PASTOR OCK SOO PARK

  • 14. First Mission, Apgok-dong

  • Ahpgok-dong was a small peaceful looking town located at the foot of a steep mountain, where there were 30 thatched houses cozily gathered with one or two houses in the distance. A mountain lied right behind the town, while small shares of farmland were cultivated in front; with a huge river running before it all. Across that coursing river there was situated a few farm plots that were formed from the rough sloping landscape, and if you passed that area, there was a road that led you to Kuchang or Daegu. 

    When we entered Ahpgok-dong, it was the start of the last rains of the summer. It rained so much that the water flowed down the hill and flooded the river at such a rapid pace that no one could muster the courage to cross it. It had only been a week since the rains had begun to fall, but the townspeople were already trapped. 

    The townspeople went through the spring famines, in a manner of saying, they had to harvest the barley and thresh it, but due to the rains the chance to reap the fruits of their labor had passed, and so they were unable to harvest the barley. The barley, which was then rained on, began to sprout. The townspeople cut the sprouts with scissors, put it in a hot pot to dry, then took it to the water mill to be ground, so they could eat it for food. 

    We found that we had come to a town that was poor, which went through hardships incomparable to any other we had experienced before. We had first brought some food with us when we arrived, but within a week, our supply was depleted. We couldn't acquire food from anywhere else, so we passed our days there, trapped and starving. 

    After many days, as the rains passed and the water levels sank, we were able to cross the river and visit the towns beyond it. Right by Ahpgok-dong was Mt. Myo and Mt. Bong and a bit farther away was the town of Kuhchang. We had gone out to the market during the market day, but couldn't even afford but to buy a bit of barley. The barley we managed to buy had already sprouted, but we took it to the mill and cut it into fine pieces; we then borrowed a pot and gathered sticks to make a fire to cook the rice upon, and ate. 


    Two Potatoes 
    Once there was a man who was worried because there was no one to go with him to retrieve his cow. If the cows were fed near the town, they would wander into the fields and eat the plants, so after the kids returned from school, they would lead the cows into the mountains to feed, then the cows would find their way home in the evening. But this man's cow hadn't returned that evening, and so he had to go looking for it. But, there were tales of tigers and wolves that lived in the mountain, so there was no one willing to go search for his cow with him, and he couldn't necessarily go on his own. I offered to go with him. Together, we walked deep into the mountain to look for his cow, and climbed all the way to the top. He took out two small cooked potatoes from his vest pocket and handed them to me. I guess he was very grateful that I had come with him, when everyone else had refused to help him. 

    By then I had already been starving for a couple of days. However, I couldn't eat the two potatoes he had given me. When I had first arrived at Ahpgok-dong, it was with Brother Yoo, and when I thought of him sitting there at home, all alone, starving as I have, I couldn't possibly allow myself to eat the potatoes on my own. That evening after we had found the gentleman's cow and returned to town, I went home, gave thanks to God, and shared the two potatoes with Brother Yoo. These sorts of things remain vivid in my memory. 


    Joy In Reading the Bible 
    Although it wasn't often that we were able to eat a meal, we got up at 3 o'clock every morning and read the bible. Even now when I think back, the happiest moments I had spent in Ahpgok-dong, was reading the Bible. During the market days in Mt. Myo, we went there to witness, and on the market days held at Mt. Bong, we went there to preach. And when it wasn't a market day, we traveled around the different sectors of Ahpgok-dong going from house to house witnessing the Word. On Sunday's and Wednesday's we invited people to our house for service. 

    However, although I went out and visited thirty to forty houses each day, at around two, three o'clock that summer, I rarely met anybody. During the day, male or female, all the young people went out to the fields to work, the older kids fed the cattle in the mountains, and only the five/six year olds remained at home. So although I wandered through the whole town, there was no one to witness too. The people would return home from a hard days at work each day, they would eat dinner, and then immediately pass out for the night. Each morning they would once again wake up and go back out to the fields for another hard day at work. This life they led, prevented them from attending the Bible Seminars we invited them to. Therefore we spent each day just reading the bible. 


    For the Brother 
    In particular, Brother Yoo extremely enjoyed reading the Bible. He would get up in the morning and start reading the Bible, which would last him through the whole day. Being younger than Brother you, I felt that it was on my part go to the kitchen and cook the meals. But even though I finished cooking and would bring it to him in his room, Brother Yoo would just continue to read the Bible. I have to say, "Brother Yoo, let's eat." For him to respond, "Oh, is the food done already? Let's eat," and begin to eat. 

    Brother Yoo would momentarily stop from his Bible reading to eat, and then right after he was done, he would revert to his reading. Then, I would go and do the dishes. He always read the Bible in this manner throughout the course of the day. Of course I too read the Bible, but because Brother Yoo was so absorbed in the Word I couldn't blame him. 

    So this disturbed me more and more. I felt, 'If I cook, he should at least do the dishes, or if I do the dishes, he should cook, why am I the only one doing all the work?'and so I had a talk with Brother Yoo. 

    "Brother Yoo, since I cooked today, why don' t you do the dishes." 
    "Okay, just leave it there and I'll do it." 

    Assuming that he would do the dishes, I went out for a walk and returned after one or two hours. But when I got back, I found the breakfast table the way I left it, and Brother Yoo still engrossed in the Bible. I was disturbed by the fact that the dishes hadn't been done. But I couldn't say anything seeing that it was the Bible he was reading, so I didn't say a word and did the dishes myself. However, without a heed as to whether I was doing the dishes or not, he continued to read the Bible. The days continued with me cooking and doing the dishes, while the brother continued to read the Bible. It irritated me, but I still did all the cooking and dishwashing, because it felt foolish to argue over whom did the dishes. 

    "Okay, just leave it there and I'll do it." Assuming that he would do the dishes, I went out for a walk and returned after one or two hours. But when I got back, I found the breakfast table the way I left it, and Brother Yoo still engrossed in the Bible. I was disturbed by the fact that the dishes hadn't been done. But I couldn't say anything seeing that it was the Bible he was reading, so I didn't say a word and did the dishes myself. However, without a heed as to whether I was doing the dishes or not, he continued to read the Bible. The days continued with me cooking and doing the dishes, while the brother continued to read the Bible. It irritated me, but I still did all the cooking and dishwashing, because it felt foolish to argue over whom did the dishes. 

    However, there was this one evening when we held a conference . Usually, there were times when I gave the sermon, as well as times when Brother Yoo did. But that evening, I conducted the conference, while He delivered the sermon. I sat behind the children and made sure that they didn't play around, while I listening to the sermon. But as I heard the sermon I was astonished. It was because the words that Brother Yoo spoke were such new and astounding Word of God. 
    "Those are not Brother Yoo's words but God's words." 
    That evening I was sitting without a thought, but I suddenly found myself kneeling before the words Brother Yoo was preaching. As Brother Yoo's words melted my heart, the grudge that I had towards him not doing the dishes just vanished. 

    "That's right, although we live the same lives, I wasn't the spiritual brother he was. That brother truly is a precious servant of God. That brother is preaching the word of God. He is God's precious servant." 

    It was as if he was Elisha and I was his servant Gehazi. 

    I began to think, "I live with an incredible brother. How can a person like me complain about cooking and washing dishes for such a person." 

    Of course Brother Yoo didn't have the slightest idea that I had such a feeling of resentment nor that it had been resolved. He ate, drank, and lived in the same house as I, but it wasn't me whom he spent his time with. He passed his time led by God, walking with Christ through the Bible. I could strongly sense this, and from then on I regularly gained faith through the words that the brother delivered, more than anyone else. Everything he said, word for word that arose from the brother's mouth was truly living. As I spent time as his fellow brother and friend, in my heart I regarded him as a teacher, my mentor. 

    As this happened, the brother's heart and mine began to grow close. The words that were in my heart flowed to his, and his heart flowed into mine. Although our lives were demanding, and we were hungry and poor, such things were no longer a problem in the happy life we lead. 

    We agreed to go witness at district #1 in Ahpgok, in the mountains that afternoon. As we grew tired on our way to witness with our Bibles in our hands, we stopped and sat under the shade of a tree and read the Bible. That day after reading the whole book of Colossians, we shared what we realized. The testimonies Brother Yoo had shared with me on what he realized while reading the bible tasted as sweet honey to my soul. And although I failed to realize things as deeply as he, when I shared the testimonies of what I read, Brother Yoo was very happy. We hadn't ever discussed the need for unity nor had we ever made a promise to be so, but through the word of the bible our hearts were one. 


    The Living Word that Began to Stir My Heart 
    As we passed the time being one at heart, we became more and more engrossed in the word. From Genesis to Revelations, I read the old and new testaments over and over again. Reading the bible each day allowed me to read both old and new testaments within a month. However, when I read it the first and second time, I didn't really notice the word working. But, as I read the old and new testaments the fourth time around, the words of the bible began to stir in me. After reading it for the fifth and sixth time the word came to life in my heart. The Words of the Bible seemed different from when I had read it the other times before. Through the Bible, I was able to see God's way and His heart. My heart was very dirty and evil, compared to that of God's. As I began to understand God's holiness and great love, I realized how worthless of a person I was. 

    While living in Ahpgok-dong, I was hungry, poor, and life was hard. But, what enabled me to overcome the hardship was that the Word of the living God which actively led my heart. I had no promise as till when I was to remain in Ahpgok-dong, and there was no one who thought of us, nor was there anyone who supported us, but that wasn't a problem at all. 

    While I had lived with Brother Yoo back then, my heart didn't reside in that town of Ahpgok-dong, but in heaven, within the Word. That is why, rather than to worry about, "What will I eat? What will I do? How will we live? Isn't there anyone who will give us food?" our hearts dwelled in the Word. Although I had never in my life experienced such hardships as in that town, I want to express that I have also never experienced such happiness as then. The Words and heart that God had given me then are things that I will never be able to forget for the rest of my life.



  • twitter facebook
  • 목록
  • 33articles(1/2pages)
    Autobiography
    처음페이지이전 10 페이지12다음 10 페이지마지막페이지