Saturday, March 25, 2017

Free or Not Free??

I painted this art work with pastel when my church had a fundraising auction to support our children's program. The title of the painting is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). 

J, a church member bought it donating money to the program. And guess what? She gave the painting back to me as a gift. So it is hanging on the wall of my office. 

Is this painting free or not free? I painted the piece so I could do whatever I wanted to do with it. BUT... not any more! 

This is given back to me as a gift. Any gift is free. I didn't pay a penny for it. However someone had to pay for it. J did it. She paid for it before she gave it to me. So it's not free any longer and I am going to cherish it not because I painted it but because it's a gift from J.  

"I no longer live but Christ lives in me..." The life I now live is freely given by God as a gift. But I know that someone had to pay for it and I am to live my life according to the value given when Christ died on the cross... 

누군가가 값을 지불했다. 그리고 나에게 선물로 주었다. 그래서 더 소중하다. 
이제는 내가 사는 것이 아니고 예수 그리스도가 사는 것이라는 바울의 고백처럼...  정말 소중하다.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pioneer, Henry B. Gordon

"What is your daughter going to study?" asked Noel. "Oh well, She wants to study architectural science" I answered. During the reception for the graduating class at Knox college last Friday, I had a very good conversation with Rev. Noel Gordon whose wife Dr. Dorcas Gordon is the principal of Knox college.  Noel continued "Oh my great grandfather was an architect and he went to Korea in 1900!" "What? in 1900!  why?"  I barely knew anything about Noel. So I asked who his great grandfather was and what he was doing in Korea more than a century ago.

I learned in that evening a lot about Noel's great grandfather, Henry B. Gordon. One of Mr. Gordon's friends was Dr. Oliver Avison who had been a professor at the University of Toronto medical school before he moved to Korea as a medical missionary in 1893. He served as a medical doctor for the royal family and was in charge of the first western hospital in Korea, Chejungwon. When he came back to Toronto in 1899 for a sabbatical year he asked his friend Henry Gordon to help him with building a modern style hospital in Korea. Mr. Gordon freely donated his gift and skills and gave the architectural drawing to Dr. Avison.

With the architectural drawing, Dr. Avison went to the US and spoke about his mission in a mission conference in 1900. An american businessman, Louis Severance was touched by the message and donated $10,000 for the new building project. Mr. Gordon followed Dr. Avison to Korea and worked until they completed the first modern hospital in Korea in 1904. They named the hospital Severance Hospital after Louis Severance who continued to donate funds. Dr. Avision worked as the chair for Severance hospital and Yon-Sei University until he retired and came back to Canada in 1956. Yon-Sei University is one of the best schools in Korea and Severance hospital is the most famous hospital today.

Oliver Avison, Louis Severance, and Henry Gordon are the true pioneers and missionaries who loved God and God's people. It is a very interesting connection. Henry Gordon's great grand daughter by marriage, Dr. Dorcas Gordon is teaching at Knox college. My wife, Lydia, is her student. All three of Lydia's sisters studied at Yon-Sei University. Their families use Severance hospital today after more than a hundred years since Henry Gordon, a sincere Christian man, dedicated his work to God's mission in Korea.  God's story continues...

노엘 목사님과 도카스 학장님은 2005년  세브란스 병원 개원식에 초청을 받았단다. 두 부부와 함께한 금요일 저녁 식사는 정말 즐거웠다.하나님안에서 만남이란 정말 놀랍다. 한 세기를 넘어서 엮어진 하나님의 스토리...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Renewing the Wedding Vows

A week ago, I received an email from Naneesh.
"Good evening pastor Kim hope all is well.  Jamie and I will be celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary this year June 29 and would love to renew our vows with you blessing us again." 
(I am using their real names here with their permission. 😄)

Naneesh and Jamie are a beautiful couple that I married in my church ten years ago. It was my very first experience of officiating a wedding ceremony. These two handsome and beautiful young professionals wanted to receive God's blessings upon their marriage. It was a joyful event just like any other wedding ceremonies. All family members and friends came and blessed the couple celebrating the day with lots of laughter.  💓💓

Ten years passed...    The family grew to three. And they are enjoying their life with their boy Jayden.

Today they want to renew their wedding vows with God's blessings. And I think this is beautiful.. just wonderful... that they have never forgotten the wedding vows they made ten years ago and that they want to remember it for a very long time.

Way to go! Naneesh and Jamie,  Thank you for the lesson!

누구나 쉽게 말하고 또 잊어 버릴 수 있는 혼인 서약... 십년 후에 새롭게 다짐하는 서약이 더 값지다는 생각이 드는 까닭은? ...

Naneesh and Jamie with their boy, Jayden


Why Am I Going to Walk the Camino This Year?

My Camino for the Jane and Finch Community began like this..

El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James) is the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. You can search "Camino de Satiago" on google and get tons of information about the Camino. This pilgrimage was popular among Christians in the 10th-12th centuries. Today thousands of people from all different cultural and religious backgrounds walk the Camino throughout the year.

Five years ago I heard about the Camino for the first time by a friend of mine when my family and I were warmly welcomed by a reunion gathering of my former youth group members from Surrey P Church in Vancouver in August 2012. Sam (병구) told me about his recent Camino experience. His story was so interesting and it captured my heart right away. Since then, I had been wanting to walk the Camino.

In 2014, my friend Jan Hieminga completed the 800 km walk to Santiago in order to raise money for a new mission centre building project in the Jane Finch community of Toronto. He was 72 years old back then. His walk inspired me to start planning for my own Camino.

So finally, I decided to commit myself to this adventure in May 2017. My walk will serve two purposes: 1) to deepen my relationship with God. I hope that the journey may help me grow in my own pilgrimage... and 2) to raise funds for the new mission centre in the Jane and Finch community. I want to continue what Jan has started three years ago. I want to raise awareness and support for the mission centre that will help the people in our community break the cycle of poverty and violence.

My walk will start in Saint Jean Pied-de-Port, France (on the French side of the Pyrenees) and finish 791 km later in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The goal is $79,100. 💚💚💚 ..

나 자신의 영적 성숙을 위해 그리고 제인 핀치 미션 센터를 위한 모금을 위해 까미노를 떠난다...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Jan's Cross for My Camino

Camino for the Jane Finch Mission

Jan Hieminga is a retired presbyterian minister. I asked him to join and lead the Jane-Finch Reaching Up outreach programs in our community upon his retirement five years ago. He gladly accepted the position and started volunteering as the chair of the board. He is now my mentor and friend.

In 2014 he walked the Camino to raise money. This 72 year old retired senior back then walked the whole way (800 km). You can check his story here and here.

Yesterday, Jan visited my office and gave me a present. This is what I received from him.

Yes! Jan, I will carry the cross all the way during my Camino and hope to pass it to someone who will be walking the Camino after me one day for the Jane Finch Mission !  Love Thomas.

얀 목사님이 주신 십자가를 가지고 떠난다. 언젠가 나도 제인 핀치 센터를 위해 떠날 누군가에게 이 십자가를 전달해 줄 수 있겠지.. 😄😄😄

Monday, March 6, 2017

One Step at a Time ... Together

"No need to rush!" "Take a half step at a time when others take a full step.."  This is what my dad told me 11 years ago when I just started my work at University P Church. The meaning behind his words is this: Building a community is not a competition. Be considerate of others. No "me" first but always "together" in your life and work...

I appreciate his wisdom that has freed me from "the stress" of  the "you gotta finish first before others" value that our society constantly bombards us with..

6 years ago in 2011, my youngest girl, Jubilee, competed in the Toronto city final cross-country race. Jubilee was in the first group until something happened to her friend during the race. Her friend fell in the mud..  and Jubilee totally forgot that she was in the final race.. looked at her friend on the ground and stopped running.. 

"Oh No!"  We say "Jubilee! Keep running!  

But Jubilee went to her friend and asked  "are you okay? come on,  hold my hand". She helped her friend get up and they went back to the race..  Guess what? Jubilee finished 88th. She didn't make the top 20 she worked so hard for!!!

Daddy, it's not about "me" first.. We are "Together"...  

She taught me a great lesson that day. Thank you Jubilee for the lesson!  

인생은 경쟁이 아니라 공존이라는, 삶은 남보다 앞서가야 하는 것이 아니라 같이 돌보면서 걸어가야 하는 길이라는 것을 막내딸이 가르쳤다. 6년 전 가을에...

After finishing the race 88th. Jubilee is proudly showing her ribbon.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Finally i did it !!! Malecon, Havana

I have had this photo for three years wanting to paint it one day. Finally I finished the job!
I took the photo with my iphone 4 while walking along the Malecon alone. A very beautiful evening...

그리고 싶었는데 드디어 그렸다.. ㅎㅎ  잊지 못할 아바나의 말레꼰..

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A New Journey Begins Here

El Camino  for  Jane and Finch community Toronto Canada

I am going to walk the Camino de Santiago in May-June this year (2017). The Camino de Santiago, also known by the English name “the  Way of St. James” is the name of any of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago in northwestern Spain. Many people from all over the world follow its trails as a form of spiritual journey or retreat for their spiritual growth.

I have had this dream of walking the Camino one day since 2012. The purpose is to raise funds for the Jane Finch Mission (Reaching Up). My plan is to walk 800 km in 35 days. It will be an exciting journey!!!

까미노 (순례의 길) 를 드디어 시작한다. 석달 후에...

This photo is taken during my backpack travel in Peru Nov 2016