IIT UBF - University Bible Fellowship at IIT

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Mary Shim's Engagement Testimony

Author: Mary Shim

"And Mary said: My soul glorifies the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name."
Luke 1:46-49

Through this testimony, I would like to thank God for the good work He has done in my life, and for his grace to provide me a man of God to establish a house church. It is only by the grace of God I am what I am and I would like to give glory to God for all He has done.

Mini Life Testimony
Part I. Childhood
I was born as a second child to Missionary Daniel and Hannah Shim in Seoul, Korea. My parents served God at Jong Ro II UBF in Korea and God used their lives of faith to raise many disciples and missionaries. I remember growing up carefree and with many friends in CBF, also receiving much love from many shepherds and shepherdesses in UBF. From early on, I learned about God and studied the Bible.
But as a child, I had lots of fears. I especially feared teachers and could not adjust well in school. When I had no interest in school, I could not study well. I became a headache to many teachers and to my parents but I had no sense of problem about it. I just enjoyed watching cartoons and have fun with my church friends. When I began to gain weight, kids at school began to make fun of my weight. As I grew older, I began to self-pity myself that I was not pretty or smart and therefore, I am not lovable. At home, I felt compared to my smart brother and cute sister. I thought I had no future because of my poor grades and appearance. But God used my weakness to humble my heart and later on, to seek God for mercy and help.

Part II. In All Things God works for the good
In the summer of 1997, God called our family to America as missionaries. Coming to America brought many challenges and struggles for my family and it also became a turning point in my life. At first, I could not understand why God allowed hardships and sufferings to my parents who loved and served him. But as I look back, I could see that in all things, God worked for our good, to save us from our sins and grow us in faith in Him.

Some of the hardships came from trying to adjust to American life and also from my dad's illness. Over the years, all of us had to learn to communicate and understand each other because each one of us was struggling. Through this time, my brother and I could communicate with my parents about our struggles at school, in ministry, and as second gens. We also fully shared in our parents' physical and financial burdens to take care of us. We used to complain about our parent's absence in our childhood to serve God but through these times I learned that my parents did their best to take care of us and persevered in living by faith in God, and experienced many victories.

God also accomplished great things in my life. With my poor studying habits and my fears of people and lack of self-confidence, I could not survive in America. When I completely despaired about my condition, I could come to God and hear His words. My Bible teacher gave me Hebrews 12:11 to learn to receive discipline. Through holding onto this as my key verse for many years, God gave me strength to overcome my laziness and study hard and live diligently. Through Psalm 23, God also cast out fears from my heart and helped me to see that He is my father. When I tasted God's love, I even started to work part time in downtown, with my poor English. When God's word changed my heart, I could study hard and enter IIT's Architecture school, which offers very good architecture program. I never imagined I would take this path, but God one-sidedly led me there and I made the decision to give my college years to God.

At the beginning of college, I enjoyed studying architecture and also actively inviting students to bible study. But toward the junior year, I began to feel exhausted from studying and serving God and fear began to creep back into my life. I also compared myself to people of the world who seemed to be enjoying life while my life seemed so boring and restricted. Going to Korea and writing a life testimony helped me to see my life in perspective that along with my parents, God called me as a 2nd gen missionary to America, and that is my identity. When I came back I began to study the Bible with msn. Deborah Yang. I was so grateful that she did not push me to go fishing or study the Bible. She had great concern for my heart condition, and prayed for me a lot to come to know the love of God deeply. When I first met her, I could not even look at her in the eyes, but through her prayers and Bible study, I could come to know God's love for me. God sent his only son as an atoning sacrifice for my sins and Jesus gave up everything to become my savior. When I look at what God has done for me, and how he led my life thus far, I can testify that I am valuable to Him and He loves me.

Part III. Engagement
Toward Christmas last year, my bible teacher asked me to write a life testimony, partly to review my life newly with thanksgiving, and partly to establish a house church. I really didn't think I was ready to get married or make a decision to marry by faith. But through Genesis Bible study I could learn that it is not good for the man to be alone and God created the woman to be a suitable helper for him. They would become one and this was God's perfect design. After this Bible study, msn Deborah asked me if I could be a suitable helper to a man prepared by God. Somehow God's word convicted me and I said yes, and she said she will bring me his life testimony and picture two days later. Although I wasn't sure what I was getting into, through my life testimony, I could see that in all things in my life, God accomplished good. I also heard a sermon on Mary the mother of Jesus, who was just an ordinary girl but who saw her life not from her selfish point of view but from God's point of view and accepted God's mission for her to be the mother of Messiah. I thought this was my chance to be used by God and by God's help and through the prayers of God's servants, I could make the decision to marry by faith.

When I received this man of God's testimony, I found out that it was shepherd Michael Mark. First, I was so relieved that I didn't have to leave Chicago. And then I really thanked God because I realized God heard His servants' prayers and also my prayers. About three years ago, a secret was leaked to me that the servants of God are praying for us to establish a house church. So over the years, I began to pray about it, but it didn't seem that it was God's will. When I stopped praying, because I felt it was hindering my relationship with God, then God started to work in Mike's heart. He began to pray about me as a potential and asked Shep. Bob whether I was available. Later on, I learned that msn Deborah Yang prayed that if it was God's will, then God would put me in Mike's heart. I could see that for the last three years God was changing us and growing us, so that we could be prepared to establish a house church. This was really a time of learning God's love for me at a new level, that He is really God who wants to bless us and reward those who fear him and trust him. I really thank God for God's servants Shepherd Bob and Julia, Msn Daniel and Deborah Yang, and also my parents who prayed for us over the years and took care of us spiritually. My soul also glorifies the Lord and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior because he has done great things for us. God gave Mike a gift of leadership and also a big and generous heart. He also fears God and has great desire to love and serve God. I am so blessed to be called as his suitable helper and I pray that God may grow me in my prayer life and also love for one person. I pray that God may use us for his mission and that He may be glorified through this house church.

One Word, My Soul Glorifies the Lord

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Prepare to Meet Your God

Amos 4:1-13

Key Verse: 4:12

  “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel;
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    prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”

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