What's in Kentucky? Why Kentucky?
These are the most frequent questions I get when I tell people that I moved to Kentucky from California but in order to answer those I’ll have to share some of my story.
I am a Korean-American from Ventura, California (a small coastal beach town) and I went to college in LA. California born and bred, I didn’t know indoor schools were common in most of the country. Palm trees and seagulls are what I grew up with. I spent a lot of my days in shorts, flip flops and at the beach. I love my state. If you ask me what food I want to eat, 9 out of 10 times there will be something Asian in my list. After I graduated from college I worked for two years (1 year in LA and 1 year in Korea) before I considered doing a Discipleship Training School.
I had no idea what I should do next but I’m a planner and I knew I had to do something.
A Change of Events
When I came back from Korea, I had no idea what I should do next but I’m a planner and I knew I had to do something. Thus, I began to craft my future path: do a DTS for 5 months in Switzerland, work at a boarding school in Switzerland for the summer after, then work in Japan for a year or two teaching English, go to grad school, apply to work internationally, and live happily ever after traveling the world. Everything changed when I found out that in order to work in Japan, I had to interview in the US so I couldn’t do a DTS in Switzerland.
I began looking into DTS in Hawaii since Hawaii seemed like a nice place to live, plus, I’m a beach bum. Quickly, I realized that the bases in Hawaii didn’t fit the kind of experience I was looking for. I reached out to someone I trusted to recommend a few locations and he gave me Louisville, Kentucky and another location. Honestly, I would have preferred to go to a more “exciting” place. In that thought, I realized my heart was more interested in a dreamy location than actually growing in my relationship with God. When I recognized that it helped me to be open and Louisville seemed like the best option.
The Final Decision
Once I decided to go to YWAM Louisville, a lot of people began asking me, “Why Kentucky?” “What’s in Kentucky?” “KFC?” Quite frankly, I didn’t have an answer other than my circumstances led me there. I was asking myself those same questions.
I would have preferred to go to a more “exciting” place but with that thought, I realized that my heart was more interested in a dreamy location than actually growing in my relationship with God.
A few months later, in January 2017, I was on a plane. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but in hindsight, I see that God knew.
After DTS, I went on to do another training program and join staff at YWAM Louisville. Both of those weren’t easy decisions. I had to lay down a lot of my preferences and my carefully made plan for my future. Yet, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be and it’s so much better than anything I could have ever come up with for myself.
I’ve been told a few times that where you are is less important than the people you are working with. After many group projects, working with some really good co-workers and some draining ones, some good bosses and bad bosses, I see how true this is. The people and the YWAM Louisville community are for others, they love deeply, they’re full of joy, sacrifice, they correct, challenge, encourage, care for you, fight for you, cry with you, invest in people, and love Jesus. On top of a great team, we have quality training programs. God transformed my life in DTS but I’ve also seen other lives radically changed.
My brother also decided to do a DTS in Louisville at the same time I planned to do the secondary training program. We went on outreach together in Peru. That season was a gift because I got to see God meet my brother and change his life up close. Now, I see how both our experiences are impacting our family in really good ways. I can’t say for sure how things might have been different if I had gone somewhere other than Louisville, but I am so thankful that God led me here.
...can’t say for sure how things might have been different if I had gone somewhere other than Louisville, but I am so thankful that God led me here.
I still love California, year-round shorts, the ocean, and the unlimited options of Korean restaurants but I have grown to love Louisville. From the many events that take place, the farmers markets, the coffee shops, and neat neighborhoods.
So Why Louisville?
To put it simply, God led me here. There are great people at YWAM Louisville who are committed to caring for their students and seeing them grow and I’ve seen God encounter person after person and transform their lives. The fact that Louisville is a fun and unique city is just an added bonus.
The fact that Louisville is a fun and unique city is just an added bonus.
Anyone who meets Audrey can see that she has a peaceful countenance and a sweet soul. Get to know her a little more and you’ll discover the fire in her spirit. She had her life planned out before DTS. After five months committed to growing with God, she found more life than she had ever dreamed was possible. She embodies what it means to find fulfillment and satisfaction in the Lord.
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