“Now, I see that the reason he saved my life was for the completion of the Mission”
Pastor Jo Sung Wook, building a disciple of the Lord, at the end of All Nations

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Gospel Overflowing Church makes a calendar every year. In keeping with the faith of the early church to complete world evangelization while we are alive, waiting for the Lord to come, the calendar contains the story of the field of preaching the Gospel around the world. Pastor Cho Sung-wook turned the calendar page by page and told the story of the mission field contained in the calendar.

  • First of all, please introduce yourself to us.

“I have lived my life thinking that it is truly an unlucky life. Then I met the Lord miraculously in the military. Without the grace of the Lord, I would have died in an accident, but God saved me. The Lord has left scars even now so that I may not forget the day.” Before explaining that, Pastor Cho showed a scar on his instep, one of the marks left at the time of the accident.

“At that time, Artillery training was conducted by putting only gunpowder in fake bullets. Usually, Juniors had to pick up the cartridges that had fallen on the target. At that time, a senior ahead of me found an unexploded bomb that had fallen in the past. He had just a few days before he was discharged from the military. When he was wiping off the dirt of the bomb, the one exploded . He died in the accident that day, and I was so startled by the explosive sound. I caught a piece of shrapnel and passed out. A shrapnel was lodged in the bone on the top of my foot, and I still can’t remove it. I don’t usually feel pain, but when something touches it, I feel uncomfortable, so I can’t cover the blanket on that”

I was as good as dead in the bomb accident.

  • Were there any shards in your body?

“After being transported to the hospital by a helicopter, I had mixed emotions with sadness, surprise and shock. I took my belongings out of my uniform and was about to change into a patient gown, but once again I saw a surprising trace. I pulled out scripture cards from my breast pocket, and there was a shrapnel embedded in it. It was the position of my heart. I had bought the cards while on vacation five days before the accident. It was the first time I went to a Christian goods store and bought scripture verses cards.”

  • Those cards saved your life.

“In the military, everyone smoked during 10-minute breaks. I didn’t have much faith, but I didn’t smoke, so I had nothing to do at the time, so I thought I should read the Bible. It is because I was facing many difficulties when I was a private. I couldn’t train with the bible, so I went to a Christian goods store and bought Bible verses cards. The hundreds of cards were coated one by one, so it was pretty thick. I carried them around to recite the verses every 10 minutes of rest. While changing into a patient gown, I took out the cards thinking that “It was coated but why is it so rough?”. The moment I saw it, a shiver ran down my spine. I was dead. This is what I thought.”

  • You miraculously survived. How have you been since then?

“I started thinking about it as I lay in bed. ‘I’ve been unlucky all my life, but I didn’t survive because I was lucky, it seems that the one above me saved me. If so, does it mean that God is really alive? Even if people don’t know him, I have to believe him.’ I came to think that way. I had to lie in the hospital for 9 months because it was difficult to remove the shrapnel stuck in the middle of the bone. During that time, I began to look deeply into myself. In the meantime, even though I couldn’t believe that God is alive, and on the other hand, even if he is alive, I resented him saying, ‘Why did you do this to me?’ At the same time, I could not read the Bible or seek grace on my own. But at some point I thought, ‘I didn’t want to know God.’ From then on, I really started to read the Bible and pray. While I was praying, wearing a patient gown and lying face down on the cold marble floor of the hospital in the army, I spoke in tongue, prayed for hours, and continued to read the Bible, and God gave me a lot of grace.”

  • You have met the Lord.

“I came to believe in the existence of God and the fact that God saved me. Then a question arose, ‘Why did he save me?’ So, while I was reading the Bible to find out why he saved me, I came across Matthew 28, where he tells all believers to ‘Go and make disciples of all nations’. As I realized that God wants the evangelization of the world and the Lord’s return, I thought I had to live for this. Then how do I evangelize the world? I had been bullied a lot since I was a kid, so it was really hard for me to interact with people. When God asked to evangelize the world to me, who had a hard time communicating with others, I was worried. ‘Evangelism is difficult with my character, but God can do it.’ I gained such courage. From then on, I prayed while thinking about how to do world evangelization.”

The reason God saved me was because of world evangelization.

▲ The calendar page with the photos of National evangelism movements in Venezuela and El Salvador. Provided by: Gospel Overflowing Church
  • You came to have a vision for world evangelization.

“After returning from military service, I began evangelizing diligently in my college days, and later learned theology. I started Gospel Overflowing Church on December 5, 2004. Since planting a church, we have been thinking about the world evangelization that we can do with the belief that “A new church can also evangelize the world.” In 2012, I challenged myself for an overseas ministry which was ridiculous. A few pastors united their hearts to try it for world evangelization and decided to go to the United States, a powerful country in this age. We decided to enter the area where the gospel was needed the most urgently believing that there must be disciples of the Lord who will surely realize the gospel and save the country and this age. As we prayed, the Lord reminded us of Miami in everyone’s minds. We went after buying plane tickets for a two-week stay, but we decided not to come back unless we found the souls the Lord had prepared.”

  • You went out with great aspirations. Did you meet the souls prepared by God?

“At first, we went to colleges or tried to meet rich people, but after trial and error, we heard that there are over 1 million Cubans living there, so we decided to go to Cuban Churches. While searching for Cuban churches, we came across an organization called ‘Eco Cuba’. The leader of the organization, Dr Theo, was shocked to hear our story. At that time, a secretary named Jennifer also heard our story and wept. The previous day, a senior pastor of her church said, ‘Repent for not evangelizing dying souls outside the church. Let’s evangelize.’ He said this way and we appeared saying that Let’s evangelize. Hearing our story, they said they were thrilled and thought that God had sent us to them. Jennifer connected us right away to the pastor of her church.”

  • You have met a Cuban pastor. I wonder how it went.

“It was Pastor Cardona, and we were able to hold a conference through him. It was the pastor who was blessed the most through the conference. He said that he came to know that we can preach the gospel even if we can not speak foreign languages, and that there are souls around us who are ready to hear the gospel. At that time, evangelism that did not happen in the church beforehand took place, and more than 200 people accepted Jesus through the church during the week of the conference. Since then, the doors to 100 countries have been opened: Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Peru, etc.”

We have shared the gospel to 100 countries around the world.

  • Those things are on the calendar. Now we can listen to the explanation about the calendar.

“God really wants world evangelization in our days, and he is fulfilling that work through our steps now. We put the footsteps on the calendar every year. Each page for the month of January explains the Gospel and the world evangelization in our days. And on the page for the month of February this year, there are pictures of Asian Tyrannus conference held in India last year.”

  • The church is hosting this conference.

“Our church has not created any other organizations or groups to serve world missions. We are only doing what we can handle. In the meantime, we started the national evangelism movement, which is to help a country grow spiritually in a fast way. This is to find disciples in a country. It takes a lot of time for one disciple to evangelize that country and become self-sufficient. So we start this with disciples from other countries and they come to the country and help together at their own expense for 1 to 2 weeks. They preach the gospel, connect the newly found disciples to the team in the country and come out. They come out by building the minimum infrastructure that can achieve national evangelization. We only help once nationally, and our church has been paying the expenses from outside.”

  • It would have been expensive, but you have done it. What other conferences are there?

“There is a conference called Cumbre, where disciples from all over the world gather together. Cumbre is Spanish, and it means summit, best and peak in English. Since our ministry started in the Spanish-speaking countries, we came to use the word Cumbre. Cumbre is the conference where only representative disciples from each country gather. In 2019, about 160 people from 85 countries participated in Cumbre. We have held it three times so far.”

The site of “cumbre” where disciples from each countries
  • Then, what is the Tyrannus Conference?

“It’s a continental conference. All the disciples who can gather are to come together and share the works of God in each country and the works God has done in regions within each country and help one another. Now that they have gathered together, they evangelize. If they are to meet in Guatemala this time, they will evangelize all over Guatemala. If they evangelize in this way, they are able to learn from each other how to evangelize and improve themselves because the circumstances of each country are different. We group international disciples and disciples in Guatemala into teams, and they are able to have fellowship in the teams. 100 to 200 disciples from continents stay at the houses of natives to evangelize, and then gather for a conference. At that time, they have time to have fellowship and talk about what happened while evangelizing and what is happening in their own countries. Living and evangelizing together in itself is a great blessing. The Tyrannus conference was held mainly in Latin America, but now it is also held in Asia and Africa.”

  • It is amazing. It goes beyond each continent and gathers from all over the world to evangelize. Is there anything else?

“Finisher school ministry was started because we thought children should evangelize the world together. This is a dynamic school. Since we have many overseas ministries, when the disciples join the ministries, their children also come together. They evangelize and have conferences, but we also run school with these children. We did it with our children and local children. If I try to explain, it is like Bible School. We shared the gospel with the children. Their parents worked hard, but the response was good, so now the finisher school ministries are being carried out by themselves in many countries.”

Worldwide, continental gatherings, to the next generation

  • Naturally, the ministry of the next generation has been led. I heard that there are a lot of online seminars now? How did you get started?

“We didn’t plan on doing an online ministry. It started because of Pastor Thomas from Nigeria who is in Korea. The pastor, who is studying for a Ph.D, was thinking about what kind of world evangelization he could do when Covid-19 broke out, and he started a seminar for English-speaking disciples through an online video conference system. It is held every Saturday, and it is going on actively. Our weekly bulletin introduces about 30 online seminars by time that our church is involved in. In addition, there are many online seminars that are organized spontaneously by the disciples in each continent. The disciples in Central and South America are actively holding seminars on their own, and in Africa, we are helping seminars for only a few countries. Our role is to share a message or take care of the disciples. We serve them by delivering a message, but disciples from other countries are helping each other by sharing a message.”

  • If you are serving international seminars with messages, you will need an interpreter.

“In the case of Sri Lanka, it is not possible to use only English. So we relay interpretation into 2 or 3 languages. Actually, a message takes 15 minutes, but because of the interpretation, it takes about an hour. But I look at and serve one person. I am very proud that the door of the nation is opened through that one person and ministries are actively taking place. However, ministries are also active offline.”

  • Please tell us about your offline ministry.

“Even now, ministers risk their lives to preach the gospel. A lot of online ministries have been carried out in Africa too, but the internet connection is weak, so they are doing more ministries offline. There is a pastor from Liberia whose name is Prince. He received the gospel in Korea. He could make money in Korea, but after receiving the gospel, he went back saying that I had to save my country. In the meantime, he lost his youngest child. He lost his first one a year later. It was such a difficult situation, but during that year, he traveled all over Liberia and preached the gospel. He lost his first child in January of this year, and after a few days, photos of his traveling ministry were uploaded in our group chat. Recently, his wife was hospitalized because of heart problems. Despite these hardships, he is still working hard.”

  • It reminds me of the missionaries who came to Korea. They preached the gospel while burying their children in this country. Please describe the situation in Africa.

“There are 30 to 40 countries in Africa that are connected with our church. Except for a few countries in North Africa, the disciples are working all over the countries. There are about 10 countries where disciples are working hard. As you can see in the photo, These are African countries connected with us until 2018. Everything was connected except the white parts. (Photo) Ministries in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Ivory Coast are active. The ministries are being carried vigorously in Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda in the east, and Malawi and South Africa in the south. The leader of Uganda is Pastor Eko Pie. In Uganda, over 70% of the population are the young. Because of the civil war, there are many people under the age of 20. So now young people have received the Gospel and are working very fervently. The young generation is rising to the point that I think Uganda will lead the whole Africa.

Sharing confession and ministry reports from dozens of countries each week

  • How about ministries in other places?

“Online and Offline ministries are taking place actively in Asian countries as well. The country at forefront in online ministry is India. Also, the gospel is spreading in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Malaysia, Kuwait, Myanmar and other countires as well. It is amazing work of God how Pakistan was connected to us. While we were having conference in Chile, a disciple from Pakistan participated. He was a pastor from Pakistan and I asked him how did you come to Chile. He answered he was evangelizing fervently and was victims of terrorism several times. Therefore, missionary from foreign countries thought he was too dangerous to be in Pakistan, so they sent him to Spain. So he has lived in Spain for 17-18 years, and has produced good fruits by visiting Pakistan once or twice in a year. By having this kind of evidence, he participated big mission conference in Brazil, and from Brazil he visited Chile to meet his friend. Then he participated our conference which he did not plan for. After hearing the message, he came to me. He confessed I truly understand Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He said my heart is burning and requested us to come to Pakistan and Spain. We were in the middle of Latin American Ministry, but we could not deny Asian disciple requesting ministry in Chile. We regarded it as will of God and went to Pakistan.”

▲ Mexican disciples preaching the gospel on the street
  • Vision of Macedonian man described in Book of Act was taking place, wasn’t it?

“The problem was translation. I spoke Korean and our interpretator translated in Spanish, then he translated in Urdu. When I spoke one sentence, he spoke 4-5 sentences. I figured the message was not delivered properly so I came back to Korea to find Urdu interpretator. I went to International center in Ansan trying to find a Pakistani who is able to speak Korean, able to spend 1-2 weeks and a Christian. The person who was responsible for Pakistan said I am that person and volunteered from our ministry. I figured out later that his father was in charge of mission organization in Pakistan.”

  • The righteous hand of God guided you

“We went to Pakistan with him. And his father’s mission organization has became a group which is preaching the Gospel most fervently among all Christian organization in Pakistan. When we went to Pakistan, there was a bomb terrorism incident about 2-3 kilometers from our accommodation. Also, the Pakistani disciple pointed a chimney that people were burned in furnace. That was because bride was Muslim and groom was Christian, however, they were burned by honor killing. Therefore, the police escorted us and protected us whenever we moved to different location. We went to Pakistan several times and has entrusted the ministry to Pakistani disciples, however the disciples went to Pakistan every holidays. That is how ministry is proceeding right now.”

  • Do you need federated denomination to process international ministry?

“For us to complete World Evangelization during our life time, I think we need to help many mission organizations and denominations. Therefore, we has removed our color and has set up the direction which every disciple is able to preach the content of the gospel in simple but profound ways so that we are able to prepare the way for second coming of the Lord. I has reminded myself that we should challenge to find disciple of Jesus by only preaching Gospel of the Christ in Matthew 28, and if any disciples are willing to go together with us, then we will serve them. Therefore, every organization has welcomed and greeted us. Every disciples in all nation has different denominational background, but they are united as one family in the gospel. The doors for Europe, North America and Oceania have opened as well, though they are not big unity.

One family which all nations is united by the Gospel

  • How do you contact with the ministers all around the world?

“We do not get report from other nations nor do we control their ministry. Instead, the disciples upload their ministries in their Social Network Service or they briefly summarize to us. Then we gather their ministries, organize them and report them during afternoon service. On Saturday, we share ministry summary in many countries in our church SNS, and during afternoon service, we report ministry summaries by each continents. There are disciples who are responsible for communicating with disciples in each continents, and they share the ministry report during afternoon and we pray for them. We continue to pray for each countries by sharing ministry reports. Nepal is the country where it is very difficult to move around. However, if the disciples in Nepal need to do ministry in certain places, they need to go to the regions by riding motorcycle for 12 hours. Some roads, it is vulnerable for people to be killed by tiger or other wild animals. Therefore, they are requesting us prayer that they are taking very difficult road but also they can be mobbed by tiger. They are risking their life to do ministry. We have received these kind of reports every week, and God has given us a lot of grace and challenge.”

  • Please share your vision and prayer topics

“There are three roles which our church can serve since we need to help each others other than for us to lead everything. First, we need to become good example in front to lead the way. Second, we can become good supporter for every one. If some countries require to do ministry, we can support them financially or ministerial ways. Third, we have responsibility to become good platform. We are serving every countries to inform situations in other countries and also to help the countries so that they are able to help each other for the sake of World Evangelization In Our Days. We should not always reveal ourself in the front. We need to believe and preach about Jesus properly. The reason why the believer cannot pursue the life of Christian is because of their faith, and their faith comes from believing the Gospel. Therefore, anybody can be responsible for preaching true Gospel, helping disciple to believe and to live according the Gospel. I am only hoping the be part of this precious ministry.” [Gospel Prayer News]


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