Kalbi, Kimchi, and the Word of God

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Engineer expats and exchange students from Korea attend Holland Korean Church to eat Korean-style kalbi barbeque and kimchi.

Several are also encountering God for the first time.

“Eighty percent of the people who come to [Holland Korean Church] are non-Christians,” said Pastor John Kim of the West Michigan, Home-Missions supported church plant he leads.

“They come for cultural reasons, to hear their Korean language and eat Korean food at the lunch after church. So I preach the gospel every Sunday.”

The veteran pastor moved to Holland a couple of years ago from The Netherlands, where he was a seminary teacher.

Under the wing of nearby Bethany CRC, Holland Korean Church was started one-and-a-half years ago, partly in anticipation of a flood of Korean engineers and their families moving to Holland to work at the Korean-owned LG Chem battery factory.

Even though many of the LG employees are now “furloughed,” several families have remained in Holland and are attending the church.

The church also draws exchange students from Holland Christian High School and Hope College.

“We had two girls from Holland Christian High School come to our church; they were homesick for Korea,” said Kim. “They both became Christians, and I baptized them.”

Kim is currently meeting after Sunday lunch for a Bible study with three women who “had never heard the meaning of the real gospel, grace, and salvation.”

“They have so many questions, and it’s wonderful to see them open their hearts and realize their need for Jesus.”

About the Author

Lorilee Craker, a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., in a 1924 house full of teenagers, pets, exchange students, and houseplants. The author of 15 books, including Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me, she is the Mixed Media editor of The Banner. Find her at Lorileecraker.com or on Instagram @thebooksellersdaughter.