Pastor Ock Soo Park visited Zambia on the 23rd of January as a part of his special trip to four countries of East Africa. He had meetings with the vice president, the minister of education, the minister of youth and working-level policy makers.
The president of Zambia could not attend due to his scheduled visit to Ethiopia from 23rd to 28th. The president said it was very unfortunate that he had previous appointments because he wanted to meet pastor Ock Soo Park very much. Instead, he wrote a letter to the vice president to greet him and talk about youth policies.
Meeting With the Vice President of Zambia
Pastor Ock Soo Park and the vice president of Zambia discussed approximately an hour about health and youth problems. It was unusual for the vice president to have a meeting this long.
Vice President : The vice president’s grandfather came to Livingstone, Zambia as a missionary. He was dispatched from the Scotland Mission, where David Livingstone worked at. I was born in Zambia. At that time, the population was small and we were very poor. We burned woods to make fertilizer for our vegetable fields and there were many diseases. You came to this country as a missionary, like my grandfather, and I hope that you could help the youth find work or a job that they can do. The election was held just four months ago and the younger generation chose our party. They have high expectations and are waiting for our answer.
(*David Livingstone: A missionary and explorer who left behind great achievements in medical missionary work and anti-slavery movements) . Pastor Ock Soo Park : You are my brother. You were born on June 1st, 1944 and I was born on June 2nd so you are like a brother to me. Thank you so much for your warm greetings. Today, I would like to talk about three things with you. First is about HIV / AIDS. Second, about the education of the youths. Last, I would like to talk about you and me.
HIV / AIDS is a great threat to the lives of people in many African countries. As a solution to this problem, pastor Ock Soo Park introduced the vice president to plant stem cell and elder Doh explained in detail after the introduction. The vice president answered that it would be good for the progress to be made through strict verification and legal procedures.
Secondly, pastor Ock Soo Park and the vice president discussed deeply about education of youth in Zambia. The minister of education mentioned difficulties due to inadequate facilities and system. Pastor Ock Soo Park introduced the minister to IYF Good News Corps program and alternative schools. He stated that he wanted to train the youth of Korea to come to work as teachers in Africa after they have finished their service as a Good News Corps volunteer. In addition, pastor Ock Soo Park said that if the minister agrees, he wanted to contribute to the development of education in Zambia by founding a school which can act as a role model in Africa.
Lastly, pastor Ock Soo Park talked about how his life changed. He used to waste his life as a young man but when he discovered in the Bible that the heart of God is completely different from his own thoughts and accepted the heart of God, he could change. He also talked about a student from USA whose mother sent him to pastor Park because she couldn’t control her drug dealing son anymore, and how he could change through the words of God.
Meeting With Minister of Education, Deputy Minister of Youth and Directors
After the meeting with the vice president, a working-level talk with the minister and deputy minister of education, deputy minister of youth and directors was followed. At this meeting, they discussed in depth to prepare schools and education system for the youth of Zambia. The minister of education appreciated pastor Ock Soo Park’s visit to Zambia and said “The Jesus within you, He is great.”
Pastor Ock Soo Park suggested that if the government would select 30 students and send them to Korea, IYF will support the trainings of the necessary skills to use in Zambia. The minister asked for support of IYF as he mentioned the poor environment of Zambia education.
After the discussion was over, pastor Ock Soo Park said, “Before we finish, let me share the words of God.” And he gave a sermon about how our sins were passed over to Jesus through the books of John and Leviticus. He preached the gospel in detail pointing out person by person. He read 1 Corinthians 6:11, and preached the gospel powerfully, saying “Although we all have sinned in front of God, the Bible says I am washed, sanctified and justified because Jesus washed my sins. Minster, even though you have sinned, your sin is already washed. Deputy minister, even though you have sinned, your sin is already washed. God says we are sanctified, justified and that he will remember our sins no more.”
Everyone who attended listened carefully to pastor Ock Soo Park’s words and they sincerely accepted the word into their hearts.
With the Brother and Sister of Zambia Church
At the end of his tour, pastor Ock Soo Park visited the Zambia church and shared the words with the brothers and sisters. He came up to the podium to preach and said, “I could finally come to Zambia for God allowed me now. It’s like a dream come true to meet all the brothers and sisters. I am so happy. I love you all.” He was deeply moved in front of God to come to Zambia. That night, he preached about the man who had infirmity for 38 years in John chapter 5, and how God will work in our lives if we put down our thoughts and accept the word of God. The 150 brothers and sister in Zambia church could learn the life of faith through the sermon.
Pastor Ock Soo Park said Zambia has hope and that he was truly grateful to see the brother and sister in Zambia to serve the church with all their hearts and preach the gospel even in difficult conditions.
We have hopes for God who will work in Zambia through the World Camp in August.