PASTOR OCK SOO PARK

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    While I was ministering in a small church in Jangpallee, Geochang, one day I received a message from the missionaries who had trained us that I needed to come to Daegu. I received the message on Thursday that I needed to arrive there by the following Monday. I had to pray because I didn’t have any money, there was no answer to my prayer by Friday nor by Saturday. After Sunday service, I announced, “Tomorrow, I am going to Daegu, so I have to leave the church.” It was quite natural to make an announcement, but in my heart I expected that they would give me some money if they knew that I was going to Daegu. No one gave me anything, and they just went home after the night service.

    I prayed all night long, but even before I left the church, the traveling expense had not been prepared. They called that town Jangpallee because it was Pal (eight) Lee (a quarter mile) away from the Jang (market). I walked Pal-Lee (two miles) to go to Geochang town. On the way to Geochang, there was a house of a brother’s who was in charge of finance in our church. Lots of thoughts occurred in my heart as I walked close to his house. “Oh, brother, I have no travel expense to go to Daegu.”

    “Why didn’t you tell me in advance? Here it is.” But while I was having these thoughts, another thought blocked my mind. “I am a servant of God, I shouldn’t ask people for help.” I imagined that he might recognize me before I mentioned my trip to him, “Oh, you’re going to Daegu, aren’t you? Why don’t you come in and have a cup of coffee? Oh, do you have any travel expense?” However, it might have been also relying on people.

    After struggling with many thoughts, I thought to myself, “I am the person who has to look upon only God throughout my entire life. If I depend on humanity for such a problem, then I cannot say I am living by faith.” I purposed in my heart, “I will walk if I don’t have money, and if I can’t go, I cannot help it, but I will never ask anything from man.” After I decided that in my heart, all anxiety and discord were gone and I had a peace of mind. So instead of passing by the brother’s house, I went around the other way with the intention of avoiding his house.

     

    After I passed the house, a bus bound for Daegu was approaching me slowly. While I was debating whether I should stop the bus, the bus stopped, and the door opened. There was nobody except me; so, I got on the bus. As soon as I got on the bus, someone was calling me from a side, “Oh, Minister Park, come here.” It was a church sister I knew. “Sit next to me. Are you going to Daegu?” “Yes, I’m going to Daegu.” After the bus left town, an attendant came to me with a bus ticket and a ball point pen. I said, “Uh, I don’t have a fare.” Then she said, “I know,” and she opened her purse and paid my fare.

    She was a widow and earned her living by needlework in Daegu. She visited her mother several times a year. Because money was really rare in the country and her mother lived very poorly, she used to give all the money she had to her mom except her bus fare every time she visited her mother. But, on that day, for some reason, she put the money back in her purse after she took the money out to give her mother. So, in the bus, she regretted, “Why didn’t I give all the money to my mother? Am I becoming stingy as I get older? Why am I this way?” That’s when she saw me through the bus window that I was walking from Geochang. At that moment, she thought, “Oh, that’s it. God wanted me to pay the bus fare for Minister Park. That’s why I didn’t give all the money to my mother.” So she said, “Driver! Please stop the bus. I have someone to take with me.” She told me that’s how she stopped the bus and had me get on the bus.

    After I arrived in Daegu, I said, “Good-bye.” Then she said, “Don’t go,” and took me to her house. After I was treated to lunch in her house, I had a plateful of sweet rice cakes which was one of my favorite foods at that time. She put some money in my pocket which she borrowed from someone, and said, “Having a difficult time in the country, aren’t you? Many hardships are expected in doing God’s work.” She encouraged me.

    That night, before I went to bed, I knelt down in prayer and realized that, “God heard my prayer and prepared travel expenses by one of the sisters!” If I had gone to the brother’s house, the bus would have passed. Although God prepared everything for me, I could not have received it and rather have blamed God because He did not respond to my prayer. “It could have been a great mistake,” I thought. Although it was a small matter, through that matter, I perceived deeply that God was working and prepared things for me.

    After that time, whenever I was hungry while doing the gospel work, I just prayed to God without expressing to the church members. Each time, God answered all my prayers. (From A Grain of Mustard Seed by Pastor Ock Soo Park)

     

     

     

     

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    Mustard Seed
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