Saturday, November 3, 2007

The cobbler in the streets of Seoul

During my trip to Seoul few years ago, while walking back to Centennial Building of the Presbyterian Church of Korea, I saw a shoemaker reading his Bible on his working bench in broad daylight. He was so engrossed in reading the Scriptures that he did not notice me staring at him.

I thought of William Carey, a cobbler in England who lived in a different century (1761-1834), made his living by repairing shoes in a different locality from this Korean. I wonder whether there is any similarity between these two men. When customers brought their shoes to William Carey, they probably thought that this man was an uneducated simpleton. Who would have imagined that William Carey went on to become the father of modern mission? He went to India to preach the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ in spite of being put down by the church mission board.

How could God use a shoemaker to impact the Indians who spoke totally different tongues? History has it that William Carey translated Punjabi, Sanskrit in both New and Old Testament. He even completed a dictionary of Bengali and English.

Back to this Korean shoemaker, I decided to squat beside him and capture potential history with my digital camera. Who knows this cobbler might one day turn out to be the missionary whom God uses to change another country with the gospel of Jesus Christ. A maker of shoes may turn out to be a maker of history. I discovered that he too like William Carey is an ardent student of Scriptures. I have yet to meet such a shoemaker in the streets of Kuala Lumpur.


Alex Tang said...

hi Fong Yang,

aside from squating down and taking a picture, did you allow him to shine your shoes so that he can make a few wons?

Wong Fong Yang said...

Hi Alex,
It did not occur to me to let him make a few wons. We were just passing by with no intention to shine our shoes. May be we should have.