Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Cultural Nomad, A Grounded Faith

By Mac Gostow ’13

“My concern is for souls, not material wealth. A soul lost here is just as big of a loss as a soul lost in Africa.”

Business Administration major Chan Mi Kim is a cultural nomad of sorts. Born in Korea to missionary parents, she moved to Vietnam at 7, attended boarding school in Malaysia at 13, and traveled to six countries during a gap year before making her way to America for college. She brings a perspective many Americans can appreciate but few can identify with. In the Gordon community, she exudes confidence, grace, and passionately engaged faith. With a zeal for photography, languages and people, she breathes life into everything she touches.

Chan Mi arrived in America last summer feeling called to the Boston area. A Gordon alumnus at a camp in Korea had introduced her to the school and she thought it the perfect place to cultivate her business knowledge and serve the many college students in the Boston area. 

As she entered the Class of 2016, Chan Mi discovered she'd traveled the farthest from home to get a Gordon education (8,539 miles, to be exact).
Her first semester settling in at Gordon included several particularly American experiences.
She spent Thanksgiving in Tennessee at a gathering that featured a vast plethora of food and greater table camaraderie than she imagined possible. She felt engaged and rejuvenated by the excited family dynamic. Then, while bitter winds devastated the northeast, she found herself spending Christmas in sunny Malibu, California, surrounded by other missionary kids. She explains, “There is not just one culture that missionary kids identify with. We know home by people, not place.” Chan Mi appreciates the diversity she sees in America. “Korea is 98 percent Korean, ” she notes. “It is the most homogenous country in the world. Coming here I have had the pleasure of meeting people with different backgrounds, both ethnically and culturally.”

Outside of class, Chan Mi is the photographer and webmaster for Advocates for a Sustainable Future (ASF). She is also a member of Model UN and plays on her resident hall intramural basketball team. But what she looks forward to most each week is her commute to Boston, where she engages in fellowship with other students in the Boston area. Chan Mi wants those she meets to share her belief that “God is everything. He is not a priority atop a list. He is the entire list and much, much more.”

Chan Mi wants to direct her passion for people and business toward starting her own company by her junior year. She has many ideas, such as a translation company that would offer legal assistance to Boston’s immigrant population. She sees starting a business as an opportunity to create an environment where faith and work intersect. “Unlike church, where the pastor only sees his people once a week, I want my business to be a means of daily discipleship with my coworkers and customers,” she says. “I want to create a community that can work toward a common goal of loving God and loving others.”

Whatever her future has in store, Chan Mi will bring her diverse background and enthusiasm to the table, challenging others to seek God in all things. 

Photo 1: Chan Mi with friends from Gordon heading back to campus on the train. A quick 20-minute train ride gets her to North Station in the heart of Boston. We're lucky to be one of the only Christian colleges outside of Boston to be able to do this. Photo 2: Thanksgiving with friends. To view more photos of Chan Mi's first few months studying at a Christian American University, visit her "Love At First Sight" album on Facebook. 

Mac Gostow ’13 is a communication arts major from California and a student writer in the Office of College Communications at Gordon College. With a double minor in business administration and sociology, Mac has interned for CBS News in New York City, is a founder of ScotRadio, performs with the Sweaty Tooth Madmen improve troupe, and served as a show host for KURadyo in Istanbul, Turkey. 

No comments: