I can do everything through
him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13) This is
a calligraphy written in the Korean language.
There are a few stories
about their rewards from their faith.
Mr. Lee is 45 years old and
he is a senior deacon. When he first attended church, he didn¡¯t offer a tenth
donation.But suddenly he was allowed to
study at MichiganUniversity to study management
course for a year. For a long time, his only hope was to study in the United States. That dream was
accomplished when he attended our church. So he went with his family.After finishing a year course at Michigan
University, he came back to Korea in 2002.Also he bought a spacious apartment before he left to America. When he
returned from America, the price of
the apartment increased double.So I
said it was the result of his serving church. He accepted God¡¯s help in his
faith. So that¡¯s why he offered much donation for the church and acts as a lay
Mr.Oh is a deacon, but he
didn¡¯t attend church in the past. He had no religion. A few years ago he
suffered from the congestion of the brain.He almost died, but as God helped him, he recovered soon. Also he lost
his job, so he couldn¡¯t get his job for a while.When he first attended our church, he got his
job as a servant at an elementary school. The job was temporary and unstable,
but after his family attended church for six months, he became a public servant
at an elementary school. So I said God is very pleased of his attending church,
especially in a small church. As he already experienced the door of death, he
regularly has attended church on Sunday even though he don¡¯t play in front of
people. Also, he bought a quite a big house at a chief price recently. So I
said it was a gift to him from God as a reward to serve church as a manger who
is responsible for a church building.
Miss Chun wasan old maid whose age is 38 when she attended CHMC
alone.She was a former Methodist but she
moved to the next door to the CHMC. After
attending church for six months, she met Mr. Kim, a boy friend and they came to
live together as a family. Mr. Kim had suffered a burn on the face in his
childhood. So he had a problem to meet persons. One day he was sick and he had no
man to help him.That is why he wanted
to marry her. It was his fortunate to meet Miss Chun. They have the same
hometown, so they had homogeneity in their thought. That¡¯s the reason why we
got two believers near the church. So I said God is pleasing for people¡¯s
activity to serve in a small church. That is the reason why she met her
husband.They moved to other place which
is about 10 km away. However they still attend our church. As they were absent
for a month, I visited her home last week, she gave her pastor, me, much food,
considering the pastor¡¯s wife and promised to attend church again.
there is a woman whose age is 70 years old. Although he has attended a big
church, she has donated much money to CHMC. Even this week, she offered
US$500.I think this is pure belief because
there is no merit from us because we don¡¯t give her anything except for a
About its program and its effectiveness.
Since our church was
established, the church had many programs; bible study, QT, and English program
for children. When I started this church first, I opened many programs, but people
were vacant in all the programs. There was
no person who registered the programs. So I cut the number of programs and focused
on one or two church programs. Before we moved to this place, there were many children
because we provided them with not only Christian Mission School( CMS) program
which gives children English study service, but also Bible study and QT program
for the congregation.
After we moved to this
place, we have both Bible and QT program but also English study program.At first we focused on high school students
with English because there is a high school nearby, but we failed in gathering
students because the school offered too much programs for students, so students
cannot go to church during the weekday period. Even on Sunday, they didn¡¯t come
to our church because there was no program for the high school students and
they are very tired.So we opened
English program for adults by advertising the program on the Internet site. We
had 10 students with the program instead of the high school students. Now we stopped the program temporarily because
of my wife¡¯s illness.
Also, as for the bible
study and QT, we have done it for a year. Because we finished a book and
congregations request to take a rest for a while, now we stopped the program.
But from the next year, we start it once more.Also, we invited a student guitarist to teach our church students a
guitar. So some students learned the guitar. Also, we have done mission
activity from time to time in the next door area, but there was no remarkable
results up to date.
About its faith story
Here I would like to
introduce my wife¡¯s story about faith. This is a translated story by me.
Avery good God who helps us go well whenever
we face with any difficulties.
¡°If a life gives you sour
lemon, make it into lemonade.¡± This saying is a lesson saying not only you have
to make an effort to change a trial into the happiness of your life, but also you
live a much more mature life based on the trial. I played to God at the church
to prepare for the doctor¡¯s diagnosis a day before I went to YangJiHospital. I shed tears
for repentance because of my ostentation for I didn¡¯t offered my fullness to
God and I felt regret for my life in front of God even though I had tried my
best to give students at a Yongrak high school God¡¯s love and to offer money
and mind for Chuhyang Methodist Church which is a newly established.
I seemed to have a dream in
the operating room at the hospital which is strange to me
Because I gave counsel to my students even yesterday and was
very busy to prepare for the next semester. Because of very good God, I was
able to meet a patient in the hospital room and she let me know the details of
breast cancer, so I had no dreadful mind of breast operation. Also why I got
peaceful feeling at the surgery is God¡¯s love shown to me through all the
churches including BerklandChurch¡¯s player teams
who played for me for 24 hours in Boston, Russia, Japan, and Korea. Also included
are Youngrak high school teachers and its students, pastors in Kwanak Methodist
churches and their congregations, even Drew D.Min students, and ChuhyangChurch¡¯s congregation.
Throughout my life, I have
felt God¡¯s love a little vaguely, but through my breast operation, I felt a
confidence that even though I walked through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will feel no evil, for you are with me (Psalms 23;4). I didn¡¯t have a good
association with God because I was too busy, but I was able to endure the long
operation of breast cancer with myself engraving the word of God on my mind
everyday.When I praise God and I see
only God with my whole mind which don¡¯t see the worldly things and people, I
was able to experience that all the things were filled for myself and
everything goes well with me.
The surgical time was AM , but I was able to receive
the operation by PM 4 o¡¯clock, so I was hungry as I didn¡¯t eat breakfast and
lunch. When I recovered my conscience after two hours¡¯ surgical operation, I
praised God by singing a Hymnal ¡°Joyful, Joyful, we adore there.¡± I was filled
with God¡¯s victory and gratitude. Oh! I came to live again!I thought God has something to do through me.
I imagine Moses felt this kind of deep emotion when he finished crossing the Red
See with the Israelites.When I finished
the operation, I didn¡¯t eat any water for almost 12 hours, So I thought that water
is so important even with a drop of water which I was felt only with the
clothing being wetted as I wasn¡¯t prohibited to drink water for 6 hours after
This reminded me of the
parable The Rich Man and Lazarus because of the importance of a drop of water. As
soon as I recovered from the illness, so that I go out of the hospital, I
decided to do my best to be witness of Jesus Christ, so that many people don¡¯t
go to the hell in front of God¡¯s wrath resulting from the people¡¯s hypocritical
faith. Two days after my operation, I had a dream showing that a snake like a
lizard which is larger than me went on dying a miserable death.That is to say, God showed me a dream showing
the power of the evil spirit which had harassed me for a while collapsed. When I came to recover my health, I remembered
all the thanks which were just passed due to the busy life.I was thankful for a beautiful flower on an
unknown road, all the trees which makes fruits, the beautiful moon in the night
sky, fresh air, and endlessly spread sky. I was very thankful for all these
In the midst of life, I
suffered breast cancer which drove me to a desperate situation, but I felt even
this is a plan of God.It¡¯s time that I
should learn a lesson from God to improve my faith. God will know clearly how
much I should learn and improve in my faith steps. God knows my limit within
which I have nothing but complain of all the things when something goes wrong.
I offer My Father God glorification, gratitude, and hymn as He gives me
heavenly blessing, grace, and peace at times. God¡¯s efforts which made Abraham
from Abram will continue to reveal in my life.¡° Load is an earthenware maker and I am earthenware. Let your will be accomplished.
I will obey Load.¡±
The above is written by my wife after her surgical operation
because of breast cancer. Now she receives radioactive treatment everyday.
About my stories
I have several stories
which I think are important in my pastoral sermon.
1) After graduating from
Dongsan high school, I failed in the collage entrance test, so I studied a
professional school as scholarship student, which is now Kyonggi Institute of
Technology. I majored in Electronics.
One day in 1977, I met a
university student called Kim Jae Suck who attended Sungdo Presbyterian Church.
He said me to come to Seoul Station on Sunday to talk the next day. So I met
him again the next day.He led me to his
church, Sungdo Presbyterian Church. Because of his guidance, I became a
Christaian. I went to Sungdo Presbyterian Church and studied Bible.
2) After I graduated from
the 2-year professional school, Kyonggi Institute of Technology, in 1978, I got
a job as an electronic engineer at Gold Star Electric Company for a time.But I couldn¡¯t be satisfied with the
job.I decided to study again at a university
further. So I had to take a test for University again. But at that time the physical
situation wasn¡¯t good. I had to finish three-year military duty as a soldier. It
was difficult for me to endure three years. I received a physical examination
for conscription. I wanted to do reservist duty because there was no enough
time for me to take the university entrance test and I was very weak because of
my illness, pulmonary tuberculosis.
I should have gone to the
three-year army if the conscription officer had sentenced to a soldier on
active duty. I played to God very sincerely to give me a chance to study at the
University for five minutes at the physical test room. God responded my player
immediately.He allowed me to serve as a
reservist soldier for only one year. Even though the conscription ordered me to
do three year duty, the conscription saw my record again and he corrected my
military duty into one-year reservist. In Korea, all the men should
do for one-year or for three-year military duty. I was only one among 600 people who changed
after the decision.
Partly this results from my
previous illness, pulmonary tuberculosis, but as I was cured perfectly there
was no reason for me to do reservist duty. Still I believe God heard my player
at that time. Because of this help, Not only I became healthier, but also I was
able to get into Kyung Hee University
with the major in English and English literature. If I went to the three-year army
immediately, I think I had no chance to study at the university, so that I
couldn¡¯t become a pastor later.
3) When I took a test for
Methodist Theological School (MTS), I was 35 years old and I had no time to
study the Bible and others. So I asked my company boss to give me two weeks
vacation so that I can prepare for the entrance test. I got the vacation and
started to study entrance subjects. But my old apartment began to drop water because
pipe laying was very old. So I had to work to lay pipes. And my children went
to a hospital because of cold.I almost
the entrance test because I lacked the knowledge of the Bible. On the entrance
examination day, I took a test for a subject and the bible test was scheduled
to be taken after lunch. I started to read the bible reference book over lunch.
I was surprised to see the bible questions. Many of the questions were the same
as the contents that I had read just before the Bible test. Lunch time study
helped me to pass the entrance test. If I couldn¡¯t have passed the test, I
couldn¡¯t have become a pastor.
4) When I studied at MTS,
there was a time when I couldn¡¯t afford the tuition.I had only a third of the tuition, US$300. As
I am not a person to ask a neighbor or others to lend money, I decided to
summit a temporary absence request for a semester. So I went to MTS
registration office to submit the request. But I was surprised to know I became
a scholarship student, so the benefit was two thirds of the tuition, US$600.
This allowed me to pay all the tuition, US$900. God helped me to study
continuously regardless of money.
The above stories are four
models I frequently mention on my sermon.
The first story means that
if someone met a Christian, it will be a chance for him to become a Christian
according to his acceptance. This can be applied to church growth. If the
church is prepared to receive a new person, this method is useful to increase
the number of church congregation.
[As Jesus walked beside the
Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net
the lake, for they were fishermen. ¡°Come, follow me,¡± Jesus said,¡± and I will
make you fishers of men.]<Mark ~17>
Church should have a
relationship with a society, so that church should invite people to church for
The second story reflects
God¡¯s immediate response for a sudden request from a believer. For example, [ ¡°Come,¡±
he said, Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and come
toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink,
cried out caught him. ¡° ¡°Load, save me ! Immediately Jesus reached out his hand
and caught him. ¡°You of little faith¡±, he said, ¡°why did you doubt ?]
<Matthew ~31> Peter asked
Jesus to save him and Jesus save him immediately. Also, this
story makes me preach the healing stories of the Bible,[ Jesus turned and saw her, ¡°Take heart,
daughter,¡± he said, ¡°your faith has healed you.¡± And the woman was healed from
that moment. ] <Matthew > People come to church in the perilous
situation to ask God to give them a way to avoid danger. This experience is
very important in my sermon.
The third story means that
God leads us according to his will. If there is an obstacle
God gives us a way to
avoiding the danger or failure. [ No temptation has seized you except what is
common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what
you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that
you can stand up under it.] <1Corinthians > If we follow God¡¯s will, there will not be any definite
obstacle. This message becomes a power and ability to believers whenever they
The forth story is related
with a pastor¡¯s money problem. When a
pastor has a problem, God will give what he requires. In the Bible when Elijah
had a problem because of no rain for several years, God said to him ¡° Leave
here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will
drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.¡± We
haven¡¯t met any financial crisis even though we were a small congregation because
of God¡¯s help. This experience gives congregation conviction on God¡¯s help.
These stories make
congregation have courage and faith in front of difficult situations. God is a
power and ability, so that we can do something difficult where there is no
helper in the modern society. If we lose faith and God, we will have no hope and
we should do anything only with human knowledge and personal power.
ChuhyangMethodistChurch is a place
where people feel God¡¯s help and grace in the face of the hardship of this
world. If people have a mistreated situation, how can he understand it ?With regard to this, we preach the Bible to
him and advise him to play to God. If anyone suffers from illness, we play for
him by mentioning the Bible. [ Therefore confess your sins to each other and
play for each other so that you may be healed. The player of a righteous man is
powerful and effective.] <James >If people fall into the worldly things, we
preach to them by mentioning the Bible. [Jesus answered. ¡° It is written: man
does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of
God.¡±] <Matthew 4:4>
Especially as a small
church pastor, I want to apply on-line religion to our church, so that I want
to prove even a small church can do a good work in front of God. .