Hi, my name is Paul Kim .
I am pretty new to this church as I started attending St. John’s starting from the month of May in order to rebuild a broken relationship with God. There are 2 main reasons I decided to go to the Philadelphia mission trip. The first one was trying to find God there, and getting to believe in him again.
I am extremely blessed to say that he showed himself to me there, and now I confidently believe that God is real. The 2nd reason I decided to go was to get to know the people of the church better. As I said before, I am new to the church, and do not know many people well. However, after the mission trip, I feel that I have become brothers and sisters with most, or even all of the people that went to Philly.

The first day we arrived in Philly was July 20th, a Saturday. Nothing much happened that day, we just hung out and unpacked. The next day, we had Sunday worship at the church we were living in, the Grace and Peace church. That day, I felt God’s love through the kindness of the people there. Everyone was very caring and loving, and I felt like that I had known them my whole life, instead of just an hour.
On Monday, the mission trip really began. The morning started out with a Christian camp held at the church called CSI. The kids that attended were relatively well off in their communities, and there were nearly no problems.

When I first saw them, I was nervous if they would accept me or not. However, each and every single kid was very friendly on the inside, even if they put up a barrier at first. One girl went as far to call me her new best friend as soon as she saw me, which helped me in being more open minded and less judgmental toward the kids. When CSI ended at 3:30, there was nearly no break for us as we had to prepare for the VBS we organized, which started at 5 and went on to 6:30. The kids that attended VBS were different then the CSI kids in a number of ways.

I was in a group with children from ages 3 to 10, and it was evident that VBS had kids that were not as well off as the kids of CSI. There was a clear difference in the anxious, jumpy personalities of the VBS kids from the relaxed and easy going ones of the CSI kids. The CSI kids had new, name brand clothes such as Nike, while the VBS kids wore the same tattered clothes nearly everyday. They were still friendly though, and were easy to talk to. I think Monday night was the highlight of everyone that attended the mission trip. As a group, we decided to confess our sins to each other, and as we saw how imperfect each and every one of us were, God entered our hearts. People cried to God and prayed out loud desires from the bottom of their hearts, and begged God to forgive their sins.

I felt God for the first time in a very long period of time, and that day my relationship with God was renewed. The rest of the weekdays were very similar to Monday, although the activities were varied. We went to the pool, a gym, garbage collecting, tutored, and went biking with the kids during CSI. And as the week progressed, I could see God working in the children. This was especially clear in the kids of VBS. At first, many kids did not want to sing and do body worship with the group, but on the last day, every kid sang as loud as they could and danced with utmost passion. The praise was so loud that the very room shook from the noise.

I also saw a miracle in the weather. VBS took place outside for half the time, and if it rained it would be hard to have it, and it would be hard for the kids to get here. So on Sunday night, when we saw the weather report of rain all week, we prayed as a group to God to clear the heavens. God responded, and it was completely sunny all throughout VBS, even if it rained right before and after. The last miracle I saw was in one specific kid that went to both CSI and VBS. He constantly hit and kicked me, and it was hard to love him at first. But I prayed to God, and realized that he just wanted attention.

So I decided to give him all the love and attention I could, and by the last day he was just as loving, and did not want to leave us. As I served God by serving the children, I saw so many amazing things happen in philly, from God entering and showing his love for us and from the changes in the children. All these have convinced me that God is real, and his love for us is real as well. Now, I believe in God, but it is only the start of our relationship, and there is much more to learn. Thank you.