I was a pastor’s wife who was working as a high school music teacher when I realized my calling as a preacher. I’ve always enjoyed teaching students, but as time went by, I started feeling that something deep inside of me was lacking. I wanted to know more about God, and I wanted to do something for God, something more meaningful than I was doing at that time. I shared it with my husband, and he recommended me to enroll into a seminary. In 2 years, with God’s help, I could finish my Masters’ degree in Christian Education. My husband encouraged me to become a pastor. I said I couldn’t even dream of it. However, he persuaded me to do it, and I ended up preaching every Sunday, serving an English Ministry in a church.
I preached my first sermon 5 years ago, at the church in Ansan, South Korea, where God had sent me to serve as an English Minister. I think I preached from John 4 about the Samaritan woman at the well. I don’t remember details of the contents of the sermon but I am pretty sure about how I preached it. I started with both excitement and fear, but I have to say, it was mostly fear. It was fear produced by so many “what ifs” in my mind. What if people don’t like my sermon? What if I make mistakes? Having so many unnecessary thoughts in my mind, I just started preaching.
Then, something happened inside of me. It was the Word of God that came into me during the sermon and started working in me. Then, all the unnecessary thoughts that I had disappeared, and I was captivated by the presence of the Lord my God. Just like the apostle Paul said, when I was weak, then I was strong. It was the moment that I realized that preaching the Word of God is just like a spiritual warfare which belongs to God. I still have fear whenever I preach, but it is different kind of fear now. It is the fear of God which makes me stronger.
As my love for the congregation grew, I wished to administer baptism and holy communion. However, I couldn’t do it because I was not ordained yet. My husband and I started praying that God would show us the way. With God’s help, I could start studying at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. I still have one and half years until I finish the MDiv program. I am not sure when and where I would be ordained. It is true that my path seems uncertain in many ways. However, I believe that God will transform this uncertainty of my life into a tool that equips me as a true servant of the Lord. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Yonga “Joy” Choi is a student at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas.