How Two Sunday-Keeping Pastors Became SDA
By Hee-Sook Kim, as told to Andrew McChesney
One day, two literature evangelists and I were going door to door in a town called Palyari near South Korea’s capital, Seoul. As we walked down a street, we saw a large banner advertising a retreat for seminary students. We decided to see what was going on.
The address printed on the banner led us to the home of a married couple who both served as pastors for one of South Korea’s largest Sunday-keeping denominations. But we did not know that when they opened the door.
“We are from the Korean Publishing House, and we are here to share some literature,” I said.
To my surprise, the husband recognized the name of the Seventh-day Adventist publishing house. He immediately asked, “Why do you go to church on Saturday?”
I related the story of Creation from Genesis. I explained how God had created the world in six days and then rested on the seventh-day, Sabbath, and made it holy. I gave the couple a Bible correspondence lesson and promised to bring them a second lesson in a week.
As we spoke further, I realized that the man, Ki-Jo Moon, knew a lot about the Bible. Then I learned that he had served as a pastor for about 30 years and his wife, Soon-Ae Byun, had pastored for nearly a decade. So, the next time I visited, I presented the couple with the “Conflict of the Ages” series by Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White. The attractive set of five books usually costs 300,000 Korean won, or about U.S. $265. But I told them that they could have the books for free.
The pastor expressed a special interest in the book of Daniel and asked whether I could share any information about it. On the next visit, I brought commentaries on the books of Daniel and Revelation.
Sometime later, the pastor sent me a text message. “It seems that I have been studying the Bible on a very superficial level for my whole life,” he wrote. “Would it be alright if I visited your church?”
The pastor seemed to enjoy the church services, and he returned a few times. But then he stopped. I prayed. I wondered what was going on. Every time I called to ask, he gave various excuses about being too busy or not feeling well. Later I found out that his wife had forbidden him from going to the Adventist church. She had scolded him, saying, “You are a pastor. Shame on you! You should not be doing this.” Still, I kept inviting him to church.
About seven years after our first meeting, I called the pastor and invited him to attend a series of health seminars at an Adventist church. The seminars included special detox sessions where attendees could sip various freshly made juices aimed at cleansing their bodies.
When I told the pastor about the detox sessions, he said, “It would be better if you spoke with my wife about this.” So, I called his wife, and she agreed to come with her husband. This was the first time that she had shown any interest in the Adventist Church.
Late last year, the couple accepted an invitation to attend an evangelistic series. The husband seemed convicted by the message, but he still wasn’t sure that he wanted to join the church. So, I invited him and his wife to a second evangelistic series. They came every evening and declared, “We are melting into this message.”
Eight years and many prayers after we first met, in February 2017, the husband and wife were baptized together into the Adventist Church. The Word of God and our health message changes lives!
Hee-Sook Kim, 64, is a full-time literature evangelist in South Korea. Andrew McChesney is Editor for Adventist Mission. This story is shared with permission of Adventist Mission. To read the husband’s side of the story click here, and to read the wife’s story click here.
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World Church Prayer Requests May 7 - 14, 2017
- PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the “Reach the World: Issues Impacting Children, Women, and Families” leadership conference that will be occurring, this week, May 10-13, 2017 in Budapest Hungary. The General Conference Departments of Children's Ministries, Women's Ministries, and Family Ministries are hosting this International Leadership Conference. Please join us in praying that the presence of God will be at this event in a very special way. (For those interested in knowing more about what will take place at this event, you can login to our event site by clicking here.)
- PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for Gary Krause, Adventist Mission Director, Homer Trecartin, associate director of Adventist Mission, and Doug Venn, Global Mission Urban Centers Director. Pray for them to have God’s wisdom as they promote Adventist Mission and reaching the cities worldwide.
- PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for Gary Blanchard, the new GC youth director. Please continue to pray for the Youth Department’s One Year in Mission (OYIM) Initiative as it seeks to train the next generation of urban mission leaders. Also, pray for the Youth Department’s Pathfinder Program as it seeks to train the next generation of urban missionaries for Jesus.
- PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for God’s blessing on centers of influence across the Inter-European Division. Please pray especially for the center of influence in Milan, where refugees are learning about Jesus, and for the plans to expand this type of program throughout the region.