Kiyong Kwon, a business owner and church planter, chose an affluent suburb of South Korea’s capital, Seoul, to open his second church. His first church, opened in a rural area four years earlier, was filled to overflowing, and he wanted a new challenge. “When God first called me, I said, ‘I can’t,’ ” Kwon said. “But after I witnessed God’s power, I became bolder.”
He reasoned that impoverished people can accept God more easily than the wealthy. He wondered how to share the gospel with those who have everything and decided that even the wealthy need good health. So, he opened the Bundang NEW START church and a vegetarian restaurant in an office building in the suburb of Bundang. “I decided God’s health message is the way to share the last-day gospel,” he said. The new church began organizing health seminars, cooking classes, and Bible studies.
Among the first attendees was a pharmacist who seemed to enjoy the weeklong health seminar. After the seminar finished, participants interested in more information were invited to attend Bible studies on Daniel and Revelation. But the pharmacist didn’t come. Kwon made some inquiries and learned that the pharmacist had taken a week of vacation to attend the health seminar. She didn’t have free time for Bible studies. So, Kwon made audio recordings of the Bible studies and sent them to her.
“The woman was really shocked by what she heard, but she didn’t want to leave her Sunday church,” Kwon said.
The pharmacist’s mind began to change as she continued to listen to the Bible studies. She thought about keeping the Sabbath and worshiping at the church. As she pondered what to do, she began to suffer a bad headache. She worried that she might have brain cancer, but doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. Still, the pain persisted.
Finally, her 24-year-old daughter said, “Do you know why you have the headache? It’s because you know what’s right but you aren’t doing it. I’ll go to the Sabbath church with you.”
The pharmacist and her daughter showed up at church the next Sabbath, and they are faithful members today.
“From these kinds of experiences, I realize that this is God’s business,” Kwon said. “Hearts are not changed because of anything that people do.”
Kiyong Kwon, 56, left, has planted three churches in South Korea. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help plant the first Adventist church in Sejong, South Korea. Read more about Kwon in last week’s lesson.