‘It’s so amazing – all the nations, worshipping together!’

David’s story | The call to the nations, in Sydney

“I am from South Korea. My parents are farmers. Their parents (my grandparents) were Buddhists but my parents followed no religion. We lived very peacefully. Then one day, when I was in year 6 (12 years old), my second oldest brother passed away. He was in year 12 at that time. He was being bullied at school. He was not a Christian. After that happened, all of our family became very anxious and upset. We were very fearful.

Then, the next year, my oldest brother died in a motorbike accident. He hit a truck and fell onto the asphalt. I was 13 and I became even more anxious. My whole family suffered. Both my brothers had died. There was only me and my sister left. My sister had started going to a church and she asked me to come with her. My parents said that I could go. I went with her and I really liked the prayers and the worship. It was very powerful. Many people were singing and it touched my heart. But I didn’t believe in Jesus. I was still anxious and fearful.

Then the next year, the senior pastor invited me to the youth camp. The preacher there talked about John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

I was very moved. The Holy Spirit touched my heart. I knew that God was saying to me, ‘David, I love you very much. Jesus died on the cross for you.’ I believed in Jesus in that moment. I gave my life to him. I repented of my sins, even the small ones, and I knew that God was with me. Some of my fears left, although it takes time for a heart to heal.

I have been reading the Bible every day since then. Before that, I had never seen a Bible. But I wanted to read it and share it. I made a decision to engage in ministry – choir, Sunday school, youth. I felt an urgent call to share the Gospel. I went to the Korean Baptist Theological University. There are 3000 full-time students there! Then I became a pastor at a church in Korea. I still urgently wanted to share the Gospel, and God put all the nations on my heart, through Jesus’ words in the Great Commission. Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations …” (Matt 28:18-19). So I began praying about where I should go … and God led me to Perth, Australia.

At the airport, I realised Australia is very multicultural! I was surprised and interested. South Korea is a monoculture. It’s very different here. I adjusted to the Australian language and accent. I got a job in a Korean church in Perth, but God was still calling me to all the nations, so I came to Sydney in 2011, with my wife Esther.

After studying at Morling College, I am now the pastor at Chester Hill Baptist. It’s a 92-year-old Anglo church. We have about 70 people from 14 nations (Hong Kong, China, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, Espania, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, New Zealand, Singapore and of course Anglo). It’s so amazing – all the nations, worshipping together! It’s a great privilege. We can share different cultures together and understand each other. We can share the love of Jesus together.

Nowadays, my friends tell me I am unique. Most Korean pastors focus on Korean people, but I love Australian culture and people and I have a passion for all nations … and I keep sharing the Gospel with the people I meet, because I know that life is uncertain. Anything could happen to us tomorrow, like what happened with my brothers, and we need to know the love of Jesus!”

David’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.

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