My dear American Friends:
"Death is following me." He used to complain. He came to Church three years ago. He came to me for counseling every week, and that's what he said every time. He said that he had all kinds of diseases (He said that he was like a department of diseases) and death is right behind him ready to catch him.) For last three years, he was faithful coming to Church, mainly to complain, and gradually the Word of God took hold of him. Just before his death last month, he said that death is still after him, but now Jesus is standing between him and the death, and he was no longer afraid. In fact, his last word, in this world, was "I LOVE YOU!" You wouldn't think of an eighty years old Oriental man saying "I love you" in his last breath. This was possible only because the Love of God was planted in his heart which used to be full of complaints!
Every life is miracle in Christ Jesus. It is true that death is after everybody. In fact, we start to die as soon as we were born. And we start to live again as soon as we were born again! Because God created us, not to die, but to live! We can shout with Paul "Oh Death, where is thy sting, where is thy victory!" In fact, I have been practicing V sign with my fingers, to be ready for the moment of my death. I know that it was the posture of my father when he was killed by the communists, because I saw him practicing. He left me nothing but a chop-stick and faith, but that is enough to make a victorious V sign!
Last month, when North Korea fired seven missiles, I know that not a few people felt trouble closer... we, in South Korea, felt death closer. But we Korean Christians feel that it was not unpredicted in the Bible, and those Christians who feel the death closer, we also feel the Victory closer! I understand that there were more people in Church on the following Sunday! Korean Churches may not be growing speedily, in number, (after over ten million), but they are growing in the spirit of unity...that is, there are more united meetings. The restoration of the original Church is no longer only our motto, but practically all denominations are saying it. I was surprised to see a huge sign saying "Return to the Bible" in front of a big Presbyterian Church the other day. I had a chance to preach at a big inter-denominational meeting the other day and I shouted "One 'sheep' is sheep and one thousand 'sheep' is sheep. The reason why the word 'sheep' has no plurality is because God wants us to be 'ONE'"
At this moment, I am trying very hard to keep our 84 children to be 'ONE'" I took them to a beach for two days of swimming. Last year, due to financial reasons, we had to separate them and send them to several camps, but this year, we decided to rent a big place and take all our children to one camp. They are having great time, but I have been terribly busy counting little heads and bottoms coming in and out of waves. In fact, my abacus has been much help. Our nurse has been very busy also, because not a few children come with bruises. And for some reasons, they cry louder when they see my wife and me. It is either strong appeal or demonstration. Perhaps, it is nothing strange, because we probably pray louder when we know that God hears our prayer.
We need to pray louder...we need to cry louder... we need to cry for our nations...as Jesus wept bitterly for Jerusalem. If we have nothing to do, pray! Pray hard for our countries! Bible says that "a good shepherd hears the sheep's voice and calls his own by name" The other day, our one year old boy, Jong Oh, called me on the phone "Daddy." And I drove for thirty minutes to answer him and give him a hug. I was willing to drive all day in rain if I had to. I bet God would be very happy, when we call Him "Father" from our heart. In fact, there were many times in my life when I could not think of any other word to say, in my prayer, than "Father." If there are any other words to say when we meet Him, they probably would be "Father, have mercy on me," like the blind beggar Bartimaeus. I know that I would, I have been practicing that too.
Yours because of Calvary,
YOON KWON CHAE
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