Although I identified as a Christian from an early age, it was not until 2008 that I fully committed my life to the Lord. After being saved in 2008 I felt as though I had been saved by grace from the deception of sin I had not yet begun to walk in a focused direction as a disciple of Christ. Desiring to be used and follow Christ, I prayed for God to guide me and surprisingly he called me to Daegu, South Korea. As is common with God, He called me to a place I knew nothing about and had no connections to. From a Biblical standpoint, this was the ideal place to experience the presence and providence of the living God.
The call that I now feel so strongly— to preach the word of God— began shortly after my arrival in Daegu, South Korea in July of 2010. As a certified High School history teacher, working three jobs due to the lack of positions in the local Kitsap School District of Washington State, my call to Korea was a mystery to me, though I could not deny that for some reason God had called me so far away from my family and “comfort zone” for a specific purpose. My priority upon arriving in South Korea as an English teacher was to find a church and begin to serve. Since my service up to that point in regards to church was focused primarily on worship and music ministry, I bought a cheap guitar and began serving on the worship team at a local church. After a few months of steady service in worship ministry, I felt God telling me to put down my guitar and to pick up my Bible to lead with the Word instead.
Having never fully read the Bible and lacking all of the security of skill and experience that I found in the guitar, I was terrified to lead with the Word. Not only did I feel ill prepared to lead others in the exploration of God’s word, but I also felt completely unworthy of such an assignment. However, knowing that my call to Korea was entirely in God’s hands and that having been saved meant sacrificing my “right” to choose my own direction, I submitted to the call in 2010 and asked the pastor of the church if he needed any assistance in leading or starting Korean/English Bible studies at the church. To my surprise, the request revealed three groups that immediately needed leadership.
Since then I led Bible studies and a house church in what became a city-wide ministry, with a regular average of three Bible studies per week at two hours per Bible study and at times 12 per week, for the five years I lived in South Korea. As a result of this God-given pastoral training and ministry, these Bible studies have brought me through nearly every book of the Bible (and sometimes a few times over, depending on the book) and thrust me onto the frontline of evangelization and pastoral care that dealt with divorce, financial setbacks, deaths in the family, questions about careers and future plans, etc. These years represented “in the field” training for me to teach the word of God to the international community here in Daegu, South Korea and allow God to heal the sick and mend the broken. The members of these groups represent ages ranging from teenagers to those in their fifties. Attendees are often a mix of churchgoing Christians alongside professed unbelievers who are merely curious about the Bible.
As an ill-prepared, unworthy disciple with no pedigree or official experience to speak of in this field of ministry, I have learned not only many of the great mysteries of the Word of God but also daily lessons on my place in the kingdom as a disciple of Jesus. I share my testimony and explore the word of God with others, but not as the teacher or the power behind the many transformations I have been blessed to witness. Over the past four years I have witnessed what the Creator God of Grace is able to achieve with a sinner like myself. He is always willing to do more as long as we are willing to let Him be who He says He is.
It is my belief that God has called me to the field of pastoral ministry and it is my desire to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as I possibly can during my time in this world. I see this as not only my honor and privilege to serve God in this way, but also my duty as his disciple and as a minister of God’s word. My experience in South Korea taught me that God is more gracious than I knew by drawing someone like myself into the blessed work of pastoral ministry. It has also taught me that God is more powerful than I ever knew, using my lack of training in the teaching of His Word to touch the lives of so many people who might not have heard the Word of God otherwise.
In 2014 I married the lead singer of an R&B, Funk-Rock band is was playing in at nights in Daegu called, “Daegroove,” and felt called to become an ordained minister. Without money or time to pursue a seminary degree I was aware that if it was God’s will for me to enter into pastoral ministry, he would have to make a way when there seemingly was none. Through my father-in-law I learned of the Independent Assembly of God International and their desire to see laymen and women who have been called and equipped by God to preach the Word of God able to do so without the financial commitment to a Masters in Divinity at a Seminary. I submitted an application and prepared my required Statement of Faith, and in September of 2015 I was officially ordained.
At the present, my wife and I are living in the Pacific Northwest where we look forward to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people. Our experience in South Korea has revealed to us the power of the Holy Spirit in the present day and it is our joy and privilege to bring that experience to those who need it.