February 7, 2018 — by -


How did an 81-year old pastor from West Texas connect with a young Korean ordination candidate from Maryland through the 2018 Gathering?

By Paul Kim, Jr.  Neelsville Presbyterian Church, Germantown, MD

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

 Although it is not extraordinary for Christians to experience God’s provision in our daily walk with Christ Jesus, it is my joy to share my testimony with ECO sisters and brothers in Christ as I did during the East Central Presbytery meeting at the National Gathering in Houston, TX.   

There are usually a few steps for you to take to go to the ECO National Gathering: Register for the conference online, book the hotel, and book the flight (usually in this order for me). Well, I did not follow my “usual order” this time. I had to book the flight way before as the price was going up. However, I was not able to register for the conference as I was struggling with my financial resources. I knew that my time was running out as I was visiting the ECO National Conference registration website daily to make sure the registration was still open, while praying somehow God would provide my financial needs before it closed. Then, I missed the last day of registration. I quickly emailed the national office, humbly asking for a scholarship or discount, but was turned down!  “What are you doing, God? What’s going on here? Don’t you want me to go?”  Well, I guess God knew how impatient I am, or did not want to hurt this “little faith, soon to be ordained” future pastor. That night, I received an email from the ECO national office telling me that there was someone who canceled last minute and the office could transfer this person’s registration to me. I was so thrilled!

If that wasn’t enough, I woke up the next day to an email from Pastor Jasper McClellan from Texas, the one who had to cancel his registration last minute. His email said that he would like to contribute an extra $250 to me on top of donating my registration! At first, I thought I was misunderstanding his message as English is my second language. I had to read the message over and over again! I immediately replied and thanked him for his generosity and gracious heart. I was so humbled and tearful at that moment because I knew that God touched his heart to reach out to me. I was reminded that the price I paid for the flight ticket was $253.20!

That evening, I received another email from Pastor Jasper explaining to me that he is an 81-year old pastor who drives 127 miles one way to serve a small church in San Saba, TX on Sundays. He had just returned from the post office where he mailed a letter with a check of $350 (not $250 as he originally offered) because of Ephesians 3:20. I was once again, so humbled and overwhelmed. 

I couldn’t finish reading this email to the end as I was crying out and shouting, “I don’t deserve this at all. How could I take this, Lord! Why should I? I just can’t take it. I don’t deserve this!” God overflowed His grace through this man of God, using Pastor Jasper as a tool for His Kingdom work and for His glory. 

The way God connects His people around the world and uses one to bless another is amazing!  I am so glad that my request to the national office was turned down so that I connected with Pastor Jasper and received this love gift from God. This again reminds me of the Gospel we have and what we should do with it.  “Here I am. Send me. Use me, Lord, to touch many souls and draw them closer to you!”  This is my prayer.