For over 20 years, giving love to those in need
Guide those who walked the wrong path to the right path
If you go up a steep alley in Gupyeong-dong, Saha-gu, Busan, you will see a church with a towering cross. It is the Busan Welfare Central Church where the pastor couple Byun Jeong-seop and Kang Bok-nam have been evangelizing love and sharing for over 27 years for the love of Jesus Christ by helping the disabled, homeless, juvenile delinquents, the inmates, the released from prison, and needy neighbors. 27 years ago, Pastor Byeon was appointed as a representative member of the Busan Buk-gu Volunteer Council for Crime Prevention by the Ministry of Justice and conducted crime prevention activities. At that time, he came across a situation in which the residents were trembling with anxiety because delinquent youths were drinking and smoking in that area. Byun, instead of expelling the youths, brought them to the church, provided them with meals and beds, and reformed them. As a result, most of them returned to school and returned to their original lives. Taking this incident as an opportunity, he started volunteering in earnest and learned that there are many ex-convicts among those who are in difficult situations. The gaze of ex-convicts in society is cold. Even if you have already paid for all your sins in the prison facility, and you reflect on yourself and show your actions, people do not believe you. Because of this, there are few things that can be done, and life becomes difficult, and there are not a few cases where people fall into crime again. So he started to help them. If they fall into the path of crime again due to difficulties, it is because they thought that helping them would reduce their recidivism and that would be the way for society. Along with this, he takes the lead in helping and giving love to those who are neglected by people by providing lodging to the disabled who have nowhere to go, taking care of their health in connection with a local hospital, praying and worshiping together, and helping them grow spiritually. He has continued exchanges with 94 inmates and released from prison, including 993 letters exchanges, writing 4,021 books of the Bible, and 9,948,730 won of support so that they do not fall into a wrong way.
Receiving the gold badge from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety for volunteer work
Couples practice neighborly love together
Pastor Byun is currently in charge of counseling for released prisoners as a member of the correctional committee at the Busan Detention Center and protecting prisoners who have been suspended from execution. For those who have been released from prison, they visit their homes to help them recover, and if there are people who fell seriously ill after being incarcerated but cannot send them to their families, they are brought to the church for treatment. The story of this kind of service has spread all over the country, and there are many people asking for help from Pastor Byun not only in Busan but also in other regions. He spent more than 100,000 hours volunteering with about 100 members of the Sharing and Happiness Volunteer Service of Busan Welfare Central Church. Out of 100,000 hours, Pastor Byun personally volunteered more than 10,000 hours, and in 2010, he was awarded a gold badge by the Ministry of the Interior and Safety for volunteer work. Apart from Hyun, 7 people received gold badges in the church, and dozens of people silver badges. The gold badge is given to those who volunteer for a cumulative 3,000 hours or more than 500 hours in a given year, and the silver badge is given when a cumulative total of 300 hours or more and a total of 60 hours in a given year. Byun said that his wife Kang Bok-nam, also a pastor, was a great source of strength for him to continue volunteering. While supporting Byun, she has been practicing loving service for about 20 years by taking on difficult tasks at the True Light Retreat Center of Busan Welfare Central Church. Pastor Kang takes it for granted that she and her husband share their happiness with others, and together as a couple, they lead people in happiness, suffering, and sorrow together with all those in need. John 13:34-35 says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.” Just as the couple loved everyone around them, we pray that the day will come when the love spreads to others and everyone gives love to each other.