STSM Testimony – Kevin Choi

STSM Testimony – Kevin Choi

Kevin Choi is a graduate of USC and was part of the India team this past summer. 

I had the privilege of witnessing and experiencing the kingdom work that God is doing through His workers in India this summer. Being one of the student leaders and a 2nd-time-STSMer, I expected myself to be sharing the gospel with great zeal and unabashedly speak truth and life into the locals I met in the country. Needless to say, I had come out of the airplane thinking that I knew what I was doing and was confident in my knowledge and ability. However, there were moments throughout the trip where I was left feeling humbled, heart-broken, and on one instance, hopeless.

Our team traveled all over India, getting to visit many different cities during our short time. Some of the cities that we visited were for travel/tourist purposes, while the others were strictly to do ministry with the respective missionaries there. Our ministry involved mainly VBS/English teaching with local youth students of St. Paul School. We also had the opportunity to do ministry in an orphanage as well as church encouragement in various locations. When we participated in these various ministry opportunities as a team, what went through my mind wasn’t, “Wow we are doing such a great work here,” but rather it was, “Wow what a great work these faithful men and women are doing here.” I was humbled by the faithfulness of the brothers and sisters we met who serve with such willing and sacrificial hearts. Their deep faith, amidst both financial and spiritual tribulation, inspired and challenged me to live out and exercise my faith to its fullness as well. I witness the great work God is doing through them and how He continues to fill them with purpose and joy, and my heart can only give thanks to God for His sovereign will.

Contrastingly, the joyful and inspirational ministry that we experienced was followed by an eye-opening and sobering time of travel. We visited many “touristy” spots, but one city, in particular, left me with a heavy heart of hopelessness that I have never felt before. Varanasi, the Hindu capital of the world, was the city that I will never forget. Our team followed a tour guide through the city and witnessed many rituals, temples, and pagan festivals. In fact, we got onto a boat to the river to watch a Hindu festival in which what seemed like the whole city participated in daily. As I witnessed the numerous people worshipping the Hindu priests and their idols, I was inexplicably hopeless and cynical. I could not wrap my head around how a city like this could be redeemed and reached. Where could we possibly start? The Hindu practices are more than just religion to them—it is cultural and ingrained into their daily lives. Upon hearing the Gospel, they will merely add Jesus to their list of gods. I was met with a wall that seemingly could not be moved, a mountain that could not be climbed.

However, as I reflected, I had begun to realize that my hope was not founded in Christ, but rather myself. Even in the moments during ministry when I was up on stage to preach the Gospel, I had so blindly started to rely on my own abilities and strength. Proverbs 3:5, which commands us to trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding, had become so much more real to me. My feeling of hopelessness only reflected on how vastly I underestimated the power of God. What can stop Him? Who can go against Him? What is impossible with man can be made possible with God! His grace is irresistible and His truth is undeniable. There will be a day when the whole world hears, when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is God. As I left the country back to America, I did not leave with an air of defeat or hopelessness, but victory—knowing that Jesus has finished the work, that His kingdom will come, that God is sovereign, and that nothing can ever stop Him from accomplishing what He has started. We are but humble servants in the hands of a merciful God driven by a glorious purpose and empowered by an unwavering truth.

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