Many Tears

I just returned from the KOSTA (Korean Student Abroad) conference which I attended as a speaker. I shed many tears there because of a brother named Ja-shin Koo.

He and his wife were driving with their 3 children to attend KOSTA and serve as intercessory prayers. On the way, they were involved in a serious car accident where their car flipped over several times on the highway. Mr. Koo’s foot was seriously injured and his wife suffered a heavy concussion, falling into a coma. But the most severely injured member of the family was his 4 year old son Joseph. He was immediately flown by helicopter to a children’s hospital but by the time he arrived, due to the extent of his injuries, there was no hope of recovery.

When told that his son had no chance for survival and that he was on life support, Mr. Koo wanted to visit him. But he himself was seriously injured so the doctors would not allow him to go. When he learned that he could not see his son in person, he asked if he could speak to him by phone. He was given a phone, and he asked the hospital staff on the other line to place the telephone receiver on his unconscious son’s ear. Then he said, “My son, you are going to go to heaven. When you get there, bless the two hospitals that took care of you, your mom, and your dad. We will see you later.”

When the hospital staff heard Mr. Koo’s prayer through an interpreter they were deeply moved to tears. They changed their mind and decided to move him by ambulance to the hospital where his son was lying. When he arrived there he made another difficult decision. He decided to donate his son’s organs for other children. When the transplant operation was completed they turned off the life support and Joseph went to heaven.

During the conference, after hearing about the accident, we received periodic progress reports on the status of his family and prayed for them. This last report, where we heard what Mr. Koo decided to do, made me cry tears of shame.

I was ashamed because Mr. Koo used his vacation time to serve as an intercessory prayer, which ultimately led to the accident. I myself have never made this kind of sacrifice to serve others out of the spotlight. I was ashamed because he blessed the hospitals even in the middle of a personal crisis. I have never exhibited that kind of consideration for others during a crisis because I was always too busy taking care of myself and my family. I was ashamed because he had the courage to donate his son’s organs for other children. I might be able to donate my own organs but I would not be able to give those of my children. And most of all I was ashamed because a lay person was more willing to sacrifice than me, a professional minister.

About 2,000 graduate students and professionals attended the KOSTA conference. The conference is run completely by volunteers, including the speakers who arrange their own travel and work without pay. Much fruit is borne by the conference because of the many Koos who are willing to make big sacrifices.

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