Graduate’s Story – Kang Hye-Won, Grad Dip ICS 2023


“The journey toward self-discovery is life’s greatest adventure” (Arianna Huffington, author, columnist and businesswoman).

Upon graduating from university in Korea, Kang Hye-Won moved to Sydney, Australia, and worked in the city’s ubiquitous sandwich shops to support himself.

Purpose? To become someone God could use.

The younger of twin boys grew up in Dangyang, a county two-hour drive away from Seoul, of rice paddies, mountains, and rivers.
“I was talkative as a child but became an introvert as I grew up,” says Hye-Won.

At 20, he moved to Seoul for university studies and felt God’s call to serve Him. “I knew then I had to get out of my shell.”
During that one year in Australia, Hye-Won’s world – and personality – changed. “The Aussie culture is very sociable,” he says. “Shops shut around 7.30 PM and people would rush out to play or spend time with friends and family. This was something very new to me and my nature. Back in Korea, while pursuing a Master of Divinity to prepare for ministry, he met Ji-Hyeon,
his wife, “also an introvert but bright and cheerful.” They share a burden for youths in their home country whose lives are preoccupied with studies and worry about future employment.

“They long for meaning in life but search for it through earthly pleasures,” adds Hye-Won.
“They need to know the abundant life that only Christ gives.”

Hye-Won found classes like Rev Kwok Wai’s “Building Spiritual Movements” and Dr Raymond Song’s “Contextualization” very helpful. “They opened my mind to how to connect with people effectively,” he says.
The intercultural community of people who are genuinely interested in what he thought also boosted his confidence.
“I find it hard to open up,” he adds, “but they would wait to hear what I had to say.”

“I’m also very grateful to be part of a small group that prays and does ministry together, and for my mentoring group leaders; Rev Jacob is very empathetic and affirms me, and Dr Keith is very funny – his humour is infectious.”

Kang Hye-Won is a recent EAST graduate from Korea and he graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Intercultural Studies. The article above is written by Dr Lau Ying Kheng and graphic is designed by Blessed Ong.

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