PK Retreat and a few changes at LEM

This week, I went to a PK (pastor’s kid) retreat. Maybe that sounds funny to you. There are many Korean PKs in Southern California. There are a bunch in USC KCM. This retreat was organized by the KAPC (Korean American Presbyterian Church) presbytery that our church is a part of. There were about 40 kids at the conference center/Bible college in Murrieta Hot Springs. It was nice to get away from work and the schedule that I’ve been following for the past month. A deacon from Cerritos Presbyterian Church led a talk in which he reflected on his life as a PK and shared his wisdom and insight on the advantages and disadvantages of being a PK. I’ve been fortunate in not having to deal with too many of the problems that many PKs and their families have experienced, which includes rebellion, neglect, slander and gossip in the congregation, power struggles within the church, frequent relocation, and hypocrisy.

Some of the discussion, I bet, didn’t impact the kids much. There was an interesting portion of the talk where he was almost preaching to the pastors (there were a handful of them there), telling them not to neglect their children, for their family is just as much of a full-time ministry, if not more, than their churches. As he told us a few bits about how he raised his sons, it made me think about what kind of family I would have in the future and what kind of father and husband I would be. He told us to pray regarding our spouses, even if marriage seemed so far in the future, since who your spouse is makes such a huge impact on everything in life. As he closed, he said that eventually most PKs would come around back to God and come to appreciate what they’ve gone through, even if it may have been difficult. All these things probably went in one ear and out the other for most of the junior high and high school kids there. Even though I am only a college student, I am already aware of the truth in all that he said, from seeing the value in weekly family time and asking God why he would choose me to be born into the faith and seeing my dad appreciate my service to the church and longing for a helper (Gen. 2:18).

I am very thankful, as was the guest speaker, that the pastors of the presbytery cared for the well-being of their children in coming up with the idea of a PK retreat. It was the fourth year that they did it, and I will definitely go next year if I can. I hope that the others, the ones that perhaps are not true believers, will understand that they are not alone and that in fact, it is a tremendous blessing to grow up in a believing household with a pastor for a father.

My heart rose in humble joy as I heard the voices of the kids join me in song during our prayer meeting tonight. I don’t think I’ve ever heard more than one or two people singing before, but today I could hear them almost as easily as I could hear myself. They seemed more willing to share their prayer requests and more attentive to what I was saying. I hope that the three others who went to the retreat (not including my brother) learned a lot and see the need to serve the church.

Starting in July, we will only be meeting once a month on Fridays. Sundays, we’ll be meeting in the choir/multi-purpose room while the KM has their service in the main sanctuary. This will leave time for fellowship after lunch. I fervently hope that these changes may help our group to grow in spirit and in truth despite the lack of leadership. May we seek God diligently despite our weaknesses and seek to edify one another in the faith.

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