I had to discontinue my study during the junior
high school because of poverty, even though I was anxious to study more.
Instead, I had to work hard to support my brother-in-lawís education.
2. Crisis in health
I was four months pregnant with my third baby.
While I was doing housework, carrying my second baby on my back, there was some
bleeding. I went to a gynecologist, who said that the baby in my womb was dead
and that I needed surgery. I refused to believe that the baby was dead. The
doctor then asked my husband if he wanted me to live or die. I was tied to the
surgery table and was operated on. It was the beginning of my
I had a second surgery seven days later. One day
after the second surgery, I was almost dead and was moved to a larger hospital.
Three days later, I regained consciousness, but remained in a serious condition.
I tried many things to improve my health, but none of them helped. The
gynecologist said that it might help if I had another baby. After much
difficulty, I became pregnant.
Labor began in the ninth month of the pregnancy,
but the baby could not be delivered. The doctor suggested a Caesarean operation,
but my mother-in-law insisted on a natural birth. To obey her, I continued
suffering terrible pains for the next two months. My mother could not watch me
in that condition any longer and brought some medicine from a herbal doctor. I
took the medicine and delivered the baby in the eleventh month of the pregnancy.
I lost a large quantity of blood and became unconscious.
Two weeks later, my mother-in-law came and told me
to go out and buy some rice. While I was returning home with the rice, I found
myself bleeding again. Severe pains continued through the night, and my feet
became swollen. I cried a lot when I was alone.
One day when the baby was four months old, I was
doing some laundry at a creek and, suddenly, found the baby being swept away in
the creek. I plunged into water and pulled the baby out. Soon, I got a fever and
severe pains in my belly. The doctor said that I had appendicitis and sent me to
a larger hospital in Gwangju. Test results showed that I had inflammation in the
pelvis, appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, and a fever. I seemed to be
nearing death. I felt like going to the bathroom, but, instead, was taken to the
operating room, and the surgery began.
For one week after the surgery, I was throwing up
what I ate. I had trouble walking to the bathroom. Nurses complained that I was
exaggerating and kicked me on my legs. After I came home, pains became
About a month after the surgery, something was
coming out together with blood and pus from where the surgery was done. Rosa, my
eldest daughter, was crying loudly and screamed, "Mommy! Your intestines!
What should we do? Mommy! What should we do?" We embraced each other and
cried. We found out that it was the gauze that doctors forgot to remove during
I visited a country clinic every day. Blood and
pus continued flowing out for three months. I went back to the larger hospital
where the operation had been done. Doctors said that, because of substantial
inflammation, I needed another surgery. I refused, because I did not have money.
I continued visiting the country clinic, and the pains continued.
The condition was worsening, and pains were
becoming unbearable. I was hospitalized again, but it was too late. The doctor
said, "We did our best. Go home and eat delicious food." He found a
widespread cancer in my body. When he tried to show it to my husband, I was
startled and stopped him. I thought I would rather die than show the cancer to
After hearing the death sentence at the hospital,
I came home but did not give up. I did not want to dishearten my mother who had
only me to depend on since when she was 27. I struggled, but could not even
stand or sit. The parts of my body which were touching the floor were hardening.
My mother and husband took turns to massage me, but my body was becoming colder.
The blood pressure was 50 over 40. I could not eat or drink. Because of problems
in my veins, I could not even get I.V. injections.
Despite all that, I was still alive. Several women
belonging to a Presbyterian church took me to their church and brought me back
home several times, even though I wanted to go to a Catholic church. One day two
Presbyterian women visited me and consoled me. When they were leaving, they said
to each other outside the room, "What a pitiful woman! Life is precious, but
she would be helping her family by dying." "Thatís right! Why didnít I
think of that?" I prepared cyanide and wrote seven letters ?to my mother,
husband, four children, and whoever might be my husbandís next
3. Light shines at long last
As I was thinking about my father and about to
carry out the plan, my husband suddenly came home from work ?earlier than usual
?and said, "Honey! Let's visit a Catholic church today." So, we went to
a Catholic church in Naju.
To the priest, I said, "Father! If there really
is God, He is too cruel. Why should I drink this bitter cup (= death)? What did
I do to deserve it?" I thought it was not fair. I thought that I had lived a
good life despite so many adversities. I had helped many beggars, I had not
confronted those who had hurt me.
Then, the priest said, "Ma'am, you are
receiving graces through your body. Even I have not received such graces.
Believe what I say." When I heard these words from the priest, I believed
and responded by saying, "Amen." At that moment, my body, which had been
cold like a rock, was becoming hot and I was sweating all over my body. The Holy
Spirit was working in me. We decided to become Catholics and bought several
items at the Parish gift shop. I placed a statue of the Blessed Mother and a
rose on my clothes chest and lit a candlelight. I began to pray.
On the third day, I heard the voice of Jesus:
Approach the Bible. The Bible is My living Word. I opened the
Bible immediately and was reading Luke 8:40-48. It was about a woman who had a
hemorrhage for twelve years. She had the faith that if she touched the tassel on
the Lordís cloak, she would be healed. When she touched Him and was healed
immediately, Jesus said to her, "Woman, your faith has saved you. Go in
peace." There also was the story about Jairus?daughter. The Lord told
Jairus, "Do not be afraid; just have faith, and your daughter will live."
Because Jairus believed Jesus, his daughter lived again. I believed that these
words were for me also and, with a firm belief, responded with "Amen!" At
that moment, I was completely cured of the cancer and all the accompanying
I felt like running or even flying. I began going
to the Catholic church and also opened a beauty parlor. I joined the charismatic
movement and the Legio Marie. My life was filled with joy and
4. The Lord opens the gate of Heaven after my repentance
It was December of 1980. During an overnight
prayer meeting, the leader said, "Tonight someone will receive special
graces." I believed that it would be realized to me also. At about 3 a.m.,
the leader asked people, "What do you want?" Immediately, I prayed
fervently, "Lord, I want to grow spiritually. I want my spiritual
growth." In response, the Lord showed me extremely surprising scenes. I was
so surprised that I felt as if my body was becoming paralyzed.
What the Lord showed me was a replay of everything
that had happened in my life ?I was beaten numerous times by an uncle while
working in his home; I was working in a factory day and evening every day
without ever receiving pay; I was beaten up by several women who were doing
business with me, because they did not want to return to me the money that I had
invested in the business; I was mistreated many times, because my father was not
alive; and many other happenings that I did not want to remember. I began crying
bitterly, realizing that, humanly speaking, it would have been impossible for me
to have lived thus far, but it was the Lord Who has kept me.
I also prayed for those who inflicted pains on me:
Lord, have mercy on those numerous people. They did what they did because of
me. They were Your instruments for tempering me. Therefore, they are victims
because of me. I could not help crying wildly, because I realized that they
suffered harms because of me. "Lord! Forgive this sinner. Forgive this sinner.
" I kept asking for forgiveness.
While I was deeply repenting and asking for
forgiveness, the gate of Heaven suddenly opened and a bright light poured down
upon me. I also heard the following words three times: The gate of Heaven
is open. I became a very little, lowly person and prayed anxiously,
"Lord, open my heart further. Open it more."
Until then, I had thought that I had lived a good
life and had never made any mistake. Such pride was replaced by a deep
realization that I was the greatest sinner. My body hardened again. I came home,
supported by others. While lying down, I prayed, "Lord, whether I live or
die, I leave it to You." I offered up myself to the Lord.
5. The Lord's call to a mission
Three days later, I heard the Lord's voice again:
Daughter! God has worked in His servant's heart. Get up hurriedly! I will
make Myself known through you, who are unworthy.
When I heard these words, I was so surprised that
I stood up right away. I knew that I was healthy again. I felt like flying. The
Lord resurrected three days after death. He raised me up on the third day of my
illness and repentance. "Yes, Lord! I am totally Yours. Use me according to
For the next three years, the Lord allowed me
everything that I wanted ?even those things that I had in my mind only briefly.
At every moment, the Lord showed me that there was nothing that was impossible
The Lord also let me see the inside of other
people's minds and understand the nature of others?illnesses. Because of this,
I felt unbearable pains. The Lord showed me that those who were doing the Lord's
work and were thinking that they were close to Him were inflicting greater pains
on Him and crucifying Him with bigger nails. I prayed hard for them.
When Jesus was entering Jerusalem riding a donkey,
many people were welcoming Him placing palm leaves and their clothes in front of
the donkey. What if the donkey thought that people were welcoming him instead of
the Lord? What will happen to Jesus Who is riding the donkey, if the donkey
jumps up and down with joy? Yes, while we work to make the Lord known, we can
fail to be humble and think that we are the ones who are doing the work. Then,
we will make the Lord fall on the ground. The thought that this can happen to me
also sent a chill down my spine. When I was participating in the charismatic
movement, many people liked me and made me stand in front of people. But now I
wished that I could work in humility and hiding. I prayed, "Lord, I saw
enough. Please do not show me any more. If it can be of any use for the
conversion of sinners who are crucifying the Lord, I will gladly live a life of suffering." "Lord!, I am so unworthy, but, if it can be of even the tiniest help to the Lord's Work, I will gladly offer up my sufferings." So,
I consecrated myself and my sufferings for the conversion of sinners.