Exit Student Profile: Paul Jang
I grew up in different cities in South Korea as a minister's kid. I studied for a bachelor of law degree, then went to the Philippines for short-term missionary work for seven months.
Afterwards, Abigail and I got married and we went to New Zealand to start a new journey of faith. I was involved in ministry for Maori people until I came to Australia.
I have lived in Melbourne for the last seven years. Abigail grew up in Seoul, South Korea. She studied marketing at university, then worked at LG Australia.
Even though I had grown up as a minister's kid, as a young man I enjoyed drinking, smoking and pursuing the pleasures of the world. But Jesus came to me and changed my heart. He led me to decide to follow the law of heaven rather than the law of this world.
It wasn't an easy decision, as an international student, to study for the ministry in Australia. But God had already led me to Australia to study for the ministry through various events in my life.
From my studies at the Presbyterian Theological College, I learnt that the Bible is not an old book unrelated to the contemporary world, but is the living Word of God for us today. It helps me to think clearly and evangelically, and to apply the gospel practically during our lives.
During my studies, I started a ministry to homeless people called Salt & Light Mission. It was the toughest ministry I have experienced in my life so far. But it helped me to embrace the truth that everyone needs the gospel, and we need to embrace and love undeserving people because of Jesus, who loved us first, even when we were still sinners. The gospel is real and we have the responsibility to preach the gospel to everyone.
I feel happy to take up my appointment at the Korean Presbyterian Church of Melbourne this year. I never expected to be a senior pastor to a migrant church in Australia, but I trust God who has led me up to this point in my life. God has filled me with joy and hope. I plan to love the congregation as God loves me. I will sacrifice for them as Jesus did for me. I will pray for wisdom, and He will give me strength and guide me well.
The Presbyterian Church of Victoria started sending missionaries to South Korea 128 years ago. They sacrificed themselves to plant the seed of the gospel for that country, and God gave the growth. Now God has brought many Koreans to Australia, including myself, and He planted a Korean Presbyterian Church in Melbourne 30 years ago.
We would like to preach the gospel not only to Koreans but also to everyone in Melbourne, be they homeless or rich, educated or not, Asian or white. We remember the Australian missionaries' sacrifices, and we in turn would like to sacrifice ourselves for gospel ministry in Australia. Please remember our church and pray for our future ministry journey.
Paul Jang exited to the Korean Presbyterian Church of Melbourne in North Balwyn. He will be ordained on the 27th July. (See event details here).
This article was first published in the Fellow Workers Magazine Winter 2018 Edition.