By: Na Hyun Kim
& David Chun
Location : White Noise, Crystal Church
She may look like your average millennial, but she's anything but. With a big heart for missions and troubled youth, she's our stylish 22-year old with God-sized plans.
Nana: How did you first come to SooJung?
Sharon: It was like my first week or something at KCCC. And I was talking to my friend about finding a church because I was in the process of leaving my old church. And then Pastor Mike popped out of nowhere and who he was like, 'Want to come to our church?' I didn’t even know he was, and I was like 'Okay, yeah.'
Nana: That was it?
Nana: Thank you, Pastor Mike!
Sharon: I came the next week with my friend, really liked it, and stayed ever since.
Nana: What were your first impressions of us, our community?
Sharon: I felt overwhelmed because everybody was really … kind. It was something that I wasn’t used to, especially at my old church. We didn’t really have a good welcoming team, so coming to a new church with everybody asking me, ‘How’d you find us?’ ... they seemed really interested. So, overwhelmed in a good way.
Nana: Did you grow up in church or was it later on?
Sharon: I grew up in church but I moved around to a lot of churches. I think I can call Crystal my home church.
Nana: Do you feel like a true member?
Sharon: Yeah, I still feel awkward a little bit sometimes, but that’s not like from anything that people do. I can’t do anything about it because people [here] grew up together. But it got a lot better from when I first joined.
Nana: So, for people who don’t know you! What school do you go to? Your major?
Sharon: I go to York College, a CUNY in Jamaica. My major is Psychology.
Nana: What do you wanna do with psychology?
Sharon: I want to be a social worker at a school, so I’m planning to go to grad school next fall and work in the meantime. With my Master’s in social work, I want to work at a school for at risk youth, so kids who are troubled. In middle school hopefully.
Nana: Is there one person in your field that you are inspired by or most influenced by?
Sharon: Yeah, my professor whom I had for a year. She’s actually a psychotherapist but she’s a believer. I was really inspired because there aren’t a lot of Christian people in that field or Christian people I know that are in that field. She openly said that although she’s not allowed to evangelize to her clients or her patients, they know that she’s a believer and if they have questions they can ask her.
She was really open about it in class and that really helped me to pursue what I wanted to do and be able to help people, or kids in my case. I can pray for them without actually having to, you know, sit them down and say, ‘Do you believe in God?’, but I can be in the back and pray for them.
David: So were you already interested in being a social worker before you met her or did you want to become a social worker after you met her?
Sharon: When I met her I wanted to be a psychotherapist. And even though I don’t like kids, I feel like God is calling me to work with kids.
There’s just so many signs that I feel like God is telling me to be with kids and I feel … Well, middle school is when I felt most troubled and that’s when I needed help a lot with my family issues. There wasn’t really anyone that I could talk to.
So if there are any kids like that, I feel like I can help them especially if you have a background in depression or parent separation or whatever, I can relate to them and that can help.
Nana: What’s the most intimate encounter you’ve had with God?
Sharon: I think when I first felt like He was my father. If you grow up in church, you always know like God is your father and all that. But I think I was first able to realize that when I was saved. And then my past was like flashing before me and I was just like, ‘Wow, You were always with me when I really felt alone and no one understood me.’
Nana: At what point do you feel like you were saved?
Sharon: It was summer of junior year when I was becoming a senior in high school. It was a retreat at my old church. I don’t remember specifically what the passage was, but it was a time of prayer and the praise team was singing ‘Arms Wide Open’ -
Nana: By Misty Edwards?
Sharon: Yeah, and that song broke me.
David: Seriously. Misty Edwards does that.
David: So we know you’re going to Haiti this year, what are your expectations for Haiti? Some things you’re looking forward to, some things you’re not looking forward to? You mentioned earlier that you don’t like kids, but you’re going to be working with thousands of kids.
Sharon: My expectations? I don’t really know much about Haiti. I don’t really know about Haitian culture, but since last year I’ve been wanting to go. As I was getting ready for my Thailand missions, [I heard] all the announcements about Haiti and Ohio. I was really interested and Haiti just spoke to me more. I wanted to learn more about how Haitian culture is. Recently, I found out that they’re really big on voodoo and I want to know how that came to be.
Yeah, I don’t like kids, but I can tolerate them…I don’t know. I don’t want kids of my own, but I feel like this is God telling me that I should.
Nana: Nooo don’t assume that! Whatever happens.
Sharon: This is a warm up for when I actually work with kids in school, so it’s like a good exercise? I worked with kids before. I went to Honduras missions before, and it was so much worse than now because I didn’t like kids even more. I warmed up to them a lot.
But yeah, I’m looking forward to what God’s going to do in Haiti. To really get me out of my comfort zone. I’m ok with heat but just everything else in general.
Nana: [To David] Are you going to Haiti too?
Sharon: Yeah, he’s going too. He’s taking care of 200 kids.
Nana: Are you guys in the same group?
David: Aren’t you supposed to help me with them?
Sharon: [Laughs] No.
Nana: So to prepare for being in the same group, what’s the one pet peeve that people should know about, especially the people on your mission trip.
Sharon: Pet peeve? Hm … I’m not like really uptight.
Nana: There’s something.
Sharon: I don’t have many ... but people being inconsiderate, that’s like a pet peeve. I don’t think anyone on my team or in church is inconsiderate.
David: Come on, you have a bigger pet peeve, everyone doesn’t like inconsiderate people, come on. Judge-free zone.
Nana: Like, people that burp without saying ‘excuse me’.
David: I do that all the time. [burps]
Nana: Like right now, speaking of the devil.
Sharon: Oh! When people step on my feet or my shoe, that’s annoying. Or when someone invades my personal space. Personal space is important to me. Hmm … people using my stuff [without permission] even if we are very close. If you want to take my stuff, just ask.
Nana: Always ask, everybody! Ask before using her toothpaste in Haiti!
Nana: If you were a cartoon character, what would be the one outfit you would wear each season or every episode?
Sharon: Like the most coziest? Something that would make me stand out.
Nana: Like a patterned sweater?
Sharon: Yeah, I guess...
David: Patterned pants? With a patterned cardigan?
Sharon: No, if you have too much pattern, that’s like all over the place, you have to have one pattern.
Nana: Fashion faux pas. [David laughs]
Sharon: Ok, I guess like the only cartoon that I watch is Bob’s Burgers, so I would totally dress like Louise. The girl with the [animal] hat.
Nana: Rabbit ears or -
Sharon: Well, I have top five favorite animals, so I can like alternate [hat] four, five days a week. Elephants, sharks, giraffes, lions, and alligators.
Nana: Ooh, best question! What’s your favorite food joint? A place you go regularly or where you would take all your friends?
Sharon: There’s like three places that I’ve been going to a lot. They’re all in Union Square. Like my go-to is … Do you know Vapiano? It’s really good. There’s a pizza place called Pie by the Pound, and Pokeworks. They’re like all within a one block vicinity. Vapiano has really good pasta. Pie by the Pound has really cheap pizza. You don’t have to get a whole pie, you can get like 4 slices for 8 dollars. And you can’t go wrong with sushi.
David: [What is] your favorite jam? A song you can always listen to and never get sick of.
Sharon: Although I’m really young, I really like 90’s k-pop. I’m really big on Shinhwa, Kim Gun Mo...
David: One song that you can listen to over and over again.
Sharon: Kim Gun Mo’s ‘잘못된 만남’.
Omg it hits the spot everytime. You can listen to it when you’re sad, if you just broke up or if you’re happy. For any mood. It doesn’t matter.
David: [What’s your] most embarrassing moment?
Sharon: There’s so many. Um ... I think it was at my first church. We had a lot of stairs from the first floor to the second floor where the adults have service.
There was a guy that I liked, and I wanted to look super cool walking down the stairs, but I tumbled down. And there was like more than 10 flights of stairs. So I was like, ‘I’m going to look really pretty going down the stairs’. I don’t even know how you can look pretty going down the stairs, but I was like maybe 6 or 7. I wanted to show off to him. To make myself look different from every other girl. I was even holding the handle and I just missed a step and rolled down. I was too embarrassed to get up, I just laid there. And adult service was ending and people were coming out so I was like 'uhhh' and I got up and walked.
Nana: What’s one big dream that you have? It could be impossible.
Sharon: Well, it’s like an ongoing dream, I guess.
There’s a lot of things I’ve been praying about. A lot of things I’m uncertain about. But even though I’m so impatient, I think God is really teaching me to fully trust in Him and to learn to be patient. I was talking about this with my small group but it took me a long time to understand what ‘Let go and let God’ means. Always, I try to compromise and try to ‘help’ God. Back then, I hated it when people told me, ‘Oh Sharon, let go and let God'.
‘I’m praying for you, you just need to be patient.’ Yeah, I already know that and you’re not helping.
But yeah, as I’m praying more and more, God’s revealing to me that identity in Christ isn’t just about me not feeling lonely. It’s so much more than that. So, I think my future [dream] would be for me to be sure in who I am, in Him.
Na Hyun Kim, a.k.a. Nana, is sort of a writer and sort of a podcast junkie. Make her day by dropping comments about how ‘Brooklyn’ she looks. Legally, her first name is ‘Na’ and middle name ‘Hyun’, so she’s pretty irked whenever she sees ‘Ms. Na Kim’ on her boarding ticket.