February 2004

My dear American friends: 

"Don't die now...wait until you talk to God...and talk to me." If you are a minister, you probably said it a few times in your ministry. I said it many times on the phone. But perhaps not as urgently, not as desperately as I did the other day. She was dying. I shouted many times on the phone and rushed to the place that she described. To make a long story short, she did not die. Usually, those who call somebody do not die, in my experience. She came to our Church a few times in past, and remembered my phone number. Life was very difficult for her. She was married a few years ago, but her husband was jobless and an alcoholic. He came home drunk every night and beat her. Especially after a handicapped son was born, her husband kept saying "You must have done something very bad in your previous life...." She couldn't take it anymore. So she decided to commit suicide. I spent many hours with her praying and reading scriptures. One of the scriptures that I happened to read, as it was right there when I opened, was Isaiah. 46: 3-4 "You have been upheld by Me from birth...." She said, afterward, that Life was so difficult when she TRIED TO LIVE IT, but when she realized that her life WAS LIVED BY GOD, it was so much easier. My English is probably too short to express the tensity and relief in the scriptures, but I felt that I lived another life through this experience.

I do not know about the other preachers, but I must confess that every time when I preach, or counsel or wrestle with somebody's problem, I feel that a little bits of my life is chiseled away...I feel so exhausted. Like a bee that dies after a sting, I feel so powerless, like an empty cocoon. Perhaps, that's why there are not many fat (too fat) preachers. Actually, Bible says that Jesus also felt His Power gone out of Him when a woman with flow of blood touched Him. This world has no hope unless we GIVE THE LIFE OF CHRIST to this world, and yet, it is so difficult, so exhausting. Perhaps, that's why Paul said "drink a little wine for your stomach." He probably had ulcer worrying about this sin-sick world. Still I feel that chiseling life for the others is better than chiseling my life for my own problems. When we have problems, (and who doesn't!) and when we think about only our own problems, the problem become bigger and bigger, until it crushes us like a giant. I learned to think about the other' problems (although I am still not very good at it), my own problem slowly melt away, like winter snow.

We had been having a rather mild winter...until the Lunar New Year's day, the temperature suddenly dropped to 15 below zero. We even had snow. Our children had great time playing in the snow and fighting with snow balls. I tried to spend sometime with the children. One of our workers suggested that we have a little prayer meeting in the snow. We did and we all had white snow caps afterward. Actually, we had the DEDICATION SERVICE of the new building right after the New Year's day and it was cold outside too. We are so thankful for this new addition. It's so warm inside and beautiful. One child said that it is like a Heaven. Actually, lot of neighborhood children come to our new library. This is one Children's Library that is not only free, but also have various seminars and story telling hours.

Talking about snow, I remember the time when I held an evangelistic meeting at a country Church called Meeam-ri Church. I had to ride a train and local bus for several hours to get there. It was snowing, the bus stopped and the time was getting short. I decided to walk to Church. I fell in a ditch, rolled in the mud and splashed all over. By the time when I reached the Church building, I was all wet. But the Church was waiting for me for hours. I didn't want to take time to change clothes. I just started to preach. My sermon note was wet too, and my glasses was blur, I couldn't read anything. But they said, afterward that it was the most inspirational sermon. And what inspired them more was that the preacher was encircled by mysterious cloud, which actually was steam rising from the wet suit drying. You never know what God can do and will use to inspire people. All you have to do is just STAND UP FOR CHRIST!

Yours because of Calvary,

YOON KWON CHAE

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