A Blessing To Be Able To Meet Good People
God has provided me with many blessings. Among those, a blessing I cannot exclude is the blessing of meeting good people. I am unable to erase the thankful heart I have for meeting missionary Dick and other born again missionaries, and having been trained in faith after receiving salvation. How would I have ever been able to meet such precious people and learn this world of faith that can be found nowhere else and learn the true words of the Bible and grow in spiritual life? Missionary Dick, Gee-soo Gil, Marlone Baker, Harry Whyman, and Derrick Earl, who taught me the Word and faith through missionary school... each of these missionaries are precious to me. As I met them and spent time with them, although I was reckless and deficient, not once did they alienate me, and I am thankful that they accepted me.
As I lived for over forty years within the gospel, whenever it was necessary, God allowed me to meet people greater than me. Through them I learned faith, and through them I corrected my bad habits. While working with these people, the blessings I received were so great. Even these days, God has placed many precious people around me. Especially my fellow workers of the gospel, the pastors and ministers who preach the gospel with me, our church elders, the people who work with me in the IYF, and those who work in the internet and broadcasting mission, and at Good News Publishing House; there is no mistake that each of these people are precious jewels that cannot be exchanged for anything else.
The Spring Of 1969
I recall it was during the spring of 1969, when Missionary Anderson spotted me and asked me to accompany him to Buchun. Missionary Anderson didn't specifically tell me anything so I didn't think we were going for any special reason. I simply thought I was accompanying him on some business matter. When we got off at Buchun station, a young sister came out to meet us. It was Sister Myung-soon Kim. It seemed as if they had already made arrangements before hand.
That day we ate lunch at her house. All I remember about the meal is that the food was a bit salty. After eating lunch that day, we casually spent the afternoon talking about things. The sister's uncle had received salvation and loved the Lord very much, but the uncle's life wasn't so smooth at the time and the sister's mother worried a lot. It was through the uncle's difficulties that her mother had received salvation. After her mother had received salvation, Sister Kim had persecuted and rejected her mother's spiritual life. In the midst of all this God made Sister Kim endure great hardships, and it was through the hardships that her heart had opened. She received salvation and came to be a sister in Jesus.
A Wife God Has Prepared For Me
That afternoon, I talked about how I was preaching the gospel in Kimchun. I talked about the children's ministry and what I planned on doing in the future. Sister Kim showed great interest in the work we were doing and asked many questions while saying that she would like to participate. So, I told the sister to come that summer. In the summer of 1969, Sister Myung-soon Kim participated in the Children's Bible School and the Children's Bible School Evangelists training.
When I look back at that time thirty years ago, I am thankful that neither my wife nor I had anything to boast about. And although there was nothing we could do well, God had worked through Sister Kim, and allowed us to work for the gospel with one heart. Although there were many sisters around me, God made it so I could not deny the fact that He had prepared her for me as my wife.
At times, our thoughts didn't match and we would fight. The sister lacked faith and would resist with her humanistic thoughts. At times, our hearts would be left with scars. However, when I look back at the 33 years with my wife, although I may have not realized it then, but God knew me well and I was able to see that He had prepared this sister for me. I thank the Lord.
Prior to that time, there were young sisters around me. As I came of age, once or twice I would think to myself, "What if I married that sister?" However, deciding my heart and thinking, "I should marry that sister and work for the gospel together," was not easy. I had two sisters in mind. However, even after meeting my wife, Sister Myung-soon Kim, and while working for the gospel together, I had never once thought about marrying her. As we worked together we often fought, and our way of thinking was different. Yet, our hearts grew closer, and we eventually got married.
How Will You Live?
In 1971, I went to my mother-in-law in Seoul and spoke to her about getting married. My mother-in-law was deeply concerned about how we would live. Although I was short, it seemed as if my mother-in-law was very happy with the fact that I was working for the gospel. But she was extremely worried about how I was going to live, whether I would starve my wife and children.
So my mother-in-law asked me, "How will you live after you get married?"
I had to pass this marriage test my mother-in-law was putting me through. So, I responded, "Since God has protected me and fed me until now, I will live with faith in Him."
Although my mother-in-law was saved, she didn't clearly understand what it meant to live by faith. Plus, at the time, things were difficult and I was poor, which made her worry even more.
"Right now, you're alone, so you may live like that. But, in the future, when you have a wife and a son and daughter, how will you live?"
As If I Were Given A Pair Of Shoes
At that time, there was a certain thought that arose. There was a time in the past when my shoes were all worn out and so I prayed to God for shoes. About a week after I prayed, a package arrived for me. A brother who served as an officer in the army had sent a letter and the package. I opened the letter and read it. He wrote that the army had given him shoes. But since he already had a pair, he remembered me and sent the shoes. He then said, "I don't know your shoe size. So I don't know if it will fit, but I hope it does." Before I opened the package and tried on the shoes, I told myself that the shoes will fit me just right. Because I prayed, I knew there was no reason why God would give me shoes that didn't fit. While saying this, I opened the package with the brothers and tried on the shoes. The shoes were a perfect fit. Not long after putting on the shoes, I went to visit my mother-in-law and told her about it while it was fresh in my mind.
"Mother, until now my bus fare, clothes, and all things I needed I received by praying to God and not telling anyone else. When I didn't have a dress shirt, suit, or pants, I prayed to God and He gave me a dress shirt, suit, and pants. When I prayed to God because I didn't have shoes, gloves, or socks, God didn't give me only one shoe, but a pair, as well as a pair of socks and gloves. God knows well how many hands and feet I have. Since I have two feet, He has given me a pair of shoes. If I had three or four feet, there is no doubt that He would have given me three or four shoes. God knows my body well. Right now I am only one person, and that is why God only gives me one. But if I were to get married and become two, or have children and become three and four, just as God had done when He gave me my shoes, He will unmistakably give me what I need. Clothes, food, I believe He will provide me with all these."
Through the grace of God, we received my mother-in-law's blessing.
The Wedding Held Through God's Grace
We prepared to get married on April 24, 1971, but there was no one to help us. It is always good to see brothers and sisters go before the servant and ask questions and discuss their weddings, but there was no one I could turn to. There was missionary Anderson, who I worked closely with, and a couple of brothers. However, it hadn't been very long since I arrived at Kimchun, so there was no one with whom I could confer with and no one to lead me through the wedding. So, on my own, I had to decide on everything.
The most difficult thing for us was setting aside time for the wedding. Since there were continuous works of the gospel, it was very difficult to make time. With difficulties, we finally decided to have the wedding on April 24. But we still lacked a wedding hall, and I didn't know who would marry us. Everything was so vague. But God allowed us the Jungdong Methodist Church Memorial Hall, and we were able to have the wedding ceremony with a few brothers and sisters who lived close by and other loved ones.
After getting married, we moved down to Kimchun. The house we were to live in was where Elder Kang once lived, on the second floor of a building that sold motorcycles. But my father came to Kimchun and rented for us a two bedroom place in Moamdong. My father was overjoyed and loved having a daughter-in-law, so we felt unreserved.
During The Past 33 Years
After our marriage and up until now, I have lived with my wife for 33 years. God has allowed me a beautiful daughter and son through my wife. While living with my wife, there were many painful times due to our foolish and different thoughts. But through God's grace, our hearts grew closer in faith. I came to love my wife very much, and my wife was one heart with mine. When I think of how we were able to do the works of the gospel with our whole hearts, I am unable to express in words how grateful I am.