Speaking God’s language
Insights asked Uniting Church members about their personal reflections on leadership training and lay ministry, below Sunny Kim shares her story.
Before telling my “How and why did Sunny become a Lay Preacher?” story, I would like to briefly introduce myself. I was born in South Korea and grew up in a strong Buddhist family. My husband, Matt and I got married in 2000 and came to Australia right in the next year. I became a Christian in 2006. Then we moved up to Albury-Wodonga from Melbourne 2010 for Matt’s work as a radiation therapist and we have been living here since then.
Unlike Melbourne, there weren’t many Koreans living in this area. I was thirsty to hear a sermon in my mother language, Korean. Then totally by chance, I heard about a Korean community in Wesley Uniting Church in Wagga nearly 140 km away from my place which I have been joyfully attending for six years now.
Then I met this very important person in my life, Rev Daniel Yang, the Korean minister who found my gift as a preacher. He casually introduced me to the Exploring Jesus Christ course. So I grabbed the chance without knowing how serious it was that I was getting into it. At the beginning I didn’t even know that was part of the lay preacher course. Numbers 18:20: ‘You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.’ Through this verse, I knew somewhat that God called me a Levi for sure and as we know there are heaps of different roles among them, doorkeepers, priests, singers, etc. I’d been thinking that one day, I would become any sort of church worker except a preacher role because that was a ‘the least like me’ thing.
Anyway, when I had that course, a whole new world was opened to me. The study was fascinating and Rev. Bronwyn Murphy was a great teacher. I actually tried to step backward when I found out what this course was for, then Bron gave me a huge encouragement by confirming my gift again.
Most importantly, God gave me the one last confirmation in my prayer. I asked once again and prayed “Lord, I am not quite sure yet whether I am the right person to do this. With a very shy character… and my English… not a public speaker… I am very disadvantaged.” Then God said this clearly, “You shall not succeed by your own strength nor by your own power but by my Spirit.” (Zechariah 4:6).
Knowing that it is nothing about me but God gave me a great relief and confidence. And who knows? There are many small churches that have no preachers at all or someone like me who is thirsty to hear God’s word in our mother tongue in regional areas. I am trying my best to do the job which God gives me every moment. I feel super excited and honoured listening to the Lord leading and guiding me the way.
Sunny Kim, Wagga Wagga.