No. 239/ Interview
Recently, a phone call was made to this newspaper. It was a deacon Woo Seok. He asked when episode 51 of the Gospel Drama video “God I Met on the Street” produced for evangelism will be released. He explained that he was evangelizing with this video, and that he needed something new because he delivered up to episode 50. We were preparing to produce episode 51, so we were able to guide the next production schedule. His passionate voice was conveyed over the phone. I ran to Pohang to meet deacon Woo who is evangelizing every day.
Entering the house of deacon Woo Seok, I noticed a big box of hardtack. He said he bought it for evangelism. Next to the table, there was a piece of paper with the room number of people who take the same elevator in the apartment. There was also a circled sign on the number. The houses that delivered masks with mission cards are marked like that. The genealogy of the Bible, which began with Adam, filled one wall of his house. He said that it was made by himself to teach the Bible. His prayer book, intercessory prayer card, mission paper and mission cards were scattered on the living room table. Rather than a cozy house, it looked like a space used for prayer, word of God, and evangelism.
A house, which is a supply depot for the life of prayer and evangelism
-why did you decide to live as an evangelist?
“I should start with my story of meeting God. I was born as a cradle Christian. I was able to meet the Lord because of my parents’ earnest prayer. My mother prayed all night for countless days during a year. After farming, she set up a dinner, went to church and prayed every night, and came home after the early morning service. So, I didn’t sleep much with my mother. When I was young, I was forced to live a religious life. I was lashed if I didn’t go to church. When I was young, I attended church that was passionate about prayer and evangelism, and I became passionate about prayer and evangelism. I met my wife at church and married at the church. My wife’s mother-in-law, who took a missionary group training and devoted herself as an educational missionary. She kept recommending me to take the missionary group training. At first, I didn’t want to be trained because I didn’t have enough time, but the time has come that I couldn’t resist.”
– When was the time you couldn’t resist?
“I want to live by faith, but the way I expect from my children and the way they actually looked were very different. I abused my children and there was no love lost between me and my children. My son, who was trying to honor God through exercise, was injured in middle school and was in danger of quitting. The Lord made me fall into despair. In the meantime, I continued to attend early morning service and evangelism. So, I thought the reason why my family has such difficulties was because of my wife. I picked a bone with my wife a lot because I thought my wife neglect religious life. I decided to take the mission training due to the continuous difficulties.
While I was taking the training, I recovered. I started to understand what the Galatians 2:20 meant. I used to blame others for everything, but I realized that everything was my problem. I applied the truth that my old self (outward man) was dead in every situation by faith. I went to overseas outreach as the last course of training, and I heard about the church situation at the mission site through a local missionary. Many people were martyred because of the bombing during the service. I didn’t think the church members would attend church after the terrorist attacks, but I’ve heard that the number has more than doubled. Listening to the story, I looked back on myself. How’s my belief? Since then, I challenged evangelism as if it were a matter of life and death. While people living in missionary lands love God, worship, and preach the Gospel even at the risk of their life, I wondered what I do in a country with freedom of religion.
When I got back, I contacted the church’s male mission members to evangelize together. We don’t have daytime, so decided to evangelize from 7 after the early morning service. Five to six mission members evangelized for two to three years. And then I was assigned to come down to the countryside.”
While people living in missionary lands love God even at the risk of getting shot…
– Your stage of evangelism has changed to Pohang.
“I came down to Pohang in January last year and I was looking for a church to serve and met a church that prays for the country and its people. In the church, we prayed together for the country and the people, and in the workplace, I prayed for my employees. While I’m praying, I served the employees as much as I could. I deliver water, and made them coffee. Interns usually don’t get souvenirs so I gave out my share of souvenirs to interns. When I received rice cakes, I gave them all to the people who want evangelize. Since I’m in the manager’s position, I could have ordered the work, but I worked with the staff while helping them. I wanted to convey God through my good deeds. After six to seven months, God has made me bear fruit.”
– If you’re saying fruit, people who didn’t believe in Jesus changed.
“Five people, including our employees and our clients, received Jesus Christ as their savior. Since I’m going back to my hometown next year, the Lord gave me the heart to take a disciple, so I asked them to read the Bible one by one after work. I’m going to have a Bible study meeting at the end of December. We gather once a week in the evening to look at the Bible and pray for the company. There are people who are underprivileged at workplace. I encourage us to pray for them because they are people also to be saved.”
– Your life is set for evangelism. How do you evangelize?
“On weekends, I spent all day evangelizing except sleeping and worship time. When I first started evangelizing, two people participated together, but now 27 people are together. We repent for 30 minutes before we go out for evangelism, and pray with all our heart and strength for those who we met and spread the Gospel for 30 minutes afterwards. As I prayed like this, I made a prayer book because there were many things to pray. I organized prayer information by classifying the Bible verse for evangelism. The latter part also included prayer for the Korean church, the Republic of Korea, North Korea, World Mission, unreached people, Israel, the United States, pastors and elders. I used to leave out some prayer points when I didn’t organize like this. I made this book with the heart of the Lord and prayed. I pray with this book throughout my vacation. God gave me a heart to pray for the next generation, so I made a prayer book for the next generation, and I also made a book that organizes the prayer requests of the target of evangelism. There are people who ask me to pray for their children when I do evangelize. So, I make a intercessory prayer card for them and pray every morning.”
– You pray a lot as well as evangelism.
“The evangelist cannot take care of the people’s soul who he met. It’s in God’s control. So, the Lord gave me a heart to pray for the people’s soul who I met. This year, our team preached the Gospel to 13,000 people. Among them, 307 people accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. I pray for these people by calling their names every morning. I pray until 8 a.m., and come back home and go to work after changing my clothes. When I pray, I always feel like I don’t have enough time.”
– Have you ever had a hard time while spreading the Gospel?
“When I preach the Gospel, mostly, people ignore me. Sometimes, they’re asking where Jesus is, but I don’t argue with them there. I think my duty is just to deliver what I saw and heard. One summer day, I gave a bottle of water to people while I evangelize, and the owner of the nearby store called the city hall and complained that I interrupted his business. Since then, before preaching the Gospel, I’ve been visiting the store and paying monthly sales losses to the store’s owner.”
I always feel like I don’t have enough time when I pray and spread the Gospel
– You’ve been doing so hard on mission work.
“I usually evangelize by myself on weekdays. When I do field work during my day, I give out Gospel card in my spare time at restaurant, convenience store, and gas stations. When I get off work, I carry Gospel pickets or distribute Gospel tracts for about an hour after work. For those who live in a same line of the apartment, I put a Gospel card on the mask and give it to them every time I meet them in the elevator. So, I know at least who believes in Jesus Christ in my line. The Lord told me to preach the Gospel whether I get the right time or not, so I’m just preaching the Gospel. That’s why I preach the Gospel from the elevator that goes to work in the morning to the elevator that comes back home from work. Whenever I see the Bible verse tells, ‘My darling, my beautiful one,’ I get energy. The Lord seems to tell me ‘Come harvest with me. Raise your eyes and look at that field. It’s time to harvest.’ “If the Lord gives me courage with His words, I pray that the Lord hold me in your hands and help me to live as a preacher of the Gospel.”
– From what you say, I don’t think you’re just handing out Gospel tracts.
“As for the next generation, I take out a Gospel book and talk about the Gospel. When I ask them whether they can spare me time, for those who have time, I share the heaven, sin, God and Jesus. Even if I talk for a long time, children listen to it and even receive Jesus Christ as their savior. For them, I give the Bible (only contains the John) and masks. When I start preaching the Gospel, the 90% of them open their heart and receive it. As I preach the Gospel like this, I would know how the Lord’s heart is. ‘You just open your mouth. I do.’ The Lord gives me confidence that God is holding on to the soul.”
– When did you start living like this?
“I couldn’t go this far before I came down to Pohang. It was possible because I spent a lot of time alone in Pohang. So, I can concentrate on evangelism. My wife and family are in Anyang, and I stayed with my son for two years when he came to high school in Pohang, and now he went back to Anyang as my son joined the table tennis business team. I will return to my hometown next year, so I want to teach people and make disciples here before then. There are people who want to learn the Bible. I met them while preaching the Gospel. I went into a store to make a copy, where I delivered the Gospel to an elderly person and he received Jesus Christ as his savior. At that time, he got a phone call from his friend who is going to kill himself. He handed over telephone to me then. I urge him to drop by this store once for ado. When I preached the Gospel to him, he cried his eyes out and was encouraged and went back home safely. Since then, the store has become a safe house and he has been raised with words and prayers. He is planning to preach the Gospel to his father who hurt him a lot. I want to serve these disciples as much as I can to stand up as a strong church for the rest of the year.”
< Above content is published in issue 239>
– You’ve been away from your family for a long time, don’t you miss them?
“Even if I miss my children, I couldn’t go home often leaving a new family member who had just received the Gospel in church. Also, when the target of evangelism promises to come to church next week, I couldn’t go home either. There were times when I couldn’t go home for 3-4 months, but now my family understands my situation. Instead, I meet my family over video calls every evening. We look to the Bible together and share our thoughts and pray and declare our faith. Thanks to that, I was able to communicate with my family even when I was away.”
– Please share your future plans and prayer request.
“I don’t have a plan. I just obey the heart that the Lord gives me. However, I have a desire to do missionary work. I’m praying that God gives the same heart to my family. Please pray that my old self dies every day and only the Lord lives in me, like the Bible verse from Galatians 2:20.”
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