Alumnus // USC
A Letter to KCM
It’s been a while since I’ve had any interaction with KCM and so I’ve looked forward to interacting with you all again. KCM is very dear to my heart as I’ve shed many tears, put in a lot of time and money, and sacrificed tons for this ministry over 10 years ago. Well, before I get into this, let me share a bit about myself.
My name is Peter Kim, but I am famously or infamously known as Leader Peter to many. I was born in East LA and grew up in Southern California. I went to USC for my undergrad years (Go Trojans!) and was introduced to KCM through a friend. I was heavily involved in KCM and gained a vision for God’s kingdom work as I labored with wonderful people including Pastor Richard’s wife, Christina, who is also a Trojan (Go Trojans!). During those years at ‘SC, the Lord really grew my heart for the campus and for the world. There are so many stories that I can tell about this time, but let me move on. After college, I joined KCM staff and served for 7 years (6 of those years as the Director of KCM, and as campus staff @UCI 2 years, @USC 1 year, @UCLA 2 years, and @Berkeley 2 years… again, many stories). It was during that time, that God gave me a specific heart for East Asia (if you know what I mean), but it wasn’t until 2010 that I moved overseas to the capital of East Asia and served as a missionary. My wife and I were there for 5 years (again many stories) and then we moved to Taiwan and have been here for almost 4 years now (again many stories).
During the last two years, I’ve been serving as the pastor of an international church through which I was introduced to City to City, an organization that began with Tim Keller and has expanded around the world. Through this organization, I have had many opportunities to meet people from all around Asia and it’s really been a blessing to hear how so many people are on board with planting Gospel-Centered churches. Along with that, I’ve also met people from all over the world in my own church. It’s been great to share the gospel with people, to hear their stories, and to see God work in their hearts. There is so much need here in Taiwan not only for the Taiwanese, but also for the foreigners that live here. If you have a heart to come and see what the mission field is like and to see what ministry looks like in a cross-cultural setting, I encourage you to pray about coming to Taiwan and joining in on God’s kingdom work as an intern for a mid-term mission trip.
But, of course, in our day and age, we cannot do this. All foreigners are not allowed to enter Taiwan because of COVID-19. Our world has changed in a matter of weeks, perhaps months. America is not the same America that I remember. It’s a locked-down America, and I can’t even imagine what it’s been like for many of you as you’ve had to stay in your homes and adjust to online schooling, services, everything. For us in Taiwan, it’s also been very different as we’ve been dealing with these issues since early February as a result of Taiwan’s close proximity to China. Our congregation has experienced a split in thought as many of our Asian attendees are more on the cautious side, following the government’s orders, while many others in our congregation are from the Western world and have been saying, “Masks are not needed! Stop freaking out everyone!” We’re all dealing with COVID-19 in different ways, but especially in our hearts.
COVID-19 has caused many people to be fearful. Fearful about catching the virus; fearful about how their families are; fearful about the economy; fearful about education; and fearful about death. And these are Christians that we’re talking about, let alone non-Christians. What drives this fear? Perhaps it’s the fear of death. Perhaps it’s the fear of uncertainty. Perhaps it’s the fear of losing any sense of control in this life. And it makes sense… if we are trying to escape death, trying to be certain about things in life, or trying to find some sense of control, we will definitely end up fearing because those are things that are not in our hands. It will inevitably lead to fear. However, we have a great God. An awesome God who has conquered death. Jesus rose again from the dead. Jesus accomplished this task with prophecies from long before. Jesus’ death and resurrection were certain and it certainly occurred. Jesus was in control the whole time, even when he was being arrested. Just think about John’s account (“I am he.” Boom, all fall down). If we trust that Jesus has done all these things, then we will not fear and instead, we will have the following thoughts: “I don’t have to fear the virus or death, because Jesus conquered death. Even though I die, I will live. I don’t have to fear uncertainty, because God’s plans will surely come about. I don’t have to fear losing control, because God is in control.” So if we trust in Jesus, perhaps we would no longer focus on not catching the virus, but rather focus on how we can help others deal with their fear by pointing them to Jesus. KCM, keep looking to Jesus. Hope is found only in Him.