Bible Crusade at a Church of 2000 people
-Meeting with the Minister of Education, “Now I am Righteous”
The visit to Africa in 2016 (Kenya, Ivory Coast and Ghana), became longer as meetings with the Presidents of Malawi and Uganda were unexpectedly set. Therefore, Ethiopia became a stop and the whole journey consisted of visiting 6 countries. It was such a happy journey, with the will of God becoming accomplished wherever we went.
There was no schedule to go to Ethiopia but as the President of Uganda had requested for a second meeting during the first encounter, Ethiopia became the venue for the two-day stop. Although it seemed like a surprise event that was not planned, but we felt that through this visit God truly wanted to show us Ethiopia.
The mission work in Ethiopia began on 9th May 2000, with the dispatching of Missionary Hae Suk Lee. This was the first Bible Crusade with Pastor Ock Soo Park that was held 16 years after the beginning of mission work. Addis Ababa, is located approximately 2300m above sea level and therefore has the beautiful weather that suits the lifestyle. However, recently, it is the monsoon season and therefore it rains a lot.
Although Ethiopia is located in Africa, it has a slightly different feeling in comparison to the other countries. The people look different, they have their own language instead of using Swahili or English, and there was an Orthodox Church that has a taste of Judaism. Moreover, there is a so-called, ‘David’s Star in Ethiopia, and they are very proud that that they are the citizens of God, as they believe that the seed of Solomon, through Queen Sheba, was the start of the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia. They say that when it became the crux of the dynasty, the ambassadors of Solomon’s court came and organized the opportunity.
Other than the international calendar and time, Ethiopia has their own timescale and calendar. Accrdoing to their own calendar it is the year 2008 and they use the Jewish timescale. (e.g. Noon is the sixth hour and 3pm is the ninth hour)
Gospel Bible Crusade at a Local Church on Sunday
After visiting Uganda by the invitation of the President of Uganda, Pastor Ock Soo Park arrives in Addis Ababa Saturday evening. The next day, a Gospel Bible Crusade in front of 2000 members of the congregation was held in the morning and afternoon at the FBI (Faith Bible International), from which a Bishop had attended the International Christian Leaders’ Workshop in Korea. The self-sustaining ministers listened to the Word sweetly and had wanted to work with us.
Although the vast majority of the time of service at this church was filled with just singing, this Bible Crusade was centred around listening to the Word. The Choir of the FBI announced the start of the service and the audience were pleasantly surprised by the Gracias Choir who performed next, in the Ethiopian language.
Pastor Ock Soo Park preached the Gospel through two sessions. Although the audience did not react as enthusiastically as those in Kenya, there were many people who listened to the Gospel carefully. Despite not being used to listening to the sermon for over one hour, the people listened to the Gospel until the end and was touched.
We were able to have the hope that the church will be able to become a church full of the Gospel, through the seeds of the Gospel that were planted on that day. The senior minister in currently in America, but he welcomed Pastor Ock Soo Park saying that he could come and any time to preach the sermon.
Evening Service with the Brothers and Sisters of the Addis Ababa Church
In the late evening, we had service with the brothers and sisters of the Good News Mission Addis Ababa church. The missionaries Hae Suk Lee and Pil Hyun Nam and their families were touched. Although this was not an official visit, we were able to become joyful and thankful towards the will and plans of God that will be accomplished in Ethiopia.
“Now I Also Believe This. I Am Righteous.” -Meeting with the Minister of Education
On 9pm, Monday morning, there was meeting with the Minister of Education. This meeting flowed very naturally.
Pastor Ock Soo Park alluded to the youth problems, “As a Pastor, through my teaching about the world of the heart that I learnt through the Bible, many youths changed. Through the Mind Education I want to work for the young people of Ethiopia.
The Minister of Education had a positive and agreeing reaction to the youth education of Pastor Ock Soo Park.
The Minister gave Pastor Ock Soo Park two responses.
“In Ethiopia, there are about 80 languages used and because people are sensitive to the religious problems, I want to collaborate with you fully on the Mind Education without the religious aspect. The fact that I was able to listen to the Word this morning was by no means a coincidence and I was so happy to have been able to listen to it. I also believe this. I completely agree with your education for the youth and want to work with you.
Pastor Ock Soo Park said, “We will investigate ways to work for the youth in Ethiopia within the boundaries set by you.”
The Minister replied, “I will look for a university in which we can start this Mind Education and find out if this will be possible.”
Finally, the Minister gave Pastor Ock Soo Park a genuinely innocent gift and said, “I hope to see you again.”
Interview with the Christian Broadcasting Station of Ethiopia
At the hotel in which we stayed, there was an interview with the satellite Ethiopian Christian Channel called, ‘Al Shaida’. The first interview question was, “How did you receive salvation, Pastor?” Naturally, he was able to preach the Gospel. Moreover, we were able to talk about the scale of the mission work and youth activities as well as a variety of other topics. This broadcasting station is viewed by not only the people in Ethiopia but the Christians around the world who also use Amharic. There was also a performance by the Gracias Choir on this day.
Christian Leaders’ Seminar
After the interview, we had lunch, then had the ‘Ethiopian Christian Leaders’ Seminar’ in a hall next to the accommodation. There were about 100 Christian Leaders gathered and Pastor Ock Soo Park preached Gospel; about the mercy seat, offering and tabernacle. The participants who listened to the Word were thankful saying that they had become righteous through God.
After the Word, many Bishops approached Pastor Ock Soo Park and many churches suggested having a Bible Crusade with Pastor Ock Soo Park and also expressed their willingness to partake in the education activities of the youth.
Pastor Ock Soo Park often spoke of hope to the many people that he had met in Ethiopia, “I have not come here officially but am just stopping by, but moving forward, I want to share the Word with even more people and also send many workers in order to do the work of the Gospel.
Philip was in Samaria, the location of the powerful works of the Gospel, but was led by the Holy Spirit to the wilderness and Ethiopia, where he preached the Gospel to a servant in charge of the Queen’s treasury. Although Philip preached the Gospel to one person, this became the point in which the Gospel was able to enter Ethiopia. We do not doubt that this journey to Ethiopia was led by God, who wants to work powerfully in Ethiopia.