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Jan 1, 1998
During the two months in Korea, I kept telling Jinny and Miimii that it was very hard, but I felt God was encouraging me, like he had a big surprise waiting for he was holding my hand and saying,"Michael, don't be discouraged...keep the faith and I will show you something wonderful". I started concentrating on running and had rough plans to visit Washington State that summer to run some big races. There was light coming my way I felt.
New Year's day, 1pm Korean time, I was sending my friend Robert an email--no one had heard from him for a while, and he'd just became a father for the second time. As I was logging off the computer to go cycling, I got a random chat request. It was the first time I'd ever gotten one of those. I reluctantly answered it and that's when I met Ha.

Sometimes the daily drudgery of life is broken with moments of surreal discovery of breathless beauty>>>

I was in a rebellious mood and made rude jokes but this stranger kept answering me in kind. The whole thing was quite funny. She seemed to be able to answer every wise crack brilliantly, in sync. I'd never met anyone who could keep up with me on the computer. She was so witty, so funny. I'm rarely impressed by that. We chatted for over two hours, right through my bicycle ride I'd planned to do, and by the end we were both mentally exhausted. I kept asking myself,"Who is this person?" It was like I'd known her all my life. I thought maybe Karen had returned and was playing a trick on me, even asking her,"Are you Karen Gulledge?" Every time I asked her name she said,"Ha" and I thought she was I asked again. Finally, I figured it out. How clever of God to give her a name that reminded me of laughter, something Miimii had begun to detest in me. It was also very ironic that in the last online chat I'd had with Miimii, she grew angry when I began typing the words to "Staying Alive" during a dead time in our conversation, and Ha was doing the same to me. It must have been the work of the devil.

I finished chatting and went offline. Boy that was something! Then I remembered she told me there was a picture of her on a website which I'd scribbled down. So I went back online and checked it out and this is what I old photo of her. Somehow it just hit me where I didn't expect it--I nearly fell off my chair. Now I knew what God was leading me to.
The sun had risen and it was Ha.