The Park Cleaned and Beautified by the Church of God
The Seogu Church in Gwangju, South Korea
There are two small children’s parks near the church. One of them was almost abandoned. The rides and the exercise facilities at the park were too old to use, and the dense shrubs didn’t allow people to even look inside it. The residents were reluctant to go to the park. Although it was called “children’s park,” it was actually a crime-ridden area and a place for illegal littering.
However, this park has completely changed as our Church of God participated in the “Decorating the Flower Garden of Our Town” policy conducted by the resident committee since last year. The dense scrub that surrounded the park was removed; the old stains on big slides, outdoor pull-up bars, swings, and other equipments were all removed. All the weeds in the other park were removed as well and the ground which was full of moss became clean.
The male adults were mainly in charge of pruning and removing the weeds. We decided to clean the parks every second and fourth Sundays. Some of the male adults visited the park whenever they had time before going to work or after work and picked up trash. Every day, we filled up a 100 liter [26 gallon]-trash bag.
The student members were in charge of cleaning the exercise facilities, by which the person concerned from the town center was impressed. “I was very moved that the students cleaned the facilities with sponges and rags even on windy days,” he said.
In the beginning of this year, we made an agreement with the borough office to manage the park facilities regularly and renovate them as well. After that, royal azaleas were planted around the park to prevent the dirt from sliding down into the road, which happened every time it rained. In the flowerbed of the park, which was covered with weeds, there are lily turfs and orchids now. The park also has nice rock stairs at the entrance.
Up until a few years ago, this park was a hideout for hoodlums which police officers always had to patrol. But now it has turned to a nice resting place. The borough office and the community service center thanked us for the transformed park with landscaping trees and stairs; actually, they had expected us to just clean it.
The ones who welcome the change of the park most are the residents. They’ve complimented our church ever since it was known that we cleaned the fire lanes around the church as well as the parks. Whenever the owner of a nearby grocery store sees us cleaning, he gives us a box of drinks, saying, “Although I want to join you, I have no time. I want to participate in your good work even with these drinks.” One senior citizen said that she used to oppose our church’s coming in her town because of groundless slanders. She apologized for that, and now brings out coffee for us. One resident greets us whenever she sees us and says, “I used to just pass by the park, but now I always stop by the park at least once, on my way to walk up the hill and back down.” All the residents say with one voice, “Our town has been improved amazingly ever since the Church of God moved here.”
All this happened because we were taught a good lesson by God. We give all glory to God Elohim for teaching us and setting an example of neighborly love for us.