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.
The Body, A Cold Chapel, The Heart, Before God’s Throne
While at Daegu preaching the gospel, there were many difficulties and hardships. There were many times we didn’t have bus fare, food, or coal. However, the surprising thing is that while we were in that position, God did not just cast me away, but gave me great happiness and hope that couldn’t be matched.
One day after Sunday evening service, after all the brothers and sisters returned, I began praying alone sitting on the cold chapel floor. Because I knew there was no food, coal, nor money, I couldn’t go home and sleep. I sat in the chapel alone and began praying, “God, please give me food. Please give me coal. Please give me money.”
But, while praying, the great grace of God began controlling my heart. I was sure that I had begun praying about money, food, and coal, but a moment later, I was praying about something totally different. I was so into the prayer that I was no longer sitting on the cold chapel floor, but felt as if I was before God’s throne. I was shouting before God’s throne.
“ God, allow me to preach this gospel to the ends of the world. God, allow us to send missionaries, allow us to preach this gospel through book publications. Allow us to broadcast.” Without me knowing, I was praying about these things. I prayed for a while and when I opened my eyes saying, “Amen,” I returned to reality. I was sitting on the floor of a cold chapel and all I could feel was the hunger and the cold. But, when I prayed, I forgot my situation. It was as if I was in heaven with God.
Brothers, Take Courage
As I had this heart, I began praying the same prayer to the Lord. “God, allow us to send missionaries. Allow us to broadcast. Allow us to publish books.” I continued to pray about this before God. After praying in this manner a few times, I thought, “Ah, God is leading this prayer. Then, God will lead me according to this prayer. He’ll allow us to broadcast, publish books, and send missionaries to mission in all parts of the world!”
This faith entered my heart. That day, after service was over, three brothers sat listless around the dying furnace fire. I said to the brothers, “Brothers, have strength. Although things may be difficult at the present, we will be sending missionaries throughout the world in the future, we will publish books, and broadcast, and will preach the gospel till the ends of the earth.”
There was no one who believed or commented on what I said. Later one brother said, “Pastor, it’s good to dream big.” They said this and returned. They did not believe that I will publish books, broadcast, and send missionaries all across the world in the future. But, as I prayed, I was able to have a faith which others did not have. Just as during the time of Noah’s flood, and how the ark that wasn’t in the hearts of others was in Noah’s and the righteousness they did not have was possessed in Noah’s heart, although we were in the same church, I was able to have the heart others did not have. Although I tried hard to share this heart, people did not easily accept.
When I prayed, if God hadn’t comforted me through this, I might have fallen in disappointment. Each time I had hardships, God did not rest. He always gave me the hope, faith and happiness to overcome the difficulties.
An Extremely Difficult, Hard And Poverty Stricken Time
Kyungdae crossway where our church was located, was very close to the Hyosung Girls High School. Once a sister brought a junior from the Hyosung Girls High School. I sincerely preached the gospel to the student, and was able to experience the joy of her being saved.
The distance between Hyosung Girls High School and our church was only about a hundred to two hundred meters. So that student would bring her friends to church during lunch each day to hear the gospel. After classes, she once again brought students over. Born again students from Hyosung Girls High School increased one by one. Although they were bright and pretty students who wore clean white uniforms, there was sin in their heart, conflict and many problems. While speaking with them, there was nothing I could give them, but Jesus allowed them to taste the power of God. He cleansed the sin in their hearts, and brought faith and hope into their hearts, and solved all the complicated problems in their hearts.
When it came lunch time, naturally ten, twenty students would gather to share the Word, pray and have fellowship. “Pastor, after receiving salvation my heart has become so comfortable that it is easier to study,” “My grades have gone up.” Seeing them happy made me happy. The number of students continued to increase, thirty, then forty students.
I am very thankful that when things were very difficult, poor, and hard to handle, God gave me hope and happiness in a different way. When I now look back when I think of how I was able to overcome the difficulties, there are many times I’m devastated. However, whenever hardships, difficulties, and satan’s tests come, He doesn’t allow only satan to work, but God gives me the faith and hope to overcome it, allowing me to be happy and to overcome it.
God Who Gives Strength To Overcome
Much time has passed, and a certain woman came to see me a few years ago at the Bucheon Indoor Gymnasium Conference. I found out that she was a Daegu Hyosung Girls High School graduate. That lady gave me a small envelope and left. “Pastor, when I saw you a long time ago, you were in so many difficulties, and I had no money to help you because I too was studying there in the country side. I always felt terrible about that. This money is not much, but I am giving it to you as I think of those times, so please accept it.” The sorrow had remained in her heart for not being able to help me when I was going through hardships in Daegu decades ago. But that was not the only thing that remained in this sister’s heart. The salvation she had received through hearing the gospel we preached was very much in her heart. That is why Jesus was still living in her heart, even though many years have passed. When I see this, I cannot say in words how thankful I am.
God always worked when satan worked. And when God worked, satan worked as well. God did not leave me alone when satan was working upon me. He always gave me the strength to defeat it. That is why I was able to overcome the hardships and testify God. I thank and glorify God.