Michael Lee Jae Bung and Agnes Song Eun Ju have been married for 17 years, and have two sons and a daughter, ages 12, 8 and 4 years old respectively. Michael works for a firm in Korea which deals with the management of various materials.
Michael: My wife and I met thanks to a mutual friend. I have a very timid personality and Agnes made me feel peaceful because she listened to me with such attention. After an engagement of 5 years, we decided to get married even though there were some doubts and fears about Agnes’s handicap, so my parents were against our wedding. Thus we went privately to a priest, said our marriage vows in front of God and began our married life together.
I didn’t want children because I was contented to be just the two of us. At this point, we were invited to a New Families meeting and there acquired a new vision of conjugal unity, and the importance of life and family. After the meeting, my wife and I started to pray fervently with an open heart ready to welcome children. After 5 years of marriage, our first son arrived like a gift from God. Finally, my parents accepted Agnes as their daughter-in-law for the first time.
Our first son always recited this prayer, “Please God, give me a little brother.” In fact, he was envious of his friends who had a younger brother and so our second son arrived just in time for Christmas.
Five years ago, when I knew my wife was expecting our third child, I was quite apprehensive. I was afraid and weighed down by the responsibility of being head of the family and with finances which were not very solid. This was compounded by the problem of my wife’s health and the risk to the baby.
Becoming more nervous every moment, I felt like entering a dark tunnel. Facing up to this, my wife just said, “Please do not entertain bad thoughts.” She went alone several times for the hospital check-ups, put up with morning sickness and other difficulties.
I felt awkward in this situation as I was not ready to accept this baby. On her seventh month, my wife called me to say that there was the possibility of a premature birth and she would have to be confined in the hospital.
I reflected, “I am treating my wife and child badly!” Only after I received this news, was I ready to ask for forgiveness. I cried, and from that moment I began to pray, clinging to God. I started looking after my family and started preparations for the baby’s arrival instead of leaving everything to my wife.
Usually finishing work at 8 o’clock, I would go to care for her in the hospital and for our two children at home. I was very busy for 3 weeks but it was a special time where I was quite dedicated to my wife and prepared myself to welcome our daughter as a gift from God.
Believing that all this was part of His plan, I wanted to live well the “present moment,” by entrusting all our difficulties to Him, be they big or small. I was worried about paying the hospital bill, but an hour before her being discharged, the management received confirmation that there would be financial help for the cost. We experienced the delicate LOVE of God who also counts the hairs on our head.
Agnes: Our daughter was born healthy even if she arrived before her due date. Her two big brothers were quite pleased to have a little sister and they wanted to help me and play with her before feeding time. If I couldn’t be with her for a moment her two brothers would be there beside her to look after her. Looking at my children, I gave thanks saying, “God has sent us a gift which is exactly what we needed!”
As our children grow up, we see the truth of the words of Jesus: “Do not worry… what you will eat… what you will wear.” In fact, clothes and other necessities for the children arrived
at the right moment through His providence. One day, a neighbor even brought us a slide which her grandson had used, and our second son was so happy that he cried out, “Mommy! Maybe Jesus sent me a slide to practice on as I don’t yet know how to slide!”
I never wanted to give lots of things to my children, only what I could afford, together with lots of love. Today, my children are independent and are considerate to others.
I know that my family has become complete and that we are collaborating with God’s project of Creation when we say our “Yes” to his will. When doubts come about how to raise the three children whom God has sent us, I thank Him for these moments, as they make me realize that when God sends a life into the world, he also presents us with the gifts to welcome it.
Michael Lee Jae Bung and Agnes Song Eun Ju