The Kim Family In Thailand

Paul, Sarah, Lydia and Timothy
Paul, Sarah, Lydia and Timothy

Welcome to our family page. We are thankful for what God is doing in our lives. He has kept us healthy, but is also teaching each one of us more and more to obey and trust Him. As parents we are learning a lot about love by trying to love the children. We can see more clearly now how much each of our parents sacrificed to raise us as faithfully as they did, even as we prepare to send our first child off to college.

Sarah is thankful for our time here, but she also has a lot of stress with everything. Please pray for strength and wisdom as she continues homeschooling our son while trying her best to love her neighbor. Lydia has grown up fast as a teen. Her attitude is changing and she’s trying act like a responsible adult. Please pray that we will be gentle and loving parents while she prepares for college this fall. Timothy is growing fast too, maybe too fast; he’s now taller than his dad but less motivated with his studies, but also very busy with karate and playing with his friends. Please pray that he will grow in his knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Paul is happy with having met a lot of people in Thailand since 2005, and wants to settle down doing more paper work, focusing on a fewer group of Thai leaders to support. He also wants to be a great husband and father and son and brother.
Please pray for:
  • Us to be efficient with our use of time, prioritizing each other over "work".
  • Timothy, who understand the gospel and talks about it with his friends.
  • Lydia, to develop a clear identity in Christ; living as a Korean-American MK (squared) in a metropolitan Asian city like Bangkok can be confusing. Her identity must be clear as she prepares for college in America.
  • Sarah, to find greater joy and strength as she still juggles cross-cultural adjustment, homeschooling, and loving the people around her.
  • Paul, as he spends more time reflecting on his tendency to block out emotion; He needs to shift from the numb focus on tasks to relationships and sensitivity to others.
I WENT TO THAILAND IN 1976 with my parents and brother. It was a happy childhood, with lots of bananas and sun. While my parents had to learn the language and labor for the gospel, I enjoyed friendships and a more pleasant academic environment than what I was used to in the 1st semester of grade 1 in Korea. At least, no teacher tried to apply corporal punishment!

ONE OF THE THINGS I REMEMBER is the year-around summer temperature, where we could swim any day of the year. I also remember the lizards and how some of my friends used to catch them for snacks. There were all kinds of kids in Bangkok, so I had a friendly introduction to various cultures, including kids from Russia. Being one of only 500 Koreans back then, and as the family of the only Korean pastor, we had a chance to meet celebrities like musicians, the national soccer team or a team of climbers on their way back to Korea after conquering Everest. The ambassador was also a frequent guest at various functions. I learned to swim by diving into the deep end of the pool. I was alone while my parents were busy visiting people. Thank God I didn't try to breathe water, and there were no social services! I'm teaching my son the same way. Malaysia and Korea

WE GOT OFF TO A GREAT TRAINING START for missions (2/22/2005). Paul and Sarah successfully went through the checklist of about 40+ items, in preparation for training in Malaysia, and to relocate to Thailand. We successfully completed our training in Malaysia, even though we feel that we've just begun. We had an intense cross-cultural experience, as we had one room in a three-room condo that we shared with two other units (usually another family and one or two singles). We had to live together like one family, cooking and budgeting together, and even doing group assignments together. The children also played together but not without having to learn the painful differences between Korean and American ways. For instance, Lydia learned that older Korean boys expect younger girls to submit; she had not learned that in Southern California.

SARAH ALSO REALIZED THAT SHE WAS MUCH MORE AMERICANIZED than we had thought. Paul went in expecting huge cultural issues, but the fellow trainees seemed to give him a break for being an American. Sarah was expected to behave like a Korean woman because her Korean is pretty fluent. Ignorance can be bliss at times. Timothy had his first school experience in Malaysia; and he handled it better than we thought. After about three days of crying, he fell in love with the local preschool and the teachers. His only trouble was at the afterschool program with the Korean MK's; we ended up pulling him out after two months when we saw that things were not going to improve and he might suffer psychological damage.

KOREA WAS SOMETHING ELSE! It had been 10 years for Paul, and 15 for Sarah, since we had been there. Lydia and Timothy were first timers! We visited EMs in Hallelujah and Onnuri, as well as churches in Mogpo (where Paul's grandfather lived as a retired minister until he went to heaven on November 27, 2008). We also got to meet up with our fellow trainees from Malaysia, who were preparing to leave for their respective mission fields. Korea has changed a lot, and spending 4 weeks there has given us a solid experience and background for more relationship-building with individuals and churches.

WE NEED YOUR PRAYERS, since Paul hopes to spend a significant time studying the language and developing "natural" relationships with the locals, as opposed to so being inundated with "ministry" duties that we barely have enough time to think (or pray)! Paul has been posting more frequent updates on his blog-- ask him about it. Also read a paper on God and Time he wrote for Carl FH Henry way back by clicking here.
Thailand means “Land of the Free”. Thais have the confidence that comes from being the only Southeast Asian nation never to have been colonized. “Land of Smiles” is another phrase often used to describe Thailand. The tropical climate yields plenty of food for its inhabitants, and phrases like “mai pen rai” (no problem) is often uttered to express confidence that everything will be alright. Combined with a history of freedom, there is plenty to smile about. The gospel of Jesus Christ has had little appeal in Thailand. The Buddhist culture can make a commitment to the Christian faith seem like a compromise of their “true” identity. Also, attractive entertainment options provide plenty of distractions.