After graduation, I joined the Army and was shipped off to spend 14 months in East Asia on a mountain the Koreans called Wong Tong Nee. Early one morning as I wandered around the mountain, I felt the overwhelming presence of God settling over me. Joy, unspeakable and full of glory, filled my soul. Like Samuel of old, my spirit whispered, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth”(1 Samuel 3:10). All too often our prayer is, “Listen, Lord, don’t you know I’m talking to You?” It is infinitely more important that we listen!
Finding a secluded spot, I sank to the ground and tears streamed down my face as Jesus gently reminded my spirit of His words to me when I was eleven. I whispered, “Will you ever talk to me again? I need to hear Your voice. I sense the same presence I did when I was eleven.” He did not answer me audibly, but suddenly I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to turn to Daniel 10:9–11. With tears misting my eyes, I pulled my Bible from my backpack and read:
Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.”
As the Holy Spirit spoke these words to me, I stood, trembling and weeping. Eventually, the sensation of God’s presence lifted, but I possessed a newfound sense of peace. I realized then that I was eager to hear the voice of God again. I needed to hear His voice. It gave me the affirmation I desperately needed so I could overcome. It also gave me the divine direction I craved.
Before leaving the spot that day, I gathered twelve stones and set up a small altar. Sometime during the day, every day, I returned to that spot to pray and seek God. During the monsoon season when the rains came, I could be found wrapped in my rubber poncho praying by my rock altar. In the middle of the blistering summer, with temperatures rising above 110 degrees, I would pray in the shade of those rocks. In the frigid winter, when the wind chill factor dropped to 20 degrees below zero, I would wrap myself in layers of clothing and go to pray at my altar of rocks.
Years later I returned to South Korea with Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. It was then I discovered that after I had fulfilled my military obligation and gone home, Dr. Paul Cho purchased the mountain and made it a place of prayer, which came to be called simply “Prayer Mountain.” During that trip, Dr. Cho said to me, “You were the first Christian to pray atop the mountain.” He called me “Holy Ghost Kimchi Man, Seed of Abraham.” I know now that God wanted me to learn to pray, to listen to Him, and to seek His will and plan for my life atop that lonely mountain. I knew that a plan had been established for me; I just needed to know how to allow God to unlock His purpose in my life.