My dear American Friends:
I have seen many people who shed tears as they read scriptures, but I have never seen anyone who shed tears while reading Romans 16. As you know, this chapter is full of difficult names. One of our elders started to read it the other day, and he couldn't continue. I thought, at first, that it was because of the difficult names and he was stuck at one of the names, but I looked up and saw that his eyes were full of tears. Later on, he explained that he was touched by the fact that Paul was so thoughtful of everyone of those people with difficult names. Like the scriptures say, a good shepherd calls his sheep by their names. I am so shameful of myself that I do not always remember the names of all my children. The other day, I called one of my 85 children by wrong name, and he did not answer all day. Especially to our children, their names may be THEIR ONLY PRIVATE PROPERTY and it means a lot to them.
Talking about the people who start to sob, one time, I was teaching Bible in China to one of the North Korean students who came over the border risking their lives. One of them asked me to teach them to pray. I said, "It's easy. All you have to say is just 'God, thank you.'" and then we all bowed our heads to pray expecting the young North Korean to start praying. But for long time, we heard no words. I opened my eyes to look up (I know I shouldn't have done that) and saw his eyes full of tears just about to explode. This word 'GOD' MEANT SO MUCH to him. Especially, in North Korea, they wouldn't even think of uttering this word 'God' The Word meant so much to him that he couldn't say it. In our world, we say it so much, so often, so easily that we think of nothing of uttering the word. But there is a world, even today, where they can not say it, and so when they are free to say it, they can not, blocked by the tears.
I feel that those few days that we teach Bible to the escaped North Koreans are the most precious hours of our work. And they usually go back to the frozen land of North Korea after the classes. We hold these classes once or twice every year. When they go back, they usually tear the pages of the Bible and wrap something with it, like candies or rice cakes, pretending them just to be wrapped candies. Of course, if they are caught, they will be searched, and if the guards find out that these are not just wrappers but pages of the Bible, they will be arrested and sent to the concentration camp where usually the death are waiting. But they feel that the WORDS OF GOD IS WORTH TO RISK THEIR LIVES! Bible is worth to risk our lives, because it is our life! And that's why we want to spend all our lives preaching this Word! I am enclosing a photograph of myself preaching at the National Missionary Convention.
The Preaching of the Gospel is my life. And there is another thing or theme which I am risking my life, and which I have been shouting all my life. It is the Restoration Movement. I feel that the only thing which can unite all Christians and Churches is the Words of God, and that we need to return to the Bible getting rid of all denominational names and creeds. I have often been called by the Korean Christians "Mr. RESTORATION," and I have not been particularly trying to correct them. That's why, I did not hesitate to act as the President of the last year's 75th Anniversary Convention of the Korean Christian Churches and Churches and Christ, and this year, I am the Honorary (did I spell right?) President of the International Symposium on the Restoration Movement in May. Please pray for us and this meeting.
You probably read somewhere in my past letters that my building (construction-wise) days are over. I am afraid that I am building again. We are building some class-rooms for Christian education. In our public school systems, they may teach Confucius' teaching, they may teach Budda's teaching, but perhaps not much Christ's teaching and I feel that Christ's teaching is the matter of life and death. So we are building some AFTER-SCHOOL CLASS ROOMS. A part of it will also be used for a TOY LIBRARY renting toys free of charge for those children who never have toys to play with. Please pray also for these projects.
Yours because of Calvary,
YOON KWON CHAE
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