where I stayed
The House Hostel
Some motel, korean style (aka, sleeping on the floor)
What I did
Seoraksan National Park Sokcho
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Sokcho Municipal Museum
Sokcho Beach

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Monday, October 1, 2012

"O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom has thou made them all: the earth is full of your riches." Psalm 104:24

....this has been the praise on my lips throughout this long weekend! Not only to be surrounded by the riches of God's creation, but also by the blessings He gifted my friends and I on this journey!

Friday morning, my friends and I missed our bus by 2 minutes...and the Lord provided with another bus that very minute. As we departed Seoul, the scenery suddenly began to change from, high rises and bright lights, to hills then mountains, and homes nestled within the valleys. The sky was clearer, the air fresher, and the pace of life simmered down. With a sigh of relief and bliss, I thanked my God for the gift of His creation!

Arriving in Sokcho, we knew not which way to go, and the Lord provided us a stranger who took our luggage from our hands; he put our things in his car, driving us all to our hostel. As we settled in to our room, we ventured out to find produce to prepare our meals for the weekend. Fruits and veggies were of a larger size, but with a larger price as well! Being by the coast, all sorts of seafood abounded! Squid, clams, fish, octopus...you name it, and I'm sure they had it! I didn't want to look at the seafood, because if there's anything that really grosses me out, is dead octopus and squid! But I was so curious I had to look....and I do regret looking a little....so now I shall make you suffer with me :D kkkkk
That night, it began to rain....as we had our devotion and prayer before sleeping, we trusted God would take care of the details. And so Saturday morning, we were greeted with clear blue skies! It was Saturday, the Lord's day, and what better way to spend it than surrounded by His creation! Climbing Ulsanbawi peak was our first goal! One of the highest points in S. Korea, an almost 6 hour hike total, climbing over 800 steps to get to the peak! I was in awe of my surroundings! So much nature, trees, rivers, rocks and mountains; it was amazing! The higher we got the more we could see stretched out before us! When we finally got to the foot of the peak...I began to get a little nervous. I never thought I was afraid of heights. At times I would get what I thought was vertigo, feeling a bit unbalanced and dizzy...but fear? No way! At least I never thought so!

Well, all I can say, I found out that day that I may be a TAD bit afraid of major heights lol! The higher we got the stronger the winds were, I felt I'd be blown off the mountain! I clinged for dear life to the railing as the wind persisted to try and discourage me from continuing my trek! Shakey and anxious I continued onward, but nothing prepared me for the top! The winds were so strong and cold at this point, that the moment I reached the very top, I immediatly sank to the floor in fear the wind would blow me off! I couldn't stand! I was frozen! I was laughing this whole time (as were the people around me in my same position), as I tried to scoot myself to the ledge on my bottom, but the fear overtook me! I'd never felt so helpless before that such fear could practically cripple me! My dear friend Christen, tried to encourage me that the wind wouldn't blow me away, but oh man, we were so high, the winds were so strong, and the railing was to my waist, I did not feel secure! 

After taking what photos I could, we began to come down the mountain. At the bottom of the steps my friends and I stayed in the mountains with the view of the range in-front of us, and we lifted up songs of praise! We had planned to have this in depth Bible study for sabbath, but it just seemed appropriate at that moment, to lift up our voices to God as we witnessed the grand splendor of His creation! I will never forget those moments. 

The rest of the day we explored another trail, and after our long 10+ hour day at Seoraksan National Park, we headed to our hostel. After our 2 nights at the hostel, the Lord provided for us once again, a place to stay for one more night! God was so good to us and I am humbled by all the ways in which He took care of us this past weekend!

After welcoming the day at sunrise by the ocean, we spent Sunday in Sokcho, visiting the beach, and learning about the history and culture of this city and it's people! The beach was so beautiful with its crystal clear waters! That day we learned so much about where we were...it's a city filled with a rich history and wonderful people! 

All in all, I must say it was a blessed mini vacation! Being in the mountains and by the coast with 3 amazing women I'm blessed to call friends, made this experience all the more enjoyable! To be amongst individuals, where we can freely worship, pray, and study God's word together was amazing; every morning and every night! There's just something so beautiful in connecting with other's in this way, and I've really missed having opportunities like this! And so I'm just so grateful to God for this time of recharging and reconnecting with Him! I would not have wanted to spend this break any other way, and I am so grateful for this God given opportunity! 

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