by Pastor Joheun Park
I am the eldest, the only son in my family. I have two younger sisters.
I've been going to church alone since I was a child. No one else in my family, on both my father and mother’s side, went. My wish from my school days was that my whole family would hold hands on Sunday to go to church and worship together.
After I became a pastor, by the grace of God, my family received Jesus as Saviour one by one. But my father was the only one who was like an iron fortress. Whenever I asked him to go to church and worship, he would send money for offering but would not join me for one reason or another, even though he promised.
I have been praying for my father’s salvation... It's been over 30 years.
In the beginning of May, my father had chills and body aches. He was tested for COVID-19 and the result was negative. His condition did not improve and a CT scan showed that he had a pyogenic liver abscess. He had to have a tube inserted to remove the pus. He was sent to a hospital near Seoul on 8 May.
My father has high blood pressure. When he arrived at the hospital, his blood pressure was low, perhaps due to his illness, that he was given medication to help increase his blood pressure and sent to the intensive care unit. My sisters could not be with him constantly; visits to patients in intensive care were only allowed once a day, for 20 minutes.
I worried a lot and felt sad that I couldn't see my father. I felt sorry for my sisters who live in the countryside and had to travel to the hospital every day.
The doctor said that the pus needed to be a little bit hardened for good suction, so they waited. But the bigger problem is that if his blood pressure could not be brought to normal, the suction procedure could not be carried out and my father could die of sepsis. They had already given him medication for blood pressure support twice.
On 9 May, my father said that it was a little easier for him to breathe. The plan was to do the suction procedure the next day, depending on his condition.
My father’s condition improved overnight, and the procedure was carried out at the time of CCMC’s worship service. The procedure went well but we were told that we had to wait to see how things go.
My father’s blood pressure was stable the next day, but his platelet level was so low that we were told that he may need a blood transfusion. At the same time, his oxygen dependence was too high because inflammation had infected his lungs.
Pus was continuously coming through the tube connected to his liver. Pulmonary edema was suspected, and his condition could worsen so he was kept in the intensive care unit.
On 12 May, my father was much better and was moved to a general ward.
I contacted him and told him: "I'm so glad you have recovered a lot. I wish I can be with you but I can’t because of the COVID-19 situation. I'm sorry. Here, in CCMC, the church's pastor-in-charge, the leaders, the Korean congregation and other church members all prayed for you. Everyone was delighted to hear that you have moved to a normal ward. Please, don't forget that even though I'm far away, I'm always praying for you."
My father said, "I'm okay. Please make sure to say thank you to everyone."
On Sunday, 17 May, my father joined the CCMC Korean worship service via Zoom. It was the first time he went to Church. I've been praying for this for 30 years! 17 May 2020 is a day that I would like to thank God for with all my heart and shouts of Hallelujah!.
My father was discharged from hospital on 26 May. Most of the pus has been drained and he has been prescribed antibiotics.
I want to thank everyone at CCMC for praying for my father.
As the Psalmist says in Psalm 150:6, "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. PRAISE THE LORD!" Amen.