My dear American Friends:

I really think that it was SPIRITUAL DIET. I recently baptized a lady. And when she came out of water, she said, "I feel so light!" She did feel much lighter to me too. And I feel that it was natural, because first of all, she left all her anxieties on Jesus. Secondly, Jesus forgave her sin. And when she was RIGHT before God, she was LIGHT. I wonder why this method of the spiritual diet isn't getting popular. This North Korean young man I baptized sometime ago, he was thin and small (probably caused by the starvation), but I felt heavy with all the burdens of the North Korean Christians.... Frankly, he was, to me, heavy before and after the baptism. He was heavy, before the baptism, with the burdens of his people, and after the baptism, he was heavy with the responsibility of carrying the message of Christ's death for them to his people, as Paul expressed one time, "daily carrying the dying of Jesus." (2 Cor. 4:10) I don't know if this statement makes any sense to you or not, but I really didn't understand the meaning of this verse before....

But it is true that baptisms are getting to be not an easy task for me. I used to be able to baptize fifty, sixty people one time, easily. I remember baptizing 125 inmates of Anyang prison one time. The prison gave me only one hour, lunch hour and we had to fill up a huge bath tub. Besides, those people were so big and tall. I had to come down from way-up-there to way-down-there 125 times in one hour. When I finished the job, my back gave up. I felt the terrible pain back there. I went to the doctor and he prescribed it "BAPTISMAL BACK-ACHE."

But it is also true that our children are getting heavier...(it may be that I am getting lighter) I used to be able to lift most of them and hold them in my arms. I can still hold most of them, but some of them have their feet on the ground still. The children I love to hold are my babies. Recently, we celebrated the FIRST YEAR BIRTHDAY party of a couple of them. For Korean people, the first year birthday is the biggest celebration. (One reason was because it used to be that not all the babies lived to celebrate the first year). There are all kind of traditional ceremonies. One ceremony is that they place several different kind of things on the table, and by what the baby reaches first, they predict the future of the child... if the child reaches a pencil, he will be a writer; money, a banker; thread, a seamstress etc. People used to be serious about that, but now we do it for fun.

Recently, a youth group in America sent us a box of chewing gums and I have been sharing with my children. I give them to the little children too, but I have to watch them not to swallow. I give an extensive instruction before I give, and check them by having them open their mouths every minute or so to see if they still have them. Of course it's a losing battle, but they tell me that chewing gums really do not hurt them. (When gums were introduced to Korea first time, it was advertised as "everlasting food.") One of my grown up children told me that "LIFE IS LIKE A CHEWING GUM," It is sweet at first, but the sweetness gradually goes away.... I guess he tasted the bitterness of life too early.... I knew a man, however, whose sweetness never died. His name was Pastor Kong and just moved to Heaven. He was a kind of man who tried to make everybody happy wherever he was. Wherever he was, it seem that small light was growing. When he died by cancer, he wrote his own funeral sermon and said, "I had a nice picnic in this world, but there's no place like Home." I must say that while all other people live from life to death, HE LIVED FROM DEATH TO LIFE! Hallelujah! He left a son in a College and I am trying to arrange a scholarship for him.

We just celebrated CHOO SUK, the Moon-harvest-festival, the biggest holiday for the Korean people. Most of the people take trips and visit their parents or the tombs of the parents. For our children, they have NO PLACE TO GO BUT US, so our Home is usually full of our children and their own children. We usually gather around the moon and eat the first crop, first fruit, first nut and they go nuts on that day. But this year, our children decided to save the food money, and with the special offering from Church, send to the hurricane victims of America and the world. Instead, they sang and prayed all night. I know that God heard these prayers.

Yours because of Calvary,


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