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Korea

Sharing Love With Neighbors in Gwangju, City of Light

  • Nation |
  • Date | May 25, 2003
A successive event supported by 30 organizations and leaders of political and economic circles

Gwangju means "the City of Light." In this city, a walking event was held to help children with heart disease and children of broken homes. On Sunday, May 25, Church of God, World Mission Society, held "Gwangju New Life Family Walking Festival" and delivered contributions to 8 children in need.

ⓒ 2003 WATV
This event was supported by over 30 organizations including Gwangju city and each organ of public opinion. And 8,000 church members and leaders of political and economic circles participated in this festival: Jeon Gab-gil and Kim Gyeong-cheon, Millenium Democratic Party Assemblymen, Kim Jae-gyun, District Head of Gwangju Buk-gu, Leem Geon-wu, President of Bohae Company, Lee Il-yeon, President of Korean Tabaco & Ginseng, Lee Tae-gil, Curator of Municipal Art Center. This event lacked nothing in being called a representative welfare event of our society; all sorts and conditions of people positively took part in the event with high interest.


'A crowd of 8,000 is unprecedented'

ⓒ 2003 WATV
At 1:30 p.m. Jeollanam-do Provincial Police Agency's drum and fife band blew fanfare to announce the start of the walking festival. From the guests down to all the participants began to march 2.km around Jungoei Park with sky blue uniforms reading "For New Life." In each block a special program was prepared to add to the pleasure, so that each family could promote love between members. On that day, the sky blue procession of the 8,000 participants presented a grand sight with the green trees of May.

Exceptionally, the guests showed their zest by completing the course. Kim Byeong-cheon, Millenium Democratic Party Assemblyman, said, "Actually, I didn't know this event to be great, before I attended it. Please hold this event next year, too, so that other assemblymen could attend." Another assemblyman Jeon Gab-gil showed his surprise, saying, "At the Biennale, the greatest event in Gwangju city, only 1,000 persons gathered. It's unprecedented in Gwangju city history that over 8,000 people participated in an event." And he suggested that all march into the downtown and parade along the street, saying that it was too bad that such many people stayed only in a park.


Donations were delivered to 8 children and various performances were held

ⓒ 2003 WATV
The highlight of this event was flying 4,000 blue balloons which contained flower seeds. And then, participants shared 5,000 flowers one another and hoped the light of love, starting from Gwangju, would spread to all mankind. Mother Zang Gil Ja delievered precious donations to the children and asked all the participants to be messengers who deliver love, joy and hope to the family, neighbors and society. After various cultural performances of pop and Korean traditional songs, all the event finished. Kim Cha-seok who participated in this event with his son Se-yeon (five years old with heart disease) said with tears in his eyes, "I don't know I'm worthy of this great love. Today I experienced a totally different world. I'd like to be a member of the Church of God."

Kim Dong-gi, Pastor of the Church of God in Jeallanam-do Province, who planned and processed this event, said, "In this morning, the weather forecast said that the probability of rain was 100%. So, many concerned people inquired by phone whether the event was canceled or not. However, God helped us." And he emphasized the purpose of this event, saying, "We must not give up saving life though it rains heavily."


"3% salt purifies the whole sea waters"

ⓒ 2003 WATV
From the early morning, broadcasting stations including KBS and MBC in Gwangju, and local newspapers including Gwangju Ilbo, competed in covering this walking event; about 30 daily newspapers introduced this event as the first page and a local broadcasting station Gwangju KBS carried the news live. Many companies showed positive interest in this event, holding free beverage tasting.

"Deliver love and hope to children in suffering." This slogan cohered massive crowd of 8,000 participants exceeding twice the number expected. Kim Joo-cheol, General Pastor of Church of God, said in an interview, "The reason vast sea waters have not been rotten for hundreds of millions of years is because 3% salt purifies the waters. These participants are the salt of the world." We hope this small march of love, starting from the Gwangju City of Light, will give great light to the whole world.
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