[Interview with Pastor Ock Soo Park]
“When I was praying, the President, though he felt pains, was humble before God and holily gave his last hour to God.”
The deceased President of Ghana, John Atta-Mills, inaugurated as the President in 2009, contributed for 3 years and 7 months for Ghana’s economic development and its democratization. Also he contributed for the democratization of many African countries in which coup d’état and civil wars are prevalent. He was respected as a potentate candidate for the upcoming Presidential Election at the end of this year, yet he passed by on July 24th, around 2:30 pm due to his illness.
4 Hours before the President passed away, he met Pastor Ock Soo Park and heard the gospel. It was an unexpected meeting that nobody knew even 2 days ago.
Unexpectedly, the First Lady contacted us that she would attend the opening ceremony of 2012 Ghana World Camp. After she gave a congratulatory message, the First Lady received salvation through a conference with Pastor Ock Soo Park. As the First Lady returned, she asked, “The President does not feel well, but if I bring him here, could you pray for him?” And Pastor Ock Soo Park replied, “I will go myself.” Then she said she would send a car in the next day morning.
Although she was the First Lady, she did not boast about her position or authority, but with humility she wanted to hear the words of God. She only hoped to have the President heart the same words which gave her the joy of salvation.
In the morning, the next day, the car arrived – the First Lady came herself as well. When she heard that we prepared hymns for the president, she was really graceful for such thoughtful consideration for the president. She had Hyemi Choi and Jinyoung Park, the members of Gracias Choir, ride in her own car to the office.
Under convoy from the police officers, the cars drove on the highway with a speed of 140km/hr. We could feel some emergency, yet without knowing anything in particular, we came to meet the President. The First Lady, poised, led the crew to the President’s Suite and introduced them to the President. The President shook hands with each one of us and welcomed us.
In front of the President, Hyemi Choi and Jinyoung Park sang 2 Ghanaian songs. We could not even think then that President will pass away, but now we feel that God prepared a path for him to go to the side of the Lord.
The hymns Hyemi Choi and Jinyoung Park sang were very beautiful. The President sang along and enjoyed too. Though we prepared 3 hymns, they only sang 2 of them, and I preached the Gospel. It must have been hard for the President to even sit, because of his illness, but he humbled listened to the words.
I said, “Mr. President, I’ve travelled many countries in the world and preached the gospel for 50 years. Everyone has sin. Mr. President, even though you are the President, you are also a sinner before God,” and he nodded. As I explained about Isaiah Chapter 53 Versus 6, I said that we are ungodly sinners, but God laid on Jesus our sins for him to take care of them. The President heard quietly. Then I talked about how Jesus suffered on the cross to wash our sins and read him the words in the 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 Versus 10 and 11.
I continued, “Mr. President, if you make a certain person a Minister of Department of Education or of Youth, then he will become one. Just like that, when God says, “Your sins are washed away,” then the sins are washed away. 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 and versus 11 says, “Though sinned (Versus 10), but you are washed, sanctified, and justified.”
The President must have been tired, but he calmly and peacefully heard all the words. After listening to the words for 30 minutes, he was at peace and said that he would like to meditate. So the First Lady and his physician took him to his bed.
Later, the First Lady came out and took us into cars. She had me ride in her car. We did not know where we were going, but she kindly gave us ride back to Ghana Church.
Afterwards, around 2:30pm, the First Lady called Missionary Kyungwon Cho herself and told him that the President passed away. It was so sudden. She hung up the phone, but Missionary Kyungwon Cho called her right back to give words of consolation. She was thankful and asked for prayers. Missionary Kyungwon Cho said that we would help in any way possible, she thanked him once again said that she would call if she needs anything. Then, a few hours later, we could her from Ghana’s TV and radio about the death of the President.
The President and the First Lady had piety and character. They were humble before the words of God, and he gave his last hour to God. Though it was tensed, God beautifully prepared the President’s last path. He accepted the gospel and was peacefully embraced in the Lord’s bosom.
Once again, I would condole on the President John Atta-Mill’s death, who spent his last hour with piety and humility before God.