Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Dallas, Texas, Los Angeles and Irvine, California (May and June 2018)

In May, I usually make a trip to Los Angeles primarily to attend the SfK Life Board meeting. Along with it, I schedule other trips and events.

Dallas, Texas
I made a quick overnight trip to Dallas to see Amanda.

She participated in the weight lifting competition on the day I arrived there and won the silver medal. Wow...

We went to a Korean restaurant. The foods were average at best, but they were still Korean foods.

We also went to a Japanese ramen place where there are no tables or chairs. Everyone has to eat standing at the counters. But it was good.

On Sunday, Amanda and I went to First Baptist Dallas to worship. It is truly my joy to worship with my family members, particularly my children.

Amanda has a dog, called Nola. She is smart in many ways. I have got to like her very much. This photo does not show her true beauty, but nonetheless here is Nola.

I was encouraged by Amanda walking closely with the Lord. It was joyous to hear her talk about Jesus and how she loves Him. I felt so blessed and encouraged. Thank you, Lord!

Los Angeles, California
This time, my visit to Los Angeles has been broken into three time segments: the first few days before the trip to Dallas, the time before the SfK Life Board meeting and the time to train through SfK MBA Irvine.

For the first few days, I stayed at a guest house near the airport. There was a little fiasco with the shuttle, but it was O.K.

For the second segment, I stayed at the Healing Center of the God's Family Church in Buena Park. I am grateful to the church leadership for allowing me to stay there.

For the third segment, I stayed with William Son and Sung Soo Kim at a house in Irvine, which the Bethel Korean Church arranged for us to stay during the training period.

During my initial period, I have met several people, including Tom and Lita Lee, Kathy Cho and James Kwon, Daniel Park and Young Shim, Sunnie Kim, Jinny Kim and James Kim, Grace Kim, In and Julie Kim, Sang Rae Lee and his wife along with In Kim, and Michael Yang of Hanmi Bank. It is always joyful to meet up old friends and meet new people.

We held SfK Life Board Meeting at the conference room of Hana Financial, Inc. I am grateful for their generosity of making their conference room available for us to use. The number of participants was only four (Tom, Grace, Bonnie and myself), thus not having the quorum. But we shared deep fellowship through sharing and praying. We all felt comfortable exposing ourselves somewhat. I was thankful.

After the board meeting, I was able to have a private fellowship with Tom before I dropped him off at the airport. We went to Redondo Beach, but the foods were not as good as I expected because we ended up eating very little. But the sunset was beautiful.

Right after the SfK Life Board Meeting, I had to make a week-long trip to Toronto, Canada. I have posted a separate blog. Please Please click here to read this post.

Irvine, California
After returning from Toronto, Canada, I was picked up by one of the church members to take me to the housing where I stayed with William Son and Sung Soo Kim during the training period. .It was a 3-bedroom house in Irvine secured from Airbnb.

Three of us held SfK MBA Boot Camp Training in cooperation with Bethel Korean Church in Irvine, California, one of the largest Korean American churches in Southern California. This church has been making conscious efforts to promote BAM as the main missions strategy under the leadership of the Senior Pastor. I prayed that a good and sound church model may be developed not only for the church but also for the region.

Initially, we wanted to train only 12 people, following the Jesus model. But the church requested that the number increased to 15. After all, we ended up with a total of 21 participants and 19 have successfully graduated. It was a tremendous encouragement. The 19 graduates included 3 pastors, 5 missionaries, 4 elders and 1 marketing professor. There were three elders who were in their early 70's. They rarely missed any session and they became exemplary to others. Also, one pastor drove for 4 hours total everyday not to miss any class. His commitment was a great encouragement to us all.

Everyone worked very hard and the graduation was indeed a celebration. Bethel Church's Senior Pastor Hanyo Kim handed out the Certificate of Completion to all 19 of them.

I pray that the Lord bless the participants and the church to come up with an on-going program.

Among the 19 graduates was Ji Gyung Park who happened to be an Agape Club alumni. Wow! It was great joy to meet him surprisingly.

Together with Sung Soo Kim, I had a get together with Jinsoo Kim who is a banker and serving as Chief Lending Officer for SfK. He even let me use one of his cars when needed. What a blessing it is!

I had a dinner with Mr. Dong Hoon Choi of Cconma, along with William Son. This on-line vendor is offering many products with a story.and their mission is well in line with SfK's business model. We will see what the Lord has in store.

Daniel Park, CPA made an arrangement to get together with Paul Koh, a church elder, a retired businessman and an accounting professional, and David Kim, an energy specialist. We had great fellowship and also had productive discussion about potential collaboration in several fronts. Again, we will see what He will do through these relationships.

It is always great joy to meet up with Grace Kim who is diligently publishing SfK Newsletters. She is now almost 40 with three kids. It is always amazing to see how much time has gone by. Time seems to go faster with someone else than myself.

I made two trips to Laguna Beach in Orange County. Once was over dinner hosted by Elder Steve Lee at Las Brisas.  Las Brisas. The other time was after the Sunday worship service at Bethel Korean Church when we went to Laguna Beach and dined at a restaurant called The Cliff. This restaurant had a fantastic ocean view. It is still lingering vividly in my memory.

San Francisco, California
Onwards from Irvine, I made an arrangement to stay over night in San Francisco purely not to miss the opportunity to meet up with Joyce.

This time, Joyce asked if she could bring her boyfriend Kyle. Of course! We dined at an Italian Restaurant located within a walking distance from the hotel I stayed.

I felt bad about not being able to share the gospel and how God moves people because of the promise I made, but I still put my trust in the Lord who will eventually develop goodness out of every circumstances. Praise the Lord! - Jeffrey

Toronto, Canada (May 2018)

I made a trip to Toronto, Canada in May 2018 for the first time.

It was not for a personal pleasure, so I stayed at the hotel without any exploring outside the hotel. So, I have borrowed a couple of photos from Google.

I went there for multiple purposes, I went to attend the Ibex 101 orientation. It was informative and helpful in understanding how Ibex operates.

There was a general assembly in the evening. I was attending the event as a lender. The structure was somewhat complex, but not too complex to understand.

Also, I attended the 3-day advanced training on mentoring. I was able to learn a lot about how to develop the mentoring program for SfK.

All events were held without exposure to the outside. So I did not take any photo. Here is one photo I took with an investment banker from Texas.

Right after the Ibex events, FBA held its face to face board meeting over the weekend. We had a fellowship dinner and a whole-day meeting to develop future strategy for FBA.

The area where the hotel was located was Markham, a good distance away from the Toronto International Airport. Apparently, this area was heavily populated with Asian. I saw a lot of Chinese and some Korean stores.

The most exploration we had was walking to the restaurants usually away for 20 or 30 minutes in walking. The fellowship time with fellow board members of FBA was enriching.

My first time visit to Toronto was sort of boring, but nonetheless, I put my foot into this cosmopolitan city where more than 50% of the 6 million population was born outside Toronto. - Jeffrey