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I Know

While I was ministering in Geochang, I received a message from the ministers who trained us, saying, “Come to Daegu.” I was told on Thursday to come by the following Monday, and I had to pray for the travel expenses. Friday and Saturday passed, but there was no answer from God. After Sunday service, I announced that I will not be at church due to my trip to Daegu. It was obvious to announce my upcoming absence, but I was thinking, “If the congregation knows that I’ll be leaving to Daegu, wouldn’t they give me some travel money?” However, everyone went home after service and I received nothing.

I prayed all night long, but I didn't have any travel money, even as I walked out of the chapel in the morning. I had to walk a long distance from Jangpali, all the way to the town of Geochang. On the way to Geochang lived a brother who was the church treasurer. As I got closer to his house, many thoughts raced through my mind.

“Oh hey, brother, I have to get to Daegu, but I have no travel money.”

“Oh, minister, you should’ve told me earlier. Here you go.”

While I was thinking of such a scene, another thought came up, “I’m a servant of God. How can I seek help from people?” I even pictured that brother recognizing me first and saying, “Oh, minister, you’re going to Daegu, right? Come in and have a cup of coffee. By the way, do you have travel money?” That too, was depending on people.

I felt that as a person who will have to rely on God for the rest of his life, if I looked to people for help for such small problems, that would not be a life of faith. I set my heart to think, “If I don’t have travel money, I’ll walk. If I can’t go, then that’s too bad. I won’t rely on people.” All nervousness and troubles disappeared and I felt at peace. Ultimately, I decided not to pass by that brother’s house and I intentionally went around.

Walking further past the brother’s house, I saw that the bus to Daegu was slowly coming towards me. I was troubled, thinking “Should I stop that bus?” But the bus stopped in front of me and the doors opened. Nobody was behind me, so I figured it stopped for me and I got on. As soon as I got on the bus, someone called out from one side, “Hey, Minister Park, hurry, come.” It turned out to be one of the older sisters of our church.

“Come sit next to me. So you’re going to Daegu?”

“Yes, I’m headed to Daegu.”

While I was speaking to the sister, the bus attendant came to me with a pen and bus ticket in her hands. When I said, “I…have no bus fare,” the sister said, “I know,” and paid for my fare. That sister was single and she made her living by sewing. A few times a year, she would go to the countryside to visit her mother. She told me that her mother was so poor that each time she visited her, she would give the rest of her salary to her mother aside from her bus fare. But strangely that day, she had taken the money out for her mother, and then put it back in her wallet. On the bus, she was thinking, “Why didn’t I give my mother the money? Am I becoming stingier as I age? What’s wrong with me?” While she was regretting this, she had seen me walking in Geochang. At that moment, she thought, “Ah! God did this so I could give Minister Park his bus fare!” and said, “Driver, please stop the bus. Someone needs to get on!” She explained why the bus stopped and how I got on.

Once we arrived at Daegu, I said “Goodbye now,” but she said, “Don’t go” and invited me to her home for lunch. I was also able to eat a plateful of sticky rice cakes, which are my favorite. Although I don’t know where she got it, she slid some money into my jacket pocket. She then sent me off, saying, “I know it’s difficult living in the countryside, right? Doing God’s work isn’t easy.”

Before going to sleep that night, I realized this as I was praying, “God listened to my prayer and prepared the fare through that sister!” If I had gone to the treasurer brother’s house, the bus would have left. Then not only would I have been unable to receive everything that God had prepared for me, but I would have also resented God for not listening to my prayer. I felt that things could have gone very wrong.

It was a small experience, but through it, I deeply realized that God is always preparing and working for me. Even after that incident, there were many times while doing the work of God, when I nearly starved or went through hardships from having no money. But I never showed this to the congregation and prayed only to God. Each time, God listened to every prayer.

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