God Is Greater Than The Satan Who Gives Us Difficulties
While preaching the gospel in Daegu, there were various difficulties. At the time the hearts of the brothers and sisters were not united, and things were financially difficult, and there were many instances where we did not agree. However, when I now look back, God did not only give us difficulties, but always gave us the strength to overcome them.
When we read the Bible, we can see that God does not just work in us, but God worked within many difficulties and tribulations. God worked through those hardships and displayed his power. As I read the Bible, I realized that there wasn't a time where Satan worked without God having worked. And on the flip side, there wasn't a time where God worked and Satan didn't. Whenever God worked, Satan worked as well, and whenever Satan worked, God always worked.
When I saw only Satan work, I fell into despair, but on the other hand, when I saw only God work, I always gained strength. When I was hungry, if it just ended with hunger, I would have fallen into despair. However, through the hunger and difficulties, I was able to see God working in me and was able to gain strength. Even while undergoing many tribulations, I was able to see God protecting me.
When we look at Joseph's life, even when he went down to Egypt and lived the life of a servant, God was with him. When Joseph was a servant in Potiphar's house, God was with Joseph, allowing him to walk with God while living a life of servitude. Also, when he was sent to prison, God was with Joseph, and he was able to experience God even in prison. That is why Joseph did not doubt God.
It was the same with me. Life at Daegu was very difficult at first. There were many hardships too difficult to bare. I was being pushed from all sides. However, I was also able to clearly see the God who protected me then. I then gained the faith that, "God is greater than Satan who gives me hardships." I did not doubt that God was rescuing and protecting me. Much time has passed since then, although I didn't know it at the time. And when I look back at the past, I can clearly remember the God who had helped me then.
The Work Of The Gospel That Arose In The Kyungsan Mint Corporation
When I lived in Daegu, a brother who lived in Daejon had given me a call one day. He said, "A sister by the name of Kyung-ja Shin has moved from Daejon to the Mint Corporation in Kyungsan, so please have spiritual counseling with her." I rode the bus to the Kyungsan Mint Corporation and met with Sister Kyung-ja Shin and we had a spiritual counseling session. Sister Kyung-ja Shin had brought another person so I was also able to have gospel fellowship. Although there were many famous pastors who gave great sermons at the time, there was no one who talked of how one could accurately cleanse their sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. That was why, although they attended church, there were many people who were always wandering and worried. Among those who attended church, there was no one who that did not feel the heaviness of sin in their hearts. So when I preached the gospel to the young women at the Mint Corporation they received it well.
Even now, when I think of the Bible study we held at the Mint Corporation I am so thankful. The Mint Corporation is a special area in which an outsider may not enter. The sisters had to come out. At the time, there weren't any restaurants near the factory, nor was there a place to rest. Yung Nam University was the only place close by, and at the time, there were traditional, korean styled houses near by that had been moved from Ahndong's underwater district. We would gather either at the korean styled housing area or at Yung Nam University to have Bible study. The sisters from the Mint Corporation would end their work and gather in the afternoons or evenings, then I led the Bible study meetings, and if there was a new person, we had individual counseling. That is how we would spend the time, and afterwards, I would ride the last bus from Yung Nam University and return home at 12 o'clock.
Having the Bible study at the Mint Corporation was a great strength to me. Some times I would have fare to go, but none for my return and would think, "I'm tired today, should I not go?" However, when I went and preached the gospel and people receive salvation one by one, the sisters and I were happy. And while congratulating the newly born again people, one by one, the numbers increased from one, to two, to ten, and to even over twenty sisters. Although the sisters lived far away, they attended our church in Daegu.
The Eraser That Erases Pain And Suffering
The Thursdays when I returned from the Mint Corporation Bible studies were great. In the dark night I would leave the Mint Corporation alone and pass Yung Nam University and walk to the bus terminal. That is when I had time alone with God.
"God, today Sister Ock-hwe Cho received salvation. I believe that next time her friend will receive salvation."
The happiness and thankfulness that God has given me has always ridden me of my fatigue and given me new strength. When I think of it now, when I underwent difficulties and sufferings, God did not leave me in that hardship. He allowed me to taste the strength of God which were greater than the difficulties and sufferings. Therefore, I did not remember the pain and sufferings I underwent. God causes my heart to be lost in His works allowing me to overcome the difficulties. When I think of this, I am thankful over and over again towards God. As time had passed, many people from the Mint Corporation received salvation, and many among them became preachers of the gospel and are still serving God. It wasn't simply just going to the Mint Corporation and teaching the Bible and having people receive salvation. But while preaching the gospel, I was able to erase the hunger, difficulty, fear, and suffering which Satan filled my heart.
It would be midnight when I returned home after the Thursday Bible studies at the Mint Corporation. I would get off the cigarette smoke filled bus in the evening and run up to the house where my wife would sit waiting for me outside the front door dozing off.
"It must be difficult and tiring for my wife caring for Eun-sook. If my wife had the happiness I had, the joy I had, she'd be able to overcome those difficulties."
I often told my wife, "Honey, today Ock-hwe received salvation. Next time others will receive salvation. I didn't have enough time tonight, so I couldn't finish, but that person's heart has opened."
We often happily talked about this as we went to bed.
When I Think Of This, I Gain Strength
Because the living God is an Almighty God, He did not only give hardships. No matter what difficulties arose, He opened the way to overcome those difficulties. But if we were not able to see God's work and were just lost in the difficulties, from then on, things became difficult and hard. No matter what hardships we may be in at the moment, if we see that God is with us and working, then we can be in happiness. Although I underwent hardships in Daegu, I gained happiness through preaching the gospel to the students of the Hyosung Girls High School, and the Mint Corporation. When I look back, I wonder, "How could I have overcome those difficulties?" Although I could not overcome them on my own, God had given me happiness, allowing me to overcome the difficulties. When I think back to that time, I gain strength. And I am thankful when thinking of the God who worked in me. The people who received salvation then aren't all by me now, and there are some who had fallen back into the world, but I am thankful when I see most of them in the church serving the gospel. I thank and glorify God who has allowed this.