STSM Updates – Haven Kim


My name is Haven Kim and I am currently a sophomore studying applied mathematics at Santa Monica College, and I have the amazing opportunity to go on overseas missions to the Philippines with KCM. I have had a desire to go on missions since last summer, but God kept me from going, knowing that He had more to teach me. And as I have committed to go this summer, I can see the process that He has put me through to prepare me to be a blessing to the Filipino people.

Over the past two years, God placed me in a unique situation within KCM. Being a (potential) transfer student, I see myself constantly worrying about the schools I get into and proving my value to others. Spending every other moment at UCLA, was a reminder of what I was working for. However, that motivation became my idol.

I didn’t notice my obsession for worth until I received my acceptances (or denials) from a majority of the schools I applied to a month ago. Up until this point, I always prayed that I would glorify Him in all my studies. However after the results, I felt bitterness in my heart and I began believing the lies I told myself; that I wasn’t smart enough, or that I didn’t try hard enough. I felt like I disappointed my peers in KCM who have supported me for the past two years.

Though I was unprepared for this reality, God was already prepared on my behalf. It was He who gave me a desire to read the entire book of Psalms at the beginning of the year. It was He who gave me the heart to understand the heart of David as he cried out to God in every stressful moment, singing praises of His steadfast love. In the midst of worry, resentment, jealousy, and self-pity, David showed me that in patient prayer and in joyful praises I could find refuge in His steadfast love. I realize now that God answered my prayers to glorify Himself through this trial. He showed me through my prayers, that these “failures” were exactly what He wanted and planned, to give Himself glory. Humbled, I stood amazed at how He used my sinful idols to make something beautiful for Himself.

God also showed me the things I took for granted. My mother, who loves me unconditionally even when I focused solely on myself. My friends, who encourage me daily to put Christ above everything. And my church, who constantly challenges me to love as He has commanded me. Along with the joyful spirit of my Philippines team, I am able to find peace and comfort understanding that God will do all things for His glory, which will ultimately bring me the greatest joy.

I am still learning, and God is showing me new mercies every day. God has especially been using STSM to teach me how I ought to place God on the highest pedestal in my life so that I can see how amazing His grace truly is. I am beginning to understand the depth of my sin and therefore, beginning to understand the greatness of His grace. And as I respond in praise and gratitude, I can see the outpouring of joy from my own heart. I have faith that God wants to use this unexplainable joy in the Philippines so that the people can see how powerful the Gospel is.

Prayer Requests:

  • That He would continue to make His grace amazing to me.
  • That my team would surrender entire lives as Christ did for us.
  • That the Filipino people would be made hungry for the radical message of the gospel.

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