지난 2월 베델교회의 첫 단기선교팀이 이곳을 방문했다가 권총 강도를 당한 빈민촌의 교회를 방문했습니다. 교회 지붕에 시원하게 뚫린 총알구멍을 보면서 당시 상황을 실감할 수 있었습니다. 교인 집을 방문해 보았습니다. 지붕 위로 얼기설기 얽혀있는 전기선들이 거미줄같이 하늘을 가리고 있었고, 한 평 남짓한 방에 10인치 퇴색된 컬러TV가 지지직거리며 켜져 있었습니다. 퀴퀴한 냄새가 나는 어두침침한 방에 4식구가 살고 있는 모습은 그냥 답답하기만 했습니다. 한인 선교사님들이 이곳에 교회를 개척하고, 유치원을 개원해서 사역하시는 현장을 보았습니다. 정부도 사회단체도 손을 놓아버린 것 같은 이곳에 손바닥으로 하늘을 가릴 수 없다고, 꺼지기 직전 몸부림치는 촛불처럼 빛을 밝히고 있었습니다. 그래도 큰 눈망울에 까만 눈동자의 천진난만한 어린아이들이 그 나라의 미래였습니다. 그들을 향해 밑도 끝도 보이지 않지만, 작은 예수님의 사랑을 밑 빠진 독에 물 붓듯 섬기시는 선교사님들의 손길이 눈물겨웠습니다. 100여 년전 우리나라에 오셨던 선교사님들은 어쩜 더 기막힌 현실 앞에서 바로 그 밑 빠진 독에 물 붓는 사역을 하셨고 지금 우리가 그 열매이듯이, 남아공을 향한 하나님의 일하심도, 정부나 어떤 힘 있는 부자의 손이 아니라 이름도 없이 빛도 없이 밑 빠진 독에 물 붓는 선교사님들을 통해서 진행하고 계심을 믿습니다. 비록 안전을 위해 늘 노심초사 눌려 있는 스트레스가 있지만, 오늘도 그 백성을 사랑하기 위해 문을 열고 나가는 선교사님들을 위해 기도하게 됩니다.
Like a Bottomless Pit
Rev. Bryan Kim
As I landed in South Africa, my first impression was that it was so vast and spacious. It is a land filled with beautiful nature. The clouds were just as beautiful, and the ocean waves were like that of a fortress built on the edge of the earth to wash clean the pollution of the seas. It is the only land where you can actually swim with the penguins, and widely regarded as one of the new seven wonders of the world, table mountain, seamlessly moved with the clouds as if portraying God’s own table. It was also the home of Nelson Mandela, a figure of equality and justice in democracy. Although it is a nation that overcame severe racism to become a nation of equality, you can still see the disparate division between black and white, the poor and the rich. They hosted not only the World Cup but also the Lausanne Conference as well. However, seeing the array of tin roofs of the poor village near the airport made me realize that there are many urgent matters to solve at hand. I guess that even as South Africa is the second richest nation after Nigeria in Africa, my relatively short stay still alarmed me of the issue of poverty. Ultimately, it became a land where the safety of missionaries came into the limelight for there is no shame to steal in order to preserve life there.
This past February, a missions team from our church visited a church there that was robbed at gunpoint. As they were able to see the gunshot hole left ‘refreshingly’ in the roof, the reality of the situation sank in. We visited a congregant’s home. The electrical lines on the roof were entangled like a cobweb, covering the sky. A room no larger than ten square feet had a ten inch television set flickering around. It was almost frustrating to see four families living in a dark and dreary room giving off such a pungent aroma. We saw the mission field of a preschool established by Korean missionaries. The governmental and social hand of this nation let this place go with the people left to fend for themselves on an as needed basis, like a flickering candlelight ready to flicker out. Still, the future lies in the big black eyes of the innocent children. For them, I see no way out. However, my eyes filled with tears as I thought of the missionaries that worked tirelessly to share the love of the Lord at a seemingly bottomless pit. Just as we are the fruit of the missionaries that came to a Korea that may have been worse off one hundred years ago and as they tirelessly poured out their efforts into a then, seemingly bottomless pit, I believe the work of the Lord in South Africa will continue not through the hands of the government or a wealthy benefactor, but through the hands of the missionaries that are pouring themselves out into another seemingly bottomless pit. Although I sit restless thinking of their safety, I pray for those missionaries that have walked out to reach the unreached.