PASTOR OCK SOO PARK

박옥수목사

Mind Education Expert Orthodox Gospel Evangelist

1. Pastor Ock Soo Park's Faith and its Formation

In the church I attended before I was born again, the pastor and elder alike accepted that we were sinners. Everyone prayed for repentance after committing sins, but no one seriously worried about sins or had the urge to completely be resolved from the problem of sin. Nevertheless, I really wanted my sin to be resolved. I struggled not to sin, received counseling, prayed for repentance, and did volunteer work. However, I was still in pain because the problem of my sin was still not resolved." (Pastor Ock Soo Park, April 2001, Monthly JoongAng, "Korea's New Christian Leaders")

Influenced by his mother who attended church as a young woman, Pastor Ock Soo Park attended a Presbyterian Church in his hometown, Seonsan. However, he always felt guilt and pain due to his problem of sin. Most of the Korean churches at the time taught prayer of repentance as a solution for sins. However, the churches did not know about eternal redemption obtained through faith in the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:12). Only to make matters worse, these churches acknowledged that people were saved if they came to church and confessed that they believed in Jesus. As a young man, however, Ock Soo Park was questioned of his salvation through Missionary Kays Glass (WEC Mission, United Kingdom). Since then, he could not take the matter of sin and salvation lightly. So through methods of individual counseling, prayers for repentance, all night prayer, fasting, and volunteer work, he tried to resolve his problem of sins.

Sadly however, the church he attended did not have the true gospel that could resolve the problem of sin. By 1962, a young Ock Soo Park experienced severe pain that even made him suicidal, but through the grace of God, on October 7 of that year, his sin was resolved. During an early morning prayer that day, his problem of sin was resolved through believing in the word that Jesus Christ cleansed us of all our sins when Jesus was crucified on the cross. This process made Pastor Ock Soo Park feel sorrow toward those in pain because of the problem of sin. This also gave him the strong aspiration to deliver the happiness of redemption through the gospel. This desire naturally led him to focus his faith and ministry on evangelical preaching, and this led him to get the nick name of "Redemption Pastor". We should be reminded that most of the evangelists that God used throughout the history of Christianity, such as Martin Luther, John Wesley, and Charles Spurgeon, all poured their hearts to resolve the problem of sin while attending a church that was not born again.

2. Complete Devotion and Heart Focused on the Guidance of the Holy Spirit

"One day I went to the church, knelt down and prayed, 'God, thank you so much. But I have nothing to offer you. All I have is my own body, but where could this be useful? I am a human of no use, and I have nothing to offer you. So I will offer you my own body. If you would accept my body, I would gladly offer myself." (April 2002, Monthly Chosun, "Interview with Pastor Ock Soo Park")

On October 7, 1962, after a young Ock Soo Park was born again after being forgiven of his sins through the grace of God, he wanted to give an offering but regretted that he had nothing to offer, so he decided in his heart to offer his own body. From this day on, his life was not based on his own way but completely based on the will God and focused on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The most important to him was to be where God wanted him to be and to live according to the image that God is pleased with. This is the primary reason why even through countless difficulties and hardships he was able to live an exemplary and sincere life of preaching the gospel. Finally, he received the attention of the media as the "New Leader in Christianity".

"Forty years ago during my ministry in Changpal-li, we were very poor and the chapel was hardly equipped. Especially in winter, I put on the Sunday School chart instead of a blanket, sleeping on the cold floor without heating. I feared, 'wouldn't I become a frozen corpse one day?' My home was close by in Seonsan, but lest I die depending on God, I did not want to go ask for help. One day, God showed me fish swimming around in the stream under the ice. He gave me the heart, "If God protects the fish under the ice, why wouldn't he protect me?' This heart helped me endure countless winters in my spiritual life." (Pastor Ock Soo Park's Testimony, "A Mustard Seed")

One with true faith of devotion is not tempted by or submitted to any difficulties because one with such faith has transcended a life based on individual profit and sacrifice. Life in the military often reveals the true image of faith because the military gives a lot of exposure to hardships and temptations. Many young Christians experience limits to their faith in the military, but the life of Minister Park was an exception. His service in the military between October 30, 1965 and June 8, 1965, clearly revealed his life of devoted faith.

"While I worked in the examination division, many trainees offered a lot of money requesting me to fabricate the test results for them to be dispatched to a southern base. Since this could easily be done, it was a great temptation. At the time I thought, 'If the Lord comes tonight, how would I receive him? No matter what, I should not disappoint the Lord,' so I was able to defeat this temptation. The Lord protected my heart through the truth that nothing I gain through breaking the Lord's heart is profitable." (Monthly Good News, August 2002)

"In the military God wanted me to read the Bible, pray, and preach the gospel. So I volunteered to be on duty from four in the morning, which was the shift that everyone hated. I spent these two hours to read the Bible and pray. Although I was a soldier, God allowed me to live like the military chaplain. I was able to lead the services every week and preach the gospel to many soldiers without going out of the base even once in the three years I spent in the military. By the time I was discharged, I was able to build a chapel with the support of the major general. Since God helped me in so many ways during my service in the military, my nickname became the 'Extremely Lucky Man'." (Monthly Good News, September 2002)

Even Pastor Park's life after being discharged from the military clearly shows that his decisions were not based on his own will or desire but on the will of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This means that his life was a life of complete devotion to God with a heart focused on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This heart is at the core of his faith and at the core of over 40 years of his life consistently dedicated to the gospel.

The press covering Pastor Ock Soo Park takes note of the fact that problems commonly found is numerous ministers today are not found in the life of Pastor Ock Soo Park in the 45 years he spent preaching the gospel since he was born again in 1962.

"When I first began the church, I was afraid that I might lead the church and the saints in a wrong direction, so I led the church while praying and being guided by the Bible and the Holy Spirit. God led our church in the same direction that churches with the gospel had walked, so I can only thank and glorify God."

3. Aspiration toward the Most Evangelical and True Church

'Grand Prize for the New Korean', 'The True Minister Award', '21st Century True Shepherd' The titles of the press release covering Pastor Ock Soo Park all show that they are focused on his inner features instead of outer features. Hyo Jin Oh of the Monthly Chosun, a former government spokesperson and an expert interviewer that only interviews people at the top of their field, ended his interview with a request to Pastor Park—"Someone like you, Pastor, should become known to the world. Many ministers in Korea are rotten, but you, Pastor, should not become corrupt".

"Pastor, if we are all like Jesus, what fun will there be in this world?"

"No. If we live with the heart of Jesus Christ, life will truly be fun!"

Unless it is the will of God, the heart will not budge! This is one aspect of faith at the core of Pastor Ock Soo Park's heart. This is the heart that led his life, and with the grace of God he was able to place the Good News Mission as the frontrunner in reform of the corrupt churches. The training in the mission school run by missionaries focused only on faith (The Shield of Faith Mission / President: Missionary Dick York), and it became the foundation of his faith. Even after his training, God grinded down his heart through many different processes. Looking at the life that Pastor Ock Soo Park walked even before the beginning of the Good News Mission, we can find this heart.

More than anything else, Pastor Ock Soo Park gave a lot of emphasis of the formation and the management of the church. He himself suffered in a church without the gospel, and many believers still suffer due to the problem of sin. In the three years he spent in the military, he saw the young Christians wandering in conflict, in doubt of faith, and grieved over the question, 'What is the most evangelical and the true church in this era?' In the reality of Korea, such churches are seldom found, and he had a strong aspiration of establishing a truly evangelical church in front of God. He poured his heart in preventing any aspects not based on faith, artificial or secular, from infiltrating in the church.

More than anything else, Pastor Ock Soo Park gave a lot of emphasis of the formation and the management of the church. He himself suffered in a church without the gospel, and many believers still suffer due to the problem of sin. In the three years he spent in the military, he saw the young Christians wandering in conflict, in doubt of faith, and grieved over the question, 'What is the most evangelical and the true church in this era?' In the reality of Korea, such churches are seldom found, and he had a strong aspiration of establishing a truly evangelical church in front of God. He poured his heart in preventing any aspects not based on faith, artificial or secular, from infiltrating in the church.

Afterwards, Minister Ock Soo Park began the children's mission work with invitations from five churches in the Kyungbuk province. Through this conference tour, he saw over a thousand children receive salvation and rejoice. This experience gave him the heart of wanting to live for this gospel for his whole life. Then with invitations from 25 churches, he continued the children's mission work and experienced the great works of God by receiving over 10,000 written testimonies of salvation.

In May of 1969, he began the work of the gospel in Kimcheon through the guidance of God. At the time Minister Park did not have any money to get a room, but he kept searching for a room as he waited for the grace of God. Then by chance he met a British missionary, John Anderson, on a bus. After spending a week with co-pastor Park at his place, John Anderson confessed,

"Since I came to Korea, I met countless numbers of ministers, but I haven't met anyone like you. Although we were only together for a week, I was able to see God living inside of you, so I want to live with you for a year."

Pastor Ock Soo Park's faith and the anticipation for the true church became the foundation of the Good News Mission. The Good News Mission became distinct and independent from the previous missions that were not based on the gospel. The Good News Mission is now the frontrunner on the road of reform that the past servants of God walked. Even now, Pastor Ock Soo Park fights endlessly and makes no concessions toward the reform of the Korean church, toward himself, or toward anything different from the will of God among the ministers and the saints of the Good News Mission.

"I am a fighter. I fight with myself, with ministers, with the saints of our church. People do not easily accept it when someone points out that this is not faith. So I fight again" (Pastor Ock Soo Par, April 2002, "Hyo Jin Oh's Human Expedition"

Source: Good News Mission Church History