1973, when I first went to Daegu, there was another problem. Although the brothers and sisters were happy about me coming and preaching the Word, they were burdened as to how I was to live, and after discussing it they strongly suggested that I get a job.
Did You Come To Preach The Gospel Or To Put Up Wallpaper
As I got a job and began working, I thought of preaching the gospel. When I was in Kimchun, I had briefly wallpapered, but there was something which God showed me. After I took on a new house and was finished wallpapering it, I received the 2,500 won the home owner paid me. It was so new and felt good to be paid for my work. I had decided to continue to wallpaper as I preached the gospel. I left my phone number with the lady at the wallpaper store in case there was a place that needed to be wallpapered. Along with Brother Lee I wallpapered and we received our pay, and it was such a joy to buy rice and food with that money.
After that another phone call came and so we went to put up wallpaper. But, in the middle of wallpapering, we met someone who wanted to hear the gospel. I thought, “Should I go put up wallpaper, or should I preach the gospel?” “I can preach the gospel next time, but wallpapering has to be done now,” in my thoughts I wanted to go put up wallpaper. Then I suddenly had the thought,
“Hey, did you come here to preach the gospel or put up wallpaper?”
I couldn’t bare to go wallpaper, so I preached the gospel. However, I was unable to make money. But, amazingly enough, the Lord gave me food to eat and provided me with what I needed. After this happened a few more times, I decided, “Ah! The Lord doesn’t want me to work for money, but to preach the gospel.”
From then on, I didn’t go to make money, but powerfully preached the gospel. There were many difficulties, and many times I was poor. However, as I saw God who was pleased in me preaching the gospel and not having a job, I believed it to be the will of God and didn’t even consider doing other work.
They Didn’t Give Me A Penny
So, when a couple of brothers in Daegu carefully suggested that I get a job, I told them that I would preach the gospel and not work. But still the brothers persisted and said, “Don’t say that, but we’ll find a job for you, so let’s work and preach the gospel together.” I told them no, and testified how God was not pleased in me having a job. The brothers once again said, “That’s fine, but it’s burdensome for us to see you live poorly, so we would like for you to get a job.” I strongly told them that I would not get a job while testifying about how God has helped me, fed me, and how He has led me, and there was a conflict between the brothers and I.
But, after the brothers had left, the church didn’t give me a single penny. It was as if they were saying, “Okay, if you want to live by faith, then try it.” “When he goes hungry he’ll get a job.”
While Depending And Looking Upto Only God
When I look at it in a humanistic sense, the brothers seemed very heartless. However, when I look back, during the time I didn’t receive any money from the church, I was able to look upto and depend upon God. While looking up to God only, God had fed me in unforgettably precious ways, and I was able to experience Him. When my daughter Eun-sook was hungry, God had given us baby food, and fed Eun-sook. At that time we were very happy. When things were difficult and we didn’t have bus fare, when our food ran dry, each time God helped us in surprising ways. My wife and I were happy thinking, “This really is from God.”
That New Year’s Day
During the time spent in this manner, I experienced things I would never be able to forget. New Year’s day had arrived and we were sore out of food and money. My mother-in-law had arrived from Seoul but she had spent the money she had with her on food. She had used up even the money she had brought to return to Seoul. We ran out of coal so we laid all the blankets we had on the floor, and my mother-in-law, Eun-sook, my wife, and I slept in our small room. We starved the whole day, New Year’s day. I couldn’t sleep at night.
“God, give us food. God! Give us food.”
The smell of New Year’s food being cooked next door seeped into our room. We were so hungry. The next morning we got up and I washed in water and ate the remaining raddish from the kimchee we had, and set out to witness. I headed towards the station with Bible in hand. Last night I prayed to God saying, “God, please give me food. Give me money.” But although I preached the gospel till the evening, no one gave me money. I almost seemed as if the people who heard the gospel would give me money out of gratitude, but no one did, and so I walked home empty handed that evening. Seeing that it was quiet, there was no doubt that my wife spent the day starving as well. We drank a gulp of water and decided to go to bed.
If The Darkness Is Great, The Stars Shine Brighter
From out side someone rang the bell, “ding-dong.” A sister had came. That sister was praying alone at home late at night. When she had the heart, “Give that money to Pastor Ock-soo Park, give that money to Pastor Ock-soo Park.” So she couldn’t stand it but came to give us the money. I received that money and was so thankful towards God. That sister said, “From now on I’ll take care of your living expenses so don’t worry.”
God always filled our needs without lacking. Just as the stars shine brighter when the darkness is great, each time things get difficult, the works which Jesus performs in my heart are more amazing and I can’t help but to praise and thank God. During the past forty some odd years, God led my life without change. Although I do not tell my needs to others, but just pray to God, the Lord listens and answers. Through my God, I lack nothing. That is why I praise Him.