"Il meraviglioso Amore di Dio mi salvò dalla morte e mi diede nuova vita"
— Julia Kim's Testimony —
As I look back at my past life, my mind becomes filled with amazement at God's Providence.
Early happiness taken away by the war
Happy days were over, however, when the Korean War broke out. My father and grandfather were killed during the war, and soon my younger sister died, too. My mother and I were the only survivors. We had to struggle with extreme poverty and other difficulties. In 1972, I married Julio Kim, who was the eldest among eight. I became the mother of two sons and two daughters.
I had to discontinue my study during the junior high school because of poverty, even though I was anxious to study more. Instead, I had to work hard to support my brother-in-law's education.
Crisis in health
I was four months pregnant with my third baby. While I was doing housework, carrying my second baby on my back, there was some bleeding. I went to a gynecologist, who said that the baby in my womb was dead and that I needed surgery. I refused to believe that the baby was dead. The doctor then asked my husband if he wanted me to live or die. I was tied to the surgery table and was operated on. It was the beginning of my sufferings.
I had a second surgery seven days later. One day after the second surgery, I was almost dead and was moved to a larger hospital. Three days later, I regained consciousness, but remained in a serious condition. I tried many things to improve my health, but none of them helped. The gynecologist said that it might help if I had another baby. After much difficulty, I became pregnant.
Labor began in the ninth month of the pregnancy, but the baby could not be delivered. The doctor suggested a Caesarean operation, but my mother-in-law insisted on a natural birth. To obey her, I continued suffering terrible pains for the next two months. My mother could not watch me in that condition any longer and brought some medicine from a herbal doctor. I took the medicine and delivered the baby in the eleventh month of the pregnancy. I lost a large quantity of blood and became unconscious.
Two weeks later, my mother-in-law came and told me to go out and buy some rice. While I was returning home with the rice, I found myself bleeding again. Severe pains continued through the night, and my feet became swollen. I cried a lot when I was alone.
One day when the baby was four months old, I was doing some laundry at a creek and, suddenly, found the baby being swept away in the creek. I plunged into water and pulled the baby out. Soon, I got a fever and severe pains in my belly. The doctor said that I had appendicitis and sent me to a larger hospital in Kwangju. Test results showed that I had inflammation in the pelvis, appendicitis, pregnancy outside the womb, and a fever. I seemed to be nearing death. I felt like going to the bathroom, but, instead, was taken to the operating room, and the surgery began.
For one week after the surgery, I was throwing up what I ate. I had trouble walking to the bathroom. Nurses complained that I was exaggerating and kicked me on my legs. After I came home, pains became worse.
About a month after the surgery, something was coming out together with blood and pus from where the surgery was done. Rosa, my eldest daughter, was crying loudly and screamed, "Mommy! Your intestines! What should we do? Mommy! What should we do?" We embraced each other and cried. We found out that it was the gauze that doctors forgot to remove during the surgery.
I visited a country clinic every day. Blood and pus continued flowing out for three months. I went back to the larger hospital where the operation had been done. Doctors said that, because of substantial inflammation, I needed another surgery. I refused, because I did not have money. I continued visiting the country clinic, and the pains continued.
The condition was worsening, and pains were becoming unbearable. I was hospitalized again, but it was too late. The doctor said, "We did our best. Go home and eat delicious food." He found a widespread cancer in my body. When he tried to show it to my husband, I was startled and stopped him. I thought I would rather die than show the cancer to my husband.
After hearing the death sentence at the hospital, I came home but did not give up. I did not want to dishearten my mother who had only me to depend on since when she was 27. I struggled, but could not even stand or sit. The parts of my body which were touching the floor were hardening. My mother and husband took turns to massage me, but my body was becoming colder. The blood pressure was 50 over 40. I could not eat or drink. Because of problems in my veins, I could not even get I.V. injections.
Despite all that, I was still alive. Several women belonging to a Presbyterian church took me to their church and brought me back home several times, even though I wanted to go to a Catholic church. One day two Presbyterian women visited me and consoled me. When they were leaving, they said to each other outside the room, "What a pitiful woman! Life is precious, but she would be helping her family by dying." "That's right! Why didn't I think of that?" I prepared cyanide and wrote seven letters — to my mother, husband, four children, and whoever might be my husband's next wife.
Light shines at long last
As I was thinking about my father and about to carry out the plan, my husband suddenly came home from work — earlier than usual — and said, "Honey! Let's visit a Catholic church today." So, we went to a Catholic church in Naju.
To the priest, I said, "Father! If there really is God, He is too cruel. Why should I drink this bitter cup (= death)? What did I do to deserve it?" I thought it was not fair. I thought that I had lived a good life despite so many adversities. I had helped many beggars, I had not confronted those who had hurt me...
Then, the priest said, "Ma'am, you are receiving graces through your body. Even I have not received such graces. Believe what I say." When I heard these words from the priest, I believed and responded by saying, "Amen." At that moment, my body, which had been cold like a rock, was becoming hot and I was sweating all over my body. The Holy Spirit was working in me. We decided to become Catholics and bought several items at the Parish gift shop. I placed a statue of the Blessed Mother and a rose on my clothes chest and lit a candlelight. I began to pray.
On the third day, I heard the voice of Jesus: Approach the Bible. The Bible is My living Word. I opened the Bible immediately and was reading Luke 8:40-48. It was about a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years. She had the faith that if she touched the tassel on the Lord's cloak, she would be healed. When she touched Him and was healed immediately, Jesus said to her, "Woman, your faith has saved you. Go in peace." There also was the story about Jairus' daughter. The Lord told Jairus, "Do not be afraid; just have faith, and your daughter will live." Because Jairus believed Jesus, his daughter lived again. I believed that these words were for me also and, with a firm belief, responded with "Amen!" At that moment, I was completely cured of the cancer and all the accompanying illnesses.
I felt like running or even flying. I began going to the Catholic church and also opened a beauty parlor. I joined the charismatic movement and the Legio Marie. My life was filled with joy and love.
The Lord opens the gate of Heaven after my repentance
It was December of 1980. During an overnight prayer meeting, the leader said, "Tonight someone will receive special graces." I believed that it would be realized to me also. At about 3 a.m., the leader asked people, "What do you want?" Immediately, I prayed fervently, "Lord, I want to grow spiritually. I want my spiritual growth." In response, the Lord showed me extremely surprising scenes. I was so surprised that I felt as if my body was becoming paralyzed.
What the Lord showed me was a replay of everything that had happened in my life — I was beaten numerous times by an uncle while working in his home; I was working in a factory day and evening every day without ever receiving pay; I was beaten up by several women who were doing business with me, because they did not want to return to me the money that I had invested in the business; I was mistreated many times, because my father was not alive; and many other happenings that I did not want to remember. I began crying bitterly, realizing that, humanly speaking, it would have been impossible for me to have lived thus far, but it was the Lord Who has kept me.
I also prayed for those who inflicted pains on me: Lord, have mercy on those numerous people. They did what they did because of me. They were Your instruments for tempering me. Therefore, they are victims because of me. I could not help crying wildly, because I realized that they suffered harms because of me. "Lord! Forgive this sinner. Forgive this sinner . . ." I kept asking for forgiveness.
While I was deeply repenting and asking for forgiveness, the gate of Heaven suddenly opened and a bright light poured down upon me. I also heard the following words three times: The gate of Heaven is open. I became a very little, lowly person and prayed anxiously, "Lord, open my heart further. Open it more."
Until then, I had thought that I had lived a good life and had never made any mistake. Such pride was replaced by a deep realization that I was the greatest sinner. My body hardened again. I came home, supported by others. While lying down, I prayed, "Lord, whether I live or die, I leave it to You." I offered up myself to the Lord.
The Lord's call to a mission
Three days later, I heard the Lord's voice again: Daughter! God has worked in His servant's heart. Get up hurriedly! I will make Myself known through you, who are unworthy.
When I heard these words, I was so surprised that I stood up right away. I knew that I was healthy again. I felt like flying. The Lord resurrected three days after death. He raised me up on the third day of my illness and repentance. "Yes, Lord! I am totally Yours. Use me according to Your Will."
For the next three years, the Lord allowed me everything that I wanted — even those things that I had in my mind only briefly. At every moment, the Lord showed me that there was nothing that was impossible to God.
The Lord also let me see the inside of other people's minds and understand the nature of others' illnesses. Because of this, I felt unbearable pains. The Lord showed me that those who were doing the Lord's work and were thinking that they were close to Him were inflicting greater pains on Him and crucifying Him with bigger nails. I prayed hard for them.
When Jesus was entering Jerusalem riding a donkey, many people were welcoming Him placing palm leaves and their clothes in front of the donkey. What if the donkey thought that people were welcoming him instead of the Lord? What will happen to Jesus Who is riding the donkey, if the donkey jumps up and down with joy? Yes, while we work to make the Lord known, we can fail to be humble and think that we are the ones who are doing the work. Then, we will make the Lord fall on the ground. The thought that this can happen to me also sent a chill down my spine. When I was participating in the charismatic movement, many people liked me and made me stand in front of people. But now I wished that I could work in humility and hiding. I prayed, "Lord, I saw enough. Please do not show me any more. If it can be of any use for the conversion of sinners who are crucifying the Lord, I will gladly live a life of suffering." "Lord!, I am so unworthy, but, if it can be of even the tiniest help to the Lord's Work, I will gladly offer up my sufferings." So, I consecrated myself and my sufferings for the conversion of sinners.
Since that time, I received extreme pains numerous times. Three years later, I was preparing for death again. While I was going to the Holy Hour prayer meeting in Kwangju, I prayed, "Lord, I am Yours, if I die. I am Yours, if I live. Your Will be done." During the prayer meeting, I was completely healed.
Since then, the Lord allowed me more sufferings and restored my health as needed. From June 30, 1985, the Lord gave us His Mother's tears and tears of blood through her statue in our home and, later, fragrant oil through the same statue. He also sent us many messages that are necessary to all of us.
The Lord also revealed visible changes in the Sacred Host and caused the descent of the Sacred Host in the Chapel in Naju on several occasions, because so many children do not accept that the Lord comes to us as our Food because of His Love for us. I, a sinner, only hope and pray that all will amend their lives according to the Blessed Mother's messages, come aboard the Mary's Ark of Salvation, and be saved. What I want for myself is to live in hiding, looking after the deserted in the world. Glory be to the Lord alone!
Lord, my Light and my Savior! Love is beautiful and sweet, but also is sacrifice and sweat. To make a beautiful flower of love blossom, I want to love even the bitter cold of winter and offer up the pains that visit me without ceasing, imitating the martyrs. I wish to be a comforter for You like a grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies to bear many fruits.
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