Alec Wright – Letter about Younggyoo Shin’s Story – Korea – May 31, 2009

This is a precious letter from Alec Wright (worker in South Africa) at Conventions in Korea, and to think it was just written in Korea this morning!
Just before the meeting this morning…maybe this father was saying, “Now, my boy, I want you to sit quietly and don’t look around too much. Remember, we are sitting there right in front of the platform and all the workers are looking at you.” They sure did! It was fascinating to look at him, an adorable little fellow. When his father took part this morning, he got up on the chair and looked at everybody with a big smile as if to say, “This is MY daddy taking part!” His mother was at the convention, too. A preacher’s daughter
On hot days, just about the entire end of the tent (seen) can open up and large volumes of air comes in with the slightest breath of air. Perfect air-conditioning. In some countries, we would say, “Build it closed! We want to suffer from the heat!”
Jongyun Kim, whom Ernest calls Deon, is the snake-catcher on the staff. This one appeared just before convention. Poisonous and sharp-fanged…as he showed us. Linda Brist had a rude awakening one night when a centipede stung her twice on her hand. She was taken to the doctor and seems fine. It was very painful. Probably need some cats and chickens around here to do some cleaning up!
Tomorrow DV, we leave by bus back to Chinhae where we have workers’ meetings on Tuesday.
Younggyoo Shinâ’s story, as told by Pahngmo Im. He might be at this convention…not sure…
One of the three who stood up at Wando Convention this year (2008) is a man by the name of Younggyoo Shin in his sixties. He has a very unusual background. I have known him very well since my high school days. I had lost contact with him for nearly 38 years. On the phone, he said why and how he looked for me. He had been involved quite deeply in the Presbyterian Church since his very religious wife pleaded with him to follow her to her church. But he found no satisfaction, even though he tried a few churches. He even tried to attend a seminary for about two years only to be disappointed.
Starting about a year ago, he really tried to pray to God to lead him to the true believers and he remembered me and the visit he overheard that I had with my friend. It was in my first year in the work 38 years ago that I went to my friend and told him about the work I started doing. That visit he overheard was the only time he heard about the truth. He was sure it should be the true faith if Pahngmo is still doing the same work that he started doing 38 years ago. It was quite a job for him to finally get in touch with me again after trying any possible way of contacting me.
The first thing he tried was to go to the high school I graduated from and asked them if they could give him my location, which they couldn’t, of course. But one of his friends was the chairman of the alumni association of the high school and this friend of his was able to find my professing brother’s phone number which I put in the pocket book of my old school mates. I suggested to him that he attend the Gospel meetings where he lives, the city of Kwangju and listen carefully in the meetings to learn about my faith. He started attending the meetings right away in Kwangju and never missed any meeting since.
He asked the sister workers, Sungmi Pahk and Yonggil Cheh, if he could attend the Sunday morning meetings as he remembered we had meetings in the home. The sisters said he is welcome but with one condition: he just watches and does not take part in the meetings. By this, he was a bit offended as he felt they didn’t count him as one of them because when he found me, he made up his mind to leave his church for good. He never missed any meeting until he came to Convention.
At the Wando Convention ground, he told me about a very unusual experience he had. His grandfather was a very rich man, an owner of a huge farmland. When the Korean War broke out and South Korea was occupied by the North Korean communists Army for three months till General McCarthur landed in Incheon, many poor class people rose up and robbed the rich people of their property and killed them, because the communists taught them poor people had been the victims to the rich. They killed all the relatives of his grandfather and buried the dead bodies in a hole dug in the ground. Younggyoo was five years old and was on the back of his grandmother when she was buried. They pierced each of his relatives in the side with bamboo spears to kill them. He also was pierced on his head four times. But he was still alive in the grave and when he came to himself, it was so dark and he felt something pressing above him and he realized he was buried and started wiggling himself and finally came out of the grave.
Right at that moment, some of the villagers were passing by and saw him standing there by the grave covered by blood and mud from head to foot. They were so terrified that they fled screaming. By seeing them being so terrified, he himself also was so terrified that he went back to the grave and hid himself under the ground. Next morning, he came out of the grave again and started begging for food from house to house. The communists who killed his relatives heard about Younggyoo coming out of the grave. They decided to finish him off, being afraid if they let him grow up, he would take revenge on them some day, but one of them pleaded with the others not to kill him, an innocent child, and took the boy to his home and hid him in a big cauldron which the farmers use for boiling cow feed during Winter time and put the lid on and fed him now and again.
After a while, he took the boy to Younggyoo’s maternal grandparents’ home. He grew up there and later came to Gwangju to attend school and started staying in his aunt’s home. When he prayed, he asked God many times why his relatives had to be killed like that. One day, he saw a vision of Jesus, who said, “Younggyoo! I understand how you feel that the death of your relatives was unfair, but was it more unfair to you than what I suffered was unfair to me?” This word of Jesus in the vision removed clearly the bitterness he had to those who killed his relatives. He really enjoyed the Convention Preps in which he helped for two days and the Convention to the full, drinking in everything like a sponge in each meeting.
The way Younggyoo had tried to find me and finally contacted me and later on made a start in the truth is surely an encouragement to me. It makes me feel I have well spent the past 38 years in the work. Surely our God is a living God who sees and hears the needy cry of his lost ones and at the right time, he leads the lost to the Truth.
When Pangmo professed and went into the work, his mother was livid. She wanted him married. He was glad the American sisters who first visited her could not know enough Korean to know what she verbalized against them! Later, she professed and was very very hearty before she died. A photo was taken years ago with Pangmo carrying her to convention meetings. She had had a fall and was not able to walk the last while of her life.