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Interview with Pastor Ock Soo Park who is currently visiting East Africa (February 03, 2012)

I do not know how the Koreans in South Korea think of this, but South Koreans live and eat abundantly. As I saw the starving children living in Malawi during my last trip there, my heart was saddened. The quality of the water in Lake Malawi is good; however the people are unable to farm because of the lack of water. In order to farm at the summit of the mountain, they must irrigate the water and bring it 10 kilometers up the mountain, but they are unable to do so. My heart often feels pity for them.

Secondly, there are many people who are struggling due to the lack of jobs after having graduated university. It is a pain in the heart to many governments who know of this situation, and since many government officials know of the IYF, Presidents and Vice Presidents are sincerely requesting the IYF to lead their people uprightly. What hurts my heart the most is the fact that AIDS is passed on by the parents and one day both parents will pass away due to AIDS. This causes children who are fifteen-years-old along with five or six of their siblings to live like animals, and when I see such a sight, it hurts my heart deeply. I wish a cure for AIDS would develop quickly and eradicate AIDS from Africa.

When I visit neighboring churches, I see them dance, collect donations and not preach the gospel. Seeing such things makes me want to quickly establish a missionary school in order for numerous missionaries to be sent out and hope for many workers of the gospel to appear.

Mo Dae Gon, Kim Hyung Jin, Kim Seung Kyeong, Woo Seung Yoon and Jun Hee Yong from Tanzania are all missionaries who are working greatly. These young missionaries have given up their young lives and are working with a pure heart. It embarrasses me to see the Burundi church place several zinc tiles on their roof while tying them to bamboo sticks, use speakers that cannot even be identified as speakers and work while shedding blood and sweat without even looking after themselves, while I eat in Korea and see my stomach grow in size.

During the trip, I saw one reporter who was travelling with me retrieve some money from his pocket and give it to the missionaries and their wives. He too felt sympathetic. Although it is a sight we see often, he was surprised and touched when he saw the missionaries live their missionary lives. When I enter the missionaries’ homes, even though I possess a lot of clothes, food and a nice house, as I see how these missionaries live and how they do not take care of themselves; it truly is beautiful and great to behold.

All of a sudden it feels like a sin to eat and live abundantly in Seoul as we think about why a certain ethnic group, born in the same world as us cannot eat nor be clothed properly. They wear their clothes for about ten years? Their clothes change color because they’re so old, and there are many people who walk around barefoot. Though we dine well, we do not know how to be grateful, and even though we wear good clothes, own several t-shirts and pants; these people live difficult lives. Every time I arrive in Africa, I do not want to return to South Korea and instead wish to live with the people. These people listen to the Word and the gospel and are moved. When I arrived in Kenya, my heart was overwhelmed as I saw how 2,800 people sat crowded together without moving and listen sincerely to the word at the NYS in Kenya. The general was so moved that day that he did not know how to act; it made it seem like a sin to live my life this way.

Even though while staying in Africa we cannot support Africa financially, I truly wish to establish a school and teach underneath the shade of the trees. The government has also promised to provide us with land, so I hope to raise bricks on top of each other one by one with these people, teach the bible there, appoint a school chaplain and instruct him to preach the gospel because I wish for many great workers to be formed and want to work with them all over the world. Please pray a lot for Africa.

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