Because She is HIS

There are more of them here than you could possibly count. Big ones, small ones, rich ones, not-as-rich ones. Ones with rock concerts every Sunday and ones with organs and orchestras. Ones with the top theologically trained preachers in the world, and ones preaching the health, wealth and prosperity gospel. Not just one for each denomination, but hundreds for each denomination. We live in a place with them meeting in every building, school, and storefront you can imagine. We are literally SURROUNDED by CHURCHES here in Orlando.

And where did God lead us to worship, plug in, and serve after having, for five years, worked with a church that could suck one’s spiritual life dry? He led us to a small Korean church looking for someone to preach in English with the goal of reaching English speakers in the area.

The first Sunday here, after listening to Korean songs, preaching, and prayers, standing in line to eat extremely spicy Korean food, with all Korean chatter filling my ears and images of beautiful Asian faces surrounding me, I whispered over to Danny,

“Did we just get transported to Korea??”

We had several different job offers…at some really great, friendly (and mostly white) churches.

But after that second Sunday, and a meeting in broken English with the head pastor, we couldn’t deny it.

We both felt called to this place.

And over the past year and a half, with Danny preaching an English service, we have seen God do some beautiful things in the small flock of English speakers that He has drawn to this place as well. And it was refreshing to learn from and intermingle with these precious Koreans.

And then, we abruptly were notified that the service and ministry Danny led would be ending.

We were shocked.

They said they would like for us to stay but were free to go if we were so inclined. Not to mention the very humbling and confusing series of events surrounding this situation, staying meant worshipping each Sunday in Korean, and having a little headset for someone to translate the Korean sermon into broken English so we could have a remote clue as to what was going on.

And just as God brought us here to minister, God also brought us here to learn, and to be humbled, and to strip down completely anything that keeps us committed to a place other than for the sake of His beauty displayed in Her…

The beauty of a Savior who washed peoples from all cultures and all nations so that there could be a beautiful image of His love and unity in His bride,
The Church.

Not the activities associated with what the Church does.

And, if anything, this whole humbling mess brings questions that clear away the fog of what we think we are committing to on a Sunday morning…

Why do we show up to a place of worship each Sunday?

Is it for the awesome praise band? Is it for the preaching (my husband’s a really good preacher, if you don’t mind me saying so)? Is it for socializing with all the people I can easily relate to and receive encouragement from? Is it a grand social club? Or entertainment? Or a spiritual message that makes me feel better? Is it even just for the sake of ministry?

Or is it the coming together of unlikely siblings to rejoice together over a common love of a common Savior that has made us into an uncommon family. And despite language barriers, and cultural barriers, can I show up in expectation that I will meet my Father, and hear my Savior’s voice even in the eighties praise songs joyfully belted out in Korean, or the sermon translated into very simple English with a lot of disconnect in ideas, and a very different leadership style. Do I really believe that when I show up to all the foreignness that I show up to experience the fullness of Him who fills all in all? (Ephesians 1:23)

Do I show up because I long for…

Him?

And HE has made her to be His means of moving and speaking and ministering, this side of glory.

I long for all the fullness….even fullness that gets uncomfortable

So,

I show up because she is HIS.

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The Only White Kids….Again.

Recently the Lord has called Danny to pastor the (very!) small portion of English speakers at a Korean church here in Orlando. The goal is to reach out to the large Latino and African American population just a 1/2 mile from the church, and build a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Body as a ministry of the Korean Church.  In Newark, everyone else was Latino and African American, now everyone is Asian. Its a good thing our kids are always up for adventures (and that they don’t mind being the only white kids).

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Below is an excerpt from an email I wrote, resigning from doing Children’s Church at, what had become, our church home. It sheds some light on our decision making…

“In the past two weeks he has gotten three different job offers at different churches, which would entail us having to leave Covenant and switch churches.  Despite the offers, we were really hoping to raise support for these seminary years, so that we can stay at Covenant….
Then tragedy hit.  A kid from Newark that we had invested alot in, was murdered last weekend. If you want to read the story, I blogged about his life. One of the churches that has asked us to come on board is a Korean church in a not-so-great neighborhood that has started an English speaking congregation to try to reach the multi-ethinic neighborhood.  There are only about 10 people in the church, but the Koreans feel really called to back this “church plant”.  This is the only position we are seriously considering now (the other two church were “bells and whistles” churches-the ones that have all the programs and  could easily find someone else to fill their positions).  Daniel’s death, has really shaken us up to the urgency to be reaching “the least of these”, and we don’t know if we can just put it off for another two years until we go back to Newark.
The Lord continues to push us to the marginalized.  Our hearts are for hurting, small, struggling flocks.  We have seen the Lord “meet our needs” (relationally, financially, emotionally, spiritually) in amazing ways in the past, even if we don’t go to a church that “meets our needs” in the traditional sense, i.e. awesome kids programs, (or even childcare for that matter!), tons of families, or people who are similar to us, etc.)  He’s called us to serve and seems to always lead us to places where the need is great and the laborers are few. All we can do is trust and obey. Please understand our grief in leaving, but also our anticipation as we “show up” and see what the Lord (the MIGHTY ONE) can do with weak people’s availability.
For the King and His Kingdom,
Kimberly”