Blessing Granted Through Love

Kim Hye-ji from Anyang, South Korea


My family is pretty close and open to each other. My parents are always like friends to me, and we are always bright and active when we are together. My friends who have older brothers say that they often argue with each other, but I have good relationship with my older brother, too.

That’s probably why my family was the first one that came to my mind when I received the truth through my friend when I was in high school. Since I had just moved to a city from a rural area, I was worried that I might meet some bad friends, but Zion members were so kind that they made me think, ‘I didn’t know there were still people like these members.’ The words of the Bible were so clear. All my fear and questions such as ‘Why was I born to this world and what is going to happen after death?’ were all answered.

I wanted to let my loving family know these good words and Zion full of love. However, my family’s response was cold. Even before I finished talking, my parents opposed my faith: “How can it be possible for a family that believes in Buddhism to accept church?” My brother was on my side at first, but after hearing some slanderous remarks about our church, he changed his mind and said, “You can go to any church, but not the Church of God.” Everybody sounded so firm that I couldn’t continue talking.

A few years passed. I graduated from school. I preached the gospel to my friends whom I often met and co-workers. While working harder for the gospel with the Zion brothers and sisters, I became more and more eager to lead my family to the truth. I felt even more eager whenever I saw other Zion family members study the words or share conversations together with their parents, sisters and brothers, or go back home together.

I plucked up my courage and tried to preach the word to my family, but their hearts were still tightly closed like a door latch. My parents were still against my faith, and my older brother still had a negative viewpoint.

I felt sad for my parents, and especially for my brother because the time we could spend together was a lot less than before as he joined the military. The only thing I could do was pray. I prayed that he would understand God’s love in the military and feel comforted there because the military life must be tough.

However, it was a vague prayer. It didn’t seem possible that he would listen to someone else when he didn’t even want to listen to his own sister, and it seemed impossible for him to hear the truth when he was in the military base which was such a limited space. However, I continued praying because nothing is impossible when God leads us.

Quite a long time passed, and my brother had been on leave a few times. Then he called me and let me know that he would be on leave again. Since the “Our Mother” Writing & Photo Exhibition was being held in a nearby Zion, I invited him to the exhibition. He didn’t seem to mind coming, but said he couldn’t come because he had so many appointments during his leave. However, when he actually came out on leave, things changed; some of his appointments got canceled, and so he had time to come to the exhibition.

From the moment I went to Zion with him with a good feeling and while watching the exhibition, I felt like dreaming. I couldn’t believe that my brother was in Zion which he really didn’t like, and that he was standing next to me, looking at the writings and photos that contain God’s love.

Looking at each and every piece of writing and photo, my brother was moved by one specific story about a mom who embraced her child to protect him from being stung by tens of bees; he had a similar experience. My brother tried to hide his emotion, but ended up showing his tears.

After the exhibition, he expressed his impression, “Let’s come again with Mom and Dad.” I was shocked. I didn’t know that he would be that much moved, but that wasn’t all. As we sat at the book café, one brother showed my brother the Bible and asked him to keep the Passover and receive the blessing of heaven. Then he said, “I kept the Passover!”

I thought I heard it wrong. While we were dumbfounded, my brother told us what happened.

It happened when he finished up his recruit training. He was stationed on a base in Gwangju where the platoon leader and some military members were the members of the Church of God. While staying with them who were kind and upright, he was able to get rid of his negative impression of our church. Then he had an opportunity to open his heart wide and receive the truth—it was through the Gwangju Universiade.

As it was an international event held in his region, he was sent there to support. There, he saw our Church of God supporters who cheered for athletes passionately at every game. He said that he was so moved by the brothers and sisters supporting with one voice for the athletes who came from far away countries although they must have been tired. He was able to get rid of his bad fixed ideas completely. He went to a nearby Zion with the military members who are our church members, and became God’s child.

He said he had been keeping worship service and studying the word in a nearby Zion since then. How thankful I was! Whenever I heard a gracious story that someone received the truth in the military, I earnestly wanted that my brother could be one of them. In order to save my brother, God prepared the prophets who would deliver His love to him, and allowed him to witness the beautiful unity of our brothers and sisters so that his frozen heart could melt. God is truly love itself.

Seeing how my brother was led to the truth, I realized how important love is to save a soul. Actually, I felt sorry toward my brother on the way to the exhibition. I thought that I was closer to him than anybody else and that I knew everything about him, but it was my first time to go anywhere with him, and I didn’t really know what he liked. Although I believed that I loved him, I didn’t show much attention to little things about him. I felt ashamed of myself. It is natural to care about people I love, but I just wanted him to know what was in my mind without making any effort.

I give thanks to God for making a plan for my brother’s salvation and working for it instead of blaming me for lacking. I also want to express my gratitude to the Zion brothers who are stationed in the same base as my brother’s. I will not forget that all these blessings began from the brothers who made efforts with sincere hearts to save a soul despite their tough military lives.

I, too, will make more effort to practice love which God and the brothers showed to my brother. Although people may reject the truth and turn away from it right now, I will not give up but keep preaching the proper words to their souls with care. Then their minds that are tightly closed will open and their frozen hearts will melt. Sometimes, I feel burdened to preach the word and I lose courage, but I will never stop walking the path of the gospel because the person I hesitate to preach to may be someone’s son or daughter or brother or sister whom they really want to save. They may be the children whom Heavenly Parents have been seeking for thousands of years.