Loveism = Jesusism
Jesus Led Me All the Way … One Step at a Time
Presented by Dr. James Chin Kyung Kim on April 11, 2013, at the C. S. Lewis Institute Banquet
Fellow Christians and devoted followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am deeply honored to be chosen to
address you today and I feel very humble as I stand before you. It is such a great blessing to be able to
gather here and consider how our mighty God has led us and prepared the way for us to serve Him. It is
especially appropriate for me to tell you about how God has led me, step by step, over my life. Your
banquet theme is on “The Call to Global Discipleship.” God has truly led me through many parts of the
globe! I am proud to be an American citizen and to carry an American passport, but I also hold honorary
citizenship in China, North Korea and South Korea. Think of that…, I hold citizenship in four countries!
Step by step God has led me to each of these doors and then opened the door and prepared the way.
Now I consider myself a Global citizen, but the most important citizenship I hold is citizenship in God’s
Kingdom. I feel a kinship and love for every person in the world, whatever their color or their faith
background. I consider all countries to be my country because of the people they represent and I care
about the needs of all of these people. When asked who I am, my reply is that I am not a Capitalist, I am
not a Communist, I am a Love-ist…I am a Jesus-ist!! I have learned that love from Jesus and that love
has filled my life. Now God has allowed me to share that love with these very people I had promised to
love and to bless. He has honored my promise by working through me to establish these two unusual
universities where we teach Christian values along with the academics. He has given HIS people yet
another way to lead people to Himself.
Each of us is precious to Him and each of us has a special place to fill in His Kingdom as we represent
Him on this earth. Indeed we need to be the Living Sacrifice that Paul talks about in Romans 12:1-2.
God expects us to sacrifice ourselves willingly, but when we do, He provides the rest…the wisdom to
know His Will, the love and the grace to deal with unredeemed people and the strength to follow Him
even when the going is hard.
I want to share with you the way that the Lord has led me through my life. So many times, it seemed that
I did not know what to do next…or where I should go. Over and over again, our Lord was faithful. I
cannot say enough to express my eternal gratitude to HIM for allowing me to be a part of His great work
and for staying so close to me when I did not even know that I needed Him to be there. I feel that He was
preparing the place He wanted me to fill long before I was even born.
In I John 4:7, 12, John tells us about love and where it comes from. I first learned that about that love
when I was a very young man and the Korean peninsula was involved in a terrible war. I was a 15 year
old middle school student in the southern part of the Korean peninsula in 1950. I loved my country and I
wanted a better future for my people, so I volunteered to become a student soldier. Very soon, we were
on the battlefield and the reality of war shocked us all.
Fighting against my Korean brothers was hard, but it was terrifying to see my schoolmates and the other
soldiers die on the battlefield. I became really afraid. An American chaplain had given us all a copy of
the Gospel of John and I had read it through several times. Especially John 3:16 and 18 gripped my
heart. I was surprised to read that God loves me. In the midst of one of the battles when so many of my
fellow soldiers had been killed, I remembered those words and I prayed and asked God to save my life. I
promised that if He would save my life, I would spend the rest of my life showing His love to the people
of Korea and of China who were fighting against us at that time. I promised to work to show them a
better way….a way of love and cooperation that would lead to real peace, not war. God saved the life of
this humble little boy and I have worked since that time to honor the promise I made that day on the battle
My life was spared and I began to prepare so that I could live up to that promise. I studied in Switzerland
and England and made many wonderful friends who continue to bless my life. Then I married my
wonderful wife and we went to the USA to live and work. Each step of the way, the Lord prepared the
way and opened the doors for me. John 15:7-11 gave me much strength and inspiration. I was able to
develop some very successful businesses and began to develop some financial strength. Soon I realized
that I had become wealthy enough to begin the next part of my life.
Shortly after that, the first door opened for me to begin to fulfill my promise to God. After some time of
successful business in the US, I was invited to come to China to deliver some speeches on economic
development. Deng Xiao Peng was trying to lead China to open its doors to international economic
exchanges. They liked what I said in my speeches and allowed me to tour the part of the country where
the ethnic Koreans lived. I was so moved because in many of the villages there were churches with no
leaders. These Koreans were my people and they were desperately poor. The Prefecture leaders asked
me what they should do to speed up this economic development and I told them that they needed to
educate their youth. They urged me to stay and help them to teach their youth.
This was the second open door, but I could not do it alone, so I returned to Seoul and begin to organize a
support group to help me with the work and with the financing for this work. That is when we founded
the Board of the Northeast Asia Association for Education and Culture and we began to enlist the first
workers who would go with me to carry out this work. This was in early 1989 when we finally were
ready to start building on the land we had been given. This land was the former crematorium and burial
place. That was so appropriate that God gave us the land of the dead to breathe life back into it!
This new school, Yanbian University of Science and Technology or YUST, became the international
university in Yanji, China, that has proved to be so successful. This university was established on the
principles of “Hope, Love and Truth” and dependent on the idea that the Faculty members would all be
Christians and would cooperate with our Chinese brothers in this work. It was also with the
understanding that the faculty would be internationals who demonstrate these principles. We wanted to
teach that we love China and love the Chinese people.
Our plan for the development of the education that we would give to these young people was an
introduction to our Christian lifestyle as well. At first we were not allowed to speak to the students about
our faith and we were even told that we should not bow our heads in prayer publicly. All of our
international teachers came with the idea that they would love these students and let them see the light of
Christ through the lives of committed Christian teachers. Soon the students were coming privately to the
teachers and asking about their faith and how they could live so joyously even when living was hard for
them. This led to the one-on-one Bible studies and the discipleship studies that slowly opened the eyes
and the hearts of many of these students. Soon we found that most of our students were becoming
believers before they graduated. How we rejoiced when we realized how the Lord was using His faithful
servants in this place. These internationals were leading their young brothers and sisters to become strong
in their faith and in their outreach. Still later we realized that we were the source for an ever-spreading
network of trained young people of faith who were going all over the country and even to other countries
and sharing their faith as they went. Imagine! We had become a mission-training school in China! What
a marvelous work the Lord has done and continues to do through HIS people at that school.
Soon after YUST had begun to develop, God opened yet another door to me when the needy people living
across the border in North Korea began to come and ask for help. When I spoke of the needs, I found that
loyal supporters from all over the world were happy to help us provide food, medicine, and clothing to
these people. I found myself making many trips into North Korea to carry these loads of goods. We were
even able to make contact with the underground church leaders in that country. They said they were also
hungry, but, they wanted more than food. How touched they were to hear that their Christian brothers
were praying for them and had sent money to provide the food and other things we had brought them.
They promised to pray for people in South Korea and in the USA too.
I also began to make trips into Pyongyang to explore other ways that we Christians could bless the people
of North Korea. I received a request to build a dental hospital to meet a great need, so I talked to my
wonderful supporting group, the Northeast Asia Association for Education and Culture, and we began to
develop the plans and construct the building. In September, 1998, a group of these supporters and I had
gone to Pyongyang to check on the construction. As our group was boarding the plane to return to Seoul,
my companions realized that I was no longer with the group. I had been arrested as I was going through
the immigration check and was accused of espionage. They accused me of spying for the CIA and
sentenced me to death. I was told to write my will and prepare for my death. I wrote several letters to
different people, but I wrote one to the North Korean government and I willed my body to the people of
North Korea. I was still very healthy and had all of my body parts. So I asked that these body parts
should be removed after my death and used to help the sick people in North Korea. This touched the
heart of Kim Jong Il so much that he ordered that I should be released. He said that anyone who loved the
Korean people that much could not possibly be a spy.
I did not return to North Korea for many months after that experience, but apparently the leaders finally
felt that they could trust me and they decided that they needed an international university like the one we
had built in China. In 2001. I was invited to come to North Korea to found an international university
there as well. I told them that I would bring Christians who were international academics from many
countries, people who were excellent teachers. They would be carefully chosen people who would love
the North Korean students and care for them as though they were their own children. They agreed to all
of this and even gave me a deed to the land where the university is built.
The Lord had opened this door and we were given great cooperation in working out all of the details.
That school is now beginning its third year of operation. Peace-loving academics from around the world
come to teach the very intelligent, open and inquisitive students in this school. It has been a thrill to see
how well things are going. The students are amazed at the information they are learning and have learned
to love and trust the people who are teaching them. They do not realize that they are seeing the Lord’s
peace in action. The LORD is revealing Himself to the students through the teachers. We believe this all
came to be because of the love and the prayers of men and women like you who care. It is an example of
love and faith in action.
The theme for this year’s CS Lewis Institute Annual Banquet is “A Call to Global Discipleship.” That is
very appropriate because the Institute is partnering with us at both of these universities and is helping to
make sure that these staff and faculty members have the spiritual resources they need to continue to grow
in their own spiritual walk with the Lord. We are grateful for this partnership with the C.S. Lewis
Institute and the discipleship resources and personnel they are providing to further our mission in China
and other parts of Asia. We have more than 500 alumni in Beijing; 500 in Shanghai; and many more in
other parts of Asia. These brothers and sisters are begging me for someone to disciple them. I’m pleased
that Danny is coming later this year to help me begin this discipleship process. Your help for the Institute
tonight is very important. In North Korea, we are still preparing the ground and sowing a few seeds at a
time, but in China, the harvest time has come and the harvest is bountiful. Please pray with us. We need
more dedicated teachers in both schools and we need a constant supply of financial support even when the
political news is bad. God is the supplier for all of these things, so let us join our hearts in thanking Him
for His Great and wonderful work that He has already done. Pray for us also as we continue to depend on
HIM to supply all things in HIS TIME.
Let us also unite in our prayers that God may guide us to work together in love and to put aside war so
that we can build our world into a world of harmony and cooperation as we meet the problems of the future in unity. Just as Jesus led me all the way, He is leading you too. Let us look to Him to show us
the way to lead all men to Him. Then there will be peace!
Thank You and God Bless you all!
Dr. James Chin-Kyung Kim, Founding president of YUST and of PUST