Together with God, the Owner of Zion and of My Soul
Jang Min-gyeong from Seongnam, South Korea
The continent of Africa is vibrant with zeal for the Gospel, more powerful than the heat of the sun. When I was young, I once dreamed of preaching the Gospel in Africa, and as I became a young adult, I got an opportunity for a short-term mission in Luanda, the capital city of Angola. It took us one whole day to get to Angola via Ethiopia from Korea.
As we arrived in Luanda, the brothers and sisters were waiting to welcome us. The members were waiting calmly like passersby, but as we arrived at the airport, they suddenly surrounded us and made a welcoming performance. The atmosphere was like that of a concert hall, and we woke up to the fact that we finally arrived in Africa. They sang the lyrics to give thanks to God for sending them a short-term mission team, and shouted in Korean, “Father and Mother, we thank You.” We hugged each other and we were moved to tears.
We began to preach with determination to bear fruit that will please our Father and Mother in unity with these wonderful brothers and sisters. Unlike my expectation that it would be hot in Africa, it was rather cool. The weather was similar to early autumn in Korea, and it was ideal for preaching outside.
However, the air quality in the country was poor. As there were many cars, exhaust gas made the sky gray. When I was preaching near main streets, exhaust gas and sand from unpaved roads irritated my throat and neck that I coughed a lot. Thinking that other members might be worried about me, I tried to stop coughing, but I couldn’t. Other members felt sorry as I kept coughing. At first, I thought they were just saying it, but they kept on saying it. I wondered, ‘Feeling sorry is asking for forgiveness of one’s wrongdoing. But why do they keep saying sorry?’ I thought I misheard them.
After about two weeks, we went to Viana for preaching. By the time we finished preaching for the day, I started coughing again due to sand in the air. One member next to me said sorry again. With curiosity, I asked why and the answer was, “We made you come here because we didn’t preach harder. If you hadn’t come here, you wouldn’t be ill. I am sorry that we made you sick.”
It was an unexpected answer. I thought the members would be happy that the short-term mission team came from Korea, but they felt sorry that we had to come and go through difficulties there.
However, they were never lazy at all in preaching the Gospel. The Luanda Church, which was a house church, had about 280 members and they were keeping their faith for themselves and making efforts to follow God’s teachings because no prophet was sent there yet. I was impressed by the young adult members who devoted themselves joyfully to the Gospel even in difficult circumstances. Just like the ordinary young adults in Angola, the young adult members went to school and worked for a living, and preached as well. They went to school in the morning, preached in the afternoon, worked at night, and went home at dawn. They couldn’t have enough sleep but they participated in the Gospel with smiles without looking tired at all.
We united with the members who were serving God as the Owner of the Church of God and of their souls, and received a precious result. In fact, I went for the short-term mission three times, but didn’t have good results. So I had been praying earnestly to bear good fruits that Father and Mother are pleased with from when I was in Korea. God answered my prayer. I met Alberto at a terminal near the Church. He listened to the truth for more than an hour and came to the Church, studied the Bible further, and was reborn as the child of God like a gentle sheep. After receiving baptism, he kept God’s laws without skipping even once, and preached the Good News of salvation to his friend and led him to Zion.
Though it was only for a short period of time in Angola, I learned a lot about what kind of attitude I should have towards the Gospel. Seeing the Luanda Church members walking with God, I made a resolution to walk the path of faith more vigorously, depending on Father and Mother who are the Owner of my soul.