The STSM Student Report series will highlight current multi-timer STSM trainees sharing about their experiences of the training process. This week’s update is from Shine Paek from the Nicaragua Team and Daniel Kim from the Japan Team!
Shine Paek // UCSD // Junior // Nicaragua Team
Hi, my name is Shine, and I am a junior at UCSD majoring in cognitive science, specializing in human-computer interaction, and minoring in business marketing! This is my second time going on short term missions with KCM, and I have the privilege of going to the beautiful country of Nicaragua. I previously went to Greece the summer after my freshman year, and am still in awe of how God was able to use me to glorify Him further during that trip.
Like many other multi-timers, I came into the program with a “been there, done that” kind of mindset. It turns out I had forgotten there was homework, weekly readings, and memory-verse quizzes. I had even forgotten the stress of fundraising. This was mainly because all I remembered were the big, ‘fun’ things from my past STSM training experience. As a freshman, first-timer, and new Christian, I would come into trainings bright-eyed and excited to learn the Gospel and to fellowship with my team. However, maybe as a result of my age, familiarity, or even the long commute, that sparkly filter seems to have disappeared.
The decision to go on STSM was anything but easy. It seemed like everyone around me was telling me that this summer was an opportune time to propel myself further in my career and rack up my resume. I came in wanting answers from God asking him to show me where He’ll point me to a way that’ll make all things perfect and good.
Unsurprisingly, I was rebuked on the first day when we were assigned our teams. The pressure of being one of two upperclassmen and the oldest girl kept having me think back to the older sisters on my previous team that I respect and look up to. I felt that God had placed in front of me these unfamiliar and enormous shoes to fill. I felt this immense pressure to be the best version of myself at all times and all costs. I thought that devoting this summer to God and furthering His kingdom took away my need for control and unwillingness to surrender. Yet, here I was struggling once more with my own self-ambitions and fear of failure.
It didn’t take very long for me to realize that missions wasn’t just about me.
In the latest gospel message this past Sunday training, Pastor Richard Kim made a clear distinction that the primary purpose of the Church is evangelism. He went on to reference Luke 15:7, “I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance,” implying that there are lesser joys of fellowship, teaching, and praise, as well as a greater joy of making disciples.
Our primary mission as churchgoers is not to learn more about God, to fellowship with one another, or even to seek intimacy with Him. The main purpose of these three is to foster a love in you so incessant and unwavering, that you seek to sacrifice yourself for your neighbor that does not know God.
It’s so easy to get lost, get caught up in all the different aspects of the program, and to begin to glorify the training in and of itself. Please pray that we might live our days in this world seeking to glorify God and fulfill His Great Commission. Pray that our hearts will be moved to seek God not just in our own lives, but missionally, through the lives of others around us.
Thank you for checking in with me during this familiar, yet unfamiliar journey.
Daniel Kim // UCR // Senior // Japan Team
Hello! My name is Daniel Kim and I am currently a fourth-year at UC Riverside majoring in psychology. I was given the amazing opportunity to go to Japan with KCM my freshman year, and I am delighted to be going back this summer.
The STSM process has been humbling me to take training more seriously. It has been a blessing being reminded of the basics while also learning new theological concepts. Before I signed up for the program, I was in a somewhat dry spell in terms of my faith. However, the trainings have rejuvenated my love for missions and is deepening my intimacy with God.
This past Sunday, Pastor Richard Kim spoke to us about why missions is so important. “Missions exist because worship doesn’t.” PR talked to us about lesser joys and joys that give God the most joy. Lesser joys are basically 99 righteous people glorifying God (whether it is through Bible study or through fellowship), but what gives God the most joy is the one sinner who repents and ultimately becomes a Christian. As Luke 15:7 says, “I tell you, there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need to repentance.” We always want to give God the greatest joy He deserves, and this should spur us to proclaim the gospel to those who have never heard it.
God is surely sovereign, yet he commands us to go out and proclaim His name to all the nations. God utilizes the weak and feeble vessels in us to bring about transformation in those He gave His Son. God created everything for His glory, so we should honor that and give all the glory to our creator by spreading the Good News to everyone. We have to show other people the joy we have when we follow God, so that they may do the same.
As my team and I prepare to go to Japan, please pray for us! I am excited to get to know them more and serve our Lord together. One of the biggest struggles in this process has been the pride in being a second timer. As naïve as it sounds, I constantly compare my past team with the current one. Please pray for me and the team, that we may be intentional throughout the trainings and serve with faithful hearts. Also, pray that we may fix our eyes on Christ wherever we go, and for us to be encouraged by the seemingly menial tasks essential for His kingdom work. Thanks!
Check back every week as we post new STSM Student Reports for Mission Mondays! #GO2K19