“Ent-draughts! That’s it!” I was sitting in the early morning prayer meeting of Yoido Full
Gospel Church, the largest church in the world. The 5 AM early morning service had finished, but the sanctuary was still filled with hundreds of people in prayer scattered throughout its cavernous crevices. Two pastors stood in the front of the sanctuary, praying fervently into microphones. Worship music blared through the speakers. A businessman in a suit was crying out to God early before work next to a housewife praying fervently.
As I sat there in prayer, soaking it in, I was drinking from a deep well, and my spirit drew fresh strength from its waters. I couldn’t place where I’d heard of such a strengthening draught. Then I remembered a scene from (where else?) The Lord of the Rings where Merry and Pippin were with the Ents. These large tree herders drank Ent-draughts from large stone jars for their refreshing and strength. When the hobbits Merry and Pippin drank those draughts, they immediately added two to three inches to their original height. And as I sat in that cavernous sanctuary, I felt myself drinking deeply of spiritual Ent-draughts.
One of the joys of this trip has been to drink deeply from spiritual Ent-draughts in Korea. We also visited All Nations Church in Incheon, a smaller yet spiritually vibrant church sacrificially devoted to prayer, worship, generous giving and all nations. Their normal Christianity is to tithe daily their time for prayer each day, praying two and a half hours each day. Yup. Every day. Morning to night, the sanctuary has people praying in it. Every day is broken into two two-hour segments, and church members come to pray around the clock for those two hours so that the church is filled with prayer. The worship was powerful, the prayer fervent, the preaching fiery and the passion for Jesus contagious. We had breakfast with one of the pastors, whose son was named Samuel after my father. In prayer, he and his wife sensed our spiritual burden, and he prayed for a release of the fire of the Holy Spirit to empower us to carry that burden. Amen!
We also visited my father’s grave in Korea. At his graveside, I shared with my daughters their spiritual inheritance. His life verse was Gal 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” In the early 1980s, he gave up a successful business to become a missionary to Japan. In 1993, he gave up a thriving church in downtown Tokyo to serve house churches in China. In the early 200s after being called from China to Korea to train missionaries, he gave up a thriving ministry training missionaries at a huge church in Korea to plant a church in Baghdad Iraq. That ended up being the last church that he planted. We prayed that the faith that animated his sacrifice might animate our lives as well.
Finally we went to the Korean martyrs memorial. We saw the hundreds of people who had been martyred for their faith in Korea — when it first arrived in Korea, under Japanese occupation and during the Koran War. Since the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church (Tertullian), the blood of hundreds of these early martyrs in Korea sowed the seeds of the rapid growth of the church today. One of the churches mentioned was led by Missionary Hall, one of the first missionaries in Pyongyang that baptized Eunsil’s great grandfather. Her great grandfather was one of the first converts to Christianity and was sent to Hawaii to be discipled so that he could develop others in Korea. We realized the depth of our spiritual heritage extending back many generation. The final picture that we saw in that memorial museum was a mirror. After looking at hundreds of pictures of martyrs, under the mirror was inscribed the words, “Lord make me a martyr as well!”