“Through our actions, we can feel Jesus’ love.”
Pastor Jung Myung Seok was born on February 3, 1945 and was the third eldest of his parent’s seven children. Wolmyeongdong was the mountain valley he was born in. It was a dreadful place for him. Even though he wanted to farm, there was not enough land, even though he worked to the point his body felt like collapsing, he could not fill his empty stomach. He grew up suffering.
Suffering from hunger in the midst of a dreadful poverty, he began his life of faith and started to believe in God at the beckoning of his eldest brother. Unlike others in his hometown, he was very much in love with Jesus, so even in the midst of laboring to do the farm work he was responsible of, he would go to the top of the mountains behind his house to pray and read the Bible over and over. It was the only book in the house.
Jung Myung Seok began to realize about the Bible more deeply through prayer and through trying to live according to what he realized. It was the life of training God prepared for him. He came to realize that he should not stop at just realizing, but he needed to put those realizations into practice.
There was a time when he brought home a homeless man who was mentally ill. He seemed out of his mind, but Jung Myung Seok washed him, slept next to him, and allowed him to sit together with his family for meals, and ate with him. While putting the Word to practice, Jung Myung Seok realized deeply about Jesus’ love.
“Love, the only way to achieve it is by throwing away our guns and swords.”
From 1966 to 1969, he served in the Korean Army and was sent to Vietnam as part of the White Horse Regiment. It was there that he experienced the atrocities of war. The cruelty of war made him think deeply about the fundamental issue of human beings, that is, about life and death.
He was desperate to survive the battles that pit him against death every day. In the face of death, he held onto the Bible he brought with him and read it again and again. Jesus made Jung Myung Seok realize the value of life, that it should never be traded even for the entire world. That realization of how valuable and precious life was sunk deep into his bones.
At that time, he looked up towards the sky and prayed confessing with all his heart, “If I am allowed to return to my country alive without dying here, I will live preaching the gospel until I die.”
However, immediately after he completed my tour of duty and returned to Korea, he was sent back to Vietnam. By the time he returned to Korea for the second time, he had gone through hundreds of ambush operations, mountain reconnaissance operations, and numerous battles. He came very close to death on dozens of occasions.
Through his time in the Vietnam War, he realized that peace cannot be achieved with guns and knives and that if we want to achieve it, we have to throw away our guns and knives. Jesus was always next to him, inspiring him with realizations. He taught Jung Myung Seok about loving his enemies saying, “Although you are enemies to each other, they are not enemies to Me.”
When he came back from Vietnam alive, he continued to farm with his parents, but he also went to Daedun Mountain, Darigol Cave, Gamram Mountain, and other places in order to pray. Through prayer and his living of training, the Lord unraveled the deep secrets of the Bible and allowed him to understand the Trinity in a new way.
“Action over words.”
Staying true to my life’s motto, “Action over words,” he preached the gospel by living according to the Word, and he spread the fire of the gospel in various college campuses where the youth were hungry for new truth. He delivered the perfect Word of life to those who found it difficult to discover the path of life and to those who once misunderstood and distrusted God because they did not understand the Bible correctly.
At this time, the new fire of truth that clearly teaches us about the essence of human beings, about faith, and about salvation is being spread not only throughout Korea but also to over fifty nations around the world.
Love and faith do not happen just with words alone. Faith is living according to the Word. The Bible is not just made up of lofty words, but it contains messages of miracles that are fulfilled even today. It is the definitive guide for our lives. Since the Lord’s words are being delivered even today, he will continue to carry out the work of the Lord every day.