By Dan Wooding
Thousands of Christians from around the world are flocking to a site where many Korean Christians believe that God miraculously turned salty well water into drinkable fresh or “sweet” water eleven years ago.
The miracle is said to have taken place in a well on the grounds of Muan Manmin Church in the south of the country, and members say that the water has continued to be purified since the “miracle” first occurred.
They point out that in the 15th chapter of the Book of Exodus there is a scene where God listened to the prayer of Moses and turned the bitter and undrinkable water of Marah, into sweet or drinkable water.
So I couldn’t resist again making the 250 mile journey from Seoul on Monday, October 10, 2011, to see this phenomenon at Judko, where the Muan Manmin Church is located.
The property is one what was a former island that was partly reclaimed with new land that had been built up and the church decided to dig out wells for the church members to drink from, but they faced a serious problem – it was salt water that was coming out.
“At that time the water tasted too salty for me and others to drink. It was saltwater,” said a Mr. Park, who used to provide portable water to the church members.
On a previous visit, the pastor of the church, Pastor Myoung Sool Kim, told me, “When we moved into this place, we had a problem with the drinking water. It was salty and we could not drink it. The water was piped into to us but the problem was that during the winter, the pipes would freeze up and none could get through to us.
“Because of this, our church members began to pray for a miracle. They had read in the Old Testament that God used Moses to change the bitter water of Marah to fresh water and so they began to ask God for a similar miracle.
“We also asked the Rev. Dr. Jaerock Lee, senior pastor of the Manmin Central Church in Seoul to pray and we had faith that God would change the water.
“He prayed on March 5, 2000 and next day we found that the miracle had happened the water was changed from salty water to sweet water. The miracle at Marah had occurred again and even today the water is fresh.”
I was taken to the well, along with many others from around the world who had traveled there in a convoy of buses from Seoul and first of all, was given a glass of the salty water from an adjacent well. I couldn’t drink it because it was so salty.
Then I was given a glass of water from the “miracle” well and that was very drinkable, with just a slight hint of salt in it.
Rev. Kim said that immediately after the water was changed, his church members would greet each other with the words, “God changed the water.”
A church spokesperson told me, “People have come from throughout the world to see this and to taste of its water. We have also seen many people healed after drinking this water or applying it to their sick parts.”
The pastor then went on to say that that his church members held a thanksgiving service and asked God to confirm the miracle by producing a circular rainbow around the son. “After the service, we went to the top of the hill on our grounds and there was the circular rainbow around the sun. Since then, about ever two days we can see the circular rainbow,” he said.
The hundreds of pilgrims that I joined with on Monday, were then asked to drink the “sweet” water and/or put it on their eyes and immediately a rainbow appeared in the sky.
They then asked God to give them “spiritual eyes.” Many then looked skywards, and claimed that they saw “amazing sights.”
One of them, a pastor from London, England, said, “I saw a beautiful gold diamond and in the center of it was an angel-like figure.”
TV cameras recorded the various testimonies and then then they headed down to a pool full of the Muan “sweet” water and followed the example of Naaman, the leper who was, according to the Bible, healed from one of the most dreaded diseases of ancient times, by immersing himself seven times in the River Jordan.
I watched as many of the pilgrims, wearing blue outfits, dipped themselves seven times in the water and many claimed healing from various diseases.
One lady of Indonesia told me as she was still soaking, “After I went under the water for the seventh time, I could finally see properly for the first time in many years. I have been healed.”
In December 2006, the Muan Sweet Water Managing Committee was formed and they sent a sample of the “Muan Sweet Water” to the US Food and Drug Administration (US-FDA) and requested a water quality test.
“The test results verified that Muan Sweet Water has even more mineral contents than the world-renowned wells of France and Germany,” said a spokesperson for the committee.
“The Muan Sweet Water Managing Committee tries to maintain the water quality by conducting water quality testing on a regular basis, and registered a trademark according to the Korean trademark law.
One of the extraordinary things that were discovered was that salt water and fresh water fish can co-exist in this water.
“Except for a limited number of species, it’s impossible for the sea water fish and fresh water fish to live in the same water due to the differences in the conditions of their living environments,” said a spokesperson for the Muan church. “But we have seen that 400 different kinds of salt water fish such as banded hound shark and the goby can live together with fresh water fish such as carp and mandarin fish in the Muan Sweet Water Aquarium of the Manmin Central Church.
“Currently visitors can see 120 different kinds of fish of the sea and fresh water fish living together in a huge aquarium.”
Did God change the water in Korea? Well, there are now many thousands who have been to this site who believe He did.
The Manmin Central Church, based in Seoul, which began in 1982 with 13 members, now has 100,000 members and has over 9,000 branch churches.