The moment eighteen-year-old David Kim, MA '03 left the evening worship service at a church in Seoul, Korea, he knew his life was going to take a different path than he had expected. The core of his being was shaken when the pastor read Genesis 13:14-17: “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.”
Undeniably, David was confident that God was calling him to seize opportunities in the mission field. It was the particular region of the world that surprised him. In obedience to the calling, he traveled to Ecuador and devoted 13 years proclaiming the Gospel. As one would suspect, the young Korean man stood out, especially when he spoke Spanish. It was not an easy task learning a language that had no similarities to his native Korean. However, David met the challenge head on by carefully listening to his Ecuadorian friends and then speaking softly, which gradually led to speaking fluently.
When David reached a point in his ministry that he needed specific training in missions and theology, he discovered the Cross-cultural Ministry Center (CMC) at Concordia University Irvine. It was a program tailored perfectly to meet his needs to become a fully equipped cross-cultural and multi-ethnic missionary pastor.
At Concordia, he also discovered the heart of the university’s dedication to the Great Commission. The scholarships he received allowed him to move forward and complete his M.A. in Theology and receive full certification as a pastor in the LCMS.
“The greatest lessons the CMC gave me were the great confession of sound Lutheran doctrine; the great commandments of living the Christian life; and most important, the Great Commission of teaching what the Gospel means,” said David.
Today, David is an ordained pastor and mission director of Lutheran Inter-City Network Coalition (LINC) in Houston, Texas. This network of Lutheran congregations and ministries is dedicated to linking people in multicultural settings to Christ through church planting, leadership development and mission outreach. LINC currently works with over forty congregations that represent more than fifteen different language groups in the metropolitan Houston area. LINC (www.linchouston.org), a nonprofit organization, is working in four Texas cities, and several other cities around the nation, including Los Angeles, CA; Twin Cities, St. Paul, MN; New Orleans, LA; and Baltimore, MD. in partnership with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
“Success means being faithful to what God has entrusted whether the task seems too small or too big. Within that faithfulness, focus on five characteristics: Calling (or Conviction of divine calling), Character (godly), Competency, Commitment and Courage.”