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사회공헌 HOME >화살표 Story of the Grandma >화살표 Social Contribution
Church Construction
Building the Lord’s house is an honor not allowed for everyone.
Even King David, the greatest and most honorable ruler of Israel who enjoyed God’s blessing throughout his life, was not allowed the joy of building a temple of the Lord. It is natural, then, that Grandmother Shim his infinitely grateful for the opportunity to build more than seven churches, granted to a meek baker living in the countryside. Seongshim Church in Sinbu-dong, Gwolli Church in Osan, Seongshim Church in Naegol-ri, Baekhak Seongchim Church at the DMZ, Seongshim Church in Hwaseong, and Seolgyeol Church in Yeonsan were built by Grandmother Shim Bok-sun, who continues to build churches to this day.
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On a snowy day, one preacher came to the Grandmother to tell her that his church was being evicted because it could not pay the rent. Shim Bok-sun took money out of her pocket to alleviate the church’s immediate suffering, and continued to support the preacher for some time. The preacher, in turn, wanted to repay the Grandmother with his acupuncturing skills, which she graciously accepted. Many say that love is about giving, but the Lord told us to share the love. It is important to give love, but receiving is just as important.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)
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Deaconess Shim had a passion like that of Jesus, who brought love amongst us. Her benevolent behavior and warm personality was encapsulated her bright smiles. Her missionary work, carried through a group she founded, as well as scholarship services, will earn her a place in heaven.
Her practice in love of the Lord, who said through John: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth,” teaches all of us a lesson. I think we can all learn how to be happier than King David through her book and poems.
Deaconess Shim is indeed a mother of faith that we should learn from.
Reverent Park Hee-bong (Anyang Jeil Church)
Nationwide Testimonies
Grandmother Shim Bok-sun never stood before an audience to talk about walnut cookies, but she never turned down a call to do the Lord’s work.
When she is asked to testify, Grandmother Shim leaves all else behind to attend. She has testified in more than seventy events throughout her life. The grandmother has a set of rules on attending testimonies. First, give offering to God, second, never receive compensation for her testimonies, and third, speak from Deuteronomy 28:1-6 or Psalms 84. The last rule about the Bible verses came to be because those parts gave her special lessons in her life.
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One day, Shim Bok-sun went to a church holding services in a tent to testify. She was touched by the few people at the church, who were praying with all their might to build a church from almost nothing. There, she read Mark 9:23 to tell the churchgoers that God can do anything for believers. She saw a piece of rock, as big as a fist, and held it up and said: “God can turn even this rock into gold if you believe in Him!” Two months after that passionate testimony, a church in Seoul sent about fifteen thousand dollars to the tent church for construction of a new building. The preacher of the tent church, who had kept the rock that Grandmother Shim had used, later brought it to a jeweler to ask how much the rock would cost if it were gold. The jeweler answered that it would be worth about fifteen thousand dollars.
Missionary Work
Our Lord said that the happiness of finding one lost sheep is like that of a father who feeds the whole neighborhood. There is loyalty no bigger than missionary work to save a soul.
God of love will repay us when we participate in the His work. If we search His land and His justice, he will give them to us in any way, and allow us full fortune throughout generations. I have been selling walnut cookies at Cheonan Station for sixty-three years now. My end goal, of course, is evangelizing. The reason that I am spreading Jesus, the bread of life, rather than bread of body, is that I have understood his words through various experiences. Let us offer our time, talents, and possessions to spreading His words to foreign guest workers.
-Shim Bok-sun, writing for a pamphlet by a foreign guest worker missionary group
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Landscape Scholarship Foundation at Joongbu University
With a goal to educate leaders in landscaping and plant protection, Shim Bok-sun contributed to founding a landscape scholarship foundation at Joongbu University. Although she cannot make great contributions, Grandmother Shim Bok-sun agreed to chair the foundation because she was fond of landscaping that tends to the nature, trees, and flowers that God gave us. She hopes to benefit students who study landscaping to beautify the nature in this country.
Hope Blossoming at a Juvenile Detention Center
There is a juvenile detention center that Shim Bok-sun visits from time to time. One day, she brought a small book of New Testament with Psalms and asked if any children at the center needed one. Only about ten held up their hand at first. Later, the Grandmother told the children about the story of Joseph, who rose out of his time in jail to become a minister for the Pharaoh, the children brightened up. One boy, the youngest one there who was sitting in the front, cried after her story, which broke the Grandmother’s heart. Many children at the detention center used to attend a Sunday school when they were younger; Grandmother Shim ran out of her Bible that day, so she bought one hundred more and sent them to the center later.
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A Young Man Who Almost Gave Up Attending a Seminary
When Grandmother Shim was closing up shop as always, she saw the story of a young handicapped man on TV, who had been accepted by a seminary but could not attend because he did not have enough money. The Grandmother did not have a good sales day then, and the only money she had on her was to buy adzuki beans to make the next day’s batch of cookies. She hesitated briefly, then picked up the phone to call the TV station to receive the young man’s address, phone number, and bank routing number. The next morning, she sent money to the young man so that he could attend the seminary. People around her told her that it was impulsive and reckless of her to do that, but the Grandmother felt that it was something she had to do. The Grandmother was very touched by the young man’s conviction to study for the Lord, and believed that God will open up good paths for the young man.
Good News Shared with Foreigners
After Grandmother Shim Bok-sun began supporting a missionary group for foreign guest workers, the leader of the group and Reverend Jin Bang-ju, who was to give English sermons, came to visit her. Reverend Jin spoke good English because he had studied in the U.S. Although the foreign guest workers will stay in Korea briefly, it would be a good thing for them and Korea to bring love and good news from Korea to their homeland. Grandmother Shim realized that God matched various people at the right place and time to let them help each other and realize his plans. She was grateful that she had a chance to participate in that great plan. Like walnut cookies that baked one at a time, the Grandmother always prays that full fruits will come to those who are undertaking the Lord’s work.
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About Her Book
After the book of her testimonies, “I am Happier than King David,” was published, Shim Bok-sun’s day became even busier.
She began meeting more people, those who she lost contact, as well as readers and churchgoers. She has not had a chance to enjoy leisure. Although she was repeating the same testimony about her life, the Grandmother is excited to meet new people at different churches. She is careful not to boast her achievements in the course of testifying the Lord. Because she believes that the testimonies are opportunities for her to prove and boast the Lord’s work, she has been able to stand on stage with a brave heart. She is never happier than when people fill the church with their confirmation. She is deeply moved by the fact that God is using her for such a great purpose. Shim Bok-sun dearly hopes that the last pages of her life will record the story of her work as a tool of the Lord.
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On May 23, 1996, we hosted the publishing ceremony of Deaconess Shim’s autobiography about faith, “I am Happier than King David.” Grandmother Shim rented a bus for her fellow believers at Seongshim Church, and headed for Korean Christianity Centennial Memorial Hall. The first part of the ceremony was a service to the Lord, and the second part was a celebration of congratulations and sharing. Shim Bok-sun received many thoughtful gifts and congratulatory remarks from people. She wanted to offer a remark of thanks and a joke that would bring the crowd to a roaring laughter, but her nervous heart kept her from saying anything. Although she kept quiet, Deaconess Shim thought that it was good thing that she did not say much at the event.
May the seven churches that Deaconess Shim built be justified with the Lord’s body and His disciples, and may it serve as
Noah’s Ark to people living in the darkness of this latter day, so that they may find the eternal light in the Lord.
May the deaconess’ book be read by many, so that the readers find the Lord’s grace, so that those who do not know the Lord meet Thee and follow the path that the deaconess walked.
Elder Bae Yeong-ho