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This Question Was Sent to My Inbox: “Why are Most Koreans Named Kim?”

It does seem like almost every other person you meet in Korea has the family name “Kim.” When I first got there and had trouble learning people’s names, I was relieved when their family name was “Kim” because I could just remember to call them “Mr. Kim” or “Miss” or “Mrs. Kim.” It made life a bit easier for a foreigner. Kim is an extremely common family name in Korea. For some of the family names, they are lucky, and anyone with their family name, they know are related to them. It helps because the women don’t take their husband’s last name when they get married. You always have the family name you are given at birth in Korea, your father’s name, and usually, all the people with the same last name are related. However, this is not true about the family name “Kim” and a few others.

There were three large Kim families in the beginning, and time has gone on, and none of them are related. Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

From what I understand, there are several Kim families in Korea. I think I heard somewhere that originally, in the very beginning, there were three Kim families. One of them was a royal family, and the other two were farmer’s families, or something like that. The people named Kim know not to claim people they don’t know as family because there are so many Kim families.

There is only one Om family. If you meet two people named Om, they are related. One of Korea’s last queens was named Om. She began girl’s education and Sook Myeong Women’s University in Seoul. Photo by Novandro Manik on Pexels.com

The Park, the Han, the Lim, and the Lee families are the same, but not quite as bad. If someone isn’t named Kim in Korea, it is very likely they are named Park, Han, or Lee. There is more than one family with those names too. There are other family names, but Koreans know if their family is unique or not. The Kim families, the Park families, the Han families, the Lim families, and the Lee families are not unique families. I know a few other family names. I heard the Jo family originally all came from North Korea into Seoul several generations ago before the Korean war. The Om family is an extremely unique family. Very few people in Korea have the family name of Om. They were sent several generations ago from the Chinese emperor to the Korean emperor to teach the Chinese characters in the court of the emperor, and the family just stayed. One of the last queens of Korea is from the Om family. Any time someone named Om meets another, they know they are related. The Om family has become Korean now, but they all know about their Chinese roots. I don’t know the origin of all the families, just a few. The Han family is not from China even though there was a Han dynasty in China. “Han” is actually the name in Korean of the Korean people: “Han gook,” and “gook” means “country.”

Kang is also a family name, and it means “river.” Photo by Dom Gould on Pexels.com

I hope this helps you understand the Korean family names a bit better. Don’t forget the name “Kim” because if you go to Korea, it will make your life much easier. Every other person you meet will be named “Kim,” but they are not related. The others you will meet, most of them will be Park, Lee, Lim, and Han. If you get basic names down to begin with, it is easier to learn the others. Many foreigners don’t try to learn the Korean names, but go with the nick name. However, I began with their family names, and just called them “Mr., Mrs. or Miss,” and then with time, it was easier to learn their given names to go with their family names because when they talk to one another, they use their whole name, their family name and both of their given names. All you have to do is listen and take a mental note, and the names will eventually stick when your brain gets used to hearing them. It is helpful to learn their given names because the all have meaning as do their family names. When you learn their names, you are learning vocabulary words. By the way, “Kim,” also pronounced “G-im,” means “seaweed.”

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This Question Was Sent to My Inbox: “Why do some Koreans have Western names like Ashley, Emma, and so on,is that their given name?”

Koreans know that people from other countries have trouble with their names. They know that you will gave a hard time figure out names like Kim Juyeong, Choi Jiyeong, Pak Unyeong , Han Yeongguan, EE Yosep, etc. They try really hard to do all the work to bridge the cultural gap for you. They study English because they feel like no one will every study Korean and if they want to talk to foreigners, English is the language to use because it is an international language. They also take what they call “nick names,” but often these nick names can be more important to them than our nick names in the west. We would never use our nick name as a legal name, but there are those of the Koreans who end up doing just that. They take on western names to bridge the gap, but they all have the Korean name they were born with. You probably don’t know how to pronounce most of the names I listed. However, if you are trying to learn to speak Korean, it is smart to learn their names because it enlarges your Korean vocabulary because many of their names have meanings in English.

Koreans really like Bible names. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Usually, Koreans like to choose Bible nick names because many of the are Christians. They love to be called names like David and Esther. David was a king, and Esther was a beautiful queen in the Old Testament. Some of their parents give the Bible names. I have a friend whose father is a preacher, and he gave his son a Bible name. Around Koreans, they pronounce it the Korean way, but it is very convenient for him because there is an English pronunciation too. His name is Joseph, and in Korean, Yosep. I know guys with nick names of Abraham and James. They are also preacher’s sons. I know a preacher who named his son “Hamin” which means “God’s person.” I have a friend name Anshik, and Anshik means “Sabbath.” Sometimes they have the nick names to bridge the cultural gap, and sometimes it is because they are very religious. One of my friend’s names is “Hanul” which means “Sky” or “Heaven.” Her parents are nominal Catholics which mean they only go occasionally and don’t take it too seriously, but she still got the possibly religious name. It is the Korean way. Life is all about God. If they have given you one of the names above, they may have given you that name especially to make it easy for you because they are not common among Koreans.

When we read their names, they know they won’t make sense to us, and we will butcher their names. For some names, they have a system of transliteration into English they are satisfied with. Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

They like to change their family names to fit English too. They say that the family name “EE” just doesn’t fit in English, so they decide to call themselves “Lee” in English. The family name “Pak” is actually spelled like “Bak” in Korean, but the “p” is used because the Korean letter, even though it is technically a “b” is often said as a “’p” and translates better into English, and they like to call themselves “Park” for the sake of English speakers. When you see the last name “Choi,” in English, we want to pronounce it “Choy,” and they let us and even call themselves “Choy” when around English speakers. However, those letters are there because they are equivalent to the Korean letters, but in Korean the name is pronounced very different than from English. In Korean, “Choi” is “Chay.” They accommodate us.

Their nick names are usually all about bridging the gap between the Korean culture and the west. Photo by Shann on Pexels.com

Mostly, Koreans take western names to bridge the cultural gap. They know their names are strange to us. They want to seem normal to us, so they give us an English name. Many of them choose Bible names. The guy I know named James is extremely proud to be called James because that is the name of the brother of Jesus, and he takes his Christianity seriously. The guy named Abraham was given another name in his English class at school, but his dad is a preacher, and he suggested that he choose another name and recommended he call himself Abraham. Abraham thinks the sun rises and sets in his dad, so he will do anything his dad asks, so now he is called Abraham.

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This Question Was Sent to My Inbox: “What are some Seoul schools where I can sign up to?”

I am guessing you are talking about universities, right? You can’t just “sign up” for a university in S. Korea. Like most places, you must be accepted. First, you have to have all your school records from kindergarten to 12th grade. After that, you have to make at least a 3 on the Topik (Test of Proficiency in Korean) that is given by the Korean government. After you have those two, the university itself asks you to pass an interview. They have to like you and think you would do a good job before you can get in.

Korean parents know to save all the report cards, but not all parents from other countries do. If you don’t have all your report cards from kindergarten to 12th grade, American schools will not have your report cards because once you graduate from elementary school and middle school and go on to high school, they consider anything you did while you are small irrelevant, and many destroy the records to make room for new records. Photo by Naomi Shi on Pexels.com

Good universities to try for are Seoul National University, Women’s Ewha University, Foreign Language University, Hangook University, and Yonsei University. They are all in Seoul However, those would also be some of the hardest to get into. They may want a score higher than a 3 on the Topik; I am not sure. If you go to a smaller school like Seoul University or Korea Christian University, you would have an easier time getting in, but you still have to meet the requirements. They don’t let you just “sign up.”

It is easier for foreigners to get into a language school in Korea than into a university. Photo by malcolm garret on Pexels.com

If you are talking about language school, I recommend either Seoul National University or Yonsei University. I have known people who went to both of their language schools, and they are both good. You don’t have to pass all the requirements to go to language school like you do to get into the university. You would have to talk to their main offices to figure out how to get in. If you go to the language school at Seoul National University, the classes you take there are not taken for credit at a Korean university, but you are given credit for taking them in universities back home, in other countries. They could count toward graduation as your language requirement. Many university students from other countries go there for that reason. They need a language requirement for their major, and they choose Korean, and the classes at Seoul National University transfer for credit to fulfill the language requirements in other countries. I don’t know about Yonsei University. If you go through the whole language program at Seoul National University, you have enough classes for a minor in Korean. If you already have a degree and go through the program, and then take the very last class of the program, you will be considered certified to teach Korean.

I don’t have much information on international high schools in Seoul because once I saw the prices, I just forgot about them. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you are not talking about universities or language schools, there are several international high schools in Seoul. However, I don’t remember the names of any of them. They are taught in English. My kids actually went to school online from America when they were in high school in Korea because they couldn’t speak Korean yet and the international high schools were just too expensive for me to afford. The only people I know who have gone there are children of doctors, children of embassy personnel, and wealthy businessmen.

I hope you found the answer you were looking for here since you were rather vague in your question.

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When the Ocean of His Mercy (바다같이 넓은 은혜)

안녕하세요. (Hello.) 잘지내요? (How are you?) 내 소망이 모든 진그들이 좋아요. (I hope all my friends are good.) 많은 사람들위 상각이 지금은 특별해요. (Many people think now is special.) 많은 사람들이 노래 하고 전에 노리하지 않았어요. (Many people pray now and they didn’t pray before.) 많은 사람들이 코로나바이러스에세 두려워요. (Many people are afraid because of the coronavirus.) 많은 하나님의 은혜를 원해요. (Many want God’s grace.) 정말로 매일은 하나임의 은혜를 필요있어요. (Actually, we need God’s grace everyday.) 이 바이러스가 중지 된 후에도, 우리는 하나님의 은혜를 필용해요. (Even after this virus leaves, we still need God’s grace.) 우리증 누구도 완벽하지 않아요. (None of us are perfect.) 우리는 사도 할 수 있어요. (We can try.) 그리고 하나님을 사랑하면 우리는 시도해야한다. (And, if we love God, we must try.) 하지만 예수님 의 은혜 없으면 혼자 하나님을 우리는 도달 할 수 옶어요. (However, if we are without the grace of Jesus, alone we can’t reach God.) 하나임의 은혜를 팔요해요. (We need God’s grace.) 우리는 하나님의 자비를 필요해요. (We need God’s mercy.) 하나님이 우리를 사랑해요. (God loves us.) 우리는 이 사랑을 자바해야한다. (We must grab onto God’s love.)

When the Ocean of His Mercy

바다 같이 넓은 은혜

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바아 같이 넓은 은혜 주님께서 베풀때

When the ocean of his mercy God pours out on your life,

Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

죄 악의 짐 내려놓 고 새 사람 되 라

Bring your load of sin before him and be saved by grace.

Chorus (후렴)

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이 땅의 젋으이로 태 어난 우리들은

We who are youth of this land, Born to be servants of God,

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진리로 세상을 새 룹게 하리라

Let us make this world new with the spirit of truth.

Verse 2: (2절)

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산과같 이 높은 사랑 주님께서 베풀 때

When the fountain of his love, God pours out upon your life,

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

부르심 에순 종하여 주의 종 되라

As he calls you, be his servant and obey his word.

Verse 3: (3절)

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하늘같이 크신중 거 주님께서 베풀때

When the witness of his Spirit, God pours out upon your life,

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밫 은 은 사 권 능 으로 주 의 일 하라

With the gifts of power he grants you, work for him with joy.

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Surround Us, Oh Lord (Ne Inconjurati, Domnul)

Buna ziua prieteni. (Hello friends.) Sper ca toti sunt fericit si sanatos. (I hope everyone is happy and healthy.) Acum, sunt mult oameni ingrijorat din cauza de coronavirus. (There are many people worried right now because of the coronavirus.) Mult oameni au inceput sa se roaga ca ei nu stiu ce va intampla. (A lot of people have begun to pray because they don’t know what will happen.) De fapt nu sunt sigur ca e atat de rau ca mult oamen cred. (Actually, I don’t think it is as bad as many people think.) Intotdeauna, vetea ne da statisticele rele, dar din cand in cand cineva ne da statisticele bune. (The news always give us the bad statistics, but occasionally someone gives us the good statistics.) Ai stiut ca din tot oameni pe care au aprins virusul, ca 98% de acest oameni nu a murit? (Did you know that of all the people that got the virus, that 98% of these people didn’t die?) Daca te aprins virusul, nu e un automat respons ca vei muri. (If you catch the virus, it is not an automatic response that you will die.) Poti sa devein foarte bolnavi, dar probabil nu vei muri. (You could get very sick, but probably, you won’t die.) Totusi, nici unul dintre noi vrem sa fim bolnav. (However, none of us want to be sick. ) Asa, oameni nevoie sa continue sa sta acasa si sa se roaga a Dumnezeu sa fie cu noi. (So, people need to continue to say home and to pray to God to be with us.) Vrem Dumnezue cu noi intotdeauna chair si daca este virusul sau nu. (We want God with us always whether there is a virus or not.) Asta e un cantec contemporam scrise de Keith Lancaster si Acapella Company, si e foarte frumos. (This is a contemporary song written by Keith Lancaster and the Acapella Company, and it is very pretty.) Noi tot vrem Dumnezeu sa ne inconjura. (We all want God to surround us.)

Surround us, Oh Lord

Ne Inconjurati, Domnul

Photo by Toa Heftiba Şinca on Pexels.com

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,

Cum munti inconjura Ierusalem,

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

So the Lord surrounds his people.

Asa Domnul inconjura oameni lui.

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,

Cum munti inconjura Ierusalem,

Photo by Xiaoyu Chen on Pexels.com

So the Lord surrounds his people.

Asa, Domnul inconjura oameni lui.

Photo by Emre Can on Pexels.com

Surround us, oh Lord,

Ne inconjurati, Domnul,

Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

Surround us, oh Lord,

Ne inconjurati, Domnul.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We need to be in your presence,

Avem nevoie sa fie in prezenta ta,

Photo by Archie Binamira on Pexels.com

Surround us, oh Lord.

Ne inconjurati, Domnul.

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

Surround us, oh Lord,

Ne inconjurati, Domnul,

Photo by Katie E on Pexels.com

Surround us, oh Lord,

Ne inconjurati, Domnul,

Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

We need to be in your presence,

Avem nevoie sa fie in prezenta ta,

Photo by Julian Jagtenberg on Pexels.com

Surround us, oh Lord.

Ne inconjurati, Domnul.

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This Question Came to My Inbox: “Are Koreans the “Italians of the East,” and Japanese the “British of the East?” “

In many ways, yes. Italians are more passionate and hot headed. They just have a basic emotional nature inside of them that burns hotter than many other races. I have learned that it is a Latin thing. Koreans are more passionate and hot headed than any other country in the east. They also have a basic emotional nature inside of them that burns hotter than other people in the east. Besides being more romantic, the men have a tendency to have fist fights among them too, not normally, but more than you would see in a place like Japan. Latin men are also known to be more romantic and known to chase women. If you compare Korea to Japan, definitely, Korean guys are more romantic and chase women more. However, Korean men don’t chase the way European and American men do. They are more polite and have more conservative values. The Korean men are the first to give flowers and chocolate to the girls, but the Japanese men aren’t particularly like that. Korean men are trying to figure out how men date in the west because they want to do the same, but Japanese men are going to stay in their shells. My Korean son in law has every romantic holiday with a book mark on it on his phone so he never forgets one. In Korea, they haven’t traditionally dated the way men in the west have, but my Korean son in law figured out a way to spend lots and lots of time with my daughter before they were married anyway until she began to feel like, either he needs to go away or date me. He jumped over a cultural barrier that not everyone can. In Korea, their marriage is considered unusual because they didn’t get married just to have babies like many Koreans do, but they actually have a love match. The other Korean men are taking note and are trying to do the same thing he did because they all want love matches. The problem many Korean men have is that they are traditionally given a wife to have babies and they have babies, but it is not the love of their life, so they spend a lot of time platonically with other women they actually like better. They never get a divorce, but they still love women. Thankfully, my daughter and my Korean son law’s relationship isn’t like that, and the others now are looking for a relationship like they have. As I said, the young Korean men are now trying to learn to date like the men in the west do.

Korean men are putting themselves out there now a days trying to get the kind of relationship with a woman traditionally found in the west. Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

As for the Japanese being like the English, I have made that comparison many times. To begin with, they are both on islands. That means that fish is a very popular food in both countries. Beyond that, the Japanese men are stoic. They hide their feelings and just don’t chase women at all to the point that many Japanese women end up chasing guys just to get attention. The British men are not that bad, but they are not like the Latins either. The British population as a whole is known as being stoic and snobby in America. I have lived in England and I don’t particularly agree because I met very warm people in England, but the British have that reputation in America. Japanese men just don’t ask women on dates ever and never will. However, they figure out ways to show they are interested like buying them gifts or choosing to sit next to the when they are in a group. The British women haven’t had to go to the point of chasing men to get the British men to notice the like the Japanese women have had to do. However, the stoic nature is both in the English and the Japanese.

Many Japanese guys are what we call the tortured lonely guys in America. They don’t know step one on how to get a girl, and they are too stoic or shy to even try. Photo by Victor on Pexels.com

My Japanese son in law was a very unusual Japanese guy. People can hardly believe what he did because Japanese guys just don’t do what he did. He was an international student at a university where I was teaching. All the guy international students decided to start chasing my daughter to the point that they were driving her crazy. She was beside herself and didn’t know what to do. My Japanese son in law wanted to chase her too, but he didn’t know how. It is just not something Japanese guys do. He overheard some Japanese girls talking to me about dating because they had been taken on a double date and were asking if that was what had happened to them. When he overheard our conversations, he decided I was the person to ask. He actually had enough courage to ask me how to get an American girlfriend. It was difficult for me to answer. I gave him a very conservative answer. However, I realized that I was the professor all the international students came to for answers, and I didn’t want some goofy American guy filling him full of nonsense, so I handled it myself in a very conservative way, in a way that many American girls would have only thought he was a good friend. I just told him to call a woman up and ask her to go somewhere and pay for it.

If any woman is interested in a Japanese guy, she is going to have to take the initiative because Japanese guys just don’t. What my Japanese son in law did is considered unbelievable by people who know Japanese. Photo by Darwis Alwan on Pexels.com

He was also having another problem. A Korean girl was chasing him, and he didn’t know what to do with her because he didn’t like her. He and my daughter were friends, and they got together and talked about their mutual problems. They made a pact as friends to protect the other. They decided to tell everyone they were dating, but initially, it was plutonic, but no one knew. I knew, and it was fine because I had told him not to touch the girl anyway, and I knew Japanese guys weren’t aggressive anyway.

That Taiwanese woman helped my Japanese son in law more than anyone will every know. He truly jumped the cultural gap!! Photo by vjapratama on Pexels.com

A Taiwanse woman approached him and told him that if he was serious about my daughter, he would grab her hand and walk her through the hallways of the school so everyone could see because no one believed a Japanese guy could get my daughter, and they were all trying to take her away. The Taiwanese woman was right because I even overheard a conversation between my daughter and a Mexican guy. The Mexican guy was telling her how boring Japanese guys were, and that she needed to come to him and leave the Japanese guy. The Mexican guy said he would bring her flowers and sing to her. She didn’t go for it. My Japanese son in law decided to do what the Chinese woman told him to do. He grabbed my daughter’s hand and walked through the halls of the school claiming her for everyone to see.

American women love the Mexican men because they uphold the reputation of Latin lovers. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

They eventually got married, and now they are very happy with two babies. He crossed a cultural gap that very few Japanese men know how to get over. Most Japanese guys would never have asked the question he asked of me. Most of them would never have had the talk he had with my daughter, and none of them would have held her hand. Japanese guys just don’t do that kind of stuff. For most Japanese guys to get married, they have to go through a go between. The only ways a Japanese guy shows interest in a girl before they get married is by buying her gifts and sitting by her in a crowd.

British men are not shy like the Japanese men, but they still have a reputation for being stoic. Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

British guys are not quite as stoic as Japanese guys. British guys know how to date and don’t have to be told to hold the girl’s hand. However, there is a stoic aspect to British people that is found also in Japan. In the same way, the Koreans are more hot blooded and express their emotions more like the Italians. I have never lived in Italy, but I have seen Italians in America standing around arguing with one another. In Korea, they don’t argue in public, but they are more romantic. Everyone in America knows the reputation of the Latin lovers. Even in this blog, I told you about the Mexican guy trying to take my daughter away from the Japanese guy. American women love the way Mexican guys come with flowers and songs. In Romania, I saw them standing around arguing just like the Italians have the reputation of doing. They argue one day and are best friends the next. It is the nature of the Romanians. They know they have hot blood like the Italians. Romanians are always giving flowers and bottle of wine or champagne. There is just something in Latin cultures that is more romantic, and Italians really represent the Latin cultures well. The Korean men are also much more romantic than other Asians, and they are proud of it.

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God Will Take Care of You (Dios Te Cuidara’)

Buenos dias amigos. (Hello friends.) Como estas hoy? (How are you today?) Hoy es Domingo. (Today is Sunday.) Si haces que tienes que hacer, estas en casa. (If you are doing what you must do, you are at home.) Tenemos que tener cuidado de todos. (We have to take care of everyone.) No temenos que propagar ‘esto coronavirus. (We don’t need to spread this coronavirus.) Muchas Iglesias esta haciendo los podcastes en computadora, asi todavia podemos tartar. (Many churches are making podcasts on the computer, so we can still try.) Si vas en Facebook y encontras Del City church of Christ (Iglesia de Cristo din Del Cuidad), ‘esta es la iglesia donde usualmente adoro a Dios. (If you find the Del City church of Christ, this is the church where I usually worship.) Ellos tienen servicios de la iglesia alla, y todos necesitas hacer es hacer un clic. (they have church services there, and all you have to do is click.) Mi hija y yo vemos ‘esta juntos. (My daughter and I watch this together.) Unul de las cosas buenas es que un de nuestros ministros habla espanol, y ‘el ajuta a hacer el podcast bilingue, en ingles y espanol. (One of the good things is that one of our ministers speaks Spanish, and he helps to make the podcast bilingual.) Y puedes encontras la iglesia a: (And you can find the church at:) .http://delcitychurchonline.church/

God Will Take Care of You

Dios Te Cuidara

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Be not dismayed whatever betide,

No te consternes lo que sea que te desconte,

Photo by Juhasz Imre on Pexels.com

God will take care of you.

Dios te cuidara’.

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Beneath his wings of love abide,

Baja sus alas de amor permanecen,

Photo by Emre Can on Pexels.com

God will take care of you.

Dios te cuidara’.

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Through the days of toil when heart does fail

A travers en dias de trabaja cuando tu corazon falla

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When dangers fierce your path assail,

Cuando peligros feroces asaltan tu senda,

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

God will take care of you.

Dios te ciudara’.

Chorus:

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God will take care of you

Dios te cuidara’

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Through everyday, o’er all the way,

A travers cada dia, en todo el camino,

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God will take care of you,

Dios te cuidara’

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God will take care of you.

Dios te cuidara’.

Verse 2:

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All you may need, He will provide

Todos que puedes necesitar, ‘El le proporcionara’

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Nothing you ask, my friend, will be denied

Nada que pides, mi amigo, sera’ negado

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God will take care of you

Dios te cuidara’

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No matter what will be the test,

No importa que sera’ la prueba,

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Lean weary one safe in his rest,

Inclina, cansado, Seguro en su descando,

Verse 3:

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Through your trials and through your storms

A travers tu pruebas y a travers tu tormentas

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When it seems we can’t hold on

Cuando parece que no podemos aguandar

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Trouble is on every side, cried so much you can’t cry anymore

Problemas hay en cada lado, lloraste demasiado much que no puedes llorar mas

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They can talk about you, laugh about you, say that its over,

Pueden hablar acerca de tine, reirse de tine, dicen que es terminado,

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But its not over until God says its over

Pero no es terminado hasta Dios dice es termindado

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Remember that he is always faithful

Recuerdad que ‘El es siempre fiel

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You serve a God who is able to take care of you.

Sirves un Dios quien puede tener cuidado de tine.

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God will take care of you.

Dios te cuidara’.