I Am a Mender: Harold.

Until I moved to Durham, NC in the summer of 2005, I had spent my entire church life in the Korean American Church. I grew up going to church, and had an amazing youth pastor and youth group during my high school years. One thing that made this experience so great was the deep spirituality, and the easy familiarity of being in

fellowship with people that were pretty much like me, 2nd generation Korean-Americans. I went on to stay in Asian-American mono-ethnic ministries throughout college and grad school. I even met my wife in this context, So I will always thank God for putting me there!

When we landed in Durham, we felt like God was calling us to see things from a different setting, and we spent the next several years at a wonderful church that a sociologist could technically classify as being mono-ethnically white. The contrast of going from one mono-ethnic church to another mono-ethnic church, but of a different ethnicity, was a deeply formative chapter in my faith. To see how one faith can inspire so many different expressions – both harmonious and discordant – is a serious head scratcher of a quandary.
This puzzle is one reason why I am so thankful to be in the Menders family. We are a group of people, from radically different backgrounds, that have covenanted to stick with

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each other through the good times and bad, and to play really great music from a huge range of traditions in a way that honors the histories that the songs have come from.

Instead of resting in the easy familiarity of how things were for me as a youth group kid, God has brought me to a new season where If I want to

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press on in following him, I have to learn how to be at peace with going beyond my comfort zone. After all, Jesus did the ultimate cross-cultural ministry experience – crossing the dividing line between Creator and Created. If I can’t follow him past just a few racial, ethnic, or socio-economic lines, then how faithfully can I really follow after him?