Alumnus Jacob An: Global Aid Network Korea Director

EAST Alumnus Jacob An JangRyoel, currently director of Global Aid Network (GAiN) Korea, graduated from EAST with a Master of Divinity in Teaching and Exposition in May 1998. He recently visited EAST Campus at 118 Joo Chiat Road and EAST News had an opportunity to catch up with him. He had many wonderful memories of the old campus at 1 Dorset Road and he shared a few anecdotes, “In those days, the library staff would assign the library key to a student to open and close up the library in the mornings and evenings. I became the key man. I used to be the first to arrive at the library to open the door, and the last to leave who shut it up. I learned and practiced about sincerity, hard work, and responsibility during that time.”

Jacob also shared that nowadays, he has a good translator app to help him with his poor English writing. Back then, he relied only on a dictionary. He recalled, “When I would write a report with my limited English skills and submit it, my professors would correct every sentence and word with a pencil. However, they never mark me based on my mistake in English. They gave me marks based on what I wanted to say in the report, not so much on the English grammar, so I was able to graduate. I am grateful to my professors for their dedication and love.”

He remembered that the IMF crisis in South Korea back in December 1997 was a great crisis, especially for the Korean students living abroad. “We could not survive with the local cost of living due to the high exchange rate, and we had to consider suspending our studies and returning to South Korea temporarily. However, not only the professors at EAST, but also many other international students gave us donations to comfort and encourage us. I also received prayer and financial support from members and groups from Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church in Singapore, where I was serving for my field ministry. This love and compassion helped me to endure and overcome the crisis and complete my studies,” Jacob gratefully recounted.

JangRyoel also attributes his leadership style to the time and experiences spent at EAST. “Living in Singappore for three years was a turning point in my life. It taught me to always think, seek, and strive to see how the Word should be applied in my daily life, not just as knowledge in my studies. This attitude and behaviour have become a good habit that I continue to follow. My 30 years of fellowship with Singaporean Christians who have helped me in the most difficult times, in moment of crisis, with their heart and strength, is still going on. The professors who were so sincere in knowing and helping the needs of the students became my role models, and even in leadership, I try to understand and help the needs of my junior colleagues first, and in campus ministry, I try to see them at their level,” he warmly shared.

Jacob shared, “Dr. Kim Joon Gon said that we should be a nation that goes to every corner of the world with the gospel in one hand and love in the other. As CCC strives to expand the gospel, we are also trying to practice love through GAiN. I call it God’s compassion ministry. I hope GAiN will be used as an appropriate and well-served channel for those in need.”

Here is an update on Jacob’s family:

His late wife Young Ran fell into the arms of God in January 2018. His eldest son got married in January 2020 and is serving in his fourth year as a Korean Campus for Christ campus staff in a city called Cheongju. The son’s wife is a florist, mainly working as a flower arrangement instructor, and serving as a singer in Cheongju CCC praise team. Jacob’s second eldest daughter got married in March 2019 and has twin sons named Do Dam and Do Ran. His son-in-law is working from home, juggling work and childcare. His younger daughter is helping her sister raise the twins, working and planning to get married next year.

3 Prayer Requests:

  • I pray that GAiN Korea will be able to set the direction of the ministry, create concrete ministry plans, and meet the practical needs of those in need while sharing love and the gospel.
  • I pray that I will live a life of integrity, diligence, giving best and loving service that I have learned at EAST to the best of my ability until the day I meet God.
  • I pray that my grown children will live healthy family lives – strong in body, mind and spirit, in the Word of God and in prayer.


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