One week before the event, Chris Kim was concerned, worried he didn’t have enough time or recourses.
Kim, though, did what he could. He watched videos, the images of students worshiping God through songs and by sharing their stories to their peers. He read more about the event on its website — how it began, how it impacts lives and how to implement such an occasion in your area. He also learned that most people in America would hold their version of the event Oct. 11, which left him just days to coordinate his own.
After his research, Kim, the lone fulltime FCA staff member in South Korea, prayed to God.
“That’s how we started our first Fields of Faith,” he said.
On his Facebook account, Kim made an announcement.
“We start small but we definitely dream big,” he wrote Oct. 6. “I am so excited to see what God has in store. Please continually pray for FCA Korea and its first Fields of Faith next week!”
Kim knew he couldn’t put together a Fields of Faith, one of FCA’s biggest student-led ministry events, by himself.
He reached out to Annie Yousey, a Spanish teacher and the FCA Huddle coach at the Korea International School. Yousey, an American from Ellensburg, Wash., experienced FCA’s ministry as a teenager. She attended camps before moving to South Korea for her career. She was eager to help when Kim brought his idea to her. Together, they wanted the Korea International School, which is one of three schools in the country with a weekly Huddle, to host the country’s inaugural Fields of Faith event.
“Annie,” Kim said, “put it into action.”
First, Kim and Yousey explained the event to the six students in the school’s Huddle. Since 2004, FCA has used a night in October for teenagers — whether they are athletes or not — to invite one another to share their Christian faith and to challenge each other to apply the Bible to their lives. Kim and Yousey also told the students that most of the events occurred on an athletic field or gym at a school to provide a safe environment where anyone can attend. The students chose to have their event at the school’s soccer field.
Next, the group, similar to several Huddles in America, did their best to advertise their event through social media platforms. They posted flyers around the school, too.
“The main purpose for us was to get FCA’s name out so that we can draw more people in to get more impact on the students, whether they are Christian or not,” Kim, an FCA area representative, said. “I was pretty nervous about it because I had no idea how many would turn out that night.”
Yousey and Kim helped coordinate and facilitate the Huddle’s inaugural event.
The event, held in Seongnam, South Korea the night of Oct. 11, didn’t feature much of the equipment that most Fields of Faith events in America have. There were no instruments, no speakers to amplify music, no microphone for students’ messages to be heard by a large crowd.
Instead, the Fields of Faith in Korea, one of the few outside of America in 2017, was one of the smallest gatherings in the world that night — and perhaps one of the most intimate. Seven people arrived on the soccer field. They sat in a circle on the field next to a soccer net.
Kim and Yousey were joined by five students, four of whom were members in the Huddle — Chris, Danny, Terry and Hannah. Kristian was the lone student not in the Huddle to attend the event.
To begin, everyone introduced themselves before sharing their testimonies.
“It was so great because it was really not about numbers,” Kim said. “It was about the heart and passion that we have to get the Word out, to get the gospel out through FCA. It was really a time of encouraging one another.”
Kim and Yousey helped facilitate the group’s discussion. One by one, each person shared his or her story. Yousey brought books, along with a Bible, to help explain her testimony and how God has blessed her. Sitting nearby, Chris had his smartphone and a small notebook in front of him to take notes and share his faith. Questions were asked and answered. Everyone bowed their heads to pray.
“I could really feel God’s provision, and it was really about thanking God for doing His work through me and others in unity and partnership,” Kim said. “I’m really proud that I can be a part of God’s work through FCA.”
Kim felt overwhelmed by how God led him to have the event with the students. In 2014, he met Mike Hojnacki, an FCA multi-area director, at FCA Korea’s first leadership camp. Hojnacki, along with three other people, led the camp for South Korea’s national team athletes and coaches during the Asian Games. Kim, while working at the Games, received a call from his supervisor: Hojnacki’s group needed an interpreter.
While translating English to Korean and vice versa, Kim learned about FCA through Hojnacki.
“I was sitting next to him and helping him lead,” Kim said of Hojnacki. “That was my first connection.”
Jin Kang, FCA’s East Asia regional coordinator, became Kim’s mentor after the Games. Kang showed Kim the impact FCA could have on students and athletes in Korea before hiring him in April 2016.
When it was time for Kim to share his testimony during Fields of Faith, he illustrated to the students how his community in Jesus Christ — from Hojnacki, Kim, Yousey and others — encourage him to share the gospel.
“We as Christians have to come together as a body of Christ, as a church,” he said. “But we also have to go out, and it has to be a cycle. That’s one of the ways I encouraged the students and challenged them to get the Word out and to really be a witness on campus for Christ.”
The next day, Kim shared the group’s night on his Facebook account and FCA Korea’s Instagram account.
“Fields of Faith in Korea for the first time!” he wrote. “Tiny small, but we were blessed to challenge one another to step out on faith. Another historical moment! May the Lord continue to work in and through us to draw others to Him! Thank you all for prayer and support!”
Since that night, Kim said some of the students have grasped a better understanding of how their experience from the event can serve God’s purpose in the future. During their Huddle last month, Kim said the students expressed how Fields of Faith has grown their faith.
Kim was most pleased the students were grateful he and Yousey introduced them to the event.
“Since we did the first one, we’ll definitely do the next one,” Kim said of his plans for Korea’s Fields of Faith in 2018. “I don’t know what it will look like in the future, but I’m looking forward to doing it again.”
Hannah, Chris, Yousey, Kim, Danny, Kristian and Terry share their testimonies during their Fields of Faith.
Photos courtesy of Chris Kim.