I’m on my way to Korea and I’m writing this letter in a plane. Although I fly quite often it’s not something I will ever get used to. Going on a long trip is always an adventure for me. It’s also a challenge. I empty myself every time I ride on a plane. I practice letting go of everything. And I discipline myself to entrust everything unto God. Whenever I entrust myself on a plane, I think about how important it is to entrust ourselves on something. I discipline myself to remain in Jesus as I remain in a plane, and I discipline myself to entrust my eternal life on Jesus as I entrust my life on a pilot. For that reason, a plane ride is a time of spiritual discipline for me.
As I’m riding on the plane, a warm feeling of love mysteriously overflows in my heart. A few days ago, I was subconsciously thinking about the love of Christ that I received from someone. As I was reading a book I received as a gift from Pastor David Ross, I realized that the love that I was feeling came from Pastor and Mrs. Ross. The book Pastor Ross has written was about his love toward Korea. His book, Out of the House of Fear into the House of Love, illustrates how much God loves Korea. This book contains the love of Christ that loved Korea with the entirety of Pastor Ross’s life.
I’ve respected Pastor David Ross from early on. As an American missionary, Pastor Ross has loved Korea more than other Koreans. He has learned and mastered and now preaches in Korean. In 1989, after planting Logos Evangelical Church as I was contemplating and praying on whom to invite for the first revival, I invited Pastor David Ross. Pastor Ross came gladly and served the family of Logos Church that were few in number. On the last day of the revival, he asked my wife and I to come on our knees and he prayed over us together with the whole congregation.
At the time, Logos Evangelical Church was a newly planted church that didn’t even have enough finances to give them proper honorarium. After the revival, I prepared a small gift and visited Pastor and Mrs. Ross at the place where they were staying. Pastor and Mrs. Ross came before me on their knees and asked me to pray over them. They bowed on their knees before a 32-year-old young pastor. I also bowed on my knees before them, and we prayed for each other. When Mrs. Ross visited our church last week, she held my wife’s hands and asked her to pray for her again. Mrs. Ross didn’t let go of my wife's hands until she received prayer.
As we were fellowshipping over lunch, Pastor Ross told me about a big Bible he had received as a birthday gift from Korean Bible Society. This Bible was a specially published Bible that Korean Bible Society has made just for Pastor Ross to express their gratitude. After receiving the big Bible, Pastor Ross asked God, “Why did you give me such a big Bible? As I’m aging, a big Bible feels too heavy.” He said God answered him with following words, “The Word of God is big. And you are too little. Before the Word of God, you are just a small servant.” As he was telling me this story, he told me how truly great and powerful the Word of God is and how small of a servant he truly is. Through his confession, I was able to feel deeply how amazing the character of Pastor Ross was.
It was a moment of short encounter but with a great shock. Pastor and Mrs. Ross did not speak much. However, I felt my heart being filled with the love of Christ. The fragrance left by a good encounter remains in our heart forever. As I met them, I looked back at myself. I distressed over myself because I felt like I left a foul odor to many people instead of leaving the fragrance of Jesus.
On this trip to Korea, I would want people that I encounter in Korea to feel a hint of the scent of the fragrance of Jesus. When I return home, I would like to return as a small servant who delivered the great Word of God. I would like to deliver not my words or accomplishment but God’s Word and the love of the cross that God has fulfilled through Christ. I deeply thank you for always loving me even with my shortcomings. I will be visiting various churches and deliver God’s Word. In addition, I will be leading two pastoral seminars. I ask for your prayers. I love you.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.