Interviewers: Erin Yu & Joyce Han Interviewee: Christopher Kim Location: French Workshop
Erin & Joyce:Tell us about yourself. Chris:I was born in North Shore hospital. I was born into a Christian home. My parents got married in the old CPC church (what used to be called JoongBu). so I’ve been around our church for a long time. Growing up, I had a relatively good understanding of what it was to be a good Christian and what was right and wrong. I always knew what answers were correct and what to say in front of church people and during bible study and stuff. I also went to Stuyvesant high school and now I attend Cooper Union and I study electrical engineering. Right now, I work at this bank called Credit Suisse and I’m doing financial technical stuff. It’s tiring but it’s okay. It’s really eye opening to be part of the workforce and see the atmosphere and the people and how they interact and what their main goals seem to be like. It seems to be really absent from God most times. I think my first big spiritual encounter was under the former Youth Group pastor, Pastor John. He came when I was in the 8th grade which was around the age that I was prepared to take the next step in my faith. Pastor John gave me a lot of different revelations about what it really meant to be a Christian. Afterwards, in high school, I became too focused on my schoolwork which is part of the Korean culture. That also made me excuse myself from coming out to friday services because I was too busy.
Erin & Joyce: You mentioned how you work in the city and a lot of the time, in that environment, it’s hard to find joy in your workplace, especially around those who don’t know Christ. How do you find joy in your workplace? Chris: This is my fourth week in a real professional setting, surrounded by a lot of smart adults. I’m the youngest because I’m an intern and I’m in that process of finding joy and God in my workplace right now. It’s really hard because all I can think of at work is performing well and job security. The daily conversations that I have with people are very ungodly. I have a 60-year-old coworker who sits behind me and there was an instance when he came up to me and started gossiping about the higher-ups. I didn’t know how to respond because I knew I shouldn’t be gossiping in the first place but he was expecting a certain response from me. If I didn’t respond to him in a friendly manner, he would have been offended and I didn't want to make him feel that way. Those small interactions really test if I’m finding delight in the Lord. It’s hard so I’m still trying to find the right path to finding joy in the workplace.
Erin & Joyce: What do you do to strive for this joy in the workplace? Chris: Being more prepared outside the workplace. My last semester was so chill and now I’m working a 9-6 job and it’s a really big transition. I’m also in this one-to-one discipleship with my dad. I try to be more intentional and pray as much as I can. I fit God’s word into my life as much as I can. In the work environment, it’s hard for me to strive in there so I try to prepare myself a lot more outside and I hope it will naturally work itself into my work environment. I’m letting the weaponry, the armor build more so I can be a lot more prepared in the workforce.
Erin & Joyce: You talked about having a one-to-one discipleship with your dad, how did that start? Chris: My dad finished his one-to-one with Pastor Mark. And he needed to do that one-to-one with someone else. My dad is very smart and is a very good guy, but he wanted to start it off with someone he’s comfortable with. Therefore, my dad decided to try it with me. However, it is my fault that we’ve been slacking here and there due to my internship. But it’s reassuring to know that such a man of God is in my family. I always see him consecrating time with the Lord and it convicts me all the time.
Erin & Joyce: Was there anything in particular that stood out to you during your one-to-one discipleship with your dad? Chris: I’ve realized that now my dad has a clear view of this world. He's seeing that nothing in this world matters such as, doing well in school, success, and money. But he knows exactly how I feel. We both know each other and and know what’s important. We now have the faith and knowledge to know what really matters. I actually never had a serious discussion with him until we had our first one-to-one. In our first one-to-one discipleship, we had a long conversation about how we’re doing in our lives and how he is able to relate to me with the things that I’m going through right now.
Erin & Joyce: Do you mind sharing your testimony with us? Chris: Growing up in a church I always knew that God loves us everlastingly and Jesus came to die for us. I can’t give an exact date, but the day I was able to truly grasp and believe in the gospel was maybe around freshman year in college. I had this conversation with Joyce in the past, but if you truly believe in God and have faith in Him, the fruits will show. It was towards the end of my freshman year where I started to see the fruits growing and I’m seeing how it really is a process. The road I’m on right now is not easy. But as I understand what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life, I’m trying to find how I can center my life around God and not my work life.
Erin & Joyce: You practically grew up in CPC your whole life, but it wasn’t until recently (a year and a half ago) that you started to get really involved in the English Ministry. What compelled you to serve more and proactively get to know the people in this ministry? Chris: So, I need to go back to middle school because it was actually around 7th-8th grade when I was active in church. It was partly because I had the time to do so. During this time, I thought my faith was pretty strong, very young, puberty, all this different stuff. Basically, I was pumped up and was like “Let’s go God!” Then during high school I had this strong mentality that I had to do really well in school, try to get into a really good college, and have my future mapped out. The Korean culture played a huge role in that and that was the trap that caused me to stop serving. By the time I entered my sophomore year, I was set on not serving anymore. However, I still went to church on Sundays, retreats, and events. But when college hit, during my freshman year, I was dorming in Cooper, so I was not very involved in our church on Sundays. But I was more active in my school’s intervarsity group, a christian fellowship group. This was still during my freshman year. But it wasn’t until this one retreat I went, during the summer of my freshman year, that I realized that I need to be consistent with my words and act on it. I kept telling myself that I’ll serve over and over again but never took initiative. Ever since then I’ve been serving. As I’m serving, I’m realizing that it’s a process of learning and growing. It’s a work in progress and more preparation with God.
Erin & Joyce: I’m going to ask you a serious question now, Jjajangmyun (black bean noodles) or Jjamppong (spicy seafood noodle)? Chris: It’s been a very interesting process in my life with that. So, I was born in North Shore Hospital and came out as a jjajangmyun type of guy. I went to Sam Won Gak (flushing) and at one point they served this dish with green noodles. So I was a huge jjajangmyun guy until 3rd grade. Then I changed over to jjamppong till 7th grade. And then I went back to jjajangmyun (still don’t remember why). After this place closed down, I went to a different restaurant that served jjajangmyun. However, after I went to this place, it killed my appetite for jjajangmyun because it was extremely liquidy and not thick. And then after that I didn’t know where to go because in my life I was never really into them. My mom would get frustrated with me. But right now, I go to Nun-jjajang, Nahn-jjampong. Sometimes I have the dried jjajangmyun and other times I’ll get beef fried-rice.
Erin & Joyce: Have you ever considered getting the half-and-half? Chris: I tried it but it’s not for me. My mom actually gives me most of her jjamppong anyways, so I just get it from her.
Erin & Joyce: So, essentially the answer right now is neither. Chris: Yeah, basically the answer right now is neither.
Erin & Joyce: We’re going to make sure to interview you again a year later and see where you stand in this! Chris: Yeah absolutely!
Erin & Joyce: How can we pray for you Chris? Chris: I think my biggest prayer request is to be able to acclimate God’s plan and calling for me. To be able to shield myself in my work environment with the Holy Spirit and with God’s word. I want to truly be motivated and have the fire to always pursue him in and out of my work through his word and fellowship. I want to always be mindful of him and to seek him.
Erin & Joyce: Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us today. We'll be praying for you Chris!