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Beijing and Seoul
 글쓴이 : 관리자

On February 20th of 2013, 14 seminarians of 3rd graduating class from the distance learning program and 17 saints from Living Hope Church in Beijing, China, visited Pyungkang Cheil Church to participate in the 18th Presbyterian General Assembly Theological Seminary (PGATS) Graduation Ceremony. There are vast amount of graceful stories they have brought from 5,300km away, but unfortunately only the story of the final night from their 5 nights 6 days stay in Korea will be told.

# Scene 1. 4 PM on February 17, 2013: At a meeting for “True Peace”
This is where people share ideas on the planning of the March issue. Then the inspiration from faces of Chinese saints who had sung a special praise during the 3rd service today struck me. I remembered the faces that expressed overwhelming inspiration and quiver of excitement in close-up on the screen. They were on fire and I was lukewarm. I had a sudden urge to meet them. I wanted to meet those who could kindle that fire in me. Then I was told that they were praying on top of the mountain in the church.

# Scene 2. 6 PM on February 17, 2013: At a restaurant in Oryu-dong
As I opened the door to a restaurant located in front of Oryu Station, I found the restaurant packed with about 30 people, with sounds of chattering in Chinese here and there. The restaurant was overflowing with warm conversations, perhaps because it was their final night in Korea, or because of the mountain prayer they just had. I had the urge to join their conversation.
Gratefully I was seated with Rev. Oh from Hope Church in Beijing and Rev. Cho Jong-Sam from our church. In front of me, I found one Chinese saint with whom I could only share smiles. A Korean-Chinese evangelist, Shim Moon came over to me and introduced me to Hope Church.

“Hope Church was founded on Proverbs 24:13-14, why says, ‘My son, eat honey, for it is good, Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; Know that wisdom is thus for your soul; If you find it, then there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.’” This is a church of living hope given to the Chinese who have to live a capitalist life under a Socialist ideology. In China, the Word is a light. This Word is so sweet that people crowd in to taste it. The church had started as a home church with only 5 people but now it has grown to 150 congregation members, or 200 including children. The church is led by Rev. Oh and two other evangelists. One third of the church members are seminary students. This time, there were 14 students who have graduated from the 3rd graduation class in distance learning program which started in 2009. There are 40 students in the 4th and 5th graduation class, who are preparing for the Chinese missionary work.

The restaurant became even busier after the food was served. At that moment, one young Chinese man dressed in suit caught my eyes. He seemed like he had no interest in eating. He kneeled and set the dishes on the table and served the two pastors. Could this man be compared to Joshua, a servant to Moses? This man treated the two pastors with the utmost devotion. I have never witnessed such a scene in our church. He even served me with food that I was so grateful and ashamed at the same time. As I was in confusion at such scene, a person next to me explained to me, “This man does a big business in China. He is served by many in the world but he does this because he has received the Word.”

For the safety of the believers in China where missionary work is forbidden, code names are used instead of their real names.
(*A code name is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name, word or person.)

Code name: the Pacific of the Word
The name of the man who served food to us could be translated as “a big ocean like the Pacific.” He is a renowned businessman. He has received the Word with his wife last August and visited Pyungkang Cheil Church for the first time this time. I asked him three good things about his visit to Korea. He answered, “The first good thing is that I met Rev. Park; the second good thing is that I came to Pyungkang Cheil Church; and the third good thing is that I have received grace through worship services.” I also asked him three things he wants to do when he returns to China. He answered, “First, I wouldlike to study theology. Second, I would like to help the pastor build a big church like Pyungkang Cheil Church in China. And I would also like to fervently evangelize.” Although he has just started believing, he has shown me a different way of showing respect; he expressed his respect not by elevating the other person, but by lowering himself instead. Realizing the true way of serving others, my heart grew warmer.

Code name: the Cultivator of the Word
He was a man with gentle impression and he was wearing glasses. His name means to cultivate and grow the plants. Remembering that every name of the patriarchs has a redemptive-historical meaning in the 1st book of redemption series, “The Genealogy of Genesis,” I tried to interpret each name of the people, and found out that their meanings exactly corresponded with their duties. The man is a member of the 4th graduating class of the distance learning program. He too answered that the most impressive part of his visit this time was meeting with Rev. Park, visiting Jumunjin Church, and attending services at Moriah. I also asked him what he had prayed for on top of the mountain. He answered, “I prayed for the redemption series to widely spread in China, for Hope Church to grow, and for our seminary students to become workers in China to do works that are pleasing to Father God. I could feel the heart of God through Rev. Park indirectly. When I return, I will study the redemption series hard to become a person who can cultivate the Word in China.”

# Scene 3. At 8 PM on February 17, 2013. A bakery in Oryu-dong.
To start the actual interview, we moved to a quieter place. I asked for recommendations for the interviewees and three names were mentioned. As soon as their names were called out, the three people immediately stood up and walked out of the restaurant, without realizing what was happening. Their obedience and immediate action reminded me of the military. I told them that I was very surprised at such scene and they replied, “We would not have any such order either when we are in the world. We obey because we are before God.” These interviewees?two Korean-Chinese believers and one Chinese believer who would be flying out to China early in next morning?together with the True Peace reporter and the cameraman began building a Great Wall of Redemptive History. When interviewer spoke in Korean, the interpreter immediately interpreted in Chinese and when the interviewee replied in Chinese, the interpreter immediately interpreted in Korean. I have had many interviews with overseas saints before but it was the first time the interpretation progressed without a pause. Let me introduce these wonderful workers of God.

Code Name: The Water of Life
Chinese. A deacon at Hope Church in charge of video recording in the church. A seminarian in the 3rd graduating class of PGATS distance learning program.
He was evangelized by his wife. During their two years of dating, he told himself that he would stop going to the church once they were married. However, his wife told him that she wouldn’t marry him unless he came to the chapel, and his life has changed since then. In his ID card, his name carries a Chinese character, “dragon.” But now, the dragon has vanished from his life and what’s left behind is the river of living waters overflowing with the Word.

“Most of Chinese do not know about Christianity. They think the church is the place for old folks who have nothing to do. They took me strange for going to church as I am a little over 30. When I first came to Hope Church, I was very surprised how clean and orderly the church was and how the pastor preached nothing but the Word of God. Through the Word of God, I have come to realize that my life before I met the Word was so meaningless. My life was also very hectic as I tried to make a lot of money.
After hearing the Word through the pastor, I have learned that such life would just lead to death.”

Code Name: The flower of the Word
Korean-Chinese. The president of Gideon Missions. A graduate of the 3rd graduating class of PGATS distance learning program.
Her name means “a beautiful flower.” The flowers of this world bloom and wither, but the Word lives and blossoms in her. She spent 7 years in another church before she was evangelized to Hope church and now she is a president of Gideon Missionary with 40 young members who are all under the age of 30. This means that one third of the adults in the church are members of the Gideon Missionary. She is a skilled interpreter of the Word. She said, “Our church is a church that interprets the Word through the Word, a church where church-centered life is actually realized, and a church with passion.” She was calm as she spoke in a soft voice, but she was very passionate. These were the people I had been searching for.

“Our church is passionate and is getting more passionate. Those that attend the Bible studies and participate in voluntary works have increased from 5 to approximately 15 to 20 people. The driving force behind such growth is the Word. About 40 to 50 saints come to the church in the morning before they go to work and come back to the church after work every day. They really do live a church-centered life.
The newcomers really like when they attend the Bible studies taught by the pastor in Chinese on Monday evenings and Tuesday mornings. You know the feeling of being so overwhelmed as if your heart is about to burst. I keep on coming to the church because of that joy and peace. We also do Bible studies on the Lord’s Day, too. The second service here at the main church is actually held at 10 AM in China due to our time difference. On Sunday mornings, we have lectures on the 6th book of redemption series at the Redemptive History Military Academy. After the service, we have lunch and then we attend the service again. After the afternoon service, we again have a Military Academy class on the 5th book of redemptive history. Our church has a lot of young seminary students. Korean-Chinese study on their own at different times, but Chinese gather in the evening to attend the lectures together. The 1st and the 2nd class graduates do the interpretation.”

Code Name: Esther of Beijing
The president of Women’s Ministry of Hope Church. A graduate of the 3rd class in PGATS distance learning program.
She is a third generation Korean-Chinese and has lived a harsh life away from her homeland. She always thought that she came to China because of her grandfather was so poor during the Japanese colonial era, and she could not understand why she had to live in a foreign land being looked down and discriminated.
The moment Rev. Park put the medal around her neck during the graduation ceremony, the book of Esther came into her mind all of a sudden. She said, “The verse, ‘for this day you have become the queen’ came into my mind. My heart felt as though it was about to burst. I had thought, ‘Although the History of Redemption series are written in Korean, we need a person to proclaim this Word to people in China. And now is the time. Everything was meant for this time.’” That moment, she felt proud to have lived in China as a Korean-Chinese. Having always missed her homeland and her father’s home, she felt the love of her father through Rev. Park during this visit.
She said, “Very early in the morning, before leaving to Jumunjin, Rev. Park called all 31 of us. He called each one of our names and gave us allowances. Isn’t allowances given to a child from a father during holidays? I was so excited when I remembered the verse that says that God who is greater than all calls each of our names.”

She told me that the entire schedule here went by according to the Bible.
She said, “The first day we met Rev. Park, he told us to stay holy and clean. Just like Moses who told his people to stay holy for three days before he received the laws, Rev. Park made us to prepare ourselves for the Seminary Graduation Ceremony. He taught us that we need to stay clean to meet Father.
Through the graduation on Thursday, we became flamed with a sense of mission. On Friday, we went to Jumunjin Church. It felt as though the Garden of Eden was before our eyes. In the middle of Eden was the sauna made with charcoal. The door to enter was low and narrow. In order to get to the tree of life, we must humble ourselves. Everything was exactly like the Bible. On Saturday, Rev. Park sent us to Namsan Mountain. Actually I have been there before. The day before I went to Namsan, I read about the Ezekiel temple. Just like Ezekiel had been, Rev. Park led us to the highest place so that we could see. He led us to Namsan Tower which is the highest place in Seoul. The weather was so clear that day that we could even see Suwon. Today, we praised in Chinese during the third service. We only have two people who can read notes. I thought, “Yes! This is the place?the place where joy and gladness and thanksgiving and sound of melody are found! We are indeed the singers in this spiritual place where the stories of Ezekiel’s temple are told!” The clapping hands of the congregation seemed to sparkle. During this visit, we did nothing but just receive and receive. All we did was to just follow what we were told and we were enormously blessed.”

It was time to say goodbye and I asked them for the last words.

“I could have graduated from the Seminary only by God’s compassion, and when I first heard the news of being able to attend the graduation ceremony, I thought it was God’s answer to my prayers. Because of His compassion for China, God allowed us to come to Pyungkang Cheil Church. We were far away in China but God remembered us in His love. I witnessed His love and compassion through every little detail He has shown us during our stay in Korea. In Jumunjin, the sky was so clear and the sun was so bright although it was snowing. We witnessed God’s grace falling upon us like snow. We really thought that the heaven was opened. We have come to realize that God has called upon us to open the door of evangelism in China.” (The water of life)

“I was deeply moved to tears by everything and by the fact that God considers us valuable although we are so worthless. We really want to stay here longer. Rev. Park allowed us to stay in Hebron, the guest house within the church, instead of a hotel. Hebron is where David was anointed. The people who came to visit this time were pastors, evangelists, and newcomers to the church. Although they have quite different levels of faith, they were all blessed. On the other hand we were also inspired with a great sense of mission. I thought of myself as a mere deacon at Hope Church, but now I realize I must to live for the redemptive history.” (Esther of Beijing)

“Through this visit, I felt the strength within the saints who act in perfect order according to the Word as well as the power in the procession of the Word. I believe that when Father calls, the gospel of the redemptive history will be preached not only to the entire land of China but even to North Korea.”
(The flower of the Word)

At the end of our conversation, a topic on the missionary work in North Korea was brought up. Esther of Beijing began to praise hymn 355 quietly, “Call'd of God, we honor the call. Lord, we'll go wherever You say. Where You lead, come pain or pleasure, we would follow You every day.” They will be leaving early in the morning tomorrow. It was sad to say goodbye to our brothers we have just. I have asked them to pray so I could take pictures, but they really began praying putting their heads together. Their prayers were in Chinese so I could not understand but my heart began to get filled with something hot.
Even the Great Wall of China could stop the wind of the Holy Spirit. “Father, please guard your saints in whom the precious blood of Jesus Christ flows, and allow whirlwind of the Holy Spirit to blow in China to drive out the red dragon and may the river of the water of life flow.” This is time for all the saints of Pyungkang Cheil Church to pray for the churches of all nations in response.

by Reporter Kang Myung-Sun
(More information on Hope Church of Beijing can be found in articles in June issue of 2009 titled, “The hope implanted in 8 million people” and in October issue of 2010 , “Report on Beijing-longing for the hope.”)


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