Building Seokmak Church – Part 01
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.