Pure Hike: Our First Giveaway!

give.away.blogIt’s time for our first Pure Hike Giveaway! We are so excited to share a little bit of East Asia with you, seeing it’s been our life for the past 11 months. Here is how the giveaway works:

All pledgers get an equal chance at winning the giveaway! If you have previously pledged, your name has already been entered into the drawing. If you have not pledged, you have until Monday, January 25th to make your pledge and be entered in the drawing!

Description of items: Cute character socks, popular Korean ramen, strange and fruity Japanese candies, “instant” ice cream, a tiger facial beauty mask, and lots more!

ANY pledge will get you entered in this giveaway! Every little bit helps! Wether it’s 1 cent per mile, or 1 dollar per mile, everything is appreciated and everybody will have an equal chance of winning.

Thank you for your support, you are saving lives with every penny you pledge!

Click here to make a pledge and be entered into the drawing.

Click here to learn more about Pure Hike.

We want to thank our amazing sponsors! Ahnu has amazing shoes for active adventurers wanting to get lost.

If you’re looking for quality camping gear that gets the job done without weighing you down, Big Agnes is the best you will find.

Every adventure includes some risk. Be safe while out in the wild by carrying a Spot GPS. You family and friends will be able to follow you along on the trail, and if you get into trouble, just press the SOS button and help will be on it’s way.

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A Year in Review

It has been a crazy twelve months, filled with new adventures, new places, new struggles, and new joys.  It’s easy to forget the many examples of God’s refining love being poured on our lives throughout the year.  So we’ll use this space to remind ourselves, as much as you, of His goodness towards us in 2015. On a very cold Valentine’s Day morning at the KCI airport, these two youngsters said our goodbyes and headed to our new home: South Korea. Our reasons for moving were many. We wanted to get involved in a ministry overseas.  We wanted to teach ESL.  Finally, we wanted get first-hand experience with the struggles of daily living overseas. Thus far, it has certainly been a challenging experience. But this has been, without a doubt, the most growing year of our lives.

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Leaving for Korea!

Our town is the tiny farming community of Waegwan.  So obscure, Google seemed reluctant to provide us with any information when we first got here.  We teach at four schools. Hannah teaches at a public middle school, and a private boys Catholic middle school. Brady teaches at a public elementary school and a tiny country school outside of town. Life as a foreign English teacher (“Waygook”) is never dull!  Each day in Korea brings new life lessons. Managing a classroom of 30 hooligans who don’t speak your language–and REALLY don’t want to learn it–is a lesson in creativity.  Taste-testing traditional Korean delights–sometimes voluntary, often-times forced–is a lesson in open-mindedness.  Being the only foreigner in your workplace–trying to read memos in Korean, navigate Microsoft programs in Korean, laughing at office jokes in Korean–is a lesson in patience.  Just navigating daily life as the foreigner–figuring out the public transportation systems, paying bills, finding frozen chicken at the grocery store, using a squatty potty and never having toilet paper in public bathrooms–is lesson in humility.

 

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Hannah’s middle school boys

One of our favorite memories of the year was meeting Hannah’s brother Josiah for a Thailand summer vacation!  Our experience in Thailand was incredible.  From jungle trekking with elephants, to snorkeling on coral reefs, to climbing waterfalls, to cuddling tigers, and eating tons of street food, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

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With Josiah in Thailand!

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At year end, we can honestly say life abroad has been an incredible adventure.  We’ve been given so many new experiences. Through His gentle guiding, we’ve gained clarity this year on the passions and skills He’s given us.  More than anything, we’ve gained passion for life abroad, and can’t wait to continue our pursuit of overseas ministry. We are so excited for this new year, and the potential each day brings. We’ll miss our Kimchi family, we’re thankful for the blessing our time here has been.

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These past few months, we’ve been preparing for a new phase of life abroad.  In March 2016, we are setting out on a 2-month hike-a-thon across the length of Israel.  Raising money for Samaritan’s Purse water initiatives, we are raising awareness for the global water crisis. We can’t wait to grow in compassion for those who spiritually and physically thirst. If you’re interested in supporting the cause, you can learn more here!

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We are warm with thankfulness for supportive family, encouraging friends, and our loving Savior.  Many blessings to you this holiday season.

All our love,

B & H

Pure Hike-A-Thon Q&A: Part I

Hello friends! In June, we announced our upcoming fundraiser, Pure!  We are excited to give you more information about what we are doing.  Please read our Q&A below:

Q: What is “Pure”?

A: Pure is the name of a fundraiser we are doing from March to May in 2016.

Q: What are you raising funds for?

A: The support we raise will benefit clean water programs that educate developing communities around the world, providing the infrastructure needed to ensure safe drinking sources. All support raised will go towards Samaritan’s Purse, an acclaimed humanitarian organization pursuing clean water initiatives in over 30 countries.

Q:  Why did you choose clean water?

A:  Every day, 6,000 people die from lack of clean drinking water.  With a few simple tools, villages around the world are able to develop healthy environments through the services Samaritan’s’ Purse provides.  Digging village-wide wells, installing household water filters, and providing hygiene education are the key factors in this organization’s work.

Q: What kind of fundraiser is Pure?

A: Pure is a “hike-a-thon” style fundraiser, similar to “walk-a-thon” fundraisers such as Relay For Life. Donors make pledges to give a certain amount of money for every mile we walk.

Q: Where will you be hiking?

A: We will be hiking the Israel National Trail. A 620 mile trek winding across the length of Israel.

Q: Israel? Won’t ISIS kill you?

A: No. Israel is extremely safe and we are keeping in contact with people on the field to make sure that we will be safe. No hikers, foreigner or Israeli, have ever been attacked on the trail. The trail avoids all areas of the country with a history for causing trouble (i.e. Gaza).

Q: Won’t you just die in the desert?

A: It’s unlikely. About 1/3rd of the trail is through the desert, but there is an excellent support system in place to keep hikers safe and well supplied. First, you have small towns along the trail to make pit stops at. Second, hikers arrange for businesses to drop water and food along the trail to keep you supplied in between towns. These companies will make sure you have arrived at your campsites on time and can pull you off the trail if you need help. Third, it’s a popular trail and we will be hiking in the busiest part of the year, so there will be other hikers on the trail to help us if we need it. Fourth, we are hiking at the end of winter, so the weather will actually be really nice.

Q: What if the situation in Israel changes and it’s no longer safe? Will you change your plans?

A: If we feel Israel is no longer safe, we will change our plans. Our Plan B is to move the hike to the Camino de Santiago, an old pilgrimage that runs across France and Spain.

Q: Why do a hike at all? Why not just ask for money?

A: First, these types of fundraisers are much more effective than just asking for money. It’s exciting to follow along the progress of the trip, the donor is included in the experience, and the person fundraising is given an opportunity to demonstrate their passion for the cause.  

Second, it’s important to use your passions for the greater good. We are passionate about the need for clean water, and we absolutely love hiking. Combining the two is a no-brainer. We hope to inspire others to use their passions in creative ways to help others.

Q: How much of our donation is going towards Samaritan’s Purse?

A: 100% of your donations will go towards the organization.

Q: Who is funding the hike, as in, who is paying for airfare, gear, food, water, etc?

A: Funding for the logistics of the hike is coming from two groups: us and corporate sponsors. We are partnering with a handful of companies to provide gear and trail essentials. Any extra expenses will be covered by us, out of pocket.

Q: Can my company sponsor Pure?

A: Of course! We would love to partner with you! From monetary support, to specific hiking gear, we are welcoming any company to partner with us.  Send us an email at purehike@gmail.com.  We can talk about how this opportunity can be beneficial to both of us.

Q: When can I make a pledge?

A: Soon. We will be announcing more information within the coming months.

Q: In the meantime, what can I do to help you?

A: Thanks for asking!  First, we need help spreading the word!  Please share this post on Facebook. Keep an eye out for upcoming promo materials (photos, videos, etc.) for Pure.

Second, we are still actively seeking corporate sponsors.  If you or someone you know would be interested in partnering for a good cause, contact us at purehike@gmail.com.  

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Have additional questions?  Please comment below!  We will answer new questions in Q & A Part II.

Hiking Mt. Geumosan

We count ourselves lucky to be located in Gyeongbuk, agreed to be Korea’s most naturally beautiful and historically rich province.  So far, our experience has already provided us many opportunities to partake in Korea’s scenic splendor, one of these opportunities being Geumosan Provincial Park.

Located on the west side of the city of Gumi, Mt. Geumosan is the perfect weekend getaway for any outdoorsman.  The park offers many trails of varying difficulty and duration.  Not only are there natural beauties, such as gorgeous panoramic views, caves, waterfalls, and unique rock formations, but also several different historic fortresses and Buddhist temples sprinkled along the way.  We’ve visited the park twice in our short time in Korea, and have only scratched the surface of all the beauty to be found at Mt. Geumosan.

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There are these cairns everywhere along the trails in Korea.  Each stone represents a prayer or wish for good fortune from Buddha.

There are these cairns everywhere along the trails in Korea. Each stone represents a prayer or wish for good fortune from Buddha.

Found a little abandoned mountain dwelling.

Found a little abandoned mountain dwelling.

Going hiking where all the trail markings are in a foreign language adds a whole new dimension to the challenge!

Going hiking where all the trail markings are in a foreign language adds a whole new dimension to the challenge!

Daehye Falls ( 대혜폭포 )

Daehye Falls ( 대혜폭포 )

From the mouth of a cave at the top of the trail.

From the mouth of a cave at the top of the trail.

Historic Geumosanseong Fortress (금오산성)

Historic Geumosanseong Fortress (금오산성)

From inside the fortress.

From inside the fortress.

Geumosanseong Fortress (금오산성)

Geumosanseong Fortress (금오산성)

Yaksaam Temple (약사암)

Yaksaam Temple (약사암)

Yaksaam Temple (약사암)

Yaksaam Temple (약사암)

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Always keep your eyes open for pretty little hanok pavilions tucked away in the mountains.

Always keep your eyes open for pretty little hanok pavilions tucked away in the mountains.

Such a rewarding view at the top!

Such a rewarding view at the top!

Surveying our fine valley.

Surveying our fine valley.