The day my daughter turned one, I established a church in Daegu. We were very poor back then, so although the following day was the Lunar New Year, we had no money, rice, nor charcoal. All we had left was kimchi, so we ate it everyday. My mother-in-law was scheduled to come, but each time she came, she felt so bad for us that she would use up all her money to buy food for us. I felt so bad about it, and hated it at the same time.
Before I got married, I went to my mother-in-law to pay my respects. She had received salvation, but as she watched her little brother live such a difficult life as a believer of Jesus, she became sick of such a life. She asked me, “How do you plan on living once you get married?” I answered, “God will help me live my life.” Then, my mother-in-law said, “Although you’re single now, once you have children, that’ll be a different story.” So, I gave her my testimony.
“A while ago, my shoes became all worn out, so I prayed for new shoes. One day, I opened a package that was delivered to me, and inside was a letter and box from a student I had preached the Gospel to. The letter read, ‘Upon becoming a commissioned officer, I was given a pair of shoes. But the ones I currently have are also new. I thought of you and sent you these shoes. I hope they fit.’ Before opening the box, I knew that these shoes will fit me perfectly, because it wasn’t the student who sent me these shoes, but it was God who had answered my prayers. When I put the shoes on, they fit perfectly.
“Mother-in-law - God knows me very well. Each time I prayed for a shirt or a tie, God always gave one to me. When I prayed for gloves, shoes, or socks, God always gave me a pair because God knows that I have two hands, and two feet. If I had five feet, God would’ve given me five shoes, and if I had ten hands, he would have given me ten gloves.” After giving her this testimony, I “passed” the marriage test.
That’s why it was okay for me to starve, but I hated how my wife had to go hungry as well. The following day was the Lunar New Year, so the smell of delicious food being cooked was all around us! That night, instead of sleeping, I prayed. “God, please give us money and food!”
I woke up, ate some kimchi, drank a glass of water, and went out to Daegu station to witness. People crowded the station in colorful traditional clothes for the New Year. I stopped a few people to witness to them, but no one seemed interested. Even though they’d listen for a while, once the train came, they would leave. If a person seemed interested, I would think ‘Maybe this person will receive salvation and give me some money to use for witnessing. I had prayed to God; perhaps God will act through this person.’ I witnessed until the night, and having eaten nothing for the whole day, felt too tired to do any more. I walked eight kilometers from Daegu station to my home. I came home thinking, ‘God must have given me something back home!’ But when I saw my wife, it was clear nothing had happened. All I felt was, ‘God didn’t give us food today! Let me just sleep early!’ The floor was cold because we hadn’t lit the coal. I lay down under several layers of blankets. My mother-in-law had given us thick blankets that made it hard for me to breathe when my wife married me. Today, those blankets were so nice and warm.
Around 10:30pm, someone rang the doorbell, so my wife went out to see who it was. Upon talking to that person for a while, my wife walked in with an envelope. The sister, a wife of a professor at the Kyeongbook National University had returned home early for New Years, and was planning to pray throughout the night. While she was praying, a heart continually arose in her to give some money to Pastor Ock Soo Park. She just continued praying saying, “God, I’m praying at the moment, and I don’t know where they live, so I’ll go to them tomorrow.” But strangely, each time she bowed her head in prayer God gave her the heart to ‘go and give the money to Pastor Ock Soo Park’ so she had put the money in an envelope and brought it over. As she stepped out of her house, a brother from church passed by, so she asked, “Do you know where Pastor Ock Soo Park lives?” That brother led her all the way here. The sister gave us the envelope and left saying, “I wasn’t going to bring it, but God made me. I can’t think of any other reason.”
When I opened the envelope, there were 10,000 won bills. Back then, 10,000 won was worth more than the present day 10,000,000 won. My wife was in tears, and my mother-in-law, who later heard of this was also in tears. My wife went out to buy this and that and we were as happy as we could be. As I sat in my room, I gave thanks to God saying, “God, you are my God, who is most definitely alive!” My wife cooked a meal, and I had not eaten for several days. I was so touched that I could not even swallow. Although I did not show it outwardly, I cried so much inside. ‘How could I not have believed in such a God! How could I not have followed such a God in my heart!’ I felt so sorry in my heart. Although I had a lot of difficulties and worries even after that day, God was always there with me, and he comforted me. I saw the living God by my side, and he is always working for me.