• 33. Second Class Private Park, Is There Anything I Can Help You With?

  • Second Class Private Park, Is There Anything I Can Help You With? 
    After distinguishing the believers in Christ among the new trainees that had arrived at the Communications Training Base every Saturday, it was a great joy and happiness for us to report to the squad leader, that week's commissioned officer, and the commander early in the morning; then gather those soldiers to have service. It seemed as if we came to the Communications Training Base not to train for military service, but rather, to be missionaries. Every moment of time that we had, we gathered with the trainees who were church goers and formed a choir, shared the "train" bread (nicknamed for it's length), and also had spiritual counseling. The three years spent at the training base was a time when I was closest to God. It was a great opportunity for me to experience God being alive and working in my heart. 

    One day, as I was receiving training at the training facility and it came time to take a break, when they began looking for me over the loudspeaker: "ROC Class 311 number 28, Ock-soo Park, report to the instructing headquarters. ROC 311 number 28, Ock-soo Park, report to the instructing headquarters." 

    I wondered, "Why are they calling me from the instructing headquarters? Is there anything I did wrong as a senior trainee? No matter how much I try, I can't think of anything I did wrong. Why are they calling me?" 

    Although curious, with a sense of uneasiness, I went in and reported to the instructing headquarters: "Second-class private Ock-soo Park! Reporting as ordered!" 

    Then the commissioned officer of education, First Lieutenant Guk-min Bang said, "Ah, Second-class Private Park, please sit down." When living in society, I hadn't highly regarded the army rank of first lieutenant, but upon entering the army, and being in the position of a second-class private, the first lieutenant seemed so high, and his diamond seemed to sparkle incredibly. He was the officer in charge of education at the instructing department, and he was sitting before me and asked, "Second-class Private Park, what did you do in society before coming to the army?" 

    Upon hearing the question, I hesitated. The reason being that when commissioned officers spoke to privates, it was expected of them to speak in informal and disregarding tones, or they would even cuss, but the lieutenant addressed me in such a polite manner. 

    "Yes, I was a minister at church." 

    "Ah, so it's true." 

    First Lieutenant Bang told me that his mother was a believer in Christ, worshiping the Lord with sincerity, and that he too was a diligent believer in his youth, before having entered the army. However, after entering the army, he had given up that faith and turned to smoking and drinking like others, and through this, he felt very guilty and distressed. But the other day, he had begun his duty for the week and I, a trainee, had come to him for permission to have service. First Lieutenant Bang said he had written down my name, class, number, and rank, from my name tag and had called me. 

    "Although I am a first lieutenant, I am powerless, but you, a second-class private, would gather each trainee in this demanding army base, without a church, and take them up into the mountains to have service. I felt so guilty that I could not fall asleep. That is why I called you this morning. Second-class Private Park, how can I recover my spiritual life? Is there anything I may help you with? I want to help you with the church you are leading." 

    One couldn't imagine how happy I was. "Educations Officer, we have no place to hold service; therefore, we go up to the cold mountains. If you would like to help us, then please lend us a classroom. We would like to have service in one of the rooms." 

    Upon hearing this, First Lieutenant Bang replied, "Oh, of course." From where he sat, he turned to the soldier below him and asked, "Which classroom would be good? Classroom 16, right?" 

    "Yes, classroom 16 is good." 

    "Sergeant Kim, give Second-class Private Park the keys to room 16, and allow him to gather there to pray, have service, and practice singing hymns." 

    First Lieutenant Bang ordered this on the spot. 

    "Don't worry about anything. Use that room anytime you wish. I'm sure you'll do well, but all I ask of you is to use the room cleanly and to put it back in order after your done." 

    As I left the instructing headquarters, and thought of how God had prepared First Lieutenant Guk-min Bang; how He allowed him to be there when we went to report for permission to have service, caused him to show interest in our having service, which lead to him feeling unbearably guilty that night, resulting in him calling me early the next morning to talk, giving us a service area, there were no words to express the gratitude I felt.

    From that day on, First Lieutenant Guk-min Bang and I were very close. Even within his busy schedule, he would call me from time to time, and we would talk together. I would talk to him about spiritual life and the gospel, and how he could receive salvation and become born again. 

    Allow Me To Remain At This Base And To Continue To Preach The Gospel 

    A while after, it came time for me to graduate from the Communications Training Base. Upon graduation, I was to be moved to a different base. About a month before moving to a different base, Brother Soon-jong Song, Chang-won Kim, and I were having a prayer meeting. 

    "Well, in about a month, all three of us will be graduating. If we graduate and move to a different army base, who will continue the works of preaching the gospel after us?" 

    While discussing this, the three of us all knelt and began to pray, "God, please allow one of us to remain at this base. Please allow the grace for one of us to remain and continue to preach the gospel at this base." 

    As a preparations officer for the training classes, I ate earlier than other soldiers, and arrived at the classroom an hour earlier to prepare for training. However, it seemed as if the other lower ranking soldiers, who helped in preparing, were uneasy when I was around. They would turn to me and say, "Senior, rest. We will do everything," hoping that I would leave. So I would then go to the Communications bunker, close and lock the door, and often prayed to God in a loud voice. The bunker was a place where nothing could be heard from the outside. Nearing graduation, I would go to the bunker and pray saying, "God, please allow Soon-jong, Chang-won, or I to remain at this base and continue to preach the gospel." 

    We finally ended our 16-week training, and it was the morning of graduation. Our training had ended and we were graduating, nonetheless, we were still uneasy about not knowing which base we were to go to next. Suddenly, I remembered First Lieutenant Bang, and so headed to the instructing headquarters. Luckily, First Lieutenant Bang was there, alone in the office. I saluted the First Lieutenant and said, "First Lieutenant Bang, I am graduating today. I just wanted to thank you for helping me in many respects during my stay." During my training, I had risen from the rank of a Second-class Private, to that of a First-class Private. First Lieutenant Bang looked at me and said, "First-class Private Park, sit down for a moment. I was so grateful to you that I wished to send you to a good base. I thought, 'Should I send him to the Pusan Munitions Base Headquarters, or to Daegu 502 (Jangtongdan), or Seoul (Soogyungsa)?' But no matter how much I thought of it, I realized that if you were with me, you would help me much in my spiritual life. That is why I have arranged for you to work at our instructing department. Although you may not be pleased with the decision, please bare it and work with me." I was so thankful before God that I couldn't just sit there. I replied, "Yes sir, I understand." saluted, then ran out. Tears ran from my eyes as I headed towards the communication bunker: "God, you are truly alive. We had prayed, and you have listened to those prayers and have allowed me to remain at this base to preach the gospel. God, thank you." 

    God Who Prepares The Way Of The Gospel Before Us 
    In truth, I was supposed to graduate from the Communications Training Base and move to a different base, but due to First Lieutenant Bang's special consideration, I was able to remain at that base as an instructor's assistant in the testing department. And I continued to preach the gospel. Later on, I received the grace to be in charge of the chapel that the major had built for us, and I was able to preach the gospel as if I were a pastor. 

    God is a living God, so no matter where I went, He worked. If God were to help us, no matter what situations we may face, there is no need to worry. It was God who had sent me to the army while I had been preaching the gospel in Jangpali. This was not because He was powerless in preventing me from going to the army, but He had sent me there. I believed and thought to myself, "God has brought me, who was preaching in Jangpali, to the army, because there are those who need to hear the gospel. That is why I will endure the army, a path which God has prepared for me." 

    Sure enough, long before, God had prepared the way for me to preach the gospel to many people at the Communications Training Base. He still continues to prepare the way for me to continue to preach the gospel. Whenever I think of God, who has done this, my heart overflows with gratitude.
  • twitter facebook
  • 목록
  • 33articles(1/2pages)
    처음페이지이전 10 페이지12다음 10 페이지마지막페이지