Deacon, So-yeon Park who follows Jesus (Woojung church)

 

When I arrived at the church, even though it was a weekday, congregation praised in a chapel. There was a prayer meeting. I met deacon, So-yeon Park after the prayer meeting. What she said first was that her life goal is to follow Jesus alone. It is the heart of the Lord. I interviewed with her and listened to her life journey that the Lord who led and gave her hope in her heart.

Q. I think there were lots of errors in your life until you have had a life goal to follow Jesus alone.
A. Whenever I am in a trouble, I always ask myself a question “Is it enough to have Jesus alone in my life?”, but I cannot answer “Yes.” But now I know that God has guided me so that I can believe the word that if I seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, all these things will be given as well. I had thought that my faith life had no problem because I did my best with my righteousness. Although I did my best, I always felt thirst in my soul. I am a person who do not need to worry about thirst. I have no problem in finance. My husband is an oriental medical doctor and eager to serve a church, so he became an elder when he was 40. I am so successful in society and church. So, I don’t understand that I feel thirst. I always feel lack. To hide my feeling, I started to adorn myself, but I had to this behind his back.

She cannot answer to the question “Is it enough to have Jesus alone?”

Q. I see. Did your husband hate your adornment?”
A. My husband rarely spends money and material except for serving God. Now, he has changed a lot after he met the gospel. He was almost like an ascetic before. He always tried to be perfect in everything. Many people thought that I would live abundant life, but I was forced to save material because my husband gave me household expense. It is difficult for me not to spend money even though we have money to spare. I think that it is my hardship. Isn’t it ridiculous? I spent money buying clothes, treating people, and helping the need behind my husband’s back, so I was in debt as much as I could not manage. At that time, I met the gospel.

At the retreat, “Before the gospel again”
At the retreat, “Before the gospel again”

Q. You met the gospel when you were in crisis.
A. A few years ago, there was the retreat, ““Before the gospel again” in Ulsan. I attended there with my children and looked behind my faith about salvation. Especially, the students at Hebron School performed skit “Letters from Rome”, which was very shocking to me. The children memorized whole book of Rome and played the skit. As I became interested in the school, I also heard about the Gospel School. When I participated in the training, I decided to die regarding all the problems I’ve been dealing with. Of course, while training, there were a lot of things I didn’t know about the gospel, but at least I decided to confess to my husband about my financial problems and asked for his forgiveness. I was also afraid that I would be kicked out if I confessed to my husband. When I told him about my mistakes, my husband was very surprised. But I was forgiven and I promised to him that I tried to live my life in God’s presence. Thanks to God. Since then, I’ve got many training with the heart to seek the gospel. My husband even said that his life was in vain after he participated in the Gospel School.

Q. I think you might realize a lot about the gospel after training.
A. Yes. He was a person who kept the law strictly and did his best. But when he met the gospel, he was no longer be bound by his own law. The greatest change in my family is to enjoy freedom that Jesus gives us. Now I know the true life is the life of the Lord, not the religious life. Of course, my husband had the heart toward the Lord before as well. His clinic building is shabby that we can find even in a mission field. It hasn’t been remodeled in 20 years. It means that if God doesn’t say it, he would not act. My husband doesn’t care fancy things. He just wants to heal patient’s soul and flesh through his treatment. After he met the gospel, he stated to deliver the gospel in the clinic. Some people complained why he delivered the gospel to them. Nevertheless, he delivers the gospel as the Lord guides him. But sometimes, a dementia patient or a monk told him that there would be God in the clinic. The Lord uses clinic as a missionary field. I sometimes complain to God.

Is it life of the Lord or the religious life?

With her husband, an elder Gwang-suck Hong at the clinic.
With her husband, an elder Gwang-suck Hong at the clinic.

Q. What kind of complains?
A. The facilities are too old. I thought it would be better if we fix the clinic for patients. But the Lord said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts and do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.” The Lord made me reflect my faith. I confessed that I would not depend on this building, but only God. Since then, my prayer request has changed. Before then, my prayer request focused on management of the clinic and its prosperity, but now I pray for the urgent news from all nations and patients whom the Lord brings to us. I think the Lord teaches me a lot and guides me.

Q. I want to listen to the Lord’s another guidance to you.
A. I’ve been trained a lot seeking the gospel. And every time I look behind myself before the gospel, and I realize that I am an evil and have no hope. I used to have two hearts before. Even though I was desperate to seek God, but I was also obsessed with the world or credit for what I have done. While I’ve been trained and served the church, many people praised me. Even though I try to be silent in serving the church, my inner heart wants to get some credit from people. Of course, it is easy to hide my inner heart like a kind of masquerade. But now I declare that my sinful nature has already died on the cross. And I share my sin with my husband and pray together. I pray that I would worship the Lord with a pure heart. There are a lot of trials and errors like this.

Q. It sounds interesting. Can you share more stories?
A. I taught my children according to the law. I strictly told them about what they should and what they should not. And I even said to them they would go to hell when I taught the gospel, but they said to me later that they were not interested in it. When they said to me like this, I was heartbroken, but I realized that I just told them about the law without the life. If I stand before the gospel, I can realize the life of Jesus, and then I can flow the life to my children. Now, I respect my children and love them. And I asked them for their forgiveness saying that I made mistakes. When my children studied abroad to China, the Lord said to me “Your children are my children whom I created. I will raise them when you lift everything to me.” So, I realized again and served teenagers in my church with the heart toward the next generation. It is not easy to help children to love Jesus.

Q. I heard that it is difficult to teach teenagers these days. How about your mission?
A. The emotion of teenagers is unstable. It is difficult to talk with them. They even curse me. At the first time I couldn’t do anything and cried a lot. Their behaviors are totally different in church and school. Even some teenagers ask me to give them money. I think that there is no hope in them. And I think that I cannot do this anymore. I decided to quit the mission. But at that time, the Lord said to me “Is there hope in you?” Of course, there is no hope in me. Because of the grace that the Lord never abandons me, I can stand so far. The Lord gave me the heart that “I have redeemed you and I have summoned you by name. And all things are possible to every man whom I created. They are also my children.” Since then, I decide to be with them every time even if they manipulate me. So, if they ask me for money, I give it to them. I go to everywhere they go even PC room or playground.

Street evangelism with teenagers.
Street evangelism with teenagers.

“The Lord who worked for me who had no hope will work for the next generation as well.”

Q. It seems that your mission is not easy.
A. God’s work is amazing. One day, a teenager told me that “Teacher, you are amazing and thank you.” I was shocked because I have never expected that they would say like this. And even some teenagers whom I think that they would quit attending the church keep still attending the church. I don’t know the reason why they keep attending the church, but they are so adorable in my view. I just give love of Jesus to them who come to listen to the word. I think that love changes them. Through the mission, I have changed too. Without the life of Jesus, I would judge them, complain and my faith would be broken. But with the gospel and prayer, the life of Jesus that is united with the Lord would be done.

“The life of missionary with the life of Jesus.”

Q. I think you live your life with the life of Jesus. Can you tell me more about that life?
A. Well, the Lord has continually taught me who is still weak. While I’ve been trained, I feel happy that I would be the channel of gospel. So, I wanted to be a missionary and started to persuade my husband. Because I go to outreach after every training, my heart to be a missionary is getting bigger. At that time, a pastor asked me to serve as a member of the church. It’s time to decide. Of course I thought I could follow the Lord with my faith. But the Lord gave me the heart that He wanted me to unite with my husband so that I become a witness of Jesus in church. God’s hope is to build a church. That is my calling as a missionary. And I obey and realize that every place where the Lord is with me is a mission filed and the place where I enjoy joy.

Q. Lastly, please tell me your prayer request.
A. Now my first son attends Hebron University For Mission. I still remember a pastor’s congratulatory speech that I heard at my son’s entrance ceremony. He said that the president of this school is God, the professor is the Holy Spirit, and the tuition is the blood of Jesus Christ, and the graduation is until the Lord comes. I cried and agreed. I realized that the Lord called my husband and me, and my son to our steps that we walk only seeking Jesus. My second son is still in China and I lifted him to God as a missionary. Please pray for us that no matter what our future might be, we will not compromise, but run to the faithful family that only serves Jesus.

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