Thirty-five years ago, my parents went to South Korea as missionaries. I was a young teenager at the time, and this was a difficult transition for me. I missed America, and I wasn’t excited about living in Korea.
As time unfolded, however, this move proved to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. In Korea, I surrendered my heart more fully to the Lord, and God confirmed His call on my life to serve in ministry. Additionally, lifelong friendships were forged that continue to this day. God gave me a love for Korean people and a broader perspective of the harvest fields of the world.
It has been a joy for us to train a large number of Korean students at West Coast Baptist College. Last week, three of our finest graduates—Jonah Seo, Jimmy Pak, and Paul Choi—were ordained at Bible Baptist Church in Gardena, California. I was honored and delighted to be invited by Pastor Timothy Choi to preach their ordination service.
All three of these men have the hand of God on their lives and are already seeing fruit in ministry as soulwinners and preachers of the gospel. Jonah Seo is already pastoring, Jimmy Pak serves as an assistant pastor at Bible Baptist, and Paul Choi serves as youth pastor now while preparing to plant a church in Irvine, California, next year.
As we gathered to pray and place our hands on the men being ordained, I was overjoyed to see one of the other pastors who was there as well—Pastor Sal Menjivar. Pastor Menjivar was a faithful deacon at Lancaster Baptist Church when our church began preparations to plant a church in Los Angeles in 1998. During this process, the Lord burdened Sal’s heart to help us plant and then pastor the Los Angeles Baptist Church. He has been faithfully leading this church for the past thirteen years. What a joy it was to see one of our own children in the faith now laying hands on a graduate of West Coast Baptist College. It was a “pastor moment” that I’ll never forget.
Looking back to the few years I spent in Korea as a teenager, I’m reminded that we should never question the detours in our lives. Through a course of events I never would have chosen for myself, God has brought rich blessing into my life. It is a joy and privilege to know and partner with some of God’s finest servants from Korea.
Please pray for these three men just ordained that they will have a lifetime of fruitful, God-honoring ministry. Pray, too, for the harvest of the world. Christ’s words were never truer than they are today: “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send fourth labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:37–38).