Shinn was born to a secular Japanese–Korean family. His mother sent him to a Korean church so he could learn Korean and he would dread Sundays because he was bullied, which put him off Christianity. However, his family also had a helper who was faithful to Christ and through her, Shinn experienced the tangible love of God and learned to pray also. As Shinn grew older, his parents eventually separated and he had to question the purpose and direction of his life. In his search, he was invited to Alpha and Shinn began to understand who God is; and now, he has chosen to publicly declare that he is a follower of Christ.