Pastor Hyungyung Choi
My mother was a very strict Korean Methodist woman. I grew up attending the Korean Methodist Church. She always encouraged me to go to church, though I was not very involved in church activities. However, my Sunday school teacher was very welcoming and caring towards me and I was influenced by her great love. When I was experiencing difficult times during my middle school years and my father's business was suffering financially, she was my strength. My parents were distressed, trying to work and pay bills for their business, and it was difficult for them to care of me. On my fifteenth birthday, no one remembered my special day. I expected something from my parents, and I was waiting for them to surprise me, but that did not happen.
Finally, someone rang my door bill. It was my Sunday school teacher. It was more than 90 degrees outside and we lived on the fifth floor with no elevator. The teacher carried two bags and at the doorway she said, "Hello, Choi! God loves you so much. Happy Birthday!" After she left, I realized that my guest was not my teacher, but the incognito Christ. "Why does God love me so much?" I had to find the answer: reason alone was not enough. I stayed in the prayer room in silence, finally surrendering and confessing my past sins. I did not understand why I did that, but I knew deep within me that I needed to. After my confession, I could believe everything I had been taught in church. The love of Christ was powerful and irresistible. Above all, I realized that God was with me always. That day, I met Jesus the Christ, not my Sunday School Jesus, but through repentance received him as my Savior. I surrendered to His unconditional love.
My lovely brothers and sisters! I believe that our God is still calling us today. I hope and pray that Orleans UMC's ministry becomes God's lovely voice calling God's people and God's hands unlocking your hearts. God bless you!
Revelations 3:20 Look I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will share a meal together as friends.