School + Church = A Friend in Jesus

August 01, 2011 | Gary McLain

Susan Kim, a vibrant South Korean woman, arrived in Portland, Ore., last fall with her two children as exchange students. She was hoping her children could attend a Catholic or public school known for academic excellence. When she learned her children were accepted into Tualatin Valley Academy in Hillsboro, Ore., an Adventist school, she was dismayed.

However, she proceeded to enroll her children and soon found the academics, character building and value systems in line with what she wanted.

Kim observed the school children learning about Jesus and she began to participate daily in the third-grade class. One day she asked the other parents where they attended church. She began attending Sunset Christian Fellowship weekly, joining one of the Sabbath School classes, and asking difficult and challenging questions.

On Easter Sabbath she attended what is called the “Flowering Cross Service.” An old rugged, ratty-looking cross is set up and everyone brings a handful of fresh flowers. The cross is transformed into something of beauty — a representation of Jesus Christ's grace in our lives. As Kim participated in the service and the communion following, she made a decision for Christ.

Kim continued going to church, asking questions, and learning as she helped in Mrs. Harwood's classroom. In June, she made a public stand for God and was baptized. The school and church nurtured Kim and her children, not only in the customs of a new country, but also in the love of Jesus Christ.