Pastor Randy’s Top 10 – March 2023 Edition

This version of my “Top 10” article is a little late, and it’s a little different. It starts with a story of an unforgettable divine appointment God had for me when I was recently in the hospital.

On Feb 15, 2023, at about 2pm after my surgery, I was taken to the recovery area of Kaiser LA. While I was in recovery there was a nurse who was assigned exclusively to sit with me and provide me with her undivided attention until I was ready to be moved into the ICU. Her name was Min.

My time in this recovery area was only supposed to be about 2 hours. However, due to the lack of open beds in the ICU, I ended up staying there for over 10 hours. Susan and Joe waited there with me until about 9:00pm. While they were sitting there with me, especially as I became more alert with the anesthesia wearing off, the Lord provided us with wonderful opportunities to talk with Min, and to give glory to God for His mercy on my life, along with the answers to so many prayers. Min told us that her faith in God was very important to her, without going into any specifics.

After Joe and Susan needed to leave, I was left alone in the recovery area in Min’s capable and caring hands. It was about then that I asked her to tell me more about her family and where she was born. She then proceeded to share with me one of the most amazing testimonies of faith in Christ that I’ve ever heard.

Min was born in South Korea, where her grandfather was a pastor of a Christian church. But her parents did not seem to have a genuine faith in Christ. Her dad was a heavy drinker and both her parents, in Min’s words, were living a very worldly lifestyle.

When Min was 5 years old they sent her to a Christian school which was part of a local church. One day, while she was in kindergarten, along with 13 other students, their teacher left them in the classroom unattended (with no other adults) for a few minutes. After a while, someone else in the school noticed that smoke was coming from her classroom and notified the teacher. When she ran back to the room she saw the fire, panicked, closed the classroom door with the kids still in it, and ran out of the school.

As the bells rang and other classes emptied out of the school, Min’s class was left inside. It wasn’t until someone outside noticed that Min’s class was missing that they went back in to look for them. At that point, seven of the kindergartners had already died in the fire, and Min had been severely burned.

Over the next few months, very fortunate to even be alive, Min received extensive treatment for her burns. However, as she explained to me, the burn care and treatment provided to her in South Korea was not good. Fortunately, Min’s parents learned about a burn treatment center in Galveston, Texas, that could help her. Thankfully the church that ran the school gave her parents the money needed for the entire family to move to Galveston, so that Min could receive better treatment for her extensive wounds and scars. While being treated there, the doctors became very upset at the poor care given to her back in South Korea. This began a long and painful journey for Min. She ended up having surgeries at least once a year until she was 21 years old.

While Min was telling me her story I kept waiting to learn how all of this led to her faith in Christ. At one point she paused, and then explained that even though she had experienced this horrific ordeal, it was actually the difficulty of these events that caused both her and her parents to believe in Christ for salvation! So she was even thankful for all of the suffering because it led to something more beautiful! She talked about seeing the miracle in her dad’s life, as he immediately stopped drinking. He started reading the Bible, came to faith in Christ, and began living like a genuine Christian.

At some point they went back to Korea to visit family. While there they were approached by the other 13 families, some of whom had lost a child in the fire. They were urged to join them in a lawsuit against the church and the school. Yet because of their newfound faith in Christ they did not think that this was the right thing to do. They were not angry, but grateful, because of the way the Lord had used their suffering to bring them joy in Christ.

As Min was telling me this amazing story, sitting in a chair at the foot of my bed, I was in tears, not because of the pain of my surgery, but because of the blessing and honor I was being given as I listened to this amazing testimony and for the joy in Christ that came by way of unimaginable suffering. I had asked people to pray for me that I would have the opportunity to share Christ in the hospital, and I did, but I did not expect to receive such encouragement from hearing someone else give glory to God in such a powerful way.

Once Min had finished telling me her story, she then asked me to tell her my story. So I did, while walking up and down the hallway, very slowly, from the bed to the bathroom and back, with Min by my side the whole time. We both rejoiced in the great mercy of a God who suffered for us that we would have the hope of eternal life.

I did not think about it until afterwards, but at one point I realized that there were many other nurses and patients in that recovery room, only separated by thin curtains. They very likely could hear every word in the testimonies that Min and I shared with each other. What a blessing that God had given to me in that recovery area. He sent me a precious Korean nurse named Min, who loves Jesus, to care for me and to share the gospel with the whole recovery ward!

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”

I ended up spending 10 hours with Min that day. God answered so many prayers by giving me encouragement and joy in the midst of a very difficult trial, through this faithful Korean servant of the King, named Min.

Top 10 things I learned from my encounter with Min

  1. God schedules divine appointments for us with other people more often than we know
  2. God uses intense suffering to bring some people to faith in Christ
  3. One never knows who will hear the gospel when a testimony is shared in a public place
  4. God uses medical difficulties and other trials to allow us to meet people who need Jesus
  5. God uses the abundant resources He has given to America to help people all over the world
  6. It is possible and right to be grateful to the Lord for allowing us to suffer
  7. Being ready to give a testimony for Christ at all times is a very good thing
  8. Expressing thanks to God to a stranger gives glory to Him and leads to meaningful conversations
  9. God uses people to express His comfort and care for them
  10. When people ask God to bring opportunities to share the Gospel, He does

And one more very important one…
Nurses are truly a gift from God

I want to thank all of you for your prayers and for your support to me and my family and for showing us the love of Christ!

Pastor Randy

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