Adventist Education Leads to Korean Baptism

Yeon Ji Kim, a recent graduate of Portland Adventist Academy (PAA), was born in a small town in South Korea to a nominally Christian mother and Buddhist father.

When Kim finished the Korean equivalent of grade school, she asked to either go to Seoul or to the United States for high school. Her parents only agreed that she could spend one month at a U.S. high school.

Kim's English teacher had studied at Adventist Language Institute. He relayed Kim’s desire to his former teacher, Robin Griffin, who arranged for Kim to spend January 2001 at Laurelwood Academy in Gaston, Ore.

After much pleading, Kim's parents let her return for a full year, during which Kim took Bible studies and was baptized.

When she returned to Korea, her mother accepted the news of her baptism satisfactorily, but Kim fully expected her father to physically attack her. But after his anger lessened, he requested only that she not tell her Buddhist grandparents.

Due to Laurelwood's closure, Kim completed her last year of high school at PAA.

Kim’s decision to become an Adventist is certainly the result of all those who support Adventist education, including Griffin, who probably did not expect that his time teaching English in Korea would ever result in the baptism of a young Korean he had never met.

October 01, 2004 / Oregon Conference
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