Connecting with ALL people and growing with Jesus Christ
Back in 2008 as I was transitioning from seminary to full time ministry, I had a chance to visit my family in Korea. It was one of those rare moments when both my sister Anna and I were able to be with our parents at the same time. This trip was a memorable one for sure. It was when my brother-in-law, Dylan, and Anna became engaged. I’m sure that’s why they remember that trip. (Both are United Methodist elders in the Portland, Oregon, area.) But I remember the trip in ‘08 because I began dating my wife Jiea (Julie). We were set up by our parents and, though at first we met out of respectful obligation, it would turn out to be life-defining conversations.
She is a lover of music, as am I. A viola/violin performance major who taught at elementary and middle schools to be precise. As a youth pastor, I had been teaching music after school for at-risk youth during seminary so we instantly connected. She had a fascination for America, and I had a fascination for Korea. Add in the fact that both of us grew up in Korean Methodist clergy homes with an older sibling, well, it was like talking to my soulmate. For once, I felt like I didn’t have to explain myself. She just got it. And vice versa. We simply belonged to one another.
It’s that kind of belonging that inspire both of us to serve our God. It’s that call to ministry that empowers us to leave our families thousands of miles away, in hopes of creating new ones. It’s that kind of family that we feel First Church is inviting us to. It’s that kind of church we hope we can create together.
Our son Nathanael Seyeon (Nathan), four by the time you read this, and Amber Nayeon, one year next month, are miracles of God. He’s a bit shy. She is not. Both are a blessing to us and I hope all of us will be a blessing for you as you are already a blessing for us.