Oct 26 2017
In the 1970s, I needed to support my family. I needed to buy clothes for my mother. One of the things that I had made up my mind to do when I went back to Vietnam was to buy clothes for her. Even though I knew that my dad would scold me for doing it, I was determined to get her an outfit. But, if I gave even a bit of the money away, I wouldn’t be able to buy anything for her. If I gave everyone a little bit of money, then I would only be able to give half of what I had to church. My older brothers and my younger siblings had all prayed for me, so I wanted to give them all a small sum too. However, I just went ahead and bundled up all of the money and took it to church. The bundle of money was so big that it wouldn’t go into the offering bag. I thought about what to do and I went and sat on the podium. I built the Seokmak church with that money.
I was rebuked by my brothers.
“How could you do that? Even if it was just a little bit, you should have left a little bit of money for your family when you gave your offering.”
A commotion broke out, and so, my family went to the church and spoke to the deacon about it.
“He put all of that money in the offering but he didn’t talk to anyone at home about it, so he shouldn’t have done that.”
But I had already spoken to the deacon and warned him that,
“If they take any of the money, the responsibility will be on your shoulders.”
So I had already brainwashed him thoroughly.
“They won’t take all of the money from you, but don’t even let them take ten won. If anything happens, it’s all your fault.”
I can remember saying that.
When I went home after I had put the money in the offering, a feeling of being thankful that God had saved my life, which was so precious that I couldn’t trade it for the whole world, sprang up inside of me. The money that I had given seemed like less than ten cents. It didn’t even seem like one cent. When I thought about how God had kept me alive, it didn’t even seem like one cent.
“God, if you want the tape recorder I’ll give it to you. It’s all yours; I’ll just keep it safe for you,” I said and I thanked God.
After I had sacrificed my television and given it to God, I wanted to watch the news. Back then nobody in the valley had a television. There was just one house in Jinsan that had a television but it was not as new or expensive as mine was. That’s how few televisions there were. However, after I had given my TV to God, I felt no sense of regret.
Then I was reading the Bible, I was reading Proverbs and I kept on seeing a vision. It looked like I was watching the TV but I was watching what was happening around the world. In Proverbs 17:4-5 it says:
4 A wicked man listens to evil lips;
a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue.
5 He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.
It seemed like this (these verses) was one book. “3,000 proverbs are like 3,000 books.” So it looked like there were 3,000 books tightly packed on to the one bookshelf. “If you read Proverbs, it’s like reading 3,000 books. “
Even if you read one book, it would be hard to find even one proverb in it. I was reading Proverbs a lot and I realized deeply how precious they were. I gave up my TV for God; He showed me spiritual TV. If I just think about something, I can see it. I realized that this was something that had come from God. He has never taken it away from me. If it was just a TV, like the TVs in the world, it would have broken already. No matter how good a TV was, some part of it definitely would have broken. Since I gave everything to God, God gave me things that were much better.
Then I sold the tape recorder and used the money that I got from it to make the charts. I sold the TV and used the money to build Seokmak church. If you’re talking about 100,000 won back then, it would have been enough to buy thirty-three thousand square meters of land in Seoul. But I used that money to build Seokmak Church, so can you imagine just how much money went into it? Now the time has passed and we have electricity and there is no one who doesn’t have a TV.
I gave my television to God long ago and built a church, so that people could be saved and so that I could make charts. The most important thing is that I was given the TV of the spiritual world through which I can keep on talking to God and eternal lives that can record God’s words and put them to practice. That’s how I met all of you, right? This was a blessing. Don’t live for the useless things of the world but live a beautiful life, a life of value for God.
Oct 04 2017
I completed my first tour of duty in 1966 and the second in 1967. After which, I returned back to South Korea in the year 1969. I earned and saved quite an amount of money from my army allowance and so I decided to buy a television and a tape recorder. I thought that it will be useful to have them because it was really expensive, so I bought them and brought them in Vietnam and brought them back to home.
One day, while I was walking, I heard a voice saying
“If you are not going to use it anyway, they’ll rust as time passes, so why not sell them and build a church in Seokmakri instead? Use it to save lives, like Noah building the Ark .”
Even though I heard the voice clearly, but I pretended that I didn’t hear anything. As I continued walking, Jesus inspired me again and he said
“Are you going to keep on pretending not to hear me? There’s no one else around; I’m talking to you…”
I paused for a moment and reflected upon Jesus’s words. It’s true that I wasn’t doing anything with the television and it was just rusting away slowly. It was rusting away because it sometimes got rained on and I’d just put something on it to cover it, so of course, it was going to rust. I tried polishing it with some anti-rust polish but it started to rust even more. Jesus kept on suggesting that we sell it and build a church for lives because if I just left it there, it was just going to rust. But back then, Television was so precious and our village didn’t have any electricity. I kept on praying that we would get electricity in our village; however, there was no news about it. Nonetheless, I put the Television in the room that I shared with my brothers and when I was bored, I’d go in and look at it. I was really chuffed (proud). But I couldn’t use it, so it was pretty useless.
I tried to find places where they had electricity and found out that, there was electricity in Jinsan. So I walked, eight kilometres while carrying the Television with me so that I would be able to watch it. I even watched Apollo 16 being launched at the school and groups of people soon started to gather and watch together with me. I felt so proud of owning a Television and even started thinking about how much money I could charge each person who is watching, like how bookstores earn money from renting out comic books to people. But Jesus was telling me to sell it away, so I pretended I never hear Him.
However, I knew that I couldn’t defy the words of the Lord, My Saviour, who saved my life. So I came up with the idea of keeping the tape recorder and giving the television to Him first. I knew that I had to give one of them to Him eventually because Jesus isn’t just anyone, he saved me when I was going to die in Vietnam so how could I just ignore Him? So I decided that I would give the television to Him.
I kept the tape recorder instead and I used it to record sermons and listen to them again and again so that I’d be able to understand them. At the time Elder Un-Mong Na’s revival rallies were really well-known. So I went and recorded what he was saying and listened to the recorded sermon multiple times. Things of the world on Television did not really interest me much, so it wouldn’t really be much of a benefit to keeping the Television. Instead, it felt like keeping the tape recorder was a better idea, so in the end, I decided to give up the television.
It seemed like God was urging me to give them up too. I suddenly felt thankful that God had saved me when I was in Vietnam. At first, I handed it over reluctantly… but then, I made up my mind. Since I wouldn’t have gotten much money if I had sold it to anyone else, I sold it to my older brother for one hundred dollars. I had a pile of money. In today’s terms, it would be around ten thousand dollars. I wrapped the money up in the newspaper, it was a really large bundle, and then I took the money to the church.
Oct 03 2017
One day, Jesus let an incident which occurred when I was in Primary 4 come to mind. A few guests were at my house for a house visit but there was nothing at home that we could serve them with. My mother gave me some money to buy 2 eggs from the village marketplace down the mountain and instructed me to make a quick trip.
The journey to and fro the marketplace was about 6 km. I made it down in short time but for the journey back, running with an egg in each hand affects the body’s balance so it is hard for me to run fast. With a heart of wanting to get back home quickly, I decided to put the eggs into my pockets, one on each side. In this way, I could sprint back home quickly without any difficulty. Satisfied with this idea, I sprinted all the way up the mountain and slowed down only when I was 50 meters away from home.
I was about to take the eggs out of my pockets when I realized they were wet. The eggs broke due to the rigorous movements of the sprint and I was so focused on running that I only realized it now. And upon realizing, my face turned pale. “What should I do? What should I do? What have I done? Why did I put the eggs in my pocket despite knowing that it would break? Mother is still waiting to cook these eggs for our guests at home! Oh no! Oh no! I’m in trouble!” I kept on reproaching myself.
“Should I run back down the mountain? But I have no money left, would the boss allow me to buy the eggs on credit? Furthermore, I would reach home very late if I take another journey back there and mother would surely scold me! What should I do? What should I do?” The more I thought about it, the more absurd thoughts would come to mind. I even contemplated running away from home. I continued to wander around outside for a long time though I was just 50 meters away from home. Even when the moon hung high in the sky, I still didn’t return home.
I stayed outside until my mother, who came out to look for me because she was worried, found me in a bush nearby.
“What are you doing here? Why didn’t you go home after so long? I was so worried about you!”
“I’m sorry mom, I broke the egg…” I cried as I spoke.
“The eggs broke? How?”
“You told me to come back quickly so I placed the eggs in my pockets hoping I would run faster and return sooner. I only realized the eggs broke after that.”
“You didn’t dare to come home because of this?”
“Yes… I’m sorry mom…”
“Don’t be silly. So be it if the eggs broke, it isn’t that big of a deal. Besides, the guests have long left. It’s late, let’s go home.”
That day, my mother held my hands throughout the entire journey as we made our way back home. Holding her hands, all of my worries disappeared and I felt a sense of warmth coursing through me.
As I thought back about this incident years later, I can’t help but find it funny that I didn’t dare to go home just because of 2 eggs.
“Ah, just like how the things that caused us so many worries when we were young eventually turn out to be such a small matter after we have grown up, the Lord is telling me through this incident that the things that I am worrying about now will feel like nothing when I look back upon them in the future.”
“Just as how I felt so at ease and without worries when my mother held onto my hands then, I want the Lord Jesus to lead me forward holding my hands. In this way, I will have nothing to worry about.”
Year after year, I continued to live with this attitude till today and would like to pass on this mentality, encouraging teenagers who currently fear the difficulties ahead of them.
“Know that all your difficulties are just ordinary things like ‘2 eggs’. Let the Lord hold your hand, and overcome the difficulties majestically and with ease.”