If You Find Yourself in a Small Town in Korea, How Can You Find Something Good To Eat?

I was asked a question similar to this in my in box, but with the actually named the small town. The truth is, there is one simple rule to finding something good to eat in S. Korea, and I will also tell you what kinds of things you can find there, so you will know what you are looking at.

You can find small restaurants on streets like this, but not one of the mega stores with a food court, a grocery store, and a department store like E-Mart, Lotte Mart, and Homeplus.//Photo by Ethan Brooke on Pexels.com

The simple rule to finding a good place to eat whether you are in a small town or a big one in Korea is look for one of the big stores: E-Mart, Lotte Mart, or Homeplus. In a place like that, you will find a food court. Korean food courts are really good and affordable. In every small town, you can find one or maybe more of these kinds of stores. If you want to ask where the food court is, it is easy because they use the English word for Food court and just mispronounce it a bit. The don’t have an “f” in Korean, so they may say “pood” instead of “food.”

You can also find American fast food places at times in these Korean Food Courts.//Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

You will find all kinds of different kinds of restaurants at the food court. You will also find a glass case with models of all the food that is served there. Usually, the price is beside the model. Sometimes you order directly from the restaurant counter, and sometimes there is a lady sitting at a cash register where you have to give her the number that is beside the food model, and she sends the order in for you, and you pay her. Usually, if they have a Burger King, McDonald’s , Popeye’s or some place like that, you will order directly at the restaurant.

Sengkatsu is battered, deep fat fried fish, and it is good.///Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

In the glass case, the kinds of models you will see are things like tonkatsu, sengkatsu, omu rice, doc mandu gooksoo, etc. Those are the dishes you would probably like. Sometimes beside the tonkatsu, they have written “yetnal” that simple means it is the kind they have been eating forever. Tonkatsu is battered and deep fat fried pork cutlet usually with a sauce on it, and it is very good. Along with it, they will probably serve rice, a small bowl of soup, a salad, and kimchee or yellow pickles. The tonkatsu is very good, and foreigners usually really like it. The Koreans consider it so mild that the kids would like it. The yellow pickles are delicious. The salad is usually cabbage and will have salad dressing on it, and each place uses a different kind of salad dressing. Some put Sesame dressing. Some put Thousand Island dressing. Sengkatsu is the same thing as tonkatsu only it is battered deep fat fried fish, and it is good.

If you go to a Korean coffee shop, you can find cheese cake and other nice deserts.///Photo by Wendy Wei on Pexels.com

If you go for omu rice, it is red rice inside a large omelet. I know many foreigners who like this. I knew a guy who used to order it almost everyday. I actually really like the doc mandoo gooksoo. Doc mandoo gooksoo is soup. It may have pieces of roast beef floating in the soup. It also has mandoo. The Koreans will tell you mandoo are dumplings, but they aren’t. They are like a stuffed noodle when they are in the soup. Inside, you will find ground pork, soy sauce, green onions, and small bits of rice noodles. The doc are rice cakes. There are no sugar in them. Rice has been ground into flour, then they use water and form it into cakes, and they are floating in doc mandoo gooksoo. Gooksoo simply means soup.

This is curried rice. You might also find this at the food courts. The curry might be slightly spicy, but it is downright delicious!//Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

You can also find just mandoo at these food courts. Sometimes the mandoo has been steamed, and sometimes it has been fried. When I order this, I always ordered an extra bowl of rice on the side because it doesn’t come with rice. However, mandoo is very good.

If you order the mandoo, you may also want to order an extra bowl of rice to go with it. This isn’t Korean food. I only put it there for the bowl of rice.//Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

There will be models of other things there. Be careful of the things that are too red, and be careful of the kimchee. The Koreans are very proud of their kimchee, but it may be a shock to you when you first try it. Kimchee is sour cabbage doused big time in chili pepper and garlic. They overdo it on the chili pepper, so be careful. I was at a food court with a Korean friend once, and he ordered a soup that was completely red with chili pepper, and while he was eating, it was so spicy that he turned red in the face and began sweating from so many spices. I learned to avoid the stuff that had so much chili powder for my stomach’s sake. However, when my son came, he thought trying all the overly spicy dishes was part of the fun of Korea, but I had to live there everyday, and I couldn’t be hurting my stomach everyday just for adventure or I would be sick all the time.

If you eat Songeopsal, it is either beef or pork that you cook at the table on the grill yourself. You then wrap it up in a piece of lettuce and add either garlic or a sauce to it to eat it. They bring the raw meat to the table, and you cut it into smaller pices with a pair of scissors and cook it the way you want it cooked.//Photo by Matheus Gomes on Pexels.com

There are other kinds of restaurants too. Often, you can find small restaurants that serve the tonkatsu or mandoo. I used to go to a small restaurant chain often called Tomato. It had the tonkatsu and the omu rice among other things. You can find the Tomato restaurants in many places, but I am not really sure how widespread they are, but you can find either E-Mart, Lotte Mart, or Homeplus in every town, so you will be able to go to the food court and choose what kind of food you want. Sometimes there are other kinds of restaurants outside the food court in those places too. Some of them have Shabu Shabu places or Songyeopsal. Both are good. With Shabu Shabu, you cook your own meat and vegetables in a big pot in the middle of the table, and with Songyeopsal, you cook your meat on a grill that is on the table. If you see a restaurant with chimneys over the table, you know it is Songyeopsal. Both Shabu Shabu and Songyeopsal are really worth eating. They are a bit more expensive than the food court type foods. Another thing you can find in every town, even small towns, is Baskin Robbins if you want ice cream. Baskin Robbins may also be in the food courts. If you go to the grocery store section of those big stores, you may also find what the Koreans call twigum, but the Japanese call tempura which is delicious battered deep fat friend shrimp and vegetables. You can also find pizza.


Out of My Bondage (Afara de Robie Meu)

Buna Ziua. Ce mai face? (How are you?) Sper ca tot merge bine con tine. (I hope everything is going well with you.) Cel mai mult de oameni nu inteleg ca pacate pot sa deveni stepanul lor. (Most people don’t understand that sin can become their master.) Daca faci ceva si simpt ca nu poti sa opresti cum daca bei prea mult, daca sa manaca prea mult, sau nu poti sa te controleaza si nu striga la cele alte, acel lucru sunt stepanul tau. (If you do something and feel that you can’t stop like if you drink too much, if you eat too much, or if you can’t control yourself and not scream at others, those things are your master.) Daca vrei sa faci lucru bun, dar nu o faci, e pacatele. (If you want to do good things, but don’t do them, it is sin.) Si aceea e domnul tau. (And that is your Lord.) Daca facem ceva rau, si daca nu pot sa oprim sa facem acel rau lucru, pacat a devenit domnul si noi am deveni sclavele de acel pacate, sclavele de Satan. (If we do something bad, and if we can’t stop doing the bad thing, sin has become our master and we have become slaves to that sin, slaves to Satan.) Cand noi devein crestini, schimbam vietile nostril, si incercam sa nu facem pacate. (When we become Christians, we change our lives, and we try not to sin.) Lasam Dumnezeu sa ne ajuta. (We let God help us.) Mergem pe cale pe care Jesus a facut pentru noi. (We go on the path that Jesus made for us.)

Out of My Bondage

Afara de Robie Meu

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Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night

Afara de robie meu, necaz, si noapte

Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!

Iesu, eu vin! Iesu, eu vin!

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Into thy freedom, gladness and light

La libertatea ta, bucurie si lumina

Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesu, eu fin la tine!

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Out of my sickness into thy health

Afara de boala mea la sanitatea ta

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Out of my want and into thy wealth,

Afara de saracire meu si la belsung tau,

Out of my sin and into thyself,

Afara de pacatele meu si la tine insusi,

Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesus, eu vin la tine!

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Out of my shameful failure and loss,

Afara de incapacitate meu rusinos si pierdere,

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Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!

Iesu, eu vin! Iesu, eu vin!

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Into the glorious gain of thy cross

La castig glorios de crucea ta

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Jesus, I come to thee!

Ieus, eu vin la tine!

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Out of earth’s sorrows into thy balm,

Afara de suparare pamantul lui la balsam tau,

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Out of earth’s storms and into thy calm,

Afara de furtunele pamantul lui si la calmul tau,

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Out of distress to jubilant psalm,

Afara de necazuri la pslamul foarte bucuros,

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Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesus, eu vin la tine!

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Out of unrest and arrogant pride,

Afara deneliniste si mandrie arogant,

Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!

Iesu, eu vin! Iesu, eu vin!

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Into thy blessed will to abide

La vointa ta binecuvantat sa locuiesc

Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesus, eu vin la tine!

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Out of myself to dwell in thy love,

Afara de mine insusi sa locuiesc in iubirea ta,

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Out of despair to raptures above,

Afara de nefericire complete la extaz de sus,

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Upward for aye on wings like a dove,

Indreptat din sus spunand da pe aripele cum un porumbel

Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesu, eu vin la tine!

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Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,

Afara de frica si spaima de mormantul,

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Jesus, I come! Jesus, I come!

Iesus, eu vin! Iesus, eu vin!

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Into the joy and pleasures, thine own,

La bucuria si placerele, al tau,

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Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesus, eu vin la tine!

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Out of the depths of ruin untold,

Afara de adancimele de ruina nu spus,

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Into the flock thy love doth enfold,

la turma de iubirea ta sunt inclus,

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Ever thy glorious face to behold,

Intotdeauna fata ta glorios sa vad,

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Jesus, I come to thee!

Iesus, eu vin la tine!


I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord (No Soy Avergonzado hablar Acerca de Mi Senor)

Buenos Dias. Espero que se siente bien hoy. (I hope you are feeling well today.) Tengo un cancion hoy que de verdad puedo decir ‘estas palabras sin vacilacion. (I have a song today that for sure I can say these words without hesitation.) Mucha gente en ‘esto mundo saben que he hablado con mucha gente en todo el mundo acerca de Dios. (Many people in this world know that I have talked with a lot of people in the whole world about God.) No soy avergonzado hablar acerca de Dios para nada. (I am not ashamed to talked about God at all.) Jesus hizo tan mucho para nosotros, y que ‘el hizo es asombroso! (Jesus did so much for us, and what he did is amazing!)

I’m Not Ashamed to Own My Lord

No Soy Avergonzado Hablar Acerca De Mi Senor

I’m not ashamed to own my Lord

No soy avergonzado hablar acerca de mi Senior

And to defend his name

Y defender su nombre

Maintain the honor of his word

Mantener el hnor de su palabra

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The glory of his cross.

La gloria de su cruz.

Firm as his throne his promise stands

Su promesa solida es seguro como su trono

And he can well secure

Y ‘el puede asegurar bien

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What I’ve committed to his hands

Que me he compromido a su manos

‘Til the decisive hour.

Hasta la hora decisiva

Then will he own my worthless name

Entonces ‘el va decir mi nombre sin nungun valor

Before his father’s face

Delante de la cada de su padre

And in the new Jerusalem

Y en el nuevo Jerusalem

Appoint for me a place.

Fijar para mi un lugar


An Important Concept to Consider About Confucian Cultures

I have lived both in Japan and in S. Korea. There was an extremely important concept in both places that helps the cultures function better, keeps the crime rate low, and keeps the morals high. In Confucian cultures, they feel responsible for one another. It is not “every man for himself” like so many cultures in the west. They feel the responsibility to take care of one another and make sure they know how to function and how to do things personally. They don’t wait for the government to do it. The older ones are never told to “but out,” but their instructions are appreciated, and the younger ones bow to the older ones and become more humble. In Japan, the older one is called a simpai, and the younger one is called a kohai. In Korea, the older one is called a songbae, and the younger one is called a hubae. It is the same concept. Here are definitions of what these are and what they do, and these would be concepts worth adopting in other countries.

This is the lowest Japanese bow. It is giving the person she is bowing to the utmost respect. The most respect is usually given to the teachers or professors, but there are people higher than even them like the emperor. Usually, they bow at the waste for a professor, so she must be bowing to someone very important.// Photo by Malibi 75 on Pexels.com

The simpai, or the songbae is the older one. When I was in Japan, I had a simpai. Many of my students in Korea had songbaes or were a songbae themselves. My Korean son in law has a songbae. When he sees him, he treats him like his best friend, but that is not what he calls him. Even at my age, when I am in Japan, the person who considered himself my simpai still feels responsible for me. The simpai or the songbae is older than the kohai or the hubae. They are not their teacher. Often times, they are an older student or perhaps an older co-worker. They have done what the kohai or hubae has done before. They may only be a year older, but they understand what the younger one is going through. When I first went to Japan, an American professor made himself responsible for the new American students, and the Japanese considered him our simpai. He knew what it was like to be new in Japan. He knew we wouldn’t understand many things. He knew that we needed to be taught not to make cultural mistakes. He taught us to take our shoes off. He taught us to bow. He taught us what to say and not to say, and when to say certain things. He helped us find somewhere to live. He translated for us. He just flat helped us in any way he could. He wasn’t paid to be kind to us, but he was. He helped us find our way in Japan. Once, even after I wasn’t a student anymore, he heard I was in trouble in the southern part of Japan, and he wired me money, and refused to take any money in repayment. The last time I saw him a few years ago, he insisted on driving me where I needed to go and told me he was responsible for me any time I was in Japan. I was lucky because he was not only following the Japanese custom, but he was also a Christian, and truly cared about people.

Koreans also bow, but not as often or as low as the Japanese bow.//Photo by O-seop Sim on Pexels.com

In Japan and in Korea, the kohai or the hubae give respect to their simpai or songbae. They know they are there to help them, and they listen to what they say. I have taken an enormous amount of advice from my simpai who still lives in Japan. He seemed to have things all together, so I took notes and tried to do things the way he did them when I didn’t quite know which way to go. The simpai or the songbae actually feel responsible to make sure things turn out well for their kohai or hubae in the same way many Christians take care of one another. However, this simpai or songbae and kohai or hubae is not a Christian concept. It is a Confucian concept. You don’t have to be a Christian to do it.

When my kids were growing up, my oldest son felt very responsible to try to keep his little sister out of trouble. If we have simpais or songbae, then we still have someone older than us who tries to keep us out of trouble.//Photo by Ana Francisconi on Pexels.com

When I was growing up, I didn’t have an older brother, only an older sister who wanted me to get lost, two younger brothers, and a younger sister who I took care of. I always had it in my head that if I had an older brother, he would protect me and give me good advice. When we are growing up especially, we need people like that around us. In Japan and Korea, they have someone like that even if they have no brothers or sisters. In Japan or Korea, whoever is the oldest is in charge. That means the ultimate person in charge in a family is grandpa, and in Korea, they also have the grandmothers who are extremely strong. Strong mothers and grandmothers are called ajumas, and you better not cross them in Korea! If everyone is trying to keep the younger ones out of trouble and understanding that those who are older have done it before and know, so they listen to them, it will make a lower crime rate and a higher morality. You don’t have to be a Christian to take care of others. You don’t have to be a Christian to understand that someone older than you that has walked where you are walking will know how to avoid the pitfalls. I happen to like Christianity and believe in it, but in Japan and Korea, you don’t have to be a Christian to be a simpai, songbae, kohai, or hubae. You just have to have been through it and understand how to give good advice to the person coming after you or to understand that older people know what they are talking about. This is a concept worth adopting. Most of us would all love an older brother to give us good advice and protect us. Now a days, one of my younger brothers tries to look out for me, and I truly appreciate it. America would be a much better place if we would all look out for one another.


I Cannot Find the Way Alone (Nu Pot sa Gasesc Calea Singura)

Buna Ziua! Ma bucur atat de mult sa am o sansa sa folosec limba romana. (I am so happy to have a chance to use Romanian.) Sunt dor de Romania. (I miss Romania.) Ieri, cineva a vorbit cu mine despre o serviciu, si acolo pot sa intalnesc mult oameni din mult tarele. (Yesterday, someone talked to me about a job, and there I can meet a lot of people from many countries.) Am auzit ca chair si oameni din Romania merg acolo. (I have heard that even Romanians go there.) Daca pot sa gasesc cineva pe care pot sa vorbesc limba romana cu ei, voi fi foarte fericita. (If I can find someone with which to speak Romanian, I will be very happy.) Si ieri, am fost la biserica aici, si ei au cantat mult cantele pe care nu am auzit inaitnte, si as vreau sa impart unul dintre ei. (And yesterday, I went to church here, and they sang a lot of songs that I had never heard before, and I would like to share one of them.)

I Cannot Find the Way Alone

Nu Pot sa Gasesc Calea Singura,

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As I journey through this vale of sorrow,

Cand calatoresc prin este vale de necaz

Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

The way seems so strange and unknown;

Calea se pare atat de ciudat si neconoscut;

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Lord, I need a helping hand

Domnul, am nevoie de o mana ajutorand

Photo by Leonardo Gonzalez on Pexels.com

For I cannot find the way alone.

Pentruca nu pot sa gasesc calea singura.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

I cannot find the way without thee;

Nu pot sa gasesc calea fara tine;

Dear Lord, look down from thy throne

Draga Domnul, Uitati jos din tronul tau

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And make thy light to shine about me

Si faci lumina ta sa straluceste in jural meu

Photo by Samuel Silitonga on Pexels.com

For I cannot find the way alone.

Pentruca nu pot sa gasesc calea singura.

Photo by daffa rayhan zein on Pexels.com

When the raging storms of life confound me,

Cand furtunele manaos de viata ma confunda,

Dear Lord, will thee keep me thine alone;

Draga Domnul, te rog sa ma pastrezi al tau;

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Let me feel thy precious arms around me

Lasa ma sa simpt pretios bratule tau in jural de mine

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

For I cannot find the way alone.

Pentruca nu pot sa gasesc calea singura.


Before the Throne of God Above (Delante del Trono de Dios Aribba)

Buenos Dias. Como estas? (How are you?) Espero que estas bien. (I hope you are fine.) Ahora es lunes por la manana. (It Is Monday morning.) Ayer, domingo, fui a la iglesia, y alli’ ellos cantamos muchos canciones que son nuevo para mi. (Yesterday was Sunday, and I went to church, and there they sang a lot of songs that are new to me.) Hoy decide’ compartir uno de los canciones. (Today, I decided to share one of those songs

Before the Throne of God Above

Delante del Trono de Dios Arriba

Before the throne of God above

Delante del trono de Dios arriba

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have a strong, perfect plea

Tengo una suplica fuerte y perfecta

A great high priest whose name is love

un sumo sacerdote, y se llaman amor

Who ever lives and pleads for me

‘El siempre vide y defende para mi

My name is graven on his hand

Mi nombre es grabado sobre su mano

My name is written on his heart

Mi nombre es escrito sobre su corazon

I know that while in Heaven he stands

Se’ eso mientras en Cielo ‘el se queda

No tongue can bid me thence depart

No lengua puede me intrebe irme de alli’

No tongue can bid me thence depart

No lengua puede me intrebe irme de alli’

When Satan tempts me to dispair

Cuando Satan me tenta despertar

Photo by Leo Cardelli on Pexels.com

And tells me of the guilt within

Y me dice acerca de la culpa al dentro

Upward I look and see him there

Miro arriba y lo veo alli’

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Who made an end to all my sin

Quien hizo el fin a todo mi pecadores

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Because the sinless savior died

Porque el Salvador sin pecadores murio’

Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

My sinful soul is counted free

Mi alma lleno con pecados es liber

For God the just is satisfied

Para Dios el justo es satisfecho

To look on him and pardon me

Mirar a ‘el y me pardonar

To look on him and pardon me.

Mirar a ‘el y me pardonar

Behold him there the risen lamb

Mira ‘el alli’, el cordero recusitado

Photo by Adrian Dorobantu on Pexels.com

My perfect spotless righteousness

Mi recititud perfecto y inmaculado

The great unchangeable I am

El grande sin cambiante yo exista

The king of glory and of grace

El rey de gloria y de gracia

One with Himself I cannot die

Uno con ‘el mismo no puede morir

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My soul is purchased by his blood

Mi alma es comprador por su sangre

My life is hid with Christ on high

Mi vida es escondido con Cristo arriba

With Christ my savior and my God

Con Cristo my salvador y mi Dios

With Christ my savior and my God

Con Cristo me salvador y mi Dios

One with himself I cannot die

Un con ‘el mismo no puedo morir

Photo by Alem Su00e1nchez on Pexels.com

My soul is purchased by his blood

Mi alma es comprador por su sangre

My life is hid with Christ on high

Mi vida es escondido con Cristo arriba

With Christ my savior and my God

Con Cristo mi salvador y mi Dios

With Christ my savior and my God

Con Cristo mi salvador y mi Dios


죽이까지 사랑하신 주 (Give Love Until Death)

안녕 하세요. (Hello) 나의 소망이 모든 진구들이 괘엔찬아요. (I hope everyone is okay.) 오늘이 일요이 이예요. (Today is Sunday.) 교회에 갔어요. (I went to church today.) 한국인들과 미국인들이 때때로 깉은 교회의 노래룰 노래 해요.(Sometimes Koreans and Americans sing the same church songs.) 하지만, 오늘은 교회에 모들 노래를 한국에 노래 하지 않았어요.(However, the songs we sang today at church I didn’t sing in Korea.) 나의 생각이 한국에 노래는노무 낡은 노래 이예요. (I think in Korea, the songs are very old.) 오늘 한번또 한국 의 노래의 책에서 보내고 십아요. (Today again, I want to send you a song from the Korean song book.)

죽이까지 사랑하신 주

Give Love Until Death

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죽이까지 사랑하신 주

Give love until death.

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그보다더큰사랑없 네

There is not a love bigger than this.

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내 가 너희들에게 새계 명 을주노니 나

I will give you all the world.

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너희들을 사랑하듯시로 사랑 하라.

Love the people, love one another.

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네가나를따르면 나의 친구되리니 나

If I give to you, you will become my friend

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너희들을 하듯 서러 사랑 하라.

You all should love one another.