ⓒ 2012 WATV
Without knowing how these words would be fulfilled and how I myself could be used for God’s work, in January 2007, I was called by God for the overseas mission. I, who was lacking in many ways, underwent trial and error and made more mistakes than doing things the right way, which caused God more anxiety than joy. Nevertheless, Mother always consoled me and led me, holding my hands. Until we enjoy the abundant fruit together with the members who are just beginning to burst the flower buds of faith, there has been endless love and sacrifice of Heavenly Mother who is working in the invisible world for the gospel of the kingdom to be preached to all nations.Truth―the news which the world is waiting for over border and culture
Before I was appointed to Shillong, I came across the gospel to India for the first time in a harbor city Kochi in Kerala State. Before that, I cultivated the field of gospel according to God’s will in Vancouver, Canada, for about one year. Canada and India are totally different in every way. Compared to expanse territory, Canada is thinly populated and the streets are generally quiet. The winter is long and cold. To the contrary, India is hot all year round, and everywhere it is crowded with people.
Spiritually also, the two countries have very different atmospheres. Canadians are usually indifferent to religion, but Indians are so religious that we can distinguish what religion a family believes in by just seeing their colorfully decorated accessories and the gates of their house.
Even though I had experienced overseas mission in Canada, I felt like starting new, learning all over again in India. Ordinary behaviors in Canada brought about unexpected results or provoked misunderstanding in India. Like Apostle Paul’s record that goes “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews,” in order to open the hearts of the local people and sow the seed of truth, I first needed to listen to them and understand their culture and life.
Looking different from A to Z, Canada and India have one thing in common. Actually not just the two countries, but all the countries in the world have one thing in common―there are heavenly family members we have to find. Even in Canada, there were souls who had been anxiously waiting for the truth even though most people were not interested in the Bible, and it was the same in India where the religious atmosphere was strong. In order to seek and save those souls one after another, God commanded us to carry out the world mission.
When I was about to adapt myself to the mission in India after one year and seven months in Kochi, God sent me to a new mission field. It was Shillong situated in Meghalaya State, the northeastern part in India, where the light of truth had never shone.
Patience―fathoming the pain of Father and Mother
ⓒ 2012 WATV
Canada and India are very different like the apple and the orange, and Kochi and Shillong which belong to the same India are also quite different from each other. Shillong is located at a plateau in the northeastern region of India. It is near to Nepal and Myanmar. Because of its geographic feature, their language, appearance and life style are different from those of Kochi, which makes me wonder if it belongs to the same country.
In 2009 when I came to Shillong, there was no Zion in Meghalaya State and its nearby states as well. For the first time, God’s feasts were celebrated and the gospel was preached in Northeast India. We didn’t know what to do, but with God’s help a beautiful temple was established, and soon the first short-term mission team flew to Shillong, with the fervor of the Holy Spirit. The short-term mission team, which was mainly composed of young adult members full of vigor, reaped good fruit every day. Right after the first short-term mission team returned, the second team was handed over the baton and the new temple was soon filled with new members. The mission in Shillong, which had just begun, seemed to be completed before long.
Since the second short-term mission team returned to Korea, I was extremely busy visiting one member after another, delivering the food of God’s word. I made an effort to feed them with the words of God, reducing my hours of sleep, but contrary to my expectation, the members did not grow in faith rapidly. Although studying God’s words seriously for hours and acknowledging the truth with their mouths, they often did not practice what they learned. Struggling between their previous religion and the truth for a long time, in the end they went back to the past. Although I tried this and that, the situation did not change much. I felt bitterness whenever a soul went away from the truth. How can I express that pain through words?
In India, most people believe in Hinduism, and only 3% of them are Christians. However in Meghalaya State as well as its nearby states, over 90% of people believe in God. In India, it is very rare for a Hindu to convert, and it is the same for a Christian. Since their general life such as education, marriage and funeral is closely related to their religion, if someone converts he or she has to put up with all sorts of disadvantages, and sometimes he or she is persecuted severely by their family members and neighbors. In other words, conversion is like completely changing their whole life that they have lived up until now.
Most of the members, who were led to Zion at that time, were Christians in this situation. They did know what the truth was, but they couldn’t do anything on account of their reality. I felt their agony to the bone. Seeing the members, I was reminded of Father and Mother who would be shedding tears with broken hearts for the children who did not realize the value of salvation. I could feel our Heavenly Parents’ heartbreak.
Only looking up at Father and Mother, I endured, shedding tears over one year, and came to realize anew: The one thing that I had to implant in the souls who were wavering in front of the truth was love. It is said love puts up with anything and endures everything. If only we had love, we could overcome all the constraints of the reality and harsh adversities.
Love―the mystery of the work that is fulfilled prosperously
ⓒ 2012 WATV
One of the big concerns that the overseas missionaries have in common is how they can deliver the love of Father and Mother to the members who have different languages and cultures. The best way is to meet Mother in person, however, it is almost impossible for the Shillong Zion members to visit Korea. When I wondered how I could sow God’s love and sacrifice in their hearts, there appeared people who solved this problem all at once: It was the third short-term mission team from Korea.
Last June, since the third short-term mission team left, the gospel in Shillong turned around 180 degrees. The members who were guided through the short-term mission team overcame the tough reality and stood firm in faith. Guiding their families and relatives, they threw a banquet of abundant fruit.
The area where the short-term mission team preached was the place we had already sowed the seeds of God’s words several times. The miraculous work occurred at the site, where we thought that we had preached as much as we could, and did not stop in a flash but continued. From this town to that town, from that town to another town, the flame of the Holy Spirit spread and good fruits were borne every month even until this month. What on earth has brought forth this change?
In fact, when I received the list of the short-term mission team at first, I was perplexed and worried. Because most of the team members were over the age of forty, and none of them were able to speak the local language.
Worries in my head were wiped away from the first day of the short-term mission team’s arrival. Although they didn’t have command of the language enough to preach God’s words or any knowledge of the local culture, they crisscrossed the new and unfamiliar Shillong with earnest eyes, appealing voice with sincerity and feet running anywhere without hesitation in the pouring rain. The motive power that drove them was the love that was filled to the brim of their spirits.
The people, who felt something earnest from the team member’s speech and behavior, came to Zion and listened to the gospel in detail. They were astonished and received the truth. The new members were moved by the warmth of the team members who came near to totally strange foreigners and tried to inform one more stitch of word though being poor at the language. New comers were moved by the warmth of the short-term mission team members who were considerate and took care of them even in trifling things. They preached the love that they had received from Zion to their families and relatives. In the majority of cases, they were persecuted and opposed. However, they overcame the hard times easily with the power of love, and even guided their families to the truth.
The feeble faith of the current members, who had watched all the whole process, changed, too. The members, who had been reserved and had not been able to express their hearts well, began to preach, and when somebody came to Zion, they first greeted them and held out their hands. Even though they are not told, they are now working to be blessed, so there’s not that much I have to do now.
I am very sorry toward Father and Mother for not having delivered love but only having taught Biblical knowledge all that time. These days, I, too, try to change into love. I have an impatient and blunt character, but now I’m making an effort to understand and comfort the members instead of leading them my own way.
Delivering love doesn’t require any grandiose or special method. God of love has come into the hearts of us sinners who did not know love, so we just need to deliver that love without packaging it. In my case I wandered a lot because I hadn’t known that.
As Father has shown us an example through the years and as Mother is giving us all things, love is delivered heart to heart when we take care of our brothers and sisters, starting from a small thing. A cordial word and an action, out of wishing for them to be saved together, is the beginning of love and the shortcut to bringing about marvelous results. Mother―the power marching toward the kingdom of heaven
The population of Shillong has increased explosively since 10 years ago, so there are big and small difficulties in daily life owing to the lack of infrastructure like houses, roads, water and sewage. They have to walk a long distance to bring water in buckets, so they can wash and cook rice. So, a day in Shillong starts very early in the morning.
Our Zion members could be tired from spending their morning life in the sizzling heat, however, they do not show any signs of fatigue, going about every nook and cranny of the field of gospel till late at night. When I hint that I am worried about health, they cheer me up all the more, saying, “What’s bugging you? Isn’t the kingdom of heaven waiting for us?”
The fervor of the members who only yearn for the kingdom of heaven is really moving. Due to the continued economical difficulties, the unemployment problems in Shillong are serious. Though the members scrape-by in living, in every matter they do not frown even once. Always giving thanks to God, they work hard when there are things to do. They burn themselves out in preaching if they raise expenses for the gospel. Watching them, I feel like Apostle Pauls are gathering in a group. Working as a tent-maker, Paul also preached the gospel self-supportingly and established the Church of God wherever he went.
The members’ hope is not different from that of Apostle Paul. At present, the goal of the Shillong Church is to raise the flag of Zion in every city of the eight states in the vicinity of Meghalaya State. For this, thirteen members have taken a short-term mission trip to Dimapur in Nagaland State a few days ago.
Even though it was the first short-term mission, thankfully enough members were found during the short period of time and Zion was established. The members, who have witnessed the infinite possibilities of the mission, are preparing a short-term mission to another region.
In order to go to another state from Shillong, you have to take a bus at least for over ten hours even to the nearest place. Because the buses have worn out and many roads have not been paved, you cannot help but take a hard journey wherever you go. Nevertheless, the members are delighted. Although they are soaked with sweat, sitting in a crouched position on a packed bus, they say it reminds them of Father who went everywhere in order to save His children. If only they could save one soul, they would go everywhere even though it would take one hundred or one thousand hours. That’s the mindset of the members.
Seeing their fervor, I feel confident that our goal will be accomplished soon. Besides, India is the optimal mission field in this age. Everybody reveres gods, so we only have to show the compass of truth in order for their direction of faith to point to the true God. There are countless people whom we must enlighten, so we are walking this path without stopping today, too.
Preaching in India, I feel in my bones how great and blessed our salvation is. Next to China, India is populous and a place where now 1.2 billion people are living. Shillong, too, is so populous that we cannot remember the people whom we have encountered several times. However, Mother didn’t forget a single one of us among the 7 billion people living on the earth; the numerous people like the sand on the seashore, and sought us, one by one and saved us.
Seeing Mother on the screen, the members soothe their piercing longing for Mother with tears; they haven’t forgotten Mother even for a moment. India is astonished at the existence of Mother, and moved by Mother’s love. Every one of us in the Shillong Church, who were born with Mother’s prayer and tears, will blow the trumpet of the gospel constantly until Mother’s glory shines throughout the world and we go back to our heavenly home with Mother.