PASTOR OCK SOO PARK

  • 20. While I Kneeled Upon the Cold Floor

  • Before receiving salvation, I had read a lot. There was nothing I enjoyed more in the world. I wasn't able to continue with my studies, nor was I able to get a job, and even though I wanted to take the test to become a government official it was beyond my power, so I suspended all efforts. So I led a life where during the day I went to church and hung out, then in the evening I gathered with my friends and played cards and did bad things. Since my life was so dull, I also read books. At that time, there weren't many books, and so when I got a hold of one through my friends or my sister's friends, I would read it all night, and if I enjoyed it, I would read it once again. Sometimes I would read a book up to three times. If I had other busy things to do, even though I see a book, I wouldn't be able to pick it up or have much interest in it. But since my life was so boring, I was able to read many books. 

    When a person reads a newspaper, and if they have only a page, they would read it from beginning to end in great detail. But if they have a whole newspaper, people tend to skim over it not devoting their reading to any particular section, but to just catch the main topics. Likewise, when we have many good and joyful things in our lives, it is difficult to follow the right path because we're influenced by those situations. 


    While I Kneeled Upon the Cold Floor 
    While at Jangpali, I was so cold and hungry, and there were many difficult situations. There weren't many church members, and life was difficult, on the surface the problems didn't end there. If you look at my situation, on the surface, there was nothing to be happy or hopeful for. But the surprising thing was, even after these many years, when I think of that period of time right after I had received salvation, I can't help but think that God had cut off all things I may depend on that surrounded me so that I may open the eyes of my heart towards Him. 

    The thing I'm very grateful about is even though living that kind of life day after day was very difficult, God had lead my eyes and my ears to look up to Him, and so I was never disappointed. If I hadn't looked up to God, but just saw my situation, I would have been so disappointed and wouldn't have been able to survive a month there. There was nothing I could depend upon that was in the world, the gangsters threatened me, I was hungry, I didn't have the transportation fare to go anywhere therefore the only one I could look up to was God. While I stayed at Jangpali, God had allowed my eyes to turn to Him, and He showed me the spiritual world. Just as Moses went up Mount Sinai and saw the beauty of the temple in heaven, while I was kneeled upon the cold floor of the Jangpali church, my heart was no longer caught up in the present, but walked with God in heaven. For that reason, when I woke up in the mornings and after a prayer, I gained strength. 

    Every evening the brothers and sisters gathered at the church. Although there may be enjoyable things in the world, there was nothing more joyful than spending time at church. We gathered every evening, read Bible, and shared testimonies. As the brothers and sisters gave testimonies saying, 'This is how God had helped me today, and this is how He had worked in my life this day...' while giving these testimonies, not only did they grow in their spiritual lives, but also the eyes of those who heard opened towards the spiritual world. After the testimonies, I delivered a sermon. 'Although there were many disappointing events that occurred before, God fulfilled the promise he had given us, in the end. God's promise was kept.' While witnessing this, our hearts were filled with the Holy Spirit. 

    Most of the brothers and sisters came from town, and there were only a few brothers and sisters who lived in Jangpali. It's nearly 11 o'clock when service is over, and two to three people would share a bike into town. We traveled that country road singing while riding our bikes. When we arrived to a lighted area in town, the brothers would get off and all disperse. I then rode that bike back home along that road late at night with such a happy and filled heart. The happiness and fullness I receive from God, prevented many other humanistic problems from finding its place in my heart. That isn't to say that there aren't any difficulties or problems, there were times where in every respect the abundance of worries would push its way into my heart, but because the happiness which God has given me drives it all back out, those problems couldn't over take me, nor maintain the strength to remain in my heart. 

    Each morning I would get up and have quiet time, I read from Genesis, Leviticus, numbers, and on after reading the Bible, my heart overflowed with hope. I sat reading the Bible alone all morning, but it wasn't I who was reading the Bible, but I felt as if I was within the Bible. When I read how Jesus fed five thousand with five barley loaves, and took the time to close my eyes and think about it, there were many times I imagined that I was there watching the disciples distributing the barley loaves. When Jesus went to the Sea of Galilee and met Simon-Peter, I felt as if I was there sitting amongst them. The Word touched my heart with power that I couldn't just sit still. Therefore after eating lunch, I would take my bike and head out to downtown and would just preach on market days. I bellowed the sermons, passed out handbills, and delivered the word to individuals as well. When it wasn't a market day, I would visit the neighboring villages around Jangpali, passing out handbills door to door, and visit the homes of brothers and sisters who hadn't been attending church, and by the time I came home it was already evening. 

    In the evening I would once again gather with the brothers and sisters, and prayed, read the Bible, shared testimonies, and sang hymns. When it grew late at night I would once again take the brothers and sisters home by bike and return home alone and prayed. Through all this I was able to see my heart gain depth and is lead by the Holy Spirit in God. 


    Two Young Brothers 
    One day I met two young boys on the road. As I talked about Jesus, the two boys became very interested and wished to hear more. So, I brought them to the church and preached the gospel to them. The two young boys worked as a helper at the tailors in downtown, where they assisted the seamstress with putting on buttons, undoing stitches when sown incorrectly, or in preparing the things so the work could be done. The two young boys would go to work early in the morning, overloaded with work, they would return home at midnight. Therefore, it was almost unheard of for them to be at home during the day. However, I don't know how we were able to, but that day we met on the road. That day when I met them on the streets I approached them saying, "Hello! Do you believe in Jesus?" Most people would usually dislike this and so would shake their head and leave making excuses as to how busy they were. But, the two boys listened with great interest. I led them to church and preached the gospel. Surprisingly, they received salvation from sin and became born again that same day. 

    Those two brothers would go to the tailors early each morning and afterwards, they arrived at Jangpali close to twelve o'clock at night. For those two brothers I started a Bible study late at night, and afterwards the two brothers would spend the night. After I would go to sleep due to fatigue, the two brothers would stay up late in the night and read the Bible then go to sleep. I got up early in the morning before the two brothers and would sit reading the Bible, when the two brothers would then wake up. 

    I was able to see the two brothers live genuinely by faith. Although their flesh was tired, they came late at night and read the Bible and then shared what they read and realized. When I heard them speak, their words connected with my heart in that we became closer than blood brothers. We were able to happily pass the time together. Brother Jae-yul Shim and brother Jong-yooung Kim having received salvation had given me great strength. Brother Jae-yul Shim had brought his younger sister, allowing her to hear the gospel, and she too received salvation. Although his parents didn't attend the church, they had much interest towards our church. Whenever I went to their house they treated me to a meal and treated me very kindly. Brother Shim, Brother Kim, and I, we lived in the country with nothing, living in such poverty unparalleled to others. However our hearts were always rich with the Lord. Whenever we encountered different situations, we had the faith that our loving God would help us, and were also able to see God's power work within us. 

    Each day passed by too quickly for us. Meanwhile church, which started with only three brothers and sisters, grew to over ten, twenty persons. The brothers and sisters gained more strength, and went out and witnessed, bringing more new people. 

    One day it was raining, so I thought, "today I guess I won't be able to go anywhere, I should just read the Bible." But from downtown, a couple of the sisters brought their friends. We all sat around in a circle as I preached the Word, and all of them realizing the gospel were overjoyed. 

    During the short period of a year and a half, which I spent at Jangpali, god blocked my ears and eyes that had been directed towards the World, and made it so there was nothing to look forward in it. On the other hand, God had opened my spiritual eyes to behold the spiritual things of heaven allowing me to pray and walk continuously towards God, as well as to experience the God who is alive and working within the Word. I would never trade the most precious and beautiful time.



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