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Shalom House

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"home away from home."

History Fellowship School Location Schedule Director

 

What is Shalom House

Shalom House is a Christian Service Center primarily in ministry to U.S. military personnel and their dependents in the Tongduchon area. We are nonsectarian, therefore, anyone regardless ofrace, nationality denomination, creed or rank is welcomed, loved and accepted.

 

Through the years it has been a "home away from home" for innumerable soldiers and their dependents. It has often been described as a "lighthouse, a rock, a refuge and a haven" offering opportunities for worship, fellowship and shared meals which take place on the weekends. On Saturday night, we gatherat7:00 p.m. with a  group called "TheFishermen" named, of course, from the directive in the gospels. Singing of favorite choruses and hymns is followed by testimonies, prayer time and a Bible Study led by a person who has signed up for the study. Following that, we have what has become known as Fishermen's Soup -- a 13 year tradition. It is a soup made with chicken, pork, beans and macaroni.

 

On Sunday evening, we gather for a meal at 5:30 p.m. The food is prepared by Nancy Butts or anyone else who volunteers to do so. The menu is varied from Sunday to Sunday. Following meal, the schedule is much the same as Saturday night with Singing, Prayer and Praise and Bible Study. A variety of other activities and services at Shalom House include: English Conversation classes for Koreans, a schoolfor Dependent children (International Christian School) and a bunk room (two dollars per night) for those who just desire to get away from the Base fox awhile. A Ping Pong table, pool table, TV and VCR plus an amply supplied magazine rack are available for use. The English Conversation classes are taught Monday through Friday evenings with various classes meeting at different times during the week. These classes are taught by military personnel who volunteer and the Directors of Shalom House. Many have found this an enriching experience which has allowed Americans to get acquainted with wholesome Korean folk.

Quite often the students will take teachers to the coffee houses and on sight seeing tours of Seoul and other places of interest. The only requirement to teach is to be able to speak English. We traditionally serve Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners family style, We occasionally arrange other activities such as picnics. Please make use of our facilities as you are able and have time. We hope, also, that you will send others our way who need our programming and facilities.

History

Shalom House was organized in 1968. It came into existence at the request of the Chaplains serving in the Tongduchon area at that time and was sponsored by the National Council of Churches of Christ, USA until 1990. Initially, it was known as Frontier House because itwas completely surrounded by rice paddies. However, as new developments began to spring up around it, itwas no longer on the frontier. Then, it was renamed Shalom House in 1975 - Shalom being the Hebrew word for peace.

 

Records show that in the early part of the ministry many of the soldiers' wives spent most of the day at Shalom House for there was nothing else to do. Bathing facilities were difficult to find at that time. Consequently, there was a sign-up board for showers -- Mon. to Fri., 9-12 @ .25.

 

The English Conversation classes still being taught at Shalom House began because Koreanwives of servicemen and fatherless Amerasians needed help in learning English.

 

Presently, most of the people who attend the English Conversation classes are local Koreans interested in learning to speak English. The ministry to Amerasian children was moved elsewhere.

 

About 13 years ago, the Fishermen's group came into existence. Beginning in the Recreation Center at Camp Casey, it soon became necessary to move to Shalom House because of complaints about the "noise" created by the singing.

 

In 1979 Don and Julie Samson, Directors of Shalom House at that time, founded the Indianhead School which began at Camp Casey. However, in 1984, because of the concept that American dependent children should not be in this area and the need of the space by the Army, the Indianhead School was moved to Shalom House. Thus, the Shalom House building was expanded to accommodate the school. In 1996 Indianhead School moved to another location and was replaced by the International Christian School.

 

It is difficult to say how many service people have been through the Frontier/ Shalom House doors since the beginning in 1968. There would be unanimous agreement, however, by all who have made any use of the facilities that it is indeed a "home away from home."

 

School

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL

International Christian School was concieved out of a need for affordable education for missionary children in the northern area of Korea.  Joe Hale, founder, began the first experimental program in the Spring of 1983 with eight students in a basement room.  By the time the doors were opened for the first official school year in Uijongbu, the military community also showed an overwhelming interest and the school began with five classes consisting of 83 students. Because this area north of Seoul is classified as a "non-command-sponsored" tour, many military families bring their children to Korea at their own expense to keep the family together.   Joe Hale and his wife, Ann, went on to open three more schools in Korea and to establish a mission organization called the Network of International Christian Schools. Later, schools in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Austria, and South America were added.   NICS ministries, while primarily a minitry to the international community, alos includes several other evengalistic and discipling out reaches in Korea, reaching both Koreans and expatriates in the country.

 

Director

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Bill Meyers

The story of my walk with God is basically my Statement of Faith.

The faith and practices of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, dominated the majority of my religious beliefs for my first eighteen years. Most of those years were lived out in upstate western New York. Five years serving with the U. S. Air Force broadened my horizons as well as my mind. Challenging events forced me to rethink my childhood religious upbringing and I came up perplexed. Through the efforts of a Methodist Chaplain and a lay Lutheran, I discovered the reality of a personal. relationship with Jesus, the Christ, and my life was transformed.

Remaining active with the Base Chapel, I teamed to appreciate the breadth and scope of the total church. The following years introduced me to para-church ministries such as the Navigators, Campus Crusade, Inter-Varsity and Christian Servicemen's Fellowship. All of these groups helped mold me for practical lay ministries on a day-to-day basis.

Leaving the Air Force in the mid-sixties, I attended a Wesleyan school, Houghton College (NY), where I continued to have my spiritual senses broadened. I then settled down and for the next fifteen years attended a local Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. When a Presbyterian Church was founded nearby, I started attending it as my own personal beliefs fell more in line with that fellowship. Today, I identify myself as an enlightened evangelical in the true spirit of the Reformed tradition,

Later, I moved on to Andros Island, Bahamas, where 1. taught for nearly six years on an American/British Submarine Base. Due to its remoteness, there were no chaplains stationed there. Because of my diverse religious exposure, the U. S. Navy appointed me Protestant Lay Leader at the Base Chapel in 1.989. 1 served in that capacity under four different Commanders until 1994.

My background includes an appreciation for both liturgical and nonliturgical churches and traditional music as well as contemporary, Although tolerant toward Christians with different views on the gifts of the Spirit, I do not covet the gifts, which often generate division in the Body of Christ. Without hesitation, I embrace both early church creeds, the Apostles' and the Nicene. I consider myself in the mainstream of conservative, evangelical Protestant thought, practice and lifestyle.

Location

 

Schedule

7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday: Conversational Korean

7:30 p.m. Every Friday: Bible Study

7:00 p.m, Every Saturday: Fishermen's Group

Singing and Bible Study and Soup.

5:30 p.m. Every Sunday: Singspiration--Supper

Singing and Bible Study

Each Week Night: English Conversation Classes

VCR. Ping Pong, and Pool available after 2:30 p.m. weekdays and all weekend.

Bunk Room Available @ $2.00 per night.

 

CONE AND MAKE YOURSELF AT HONE. The Lounge is available during the hours of  8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

 

Fellowship

One of the most important things which happens at Shalom House is community We are a gathered Community of Believers which does not mean that we have atlantic beliefs. What it does mean is that we have one common understanding and that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, Therefore, we are bound together in His great love at take Seriously Jesus' commandment to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind at strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Thus, people who come to Share House experience a caring and loving community where they find great support We seek to be a healing community where hurting people discover that their hurts are understood because likely someone in the group has had a similar experiences.

 

Therefore, a safety net of support is spread under people by those who attend Shalom House.  The amazing thing is that it keeps happening even as people come and go. What this speaks of is that many who call themselves Christian find their way to a place like Shalom House, Hurting people find themselves coming here and in tam become supportive of others. We do not claim to be perfect for certainly, individually at as a group, we have not always been the caring community we should have been, but we do attempt to be faithful to our Lord's command to love one another.

Jesus gathered a community around himself as one of the first steps in his ministry He depended upon his disciples even though they at times failed. Even in the midst of their failures, it was to Jesus' followers that Jesus appeared after the resurrection We constantly seek to strengthen the sense of community at Shalom House I providing many opportunities for people to express their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Various branches of the Christian community emphasize different aspects of the faith which are important. We need to learn from one another instead of seeking correct others to our way of thinking. In our times of sharing of praises, pray requests, and Bible study we hear many testimonies of how the Lord brought salvation to individuals and how much the ministry of Shalom House has meant to those it the sharing. We listen with openness and rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.

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Web Author mailto:rjsmithjr@hotmail.com
Copyright 1995 [Smith Enterprises]. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 13, 1999.