Like her husband, Dr. Kim Sung-hae Cho is an overcomer of great odds and a woman of even greater faith.
By Yong Yung Shin
It is easy to look at Dr. Kim Sung-hae Cho and see only the prestige and privilege she enjoys. After all, she is the wife to the pastor of the world’s largest church, Dr. Yonggi Cho of Yoido Full Gospel Church; she is the president of Hansei University, one of South Korea’s top-ranked universities, and she is also an accomplished pianist who has performed in recitals worldwide, and has even produced a piano CD with the famous Austrian pianist Paul Badura-Skoda.
Her latest book, Deliverer Of Happiness, gives much insight into the many lessons on faith, perseverance and love that God taught a once-timid young woman—one who is today a bold and effective minister of the gospel from the United States to Asia to Ecuador. In it, Kim also shares about one of the hardest periods of her life, just before she was to assume the presidency of Hansei University. Out of her struggle against fierce opposition from students who rallied with banners and locked her furniture out in the rain to deter her from becoming president, she gave testimony to God’s power to deliver her from that trial and more.
One of the most memorable chapters in the book is a touching, heartfelt tribute dedicated to her mother, Pastor Choi Ja-shil, who was one of the pioneers of Yoido Full Gospel Church. Through it, one sees that Pastor Choi was not just Kim’s biological mother but her spiritual mother as well, living a life given to prayer, evangelism and sacrifice. This is Kim’s third book after Open Your Mouth And I Will Fill It and The Lord Who Is On The Waves.
Before she preached at the weekend church services, Dr. Kim also dropped by at CHC’s Jurong West premises to address the School Of Theology students on May 18, exhorting them to dream great dreams. “Without dreams, you cannot focus your energy and talents,” she said. Having set goals, it is earnest, passionate prayer that makes things happen. Kim also emphasized the importance of using humor and interesting illustrations when preaching.
In an interview with City News that same morning, Kim explained that the purpose behind her visit to the Nanyang Technological University last month was to explore the possibility of student exchange programs. “There is so much more to this world; we don’t need to spend all our four years studying at only one university. I’d rather my students have diverse experiences in different cultures and make friends from all around the world.” In an effort to turn Hansei University into an international university, she also hopes to increase the foreign student population from about 300 students currently to 600 in the near future.
Even as God has exceedingly blessed her dream of becoming a high school teacher by making her the president of a university, it is her humility to keep learning and the faith to keep trying that makes Kim a walking example of the messages she preach. Her advice for a life beyond the ordinary? Set a goal and give it all your enthusiasm and focus.
Deliverer of Happiness is available at The Ink Room, Hall 603 on weekends.