March 12, 2019

Family

Hongcheon, Korea

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In this weary life, I was looking for a place to lean on. One day, my younger sister visited me and recommended me to attend the Church of God. It was the church that I went with her at the invitation of my sister-in-law two years ago. Unlike me, who had stopped going to church after hearing slander from people around me, my younger sister started her life of faith in the Church of God.

I was reluctant to go, but since my sister asked me sincerely, I went with her and became a child of God. A month later, I moved to another region and started having Bible studies in earnest.

I didn’t know that the Bible was such an interesting book. Before, I used to fall asleep after reading a few pages of the Bible. But then it wasn’t boring at all; I could read it till dawn. I felt a shiver when I studied the prophecies of the Bible. I often shed tears during worship services, overwhelmed with the joy of meeting the true God.

I wanted to share this happiness with my other family members and preached the truth to them. But there was a family member who had been long in a Protestant church, holding a title, and another member was preparing to be a pastor. They opposed me more intensely than I had expected. Seeing them misunderstand my church, I became more eager to tell them the truth.

Then, something came up to my third eldest sister who was taking care of our sick father. So I came to do her work instead. Although I volunteered, it was not easy, as I had to move to another region. But it was for my family, and I went to the city of Hongcheon with a firm resolve.

As I worried, my life in a different environment was quite difficult, but I gained enough happiness to make up for the difficulties; my father was led into the arms of God after many twists and turns. But the joy didn’t last long; my mother, who used to be rather tolerant, began to oppose our life of faith.

Even after time passed by, she did not open her mind at all. While I was praying with tears every day, I myself changed gradually. Watching my family’s lives near them, I got rid of the thoughts that I should preach the gospel simply because it is the truth, but rather I began to hope that my family, who had been living weary lives, would have real comfort and rest in the arms of God.

My mother, who had to be separated from my father due to her business, could not ease herself, worrying about her family. My third eldest sister did not have time to rest even on holidays because she had to manage both her work and farming. I agonized about how to care for my sick father, how to help my mother and my sister’s work, and how to preach to them.

Many years passed. Just as usual, I was helping my sister with farming. Then, she said unexpectedly, “How come I can’t have faith?” It sounded like “I want to believe in God, but I can’t have faith.” She had attended a Protestant church for a little while, but she stopped after she got married. I thought she was completely indifferent to religion. I hid my surprise and told her that she would have faith when she studied the Bible. For the first time, I had an honest conversation with her about faith. A few days later, we studied the Bible together with a smile.

Seeing my sister change, I gained courage and preached to my mother again. She refused to listen at first, but soon paid attention to the words of the Bible. One day, I was taking her home and told her how much I wanted to go to heaven with her. Then she said, “After I quit my business, I will attend your church.” The moment I heard that, I thought she was a different person. After that, my mother came before God and kept the Sabbath worship as if it was a given sequence. I gave thanks to God for melting my mother’s heart that was as cold as ice. Seeing my third eldest sister asking this and that about the Bible these days, I think something good is going to happen soon.

Leading my mother to the truth, I realized how important love and care is in saving one soul. Until now, I’ve been just greedy to bring my family to Zion; I was only busy telling them what I knew. In the meantime, I could not pay attention in detail to whether there was anything hard for my family or what words of God were needed for them.

Looking back, I realized that I was able to receive salvation thanks to the love and sacrifice of the family members who received the truth earlier than me. My sister-in-law delivered the good news of salvation to me despite all harsh words. Also, I came to know later that my younger sister had prayed earnestly for three days before visiting me to lead me to Zion.

I think we are related by blood as a family because we need to put more effort and care into each other than anyone else. Since I’ve attained a precious enlightenment, I will give more love and care to my physical and spiritual family members who are beside me. It’s because we are, literally, a family.

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