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Vietnam War Stories

  • Keeping God’s Law Absolutely – Story of A Spoon (Part 02)

    The strange thing is: the officer usually grabs every opportunity to berate junior soldiers, but probably because he understands that I am a very upright person who would not fool around and is very unlucky to meet with such a situation, thus he just stared at me for a few seconds and then said: “Have you lost your spoon? Quickly go look for it, think of ways to look for it, I will check again tomorrow.” He thus let this matter rest and walked away.

    After the officer has left, all the people dispersed. Only a few brothers whom I am closer to surround me. “I think you should quickly escape by climbing the wall and buy a spoon from the shop just outside the camp”, a few brothers suggested.Army camp fence

    “It cannot be done. If I do that, others would think I am escaping from being a soldier. I’ll have to accept the consequences.” I felt that this would not work out.

    “Sigh, I know that you are not willing to steal other people’s things, but you don’t have to be so loud. Now, everyone knows that your spoon is missing. If this goes on, even if I want to borrow a spoon for you, it would be difficult”, another brother told me.

    “Thank you for your kind intentions. However, I cannot go and steal from others no matter what. It’s better for me to come out with another solution quickly.” I clutched my head as I thought hard about how to resolve the issue.

    “Ah, yes, let us look for the pastor in the army for help.” I thought of this way, and then I quickly went to the church that was set up by the army.

    “Pastor, sorry to trouble you, I want to consult you regarding something: Tomorrow, our troop will be conducting a force preparation on personal equipment. However, I lost my spoon. Is it okay if I borrow a spoon from you for the force preparation? I will return it to you once it ends.”

    “No way! If I loan it to you, what can I eat my meals with?”

    “It’s not like that, I will return it to you after the force preparation tomorrow morning, it shouldn’t hinder you much.”

    “No. Losing the spoon is your responsibility, why do you come to trouble me?”

    “Please! I have no other ways! It’s not as though I could just go out of camp to get a new one, this will be violating the laws of the army resulting in me becoming a deserter, also I don’t want to steal from others, it will be spinning and I don’t want that. I can only depend on you, pastor. I will not lie or play punk with you, I promise to return it to you right after the force preparation.”

    “No. You should have looked after your belongings well. Now that you have lost your things, you have to be responsible for it.”

    No matter how I pleaded, the pastor stands firm on his decision and completely rejected me. Even when I asked if the pastor could help me to ask those who come to church to pray for help, the pastor also refuses to help me. Falling short of my expectation, the pastor rejected me.

    Like a deflated balloon, I walked out of the church and thought: “Why? How can someone who believes in God be so heartless? He is a high ranking officer. It is not difficult for him to even go into the kitchen and ask for a few spoons. I also said that I will definitely return the spoon to him immediately after the inspection, so why does he reject me until the end, and is not willing to help even a little? This is so disappointing! If I were to become a head leader in the future, I will definitely, definitely not be like him! Sigh. Luckily I have just dropped a spoon, let me just take it that I have lost the smallest item. If they want to punish me, then let them punish. I will be more careful in the future.”

    Going back to the bunk room, the other brothers were already asleep in bed, so I climbed onto my bed. I was so depressed that I laid down to pray, complaining to God for a long time, and then fell asleep unknowingly.

    The next morning, I felt a strange pain in my chest when I woke up.

    “What’s the matter? I should not feel such pain even if I lie face down to sleep. Could it be a tumour is growing inside of me?” I felt so worried as I touched my chest.

    Just as I was making wild guesses, and getting worried whether I have some kind of illness, I suddenly felt something hard and was so surprised: “Oh no, what is this thing?” It felt as if there is something in my pocket, something that is pressing on my chest the entire night, making it so painful. I dug my pocket and took out an item.

    A spoon!

    I suddenly remembered: Because I had the feeling that the officer might want to inspect the personal items anytime and I was afraid that my spoon might get stolen if I were to put it in the cupboard, I put my spoon into the breast pocket to store it well. At that time, I felt that I will not lose things, and became proud of myself. However, because it is not my usual habit, I forgot about it completely after a short while and it led to this messed up situation of losing the spoon. I, who goes through the inspection safely, let out a sigh of relief and thought about how I could have landed myself in such an absurd situation. It also feels like it is a test that God has put me through – to determine if I when put in a difficult situation, would follow the majority and use various methods to let myself not get punished? Or would I guard my integrity?

    Ultimately, I passed the test given by God, so God allowed me to find my spoon before the inspection and this situation turned out to be a happy ending. Years later, I am no longer young now. But, I still tell this story to young people following me from all over the world and say to them: “I have ultimately passed God’s test. You all too, no matter what happens, you must make God and God’s thoughts as the utmost priority. Only then will God also make you all the utmost priority and thus render help accordingly.”

    Amen!

  • Keeping God’s Law Absolutely – Story of A Spoon (Part 01)

    When I came of age to join the military, it was unavoidable and thus I enlisted in the army too. To be able to leave that pitiful valley had always been my deepest desire but considering that I may perish in the battlefield and thus not be able to meet my parents again, was heart-wrenching to me. However, going to war was inevitable and thus I found myself being enlisted in the army.

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  • The P.O.W. who became my spiritual friend

    After an extremely drama experience of saving the life of a P.O.W. (Prisoner of War), at the expense of risking my life, i brought him back to our base camp. However, the Vietcong was eventually killed by my platoon leader. I was totally heartbroken and devastated! How can someone take away the life of someone else’s life, a precious gift given by God?

    jung myung seok, pastor jung myung seok, providence religious movement, JMS Korea

    Pastor Jung Myung Seok and his Vietnam War Comrades

    As I prayed for the late P.O.W., I couldn’t help feeling so terribly sorry for him. If I had been there with him, he wouldn’t have been killed. I regretted to enter the cave to catch the other Vietcong, leaving him alone. I cried and cried overnight. He was a Catholic. I felt a deep affection for him because we owed the lives of each other, plus we were the same Christians after all. I’d grieved over my beloved brother’s death for weeks. He was always in my prayer and he became my spiritual friend. In 20 years since the military discharge. I tried to find my war buddy. Yoo, Kun Tae. I’d searched for him all over South Korea for four years, but he was nowhere to be found.

    His irresistible love for alcohol, tobacco and women finally took him to another world. Also, I looked for the then-platoon leader, Son. I found out that he was promoted up to the rank of a lieutenant colonel. One winter day, he and his family-his wife, a son and a daughter died in sleep from briquette gas poisoning. He was only in his 40’s, the prime of his life. Not loving brothers and ruthless killing even enemies during a war brought calamity upon him and his family. I wrote this testimony of how God worked in this episode because neither the dead nor those unseen can testify His works.

    Remember only love can save our body and soul/spirit.

  • “Love” saves my life and others

     

    +jung myung seok +pastor joshua jung +pastor jung myung seok

    Jung Myung Seok and his comrades

    This episode happened sometime during battles in Tuy Hoa area when I was 22. My unit was urgently dispatched to the edge of Mt. Cai at a wee hour. According to given info, the Vietcong would come down to a town via this area for provisions. My unit ambushed in a line. The tropical sunlight was broiling that my comrades and I felt like we were steamed in a cooker. All day long, we had to lie on our stomach in ambush, taking aim with a rifle in the scorching heat. At about 4pm, a couple of enemies began to appear. We tensely watched as their numbers increased up to 17. They were cautiously proceeding toward us in a line, carrying their weapons on their sides. Over the next one and a half hours, they made to a point only 30m away from us. We got a plan to shoot them simultaneously when they approached the point of 25m away.

    My heart went out for them who were naively heading for an execution ground. I was greatly troubled as if I myself were out there walking toward death. I thought of their family members, sweethearts, and special ones. Just as my mother and other family members would eagerly pray for my life and safety, theirs would do the same. Killing them meant more than just getting rid of enemies, at the same time, it also make the lives of their beloved ones hell. It was too cruel, not to mention to be too sorrowful.

    I pleaded with God and the Lord to save their lives. And an inspiration hit me,

    Do I kill them? It’s you who kill them. Why do you ask me to save them?

    Upon hearing that, I realized it was I who could save them or kill them. The Vietcong continued to make a few steps of stealthy approach towards us, but they bent themselves slow and looked out for all directions as if they have sensed a gloomy foreboding. We were on the brink of killing them at the platoon leader’s command. It dawned on me that I had to do something promptly to save them. Once I thought of them as my sweetheart, I couldn’t lose any second. I purposely coughed. The Vietcong, at once, lied on the ground. They were whispering each other as if verifying what the sound was.

    Looking at their clueless behaviours, I grabbed a handful of tall grass in front of me and shook it. This time, they darted back to the way they’d come. Another miracle for saving lives took place in my heart. Such rescuing deeds saved the lives of my company in return that nobody was injured over one year despite the countless engagements.

    Meanwhile, my military duty was done so I returned Korea. Three months later when I rejoined the same company, I could rarely meet familiar faces for they were already killed in action. On the day I arrived there too, some were killed therefore the atmosphere of the company was like that of a house in mourning. Even the company commander was crying. During the period of three months of my absence, the casualties were nine times higher than during the one year I was there despite more numerous, dangerous operations then. Once again I realized how God protected my war buddies’ lives while I was with them for I valued the lives of the enemies as if they were mine. Without me, the rampart that protected their lived fell down.

    Be aware that by the condition you saved others’ lives, God will protect yours accordingly. Love is intense as fire and stronger than hatred. It produces great miracles.

    I could save the lives of the 17 foes in that operation alone because I loved them. Such deeds also freed their beloved ones from possible dreadfulness. Since I treasure all lives, a meaningful life of saving the mankind was bestowed upon me.

  • You will surely return alive!

     

    +jung myung seok +pastor jung myung seok +pastor joshua jung +providence religious movement

    Jung Myung Seok and his comrades during the Vietnam War

    I was dispatched to Vietnam from 1966 to 1969 and participated in the war. When I went there for the first time at the age of 21. The unexpected tropical sunlight that boiled the land over 40 degrees Celsius welcomed us. We soldiers suffered from breathing difficulties and heatstroke. Under these circumstances, we had to lie in ambush and carry out military operations in mountain areas daily. During the war, I was always caught with fears of war and death, questioning, “Can I really return to my country alive from this scorching hot weather, fierce battles and hellish surroundings?”

    I kept praying to God that I really want to survive this war and go back Korea in one piece. One day, I made a pledge to God, saying. “If I can return to Korea in one piece, I’ll devote my life to God and the world.” While praying sincerely, I shed hot tears and felt that the sky looked much clearer and brighter than ordinary days. Then, a voice in my mind said to me. “You will surely return alive!”

    As it was said, I was discharged from service without hurting a finger despite scores of death moments during hundreds of ambush, searching operations in mountains and countless battles. My prayers did save my life during the war. After returning home. I kept my pledge to God: I diligently trained my spirit and body like pure gold to be His better tool, continuously prayed and received the Word of life in Mount. Daedum and caves near my hometown.

    At the age of 34, I began ministry by preaching the new Word and curing the sick with various diseases like deafness, mental illness, cancer, tuberculosis, etc, by praying. And in some cases, even the physically-dead returned to life again. There are so much of such encounters that I couldn’t explain everything to every single person during a gathering. If I were to speak about all of it, it would have taken a few days. Furthermore, the

    spiritually sick were cured and the those whose faith was dead were resurrected. All these miracles made through prayer are too many to record. Whoever prays, big and small wonders will take place because God is with his or her’s prayer.

  • God’s voice told me, “Love!”

    operation mt.cai in tuy hoa

    I participated in the Vietnam War from 1966 to 1969. This episode happened during the Mt.Cai Operation in Tuy Hoa in 1967. My comrade (Yoo Kun Tae) and I ran into one of the Vietcong, only 3m apart between us. The enemy is already aiming a rifle at us, hiding behind a tall tree. Figuring out this fatal situation, my partner fainted there at once. And I lost my senses. Regaining consciousness, I saw the foe slowly pulling a trigger toward my chest. I called God and Jesus. I was about to be shot to death, merely in a matter of a split second.

    God’s voice told me, “Love!”

    A voice-so loud that the whole world could hear-came from Heaven, saying “Love!” Without a doubt, I knew it was God’s voice. I intended to drop my weapon and walk toward him, yet at the same time, I was extremely terrified by the thought that he might shoot at me any moment I moved. I couldn’t even open my mouth to plead with God so I merely asked Him in my mind, “He’ll shoot me if I do walk over there to show him, love.” So I hesitated for a moment.

    Another urgent voice was heard, “Love!” This time, I was deeply moved and immediately I felt someone pushed my back. I let go of my rifle and ran towards him. Tears in my eyes, I embraced him tightly and expressed my loving heart to him. He too gently released his weapon, put his arms around my waist and we cried together. By keeping the Word even at the risk of being shot to death, God saved both of our lives and we survived.

    It was an extremely dramatic experience that gave me the assurance that God would take care of whatever the situation might be and would save me as long as I love Him and others. Indeed, the life of loving others made me who I am today and Providence has spread throughout the world. Even without you going through such an experience, be sure that you’ll be saved when you love others, regardless they’re your brothers, enemies or whoever.

  • Death of the Vietcong: God repays with your deeds

    The Death of the Vietcong

    I bought the Vietcong whom I have saved previously to my base. My platoon leader son, Seon Jong took him somewhere to investigate him. Meanwhile I, along with other companions, went on a manhunt mission to a cave. Before long, cracking sounds of an explosive drove us out of the save and we spotted the ruthlessly scattered body parts of the P.O.W. The reek of his blood through all of us to vomit. Although the Vietcong was in the enemy side, I considered him as a friend because we saved each other’s lives after all. Witnessing the inhumanly killing scene of my beloved P.O.W., I without delay raced to the platoon leader and reproached him for his heartless cruelty.

    He totals ignored the facts of the captive’s self-surrender and his saving the lives of Yoo, Kun Tae and mine. I also told the leader to keep a good conscience even on a battlefield. He shot me back, saying,

    Then, do you want to look after him?

    I responded the captive should’ve been sent to a prison camp and then, set free later. He yelled at me saying,

    You, Jesus believer, may do that, but not me.

    Later, the real reason why he killed the captive was uncovered; he didn’t want to be engaged in any possible dangerous operation when the P.O.W. was sent to a regimental headquarters and he revealed some info. 

    I reprimanded the leader again; pointing out that God would protect his life only when he would value others’. He used to keep in mind what I said because he knew I was different from other soldiers and I thoroughly lead a faithful life in God. He lowered his voice and told me to go eat. I replied I couldn’t because of the stink of the blood. He criticized me saying,

     Is this your first time to smell the stench? You’re impossible.

    Tears ceaselessly rolled down my cheeks for three days since the death of the captive. We were saved by loving each other, yet he was killed, how couldn’t I be grieving! Murderers can’t get away with punishment.

    You reap what you sow

    One month later, an unusual thing happened. The leader Son was dispatched to an armoured corps all of a sudden. A regimental commander sent him to the perilous front line because he took Son for a merciless and brave man. Son, reduced to skin and bone, returned to my unit 6 months later. He went through various kinds of hellish pains in very dangerous areas. God told us humans receive according to what they’ve done. Yoo, Kun-Tae who passed out in the encounter came to his senses sometime later. I told him to believe in God and Jesus because they saved us that day by inspiring the enemy’s heart. He said he would.