Before coming to Christ, I was not a pleasant person to be around. I only thought of myself and how to make my day better. I would try to find out people’s secrets through gossip so that I could use it against them if they upset me. Even my friends were scared of making me mad.
I was raised in the Roman Catholic church and I believed that memorizing passages and doing good in front of people made me a Christian. The thing I was forgetting was to apply these memorized passages and the good I did in front of people, to my heart.
Before coming to Christ, I was utterly alone. I was taught not to ask for help, to be on my own, and not to inconvenience other people’s lives but to focus on living a righteous life of which I would not be ashamed. While my mother is a Christian, there was not much focus on the Gospel or love in my family. God’s love to me, at that point, was a mere concept.
Like many Korean children, doing well in school was not just an option, but an obvious default. I had to be the top of my class without any parental guidance, supervision, or support. I still remember the day when I received “just” high honours instead of the highest honours. The moment my name was called out for high honours, turned into a day of disappointment and discouragement. My disappointment grew deeper when I saw how systems and people – especially those who helped others or those who were kind to others – were cheated, often by those they helped or trusted. Despite everything, I always prioritized truth and integrity, but reality did not align with my beliefs and I, completely blind to my own sin and failures, became disgusted.
Every year we serve summer camps run by Toronto City Mission. Every year, we play with the kids, lovingly build relationships with them in Jesus’ name and introduce them to our church, but this year there were a few unique ways in which the mission experience was a little different:
You may not know this, but this was the first year, our team was sent from the SJT campus, paid for by the SJT budget, and trained here in SJT. It really speaks to the maturity of our church that we can send our own team. Praise God.
I went on the short-term mission trip to KG this summer. The first time I seriously considered going on missions was during Cross Conference. During that time, I learned more about missions and how significant it is. I felt deeply convicted and knew that God was calling me to missions.
I kept that desire in my heart and did everything that I needed to do for missions; I took membership classes and got baptized, and I took the Discipleship course. While taking Discipleship, my leader asked me why I was taking the course. I said it was because I wanted to know more about sharing the Gospel with others and that I wanted to go on missions, specifically, to KG. She said, “Oh wow! Our family is going on missions to KG for a year.” My discipleship leader was “A**” and she really encouraged all of us about the hope the Gospel brings to people and how it makes such a difference to evangelize to the people who’ve never heard the Gospel.
This year I went on the short term mission (STM) trip to Bihar, India. This was my first time going on an overseas mission trip; God had been challenging me and preparing me to go for years. For years, I stubbornly ran from this invitation from God, but I am thankful that God was gracious as he worked in me and prepared me to go through my prideful disobedience. I’m incredibly glad and thankful that God allowed me to know him in such a way that gave me the faith to put my trust in him and his promises.
God continued to draw very close to me and the rest of the team during our time in India. He was always speaking and always reminding us of his presence. We were given many different opportunities to share the Gospel to several different communities. We did VBS with villages, two schools, and even a Catholic community, but most of our time was spent with the TIM Centre children and staff with whom are church is partnered. For me, personally, this was the ministry in which I got to experience and know God the most.