Archive for November, 2009

As a teacher and leader, I’m so thankful for the students and those who served under me for the past 9 years.  Really, without them teaching me about what love, leading, and serving is all about, I wouldn’t be where I am now.  Thank you guys. 

Again if I forget you, it was not intentional.  Don’t shoot me.

AP Bible Study:  I  mentioned 3 of the 5 AP Bible students in my “Thankful” blogs so far (Yoojung, Darong, and Kelli).  It’s hard to believe that these guys were really my students, but it’s true.  They are only a couple of years younger than me too.  As a freshman in college, my first Bible class were these guys, sophomores in high school.  Not only did they not SPEAK to each other, but most of them didn’t like each other much either.  I thought PKO was absolutely insane to give me this class.  My students were: Yoojung Chong, Darong Roh, Kelli Kim, Minki Cho, and Dorothy Chyung.  At first it was super hard, but as the Spirit swept through our youth group, God began transforming each of them.  They actually took tests in my class (there was one on the Gospels, with multiple choice, essay, and short answer) and I just really wanted to make sure they actually learned what was IN the Bible and not what they thought was in it.  Towards the end of the year we bonded as a class and they actually asked PKO to have me teach their class again (awwwwwwwwwww! <tear>). And so I did.  They lovingly renamed it AP Bible Study, and though the class did not have harder tests, we grew together spiritually as a junior class.  Finally, their senior year, I thought I’d be rid of them, but their senior teacher suddenly could not teach anymore, and as the substitute that year, I took over mid year and had them again! CRAZY.   I was sure they were quite sick of me by then. LOL.  These guys truly taught me how to prepare, pray, and to learn the Word so I could teach them it.  They treated me unbelievably well, and to this day, as they have reunions with each other, they show me SO much respect and invite me, even though I’m sure they would have a lot more fun without me.  Every time I see them, I am SO unbelievably proud of them.  I cannot even say.  It just makes me well up in tears.  And working with some of them now, like seeing Darong lead Servant Committee, or Kelli lead worship team with me, or Yoojung serving as a coordinator of the youth ministry… man… I just… I’m speechless really.  To this day, Minki calls me “sungsangnim” and Dorothy just gives me this big ol’ hug every time I see her.  I’m just SO darn stinkin’ proud of them.  And because of them, I actually got to go to Guate for free once, bc ALL of them went.  Sigh. iheart you guys times a million.  Thank you for being my first class and for teaching me to TEACH.  I love you guys.

The Original SSC Youth Worship Team (1st one):  Oh the first one I led after high school!  The members were: Mark Kim, Ryan Kim, Inyoung Na, Adam Belfast, and me.  LOL.  HILARIOUS.  These guys would be the first to teach me how to lead worship, to lead a worship team, and to prepare for the spiritual warfare and leading as a worship leader.  Thank you guys for your patience and sticking with me through the years.  Though we were musically questionable, I can’t forget the hearts of those who led with me. We were a passionate bunch and had no idea what the heck we were doing, but God really used that time to TEACH and prepare.

Eventually… we would have more members…

SSC YOUTH WORSHIP TEAM 2:  The members were: Mark Kim, Ryan Kim, Inyoung Na, Haewon (who played drums for us when Adam left), Kelli Kim, Eunhye Kim, Young Kong, Big Tim Kim, & Hyunwoo Lee.  Ah with these guys, we had a bit more refined sound and started actually sounding better! LOL!  We even had the opportunity to lead worships elsewhere, like at Family Harvest (crazy awesome time!).  With these guys, God began to tune me and prune me to be a better leader, start refining my style of leading worship, and began to try to put what I was leraning from my quiet times into the devotion times.  This is also when I had co-leaders with Young & Kelli helping me along. 

SSC YOUTH WORSHIP TEAM 3:  After Young & Haewon left, our worship team stayed at a solid of these members: John Yohan Kim, Big Tim Kim, Mark Kim, Ryan Kim, Inyoung Na, Kelli Kim, Eunhye Kim, & Hyunwoo Lee.  During this time, we went through lots of ups and downs, but we even furthered our musical and spiritual giftings and anointings in leading worship.  But some of these guys were getting older so….

SSC YOUTH WORSHIP TEAM 4 (The HUMOGONOUS TEAM):  As we were trying to transition out Mark, Ryan, Inyoung, & Hyunwoo… we saw that the worship team would be suffering greatly… Eunhye was not too far behind… so we went through this insance transition period where half the youth group was on the WT.  These members included: Mark, Ryan, Inyoung, Kelli, Big Tim, Hyunwoo, Yohan, & Eunhye (the old crew)… and would see faces such as Sarah Choi, Angela Koh, Steve Lim, Tim Kim, Luke Harvey, Daegon Wang, & Eunbyul Joh….

In the end, many would not survive the craziness and as some left, some quit, some moved out of state, and some prohibited by their parents to participate… the worship team would narrow down to: Hyunwoo, Kelli, Tim Kim, Luke Harvey, & Eunhye Kim.  The eventual addition of Esther Kim also happened not too shortly after this.

SSC YOUTH WORSHIP TEAM 5:  Hyunwoo & Kelli would stay on as my co-leaders from this point on.  Then there were Tim Kim, Luke Harvey, Esther Kim, and with Eunhye leaving, Jae Kim joined.  It would stay like this for almost a year, filled with craziness and tons of memories.  Then,  Joe Chung and Sharon Lee would join. But the group did not stay this way for long… unfortunately we would say good bye to some and it would then lead to…

THE CURRENT SSC YOUTH WORSHIP TEAM: Presently, I am still leading the crew, with my co-leaders Hyunwoo & Kelli.  Capt. Timmy, Sharon, and Jae are the rest.  Though we are small in number, we believe God has made up in passion, spiritual growth, & power.  I am very proud of the current members.  It’s been a rocky few months, but God is bringing us back to the basics and I could never be more prouder and excited for what is to come.  For every student and every wt kid to come through this program, I’ve learned & grown as a leader, and faced with some pretty tough situations, challenged to consistently stand for what is right, even if it’s difficult or unpopular.  

The guys I have with me now stand with me, and my heart is full.  I thank Timothy “Captain” Kim, who in being the Captain of the team, has always gone the extra mile in everything that we’ve ever done.  He constantly surprises me (plesantly) with his work ethic, dedication, and passion.  Often times, he is one of the very few who will be doing the “dirty” work, like loading the church trailer, cleaning up stuff, traveling with the R180 team, but he does it with a servant’s heart.  I can’t wait to see what God will do in this boy.  I very firmly believe, 110%, without a doubt, that God is calling him & inviting him to lead his generation to revival & repentance.  Even though there have been so many pressures in his life, and he’s had his share of failures and rollercoaster rides, the point is, he still stands.  And he will continue to stand.  And although people may try to bring him down or try to drag him down the roads of sin or ungodliness as the rest of his generation in this world continues to struggle with, he is doing his best to guard his heart and run after what GOD wants.  Thank you Timothy, for always coming with a willing heart and being so full of passion.   Jae “Bigbone” Samuel Kim also consistently surprises me.  When he joined worship team, he began as a volunteer, straight up out of the blessing of a summer retreat & very new to all this “Christian” stuff… leading… serving… all that.  Jae works very hard, and even admits that laziness is his #1 killer… so he’s been constantly battling that.  There are days when he wins and days where he loses, but even in the days he loses his battles with laziness or whatever, he still presses on.  And he protects himself enough NOT to let one thing effect him more than it ought.  He doesn’t get caught up in the usual rollercoasters of teenagers and THAT is a GREAT thing.  He’s been humbled as of late, while trying to learn the bass… but he is working hard and I can honestly say that for someone who’s had such little time, his progress is amazing.  So, I believe it’s heaven sent to help our worship team transition through some tough times.  Thank you Jae, for brushing the things off your shoulders that need brushing off, for working hard & doing your best, & for believing that this is how God wants you to serve our youth group right now.  Sharon “Butterfingers” Maron Lee is my darling and a rock on the WT.  Yeah, she can outrun & prolly beat everyone on the WT in arm wrestling… but her strength is not physical, it’s spiritual… it’s within.  She’s still getting used to this idea, that she is a rock inside, one valued by our Almighty God, and one in which the Spirit wishes to commune with so dearly… and her growth since she first joined is amazing.  Though she also, like many, have faced her share of demons, scars, rollercoasters, and hurt… she always gets back up.  I’m also encouraged whenever I talk to Sharon and she really does have a beautiful heart.  When I see her pray for others, it comes from someplace deep within, I’m not sure where, but just someplace really DEEP, and bc of it, her prayers are sooooo FULLLL… full of love and full of desire.  I’m thankful she is an intercessor for our time and for our youth group, and I’m greatly looking forward to how God will shape and transform her into a true woman of God.  Heart of Gold.  Thank you Sharon for believing in God’s love for you and for him to use you in this way.  You’re gonna be a great leader, girl! 

TUTOR STUDENTS:  I’d just like to give a shout out to all of the students I’ve ever tutored or still tutor to this day.  My experiences with you have taught me how to TEACH and because of you, God has poured over me the resources, both financial and educational, to be the very best leader I can be for others.  Thank you for doing your homework, for studying for your exams, for laughing with me, and for playing cutthroat UNO with me.  You guys rock. 

The above video is of Sunhan “Ricky” Shin taking on the biggest spoon of hot sauce ever for punishment in losing at Cutthroat Uno. 

Lastly, I of course thank the SSC YOUTH GROUP.. you always challenge me to be at my very best and to give my very best.  Because of all of you, I have grown, learned to pray, learned to teach, learned to serve, and so much more… You guys have a huge place in my heart and I am so thankful for each and every one of you.  Let’s pray for even more growth, boldness, and passion as we prepare for another year in loving our God the best we can.

 

Advertisements

#36: Thankful | Part 3: SSC/R180

Posted: November 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

Ah yes, part 3 of my “Thankful” series.  As God has given me some time to think and reflect, I really am finding that I am so thankful for the people in my life.

This entry will include other SSC people or Radical 180 people I am thankful for, most that were not already mentioned in my previous two posts.  Again, if I forget you, please don’t hate me.

SSC ’01 Crew: Ah, my senior graduating class at SSC.  Growing up with these folks was filled with its ups and downs, but in the end, I believe God gave us one another to keep pressing on and remembering how good He was throughout our childhood, no matter what we went through. And he gave us a big group so we can testify to all that He has done in our lives.   Although we’re all at different places and areas in our lives, I’m so blessed to see them thriving and doing well wherever they are at. There were some that were less involved than others, others who moved, but in the end, each person shaped me and blessed me and I’m so thankful.

Lisa Farley
: I’m always reminded of Lisa whenever I see the black and white photo she took of PKO in his office.   It’s awesome.  Lisa always knew how to keep it real and was real honest with how she felt about everything that was happening in the church, even when many things were things she disagreed with or didn’t feel was quite right.  She was cautious, and rightfully so, and she taught me to be wise and not to just jump into things when things seem like it should be.  Thanks Lisa!

David Turtle Lee:  Dave and I go waaaay back.  Taekwondo boy’s family and ours was pretty tight for awhile and my most painful memory with Dave is when he flying sidekicked my head into the piano when we were kids.  I saw STARS and bright lights, literally.  Dave always had a bright smile and was consistently cheerful always, no matter the circumstances.  He taught me to have a positive attitude and to remain joyful always.  Thanks Dave!

Julie Kim:  Though Julie didn’t get to graduate with us, she belongs here for sure.  Oh, the many many memories I have with Julie and our lil crew, POSA swim club, karoaking at her house, her trying to give me a french manicure and me trying violently to run away… sigh.  She can be credited as the first to try to make me over. When Julie moved away it left an irreplaceable hole in our lil class… all her sweetness and goodness was sorely missed.  I dinstinctly remember her signing Mr. Thomas Yan up for a retreat that would change his life forever (but he was so bitter she signed him up for it! puhahaha).  And that was what Julie was like… sweet, good, and loved people.  Thanks Julie!

Jaeha Lee:  I have a hilarious memory of learning how to shave legs…. er…. puhahahaha. Jaeha, came bursting onto the scene all cute and fobby and ladylike… I admit I felt quite UN-ladylike when she was around… lol such a tomboy was I!   Jaeha was artistic, saw beauty in things and could create things that my mind and abilities could not quite comprehend.    So, she taught me how to appreciate things or to see things in a different light, and I’m forever grateful for that.  Thanks Jaeha!

Jamie Kim: Ah yes, Jams… smart and hilariously sarcastic, Jams could make any of us laugh, even at ourselves!  She served faithfully as a member of our English Ministry until led to other places, especially in the background/behind the scenes.  I was definitely really blessed by that.  She can sing, she can play piano, and she knows her music.  Um, I’d bet her music knowledge over anybody’s.  She’s also the queen of inside jokes.  I will never forget that she always called me “Dutch Boy” throughout my short hair days.  Thanks Jams, for teaching me to laugh until my sides hurt.    

Stephanie Kim:  I probably go back with Steph the furthest I’m sure. I remember walking to her house in Tinley from my house in OP.  LOL.  That and playing “Baywatch” at the pool with either Kelli or Haewon as drowning victims, and playing Cops & Robbers, always making Kelli and Haewon the Robbers and beating them up. PUHAHAHHAHAHAH. lol.  OMG.  Poor things.  With dramatic flair, Steph had a gift for the artistic and interpretive, and would later lead our first ever Body Worship Team (remember “Now Behold the Lamb? OMG), and continues to bless others with her gifts.  Ever since I saw her with the kids in Guate, I knew she had an amazing ability and gift to really impact and touch the lives of little ones.  She currently serves in CM at SSC and I know she is laying down firm foundations for our little CM kids.  Seeing her faithfulness to this day in ministry, is a tremendous blessing.  Thanks Steph.

Jane Kim Taylor: Dr. Taylor!  I always seriously thought Jane was gonna end up a kindergarten teacher, but whaddya know?!  When we were younger she would always tell us she’d be the last to do anything, especially get married, and not-too-surprisingly, she was the first!  Known affectionately as “Gigglebox” in elementary school, Jane was always thoughtful and seriously KIND.  I can’t think of another word for it.  I remember once, I was studying for finals, and she BAKED me cookies and dropped them off with my favorite set of Flaming Hot Cheetos and gummy bears (study food for champions, take notes!).  Seriously, she also has a huge heart to love and help others and just by being her, she always reminded me to think of others before myself.  Thank you Jane!

Daniel I. Ko: Oh boy, so many memories with this guy.  One of my favorites would be the time we were sitting in the dark brooding over our respective longings for some girl and some guy, while listening to REALLY cheesy sappy music (I think it was “truly, madly, deeply” by savage garden, Oh EM Gee), very depressed.  LOL.  Dan and I used to talk about the weirdest things, like how each of us got arrested for some thing or the other, but as we both began to declare our lives for Christ, he would become a close friend and partner in the Gospel.  He can be credited to be the first to really encourage me to express myself through music and I remember long nights recording and writing songs, and him helping me out with that.  He continues to encourage me and sends me bunches of resources now.  I knew someday a beautiful holy lady would come by and shake his world about, and so it did! Now very happily married, I can’t wait to see what God will do through them to bring His glory onto the earth.  Dan has always been “chill” and laid-back, and taught me always not to take myself and what happens too seriously.  Thanks Daniel! 

Boramie Kim: Oh Brahms… hamster dance! LOL.  At least once a year, I find myself rolling around Boram’s room and talking for hours about life in general.  We talk about anything and everything.  Boram may be studying counseling psych, but secretly she was always meant to be author and illustrator of Hallmark cards (at least in my eyes, geez!)… and I am confident I will see one pop up someday, and it will probably have a hamster or something cute on it.  LOL.  I have so many memories with this sister, & to this day, I know that whenever something is up, she’s always there.  She’s an awesome friend.  She’s the one friend that we could be laughing hysterically in one moment and bawling our eyes out the next.  Thank Borams for always being there through the thick & thin & for laughing/crying with me! Oh, and I’m thinking some of the best days with Brahms was when I went up to Northwestern like every single weekend my sophomore year in college… the subject matter wasn’t always easy to go through (oh the tumultuous times of college & picking a gosh darn major!) but I miss the days we could eat & roll around so freely.   

Thomas W. Yan: TOM!  Tom used to hate me when we were little.  You can ask him why yourself. LOL.  I can say very easily that Tom has always been a solid rock in my life.  He was always there and would listen to me rant & rave till my face turned blue and just comfort me. LOL.  I remember when I got so mad in high school once, about youth group, that Tom literally drove me to HF High School and sat there with me in the parking lot while I just yelled and cried my frustrations out.  He always listened.  Thanks Tom.  Now, as “family”, days filled with food, football, wii, and weird inside jokes like Dora, ginger, & water fill my days.  He makes me see the lighter side of things (see Nerfwars on my Youtube account for more info), but is also a wise man.  When he decided to come home and serve SSC after college, I’m sure people he thought he was crazy, but because he is dying to himself for the EM, the EM is coming to life in so many ways.  Tom’s sacrifices and love for our church always consistently inspires me to also give my best in YG.  Thanks Tom. 

Mingyung You: Hi roomie!  It’s hard to believe I’ve actually only known her for a few years – it seems like I’ve known her all my life.  It was true love as friends as we laughed over Buffalo Joe Wings in Evanston that fateful day of Winter 2002.  We would continue to bond over food and prayer for years to come, and see each other through some of each other’s hardest times.  She would be the reason I could drive to Kenosha, Wisconsin in an hour, and later to Wilmore, Kentucky in 5 hours.  She constantly opened her home and fridge to me and I can say without a doubt, that in doing so, helped me survive some of my toughest years after my dad died.  I always had a place to rest because of her.  And although she calls ME the drama queen, I’m quite confident she recognizes the drama queen in me bc she is.  LOL.  She is currently serving as the CM PASTOR at SSC, and her bilingual proficiency is being abused quite steadily hahaha… but yeah the kids and adults alike love her.  Hooray!  These days, I look to the future of my dear sister and best friend… she’s gonna be a great wife and mom someday… I can just see her fussing over her future hubby and kids! lol.  Sweet & thoughtful & hilariously fobby, I’ve come to appreciate her wisdom & advice and she is a very FUN roommate.  LOL.  Thanks unnie!

Inyoung Na: ah yes, innie binnie… my dear sweet little sister.  I am so thankful for you.  Innie and I also go waaay back, but perhaps the most significant was when I had to fight her parents every stinkin’ single week to have her be a part of worship team.  Even in the midst of that, I know it was all worth it as I see her rise up and claim the calling that God has given her to lead others and serve others.  Innie has ALWAYS been the one to serve quietly, so much so that my mom actually asked her to teach me, and you will find her all marriage-ready in the present! LOL.  When Innie opens her heart, she gives you herself fully, and it’s really quite a beautiful thing.  She is DEFINITELY a 3H woman (holy, hot, & humble) and is the secret powerhouse member of the Fantastic Four.  I love her to death and she shall be a bridesmaid in my wedding, both imaginary and in the future.  But Men beware!  Inyoung is looking for a Mr. Darcy, and none of us around her will let her settle for anyone less worthy! Inyoung teaches me constantly to serve in the quiet places and it’s her ability to be a Mary in the midst of a bunch of Marthas that helps keep me grounded.  Thank you Innie! 

Eunhye Joanne Kim: hahahah, aw the youngest member of the Fantastic Four, so cute.  Eunhye smiles and my heart melts with love from older sister to younger sister.  Eunhye is also a 3H woman (holy, hot, & humble), and currently on her way to be a “1 in a million” type of girl.  She also, is looking for a Mr. Darcy type of a man, and when such a man decides to woo her, he will most definitely have to pass the test.  Or forgeddabout it! When she was younger, we would worry she would never open her mouth & speak the words of truth that God was declaring in her, but you definitely don’t have to worry about that now. LOL.  She is as bold as ever, and her drastic transformation is a constant reminder of how God makes all things new and always completes what he’s started in people.  Though for awhile there, I was the one to pray and hold her, now the roles have swapped, and I find her holding my hand and crying out and praying for me… in the car… all the time. LOL.  Eunhye is a prayer warrior, so don’t mess with her – she’s got weapons you can’t even see.   She & I have lovely holy moments of prayer & worship in my car and I’m forever thankful.  Thank you Eunhye! 

Mark Kim: Mr. Panda is an all-around great guy.  Oozing with musical talent, don’t let this Panda fool you – he has a big heart of love.  He’s a great older brother to Timmy and Eunhae, and Eunhae quite easily declares Mark as her favorite brother (sorry Timothy).  Though he may seem all rough around the edges on the outside, he’s got a heart of gold on the inside.  I remember when he was REALLY short and couldn’t play his electric guitar and joined worship team… my how time and a great hand of God transforms.  Mark is now  a wanted man to play at retreats and conferences, but also a faithful member of our EM and R180.  Seeing him come faithfully to Wednesday prayer meetings and serve regularly has been a blessing in my life.  And even through tough times, Mark always fights. He’s a fighter whether he believes it or not!  And because of this, he consistently blesses me and those around him.  Thanks Mark, for teaching me to always fight and press on!

Hannah Yeam: Though to many of us she is known as the prayer warrior, or frequent flyer to heaven, or bball goddess, she is simply “twinnie” to me.  We met at the wee age of 12 as the youngest participants at a summer retreat. It’s all history from there. Even though she didn’t go to SSC, we gave her the title of Honorary SSC Member bc we saw her as often as we could *^^* .  Hannah has no problem telling you how it is, for YOUR sake, and we all need someone in our lives who will always tell us the honest truth, even brutally honest, for the sake of us being better people.  I have always appreciated her straight-forwardness.  Also, Hannah really is an awesome intercessor and I really believe she has the ear of God.  Lastly, she’s one of those people that even when I don’t see them often, ya meet up and it’s like you were talking forever.  I believe God has poured his grace and mercy over our relationship with that and I thank God.  Thanks Hannah, you are a wonderful friend.

Insup Oh: Ohjinguh… Insup came to SSC in the Winter of 2000 and I could NOT have been more grateful in all of my life.  He came right after my dad died, and he took over the SSC YG WT for me and gave me a break… and it was a good thing bc I was in absolutely no condition to lead anything or anybody.  I was never more grateful in all my life.  In the beginning, I thought he was crazy, really. He had all these biting and mean remarks, I seriously was scared to say anything bc if he said something mean, then I would probably have lost it since I was having anger management issues, and kicked his shins, which is not very holy. But it turned out that Insup was really a softie on the inside… and I will forever remember the time at one of the retreats, he prayed for me and actually cried. lol.  I was like all emotional, and then I realized Insup was crying and I suddenly stoped crying. puahahah. at any rate, he’s a guy who cares for people deeply, even if he doesn’t show it all the time on the outside.  I also must say that he became a lot “nicer” since he’s been here, but that’s up for debate. *^^*  Thanks Insup, for always caring and showing your concern for me in YOUR ways.  I really appreciate it.

Heejung You:  When I first met this unnie, she told me that she thought I was like an older woman.  I met her when I was 19 and she was 21 and she used all this formal korean with me, I thought she was crazy. LOL.  When she finally found out my age, it was like, “oh!” PUHAHAHA.  Heejung unnie always welcomed me into her home and was so good to me all the time.  There were times I would actually spend days, or a week, up at her apartment back in the day in Kenosha, and I have very fond memories of food and laughter.  She’s really ridiculously good at that one game with Dr. Mario and the pills (puzzlefighter?) I dunno, and we rolled around a lot at both the Kenosha apt and the Wilmore apt.  Goodness.  Because of her and her sister, my korean improved significantly.  SIGNIFICANTLY.  I’m always thankful for the memories I have of her and even though I never see her anymore bc she’s in Korea, I’m so glad that God brought her into my life.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to visit Korea soon and see her and catch up over galbi and ridiculous amounts of food.  Amen.  Thanks Heejung Unnie!

Sylvia Kim Choi:  I’m always a tad bit sad and jealous of John Oppa when I think of Sylvia bc she was supposed to be my roomie in the city, but then she went and got married! PUHAHAHA.  It’s ok, I know she is in a much better place.  This sexy momma really is an awesome mom.  You just gotta chill with her and Sophia for a bit and you’ll see it right off the bat.  I first got to really know her better through the GUATE 2003 trip and even while I was there, thought about how great it would be to see her with John oppa.  Crazy world, how that ended up!  But God definitely just let all that happen between them!  I’m so thankful to have her as an unnie.  She always welcomes me and tells me to come over to her place in Ohio and always tells me that if I ever need to get away, to come there.  Having someone who cares about you like that is SUCH an amazing blessing.  Thank you so much Sylvia unnie!

Chris Chu: When I first met this guy, even though I knew he wasn’t korean, I thought he was.  He is probably a lot more Korean than I am forreal.  Chris astounded me with his expansive knowledge of the Korean culture.  Very impressive indeed.  But really, what really touches my heart when I think of Chris is that he’s extremely caring… he cares and he listens… he always asks how you’re going, he actually remembers things you tell him, and when he says he’s gonna pray for you, he actually does.  A man who sticks by his words and keeps them is awesome.  He also is very very thoughtful. I will also never forget the one time he was preaching and he apologized to all the women in the room, on behalf of all men, for the trouble men cause.  Thank you Chris for acknowledging the truth! HAHA.  J/K.  But yeah I have always appreciated the heart and care he has for people.  Thanks Chris!

Mike O: Mike oppa came to SSC and served faithfully for a couple of years before moving on to other places.  One of my many favorite moments with this oppa was when he used to throw rocks at my window bc I would not come down and open the door for him when he rang my doorbell.  This would be bc he would come on my days off from school and force me to go to Lifetime with him, especially when he was training for the marathon.  THough I loved him, he was torturing me.  But through it all, Mike was a constant presence while in OP, and he took care of me like his own little sister.  In fact, there was one time I was so sick that I missed church (I’ve only missed church like 3 times in my life bc of sickness, I’m usually there no matter what).  I had a very bad case of the flu, was not eating, could not get around much, and I was stubbornly refusing to go to a doctor.  He actually showed up at my house, Chicken Noodle Soup and Orange Juice in hand.  He then MADE me soup and FED it to me.  Seriously.  It was the first meal I didn’t throw up for like 3 days.  He’s always been a caring and loving oppa and to this day, he calls me randomly to make sure I’m not going insane.  Thank you Mike oppa!

Johnny Choi: He can play guitar and make your heart melt!  When I first met Johnny Oppa, I thought he was scary.  He was this big guy and I saw him like casting out demons with this fierce intensity and I thought, “whoa, he’s scary”.  Turns out, Johnny oppa is just a big teddy bear! LOL.  Johnny oppa is really really good with words and I really believe that a lot of times, when he spoke to me, he was chose his words in such a way that would consistently bring healing in my heart.  He’s also ridiculously fun to play Mario Party with.  I’m also grateful that he taught me the great game of BUNGHOLE and that he was always willing to play it with me. LOL.  I love when he leads worship bc you can just sense he wants to really sit at God’s feet and snuggle with Jesus, and so the Spirit just moves so freely and amazingly as he leads.  Thank you Johnny oppa for your always kind and healing words, and how you lead people to worship.  You’ve taught me so much!

Paul Mun:  Pastor Paul here is actually Chef Paul… my first memories with him are all in regards to food.  He makes some mean food forreal.  We bonded over the sharing of bread, well, more often fried chicken or ddukbokkie, and he was always so wililng to share his gifts in this area for us hungry friends.  Paul is now in Kentucky and when I think of him there, passionately leading the youth group, I’m always encouraged bc he doesn’t get down on what he doesn’t have… he always pursues and pushes with what he does have.  He also has great vision and hopes for the ministry that God is leading him to and faithfully tries to pursue it.  Gotta respect that!  I only get to see him maybe twice or 3 times a year, but when I do it’s like old times.  And it’s been a blessing to see his passion come alive during those times.  Thank you Paul for your passion and your pursuit of God’s Kingdom. 

Hannah Ahn:  It’s hard to believe this, but I actually first met Hannah when she was a high school student in Cincinnati.  Dang.  My, how time has flown! Now she is a grad student, engaged to Pastor/Chef Paul, and continually doing all this kingdom work.  I love it!  Who knew that the senior in high school I met then, would be where she is now, and giving God all the glory in all things she does?!  DANG!  Praise God.  Hannah is an amazing singer and worshipper of God and when she worships God, it’s just stinkin’ beautiful.  I love her heart for worship and it’s probably why most of my memories with her are worship related.  She shines real bright when she gives worship to the Lord and when she prays, it’s so very powerful.  I learned a lot from Hannah about having this heart of worship.  So, thank you, Hannah! 

Joe Choi:  I probably first met Joe like when we were both really young, maybe 10 years old?  He came to SSC when RC was a pastor there.  Weird to think of it now and I sure didn’t know then I’d see him a few times every year now.  One of my favorite memories of Joe was when he went to Guate 2004 with us.  Poor guy didn’t know the rest of us all that well being the only guy from Ohio and at every lunch break, he would sit at the lunch table with this photo album, and he would just look through it.  Well one day some of us gathered the courage to go over there and see what was in the photo album.  Turns out it was of his gf.  LOL!  Back then, I thought to myself “Either this guy is REALLY sappy or promised his gf he would everyday”.  But when I think of Joe now, I think it’s more that when he lets someone into his heart and he cares for them deeply,  there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for them.  I also learned the past couple of years, observing how he serves, that he does things quietly and faithfully.  He doesn’t really care whether or not anybody notices – he just does it faithfully. And I really believe God honors his heart for that.  He’s also really good at grilling and I call him Grillmaster Joe with joy.  He can cook a mean cow.  Hallelujah! Thanks Joe for your faithful heart and for feeding me cows.  You rock!

Joyce Chun Ahn: This sister brings joy and energy wherever she goes.  When I first heard her sing, I seriously did not expect that sound to come out from such a little body forreal.  But she just opens her mouth and lets it all out and man, wows the heck outta me.  One of my very fond memories with Joyce was when she hosted me at her place when I went down to Nashville with PKO.  She took me around Nashville, fed me, and we led worship together with her friend, Stan, at the revival that PKO was speaking at.  It was a GREAT experience.  Joyce is vibrant and full of life and she has a heart for broken and lost people.  When she sings, I believe God uses her to speak to these people at a different level and lead them to God and when she prays or speaks to people, God uses her to give words of comfort and peace.  She also loves the Word and I loved how she would incorporate it into worship… I still remember her Bible, in her wonderful Bible case, with notes, tabs, and stuff all over it… she just dove into Scripture and taught me how to worship in the Word.  Thanks Joyce!

Hey family.  Haewon oppa/hyung has been bugging me to get a Christmas wishlist going with the family so we can get each other what we want.  LOL. Yay to family traditions!

SO… here is my wishlist.  Give your nuna/unnie some love!

1.   GLO Digital Bible software (SOOOOO cool, yes I’m a nerd.)
2.   Amazon Kindle
3.   New gym shoes, preferably New Balance/Addidas size 8W or 8.5W
4.   Giftcards (in order of preference): Amazon, Borders, Dick’s Sporting Goods, BW3s, Family Christian, and the mall.
5.   iPod (regular or nano, i hate touch)
6.   Dress socks
7.   Purse (yes, eunae & eunbyul, you read correctly, i actually want a purse. i have to grow up sometime. don’t make fun of me!)
8.    Clear laminated plastic UNO cards.  They are SO cool & iheart cutthroat uno!
9.    Sharpie pens – the ones that don’t bleed thru paper. Yes, again, I’m a nerd.
10.  Cash – who can resist cash?

POST your top choices up on here for all of us to see!!!!!! THANK YOU. and eunbyul… are you gonna pick some abercrombie sweater again? sigh. lol.

Ok, Thankful Part 2 has arrived!

It’s really simple actually.  You can get a sense of who I am by who I’m around… and I’m around the SSC YG STAFF a lot.  They are passionate, prayerful, and dedicated. They make me better and they make me want to BE better.

SOOO… here we go!

Once again, if I forget you please don’t write me off, I promise it was not intended at all.  Thanks.

Rev. Ethan K. Ko, Nancy Ko, Mia Ko, & Ella Ko:  Ok, so where do I begin here?  So much to say.  I’ll try to simplify. Basically, PKO’s first sunday sermon was on the day of my dad’s wake… it took some time for me to realize that God provided him in my life to be a father figure, as well as a pastor and leader.  The past 9 years, he’s been the rock in my life and loved me like a kid and I’m thankful.  He’s always been slow to speak, and very thoughtful in his decisions, and a wild man when it came to being obedient to God’s leading.  I’m thankful that even in the midst of our unbelief, he’s been faithful to stay on the course that God has been leading him to, and his obedience and faithfulness has opened the doors wide for the rest of us to receive.  It’s funny how with a sentence or a 3-word text, God can use him to break my heart and repent. LOL.  Most importantly, he loves people, more than people ever know.  And he loves through prayer… he loves not in the flashy ways of some, but in the quiet powerful ways.  God used him to rescue a lot of us “damaged” people. And I believe that bc God called him to the broken and those in need of healing, he will also see the fruit of those healed to go and a different kind of broken – a generation broken for the God’s glory to fall on His people.  He’s a man of vision and loves to impart what he knows to others. Thank you PKO, for being YOU, for always loving me and for ignoring all my phone calls. PUHAHAHA. Thanks!

Nancy Unnie:  They say that behind every great man, there is an even greater woman.  I wholeheartedly believe this 100%.  HAHA.  Nancy unnie is unnie to me well, bc “samonim” just doesn’t feel right, and um, i made the once very TERRIBLE mistake of calling her “ahjumah” (which she will NEVER let me forget – yes, my brain just froze and out came diaherrea of the mouth. horrid!), so UNNIE it is.  But she really is unnie.  I can see how she compliments PKO in so many ways… she can bring out the practical and logical, point out the other side of the coin so well, and loves REALLY deep.  A person needs only to spend 5 mins with her and her kids to know she’s a great mom and that her heart loves DEEP.  I have learned so much from her about being a woman of God, about being a wife (someday), and about how to be a great mom (hopefully soon someday).  To this day, she is my confidant, tells me the brutal honest truth, and encourages me on a consistent and regular basis. I am so thankful for her in my life.  Thank you unnie!

Dear Mia,
Thank you for being born.  When I first met you, you would turn your face away from me and cringe/cry.  I am so thankful that you don’t hate me any longer.  I’m also so thankful you don’t run away from me now too. Thank you.  My favorite memory with you so far was when Ella was born and we were at the hospital.  You took me to see her through the window on the baby floor.  And you pointed her out to me and I asked you how you felt.  And you said, “I love her already“.  You made my heart melt.  You are so very thoughtful, and super smart.  You will make boys lament in agony and your father and I will enjoy the hardship boys will go through.  Thank you.  You are one of the best older sisters I know, and you’re so young!  It’s hard to imagine what you will be like when you are older, but I’m confident you will do well and love Jesus.  When I don’t see you, even for a week, I miss you like crazy.  That’s the power you have over me! Thank you for being so lovable. 

Dear Ella,
Thank you also, like your sister, for being born.  And like your sister, when I don’t see you, even for a week, my heart feels a little less full and happy.  When I DO see you, my heart just overflows with joy. I’m so thankful that when you see me you don’t immediately burst into tears like before.  It used to break my heart. hehe.  Thank you for letting me color with you and for calling me “Hedgie EEMO”.  Thank you letting me hug you all the time, and for letting me take you to Chuck E Cheese, so that I can eat the pizza there.  Thank you for letting me blow fart kisses.  One day you will be a heartbreaker for men, like your sister, and I will enjoy it from afar immensely as guys scramble for your affection.  Thank you for being a drama queen bc you make my life all the more interesting.  Thank you Ella!

Deacon Joon Chung: It’s hard to believe he’s the father of 3 young girls bc this youthful OLD man embarrasses the heck out of youth group boys in basketball, volleyball… need I say more?  He’s earned the respect of many of the boys, and it has opened the doors for him to share, teach, and be received well.   As a dad helping out in youth ministry he sets an amazing example for all of us to follow, and especially for the young guys, really sets the example about what it means to be a true man of God.  Joon, my stomach is so thankful for your cooking abilities, and your warm hospitality to continually open your home to a bunch of young punks and teach us from your heart, how to be the best teachers we can be.  Thank you for being grounded in the Word and preaching in ways that have impacted so many hearts.  Thank you Joon!

Kyujin: Probably one of the most misunderstood people on our staff, I have always appreciated that Q oppa has remained faithful throughout it all.  I will admit it took me longer than it should have to see how big his heart is for people and that he also, loves deeply, and operates in different ways to touch the lives of others.  Perhaps the most convincing to me was his heart to serve throughout Guate.  Now, I wasn’t even there for this, but I heard all about it through many others.  He served by taking care of PKO… so whether it was carrying his bag, making sure he was getting rest, or just watching out for him in general, he took care of the mission team by taking care of PKO.  And it is in the silent, often unnoticed ways, you begin to see his serving heart.  So whether it’s picking up garbage, tidying PKO’s office, and more especially, coming early on sunday mornings to pray, though no one else publicly may acknowledge his efforts and his heart, I know God sees.  So, thank you oppa, for being faithful in the little things, serving behind closed doors, and even in the midst of disrespect from people, you still love them.  Thanks for teaching me how to be humble.

Hawon:  I first met my FOB friend Hawon back when there were still KUMC retreats and he was still in high school.  To this day, I will never forget that my first impression of him was Heimlech, the cute caterpiller, from the movie, “A Bug’s Life”.  You need to WATCH it and understand where I am coming from on this.  Seriously.  Anyhow, since then, God faithfully worked through my brother throughout college, he came back home, served his home church, and then we kidnapped him to serve at SSC.  Hawon brings a passion and a prayer life I’m really envious of and has a great heart of willingness for the small things, that maybe we abuse now and then… lol.  Hawon also is very thoughtful and is a great friend.  Whenever he is someplace, especially when it comes to food, it’s the little things… he asks me if I want anything, or he just KNOWS and picks it up.  My stomach thanks thee.  I trust him so much to pray that whenever something comes up, I call him up or text him bc I know that when he says he will pray for it, he really will.  Thank you Hawon for constantly challenging me to pray more, encourage more, and love more.  And I thank God greatly that you work at Guitar Center.  Thank you and thank you Guitar Center.

Aarong: Oh my, where do I begin with this brother?  We’ve known each other since we were kids, running around each other’s back yards, and watching Esther tackle Changsu all the time.  He had much energy back then, and he exudes it to this day.  My favorite memory with Aarong was a few years back, when all this crazy Holy Spirit stuff was happening, we were at a retreat prayer meeting, and it was HOT in the Spirit and everyone was passionately praying, and all the sudden you hear this yell of prayer from Aarong, “Oh God, quench my thirst like Gatorade!”.  We erupted with laughter and continued to pray.  Aarong just keeps it real and has such a likeable personality.  I thank God that people feel comfy with him and that he can just be free and evangelize to others without even thinking about it.  He consistently challenges my heart to share my blessings with others and to question how truly free I am.  When I see him, I see God’s freedom in him.  So thank you Aarong for living in the freedom Christ has given and having so much courage to be bold and share His truth.  Your heart challenges me!  Thank you!

Darong: Like Aarong, I share many many memories with this brother.  Beloved DRoh has transformed dramatically over the years, and was once my student (but we’ll save that for a later post).  Darong is distinctly different from his brother, but shares in how blessing he is to others.  He is very laid back and “chill”, offering a great easy going atmosphere and makes newcomers feel a lot less nervous.  He has been faithfully serving as the leader of the Servant Committee, and has led several Guatemala Mission Trips now as PKO’s right hand man.  There is a reason for this bc Darong can be trusted to get it done right the first time.  His work is both quality and quantity.  And even when he has to do the dirty work, you’ll find that he does it in silence, without complaint.  If there is complaint you wouldn’t notice it, and he’d just take it up with PKO or whoever.  He’s been faithfully obedient and submits to all that is asked of Him, doing a great job.  Thank you Darong, for your humility and your willingness to do so much behind the scenes.  Your faithfulness has helped build our youth group and our Guate trips.

Kelli: Like the Roh boys, I share a long and deep history with this beautiful young lady.  From Cops & Robbers (where her sister and I would punish her and my little brother and beat them up) to seeing her now as a leader of the worship team… every moment was a blessing.  Kelli is incredibly smart and deep, realistic and knows more than she lets on *^^*.  Her voice has strength and power, so when she speaks or sings, God uses her to bring healing and restorstation to many.  God has anointed her voice!  She constantly challenges me to try to see things from our youths’ perspective, lending a very important hand in leading our youth worship team, and in her heart, lies a very deep compassion for others.  She also brings the humor and fun into our worship team, since I lack either, and is a great older sister.  I thank God for you Kelli, bc you are anointed woman of God and God uses all that He has carried you through to impact the lives of young people.  Thank you for serving and thank you for loving others so deeply.  Sing, teach, and prophesy over us lady.  Thank you.

Hyunwoo: I must admit my first impression of this guy was not a great one.  When I first laid eyes on his ridiculously baggy gansta wanna be clothes, I thought to myself, “Lord, this generation is going down the toilet”.  Furthermore, when I found out he wanted to join worship team bc he thought WE needed help, I wanted to strangle the kid.  Little did I know, God was going to work on his heart and did some major heart surgeries in his life so far.  He would become my adopted little brother and the person I would trust most to serve with me wherever I would go. He calls me  “nuna” and tells me “We live together, we die together, faith for life”.  He would consistently challenge me and rebuke me that first impressions are never enough, and that God can transform anybody for His glory, and that HE is the prime example of this.  I can never write anybody off.  People often forget that less than 2 years ago, he didn’t even know how to play guitar, but God anointed him and taught him to play and now, no one would think he just learned how to play and lead worship.  Hyunwoo, aka Mr. Tightpants, has been another rock by side in serving in God’s ministry, and just by being HIM, reminds me that everything we do in youth ministry is worth it.  Thank you brother, you are my brother forever.  

Yoojung: LOL.  My memories of Yoojung take me back to the days I’d have to give her rides to and from church to her place in Boonieville Indiana.  Driving her around taught me the meaning of sacrifice and how it was worth every moment.  I credit her with all the future blessing moments in my car with hundreds of other people.  You see, God would just do crazy things when I drove Yoojung home, crazy conversations, crazy encounters with God, crazy prayers… Yoojung would teach me about prayer and trusting God.  I believe that Yoojung singlehandedly prayed for her brother’s salvation and every time we’d go around asking for prayer requests, instead of speaking of her own, she would ask the group to just pray that her brother would know Jesus.  Her prayers would come out during her youth years in weeping, wailing, and crying out… she taught me that to love somebody, is to pray for that somebody… to this day, Yoojung constantly reminds me that God answers prayer and delivers.  Now that she is back home, I couldn’t be more prouder, as she takes the role of Youth Coordinator and teaches others how to cry out for deliverance and salvation.  Thank you Yoojung, for coming home yes, but for teaching me to pray with faith.

Silvia: I remember when Silvia was born.  How crazy is that?  It was a big deal around our, back-then, very tiny Korean community. She would become this cute and bubbly little girl that was full of spunk and energy.  She blows the Energizer Bunny out of the water.  Her attitude and energy encourage others to get passionate, to get filled with excitement, and to anticipate what God will do.  I am so very glad that she is back home now serving in the youth ministry and working with our younger girls.  The girls are blessed to have her.  She would also become a listening ear and counseling friend to many young girls, and continues this to this day.  Thank you Silvia for your energy and passion, and your heart to listen and advise others.  YES!

Sharon Chun:  I have not known this girl for long.  My first thought of her was that she had a LOT of Facebook friends.  HAHAH.  I met her at Trinity Christian College (yay Social Work!).  As a social work major, of course she cares deeply about justice, compassion, and providing for others, and God multiplies that within her to use her for His Kingdom work and impact others.  Sharon has a way with the younger girls that I could only dream about and I believe it’s bc she’s real and caring – telling it like it is, and spending time with them as much as possilble.  As one of the newest members of SSC and our staff, it’s hard not to notice her heart to serve.  She didn’t wait long before asking for a place to teach and serve God’s children.  I’m so thankful that she doesn’t waste any time and gets right to what she believes God is calling her to.  It takes a certain measure of faith and boldness, and Sharon possesses these in abundance.  Thank you Sharon for your faith, your boldness, and for being a social work major! HAHAHAHAH.

Hm, so as we near Thanksgiving, I just gotta do some shout outs and some reflections.  So, this is part 1 of a series… I dunno how long it will be.

These days, reflecting on beginning my 10th year serving with PKO…. I’ve realized a lot of things… I mean when I was in youth group, I never imagined being at SSC this long, continuing to serve in this way, especially leading worship… seriously.. But I’ve realized I have so many people to thank and to acknowledge.  If there is anything good and holy in me, it is the fruit of prayers and someone else’s tears over me.

So I dunno if I can remember everyone and shout out to everyone, but will try as many as I can. 

My apologies in advance if I forget you… not intended. 

JOHN CHOI – Ah, yes, my first worship leader… what an experience.  Beyond beating me up, making fun of me, and making me cry, to this day, he is probably the only one in my life that can hit me and get away without getting punched back in the face.  WHY? BC he’s JOHN oppa.  John taught me how to appreciate music and it’s role in helping people come near to God.  He also taught me a lot about priorities… I still remember the day he made the worship team weep while preparing for VBS bc of our attitude towards it, leading kids…. Guess we thought it wasn’t as important as leading rebellious moronic teenagers. lol.   “Worship is worshipping God no matter who is sitting in the pews”, he used to say.  With that kind of rebuke (he used to swear at me too)… he really DID shape me and mold me and teach me.  And at the end of the day, he’d just give me a big hug and I knew he loved me. Thanks John.

REV. HUNN CHOI – OK, well, I still see RC at least twice a year, so I mean he’s kind of a past & current leader to me, but anyway I’ll just share some things (there are WAY too many).  RC always always always taught me to think outside the box.  Especially when it came to the Holy Spirit and how God works in people’s life.  He also has amazing work ethic and dedication to his congregation – a passion and a desire, as well as a brokenness that I just can’t explain.  But he is a tremendous blessing to the people he meets and has impacted thousands of lives.  He is also definitely passionate about all things Jesus.  I’m also incredibly thankful bc RC spent every single day with my dad since he was sick and until the day he died to talk, pray, and study the Word.  I’m thankful that he brought so much encouragement to my dad even in those hard times.  I know, bc my dad wrote so much about it in his journals.  Every once in awhile, I’ll pick it up and remember… RC passionately loves Jesus, but he also passionately loves people.  Thanks RC – your guidance, prayers, and love have been so amazing.  Words cheapen it forreal.

REV. YOUNGSEON KIM – I was such a horrible youth group student when she was a pastor at our church.  I used to just be HORRID.  I made fun of her, showed up to church in the middle of sermon, disrupting sermon.  She came to be a youth pastor when I was at the height of my rebellious ways.  It was worst bc everyone at church believed me to be the “holy” girl, the one who had manners and respected everything churchy – and I put on a pretty good show back then. But in TRUTH, I was disrespectful, mean, and I didn’t listen.  I have a very painful memory of yelling at her and talking back to her in front of the entire youth group.  I also have another painful memory of walking out of a meeting with her and some other kids who were serving at the time.  I also thought I knew everything and made the most of every opportunity to make sure she knew it too.  But you know, she was probably the one person during those times that believed in me the most.  She never lost hope in me to find truth in Jesus and grow up.  A lot of people, including people in my family, wrote me off and just told me to do what I want.  I was kicked out of the house on more than one occassion, but Rev. Kim just kept praying… and that was it… she taught me to pray and combat everything with love.  She never struck back, never got mad… I made her cry on more than one occassion, but still, she loved me, she prayed for me, she fought for me.  She constantly told me that God was going to use me someday and that I had to dream bigger, search His heart, transform… To this day, I’m certain her tears and love brought me out of a place of stupidity and into light.  Thank you Rev. Kim. (P.S. I’m beginning to understand your pain, even if it’s at a very small, tiny, amount that you went thru. I dunno how you did it.  Thank you.)

JULIUS KIM – I was so young when Julius was at SSC, but mostly I remember him driving up to my house to pick me up in his green Pontiac Grand AM (wow, that just all came out lol).  The reason I remember this was bc I was in 5th grade… and truth is, he didn’t have to take me to youth group bc I wasn’t technically a part of it yet.  But he picked me up and a lot of other kids… drove around everywhere to pick us up and take us to church.  And in his green Pontiac he would play the latest Christian music, which was like, the newest “Touching the Father’s Heart” TAPE (NOT CD) by Vineyard.. and he would try to make me and the rest of the kids comfortable… and I knew… I just knew… he really cared about my spiritual life… he always wanted to make sure I was growing and he picked me up no matter what… He taught me willingness… willingness to do what it took to make sure I was receiving… so if that meant picking me up and driving me around… he did it… he did for a bunch of kids… and his willingness blessed many. Thanks Julius!

JOEL CHOE – It’s hard to believe that he came to SSC as youth pastor from Wheaton College at age 23.  I remember him seeming a lot older than that… but I was like 11 when I met him.  At 6ft. 3in. he used to tower over people.  He always made the boys let me play basketball or volleyball with them… He told me I could be real good… He believed in me.  Sometimes, that’s all it takes… someone believing in you. He was a beloved youth pastor among the youth group members… And it was after a Bible study that he led, that God used him to bring words of truth in my life.  And after that Bible study on Friday, the next day, Saturday, in my room, I opened my Bible and read like I never did before.  And I prayed like I never did before.  And I received Christ into my heart as my personal Lord and Savior.  That day, my spiritual birthday, Saturday, February 18, 1995, would forever change my life and my course on this earth.  So, thank you Joel, for bringing the Gospel message to me that Friday Bible study.  God set my heart on fire and it still keeps burning.

ANNE KAO – Ah, yes, the amazing Sunday School Teacher.  I actually LIKED going to Bible study because of her.  She made learning about the Bible fun, but most of all, you could tell she really believed it and taught it from the bottom of her heart.  SHE enjoyed it, so naturally the rest of us girls loved it too.  It would be much later that I would appreciate such dedicated and passionate teaching at a different level, and I learned how crucial it was to youth ministry.  Thanks Anne!  Your example has given me a great standard to to aim for with each of my students.  Oh!  And I just remember she was REALLY energetic too… positive vibes all the time… It was always encouraging to be around her.  Dang.

MATT RHEE – I thought about saving him for a “Family Edition” of this Thankful blog, but since he WAS one of my past leaders and kind of fits in with this, I’ll put it here.  When Matt was a student at UIC, he commuted back to SSC to serve.  He was one of my worship leaders and he taught me discipline, the Word, & sacrifice.  I still remember to this day, how he walked from Flossmoor train station to church bc he had no ride in the rain to lead worship.  I was shocked and when I think about it now, I’m still shocked.  He sacrificed a lot of time commuting back and forth to lead us.  And I think it’s SUPER important to point out that back then, youth worship service was at 9:30am.  The worship team back then met at 8:00am SHARP.  So, for Matt to commute there by train, he would have had to leave the city like at 7am… which means he was up WAY too early on a Sunday, forreals.  Matt was also really good at training us in the Word.  We memorized Scripture.  To this day, I got Philippians chapter 3 down. LOL.  He also taught discipline… balancing practice with prayer, study of the Word… being grounded and having a firm foundation… and even though he had just picked up the guitar and was getting used to rhythm… he practiced ridiculously hard to play and lead songs with us.  Seriously… I learned a lot.  Thanks Matt!

P. DAVE RHEE- Well, if I’m gonna mention Matt, then might as well mention my other cousin, Matt’s bro, Dave.  Dave came out of U of I and started serving at our church and man… he liked to pray.  I will never forget, to this day, our mandatory early morning prayer meetings EVERY STINKIN SATURDAY.  I mean, this was like every week and for a teenager… my goodness gracious… every Saturday morning… ok you get the point.  But it was through those times, I learned to fight in prayer and to seek God’s face.  Dave also can be credited for my current nerdiness when it comes to reading and collecting Christian books.  It all started with “The Joy of Fearing God” by Jerry Bridges and exploded from there.  I became a Christan bookworm.  Love it.  So thanks cousin, errr… I mean, PASTOR DAVE!

THE DULANEYS – BRENDA & CAROL – Ok, well CAROL was like THE CM JDSN of all SSC time.  Seriously.  Not only was her run as CM JDSN really long, but she ruled with all authority.  I loved it.  I think the funniest memory I have of Children’s Ministry and Carol was at a family retreat, when she RIPPED on us girls for having the stupidest crushes on youth group boys.  “He’s not even cute!” said she… lol. Dang.  But Ok, yeah, Carol was militant about us learning the Bible and to this day, I know the books of the Bible in order, by heart, because of her 3rd & 4th grade class. Thanks Carol!  And Brenda! She never ever ever stopped encouraging me.  And later when our paths would cross again to go to Guate together thru R180, she would be the one that would always encourage me and always bring my spirits up.  When she got sick in Guate, I had the chance to just stay with her and be by her side and it brought me joy to do so.  Thank you Brenda!

NAMMEE KIM LEE – Ok, my absolute most favorite memory of Nam Mee unnie was when she was one of the coordinators of a KUMC youth retreat up in Wisconsin.  University of Wisconsin Whitewater.  Oh my.  LOL.  At this retreat, I was really sick (oh in youth group I was sick all the time… stomach issues… whaddya know?! I STILL have stomach issues… goodness) and Nam Mee seriously carted me around campus on a golf cart to get me places.  It was nuts.  Also hilarious when I think about it now. But ok really, I think one of the many things I learned from her was how much care and attention she gave to people.  She really did.  She took ridiculously good care of me… and not just at this retreat, but as a teacher and leader at SSC as well.  She also did tons of stuff in the background that most people probably would have taken for granted, but she just did it all – if she felt discomfort or frustration – I sure did not notice.  Thanks Nammee!

ELIZABETH PAIK SONG – OH my… this unnie was seriously motivated to ensure that everyone who came to SSC felt welcome and loved.  I really saw her heart for the youth at that time and how she made many kids feel a lot less uncomfortable.  We used to have this curse at SSC when it came to newcomers.. they would come once and never come back… mostly bc kids are kids and have cliques, but man at SSC we take that up a notch… or we did… I happen to believe that this unnie set a standard that many would follow after and I’m happy to report that the SSC YG is MUCH better at making newcomers feel at home.  Thank God.  And Thanks Liz!

 

To all of you and to those I’ve forgotten to name or haven’t got to yet:
You may have thought no one noticed, but your faithfulness and obedience to God changed my life.  Thank you.

#32: Cutthroat UNO

Posted: November 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

My new favorite game: CUTTHROAT UNO.
SO FUN.

Played it in college, but seriously forgot how crazy & intense it could get.  GEEZ.

Let’s play soon!
Well, the WT had a gathering yesterday for dinner.  Timmy’s mom invited us for some food and we stuffed ourselves with steak (yeah timmy!) and side dishes… we played a lil wii and then… we played some cutthroat uno (thanks mark!) And well, the losing person was eunhae, tim’s sister… but timmy, like a good brother… decided to sacrifice himself to do eunhae’s punishment… jae, not wanting to be outdone, decided to do it with him.

The punishment was to drink a raw egg.  While Jae was in the bathroom, we spiked his egg with lots of salt. muhahahaha… i kno… evil. 

Please enjoy the video *^^*

—————————————
I made some updates to the ministry & music sections so also please enjoy.

These days, I’m still job hunting, tutoring, and currently helping preparations for the winter retreat. YAY!!

#31: out of tune…

Posted: November 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

My ears are not what they used to be.  When I was younger, I used to play anything I heard on the radio and on cds by ear.  This was partly due to the fact that I cannot read sheet music, but also, for some reason, when I heard songs, it’s like I could put it together in my head.  It was so hard to do it visually trying to read sheet music.  I went to piano lessons for years, and I figured out that I couldn’t put the notes and the music together… so my teacher would play the song for me, I’d put it in my memory and then try to copy exactly what I heard.

As I got older (and through the process of suffering through a concussion or two) my ears… well… they just aren’t what they used to be… they don’t HEAR the same.  It’s interesting.  So, these days, somtimes, I can’t tell when I’m flat or when I’m sharp… For some time now.. I just thought I should just leave it be… that I’m getting older, and my memory isn’t quite the same.. and that it was just gonna progress like this naturally… But then… I was struck with this desire to train myself again.  It takes discipline, patience, and picking yourself up from repeated failures… but you just keep practicing. So these days, I’ll just listen to random youtube songs and see if I can play it on piano or guitar… trying to replay exactly what I heard.  It’s been depressing at times.  But I’m learning that I’d rather train myself to be IN TUNE all the time, than be lazy and be out of tune SOME of the time.

I think this parallels in our spiritual lives – well at least it does in mine.  Maybe I’ve gotten used to the way things are and that this will be what it is for awhile… but these days, God tugs at my heart and tells me no… being in tune with Him and training is so much infinitely better than being slightly out of tune here and there… or just getting by on what I know. It’s easy to rely on the past experiences in serving or how we devote ourselves to Him… and yeah maybe be out of tune here and there and just say.. “well, it’s bound to happen” or “it’s just like that at times”… I dunno… the heart that desires excellence probably wouldn’t say that.  It’s easy for my heart to grow complacent or just plain lazy.  And then God gently kicks my butt and reminds me that He created me to be excellent and that my heart was meant for maximum efforts, not minimum… and then… suddenly.. I don’t really wanna just let things be…

God, help me have a heart that desires excellency in everything I do.

——————————————————-

Video share! Here are some random clips of the SSC YG WT practices.  Enjoy! Please participate in the poll at the end. Thank you!

Please participate in this poll! Thank you!

———————————
Personal update (besides the top narrative).  The job hunt is driving me crazy.  Please keep praying upon that.  I am struggling with thoughts of leaving Chicago because of it, but I’m trying to stay faithful to where God is calling me.  Sigh.  Help me please in prayer.  Thank you!