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Do-Hyun Kim and Davrah Williams at 2024 Testify Congress | Caring Magazine
194 Testify: Lt. Do-Hyun Kim and Davrah Williams at 2024 Testify Congress

194 Testify: Lt. Do-Hyun Kim and Davrah Williams at 2024 Testify Congress

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We’re back with more highlights from the 2024 Testify Congress.

This month, in Pasadena, California, The Salvation Army from around the Western Territory joined for an event focused on teaching, training and motivating Salvationists to tell the story of Jesus more often and to more people. 

And the sessions featured, you guessed it, testimonies from programs and ministries of The Salvation Army across the West. 

Today, we’re sharing two:

First, you’ll hear from Lt. Do-Hyun Kim, who was commissioned over the weekend as a Salvation Army officer or pastor. A cadet in training from the Korea Territory, Lt. Kim completed his second year of training at the College for Officer Training at Crestmont in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and will now return to the Korea Territory for his first appointment.

Then, Davrah Williams, who met The Salvation Army through the Lambuth Family Center, a short-term emergency shelter that houses up to 20 families at a time in Denver. While keeping families together, the center helps them break the cycle of poverty and homelessness and begin building a sustainable, self-sufficient life.

So allow me to introduce to you today, Lt. Do-Hyun Kim and Davrah Williams—who each took to the stage live after the screening of their video testimony.

Listen and subscribe to the Do Gooders Podcast now. Below is a transcript of the episode, edited for readability. For more information on the people and ideas in the episode, see the links at the bottom of this post.

* * *

Lt. Do-Hyun Kim: Hello, Salvation Army family. My name is Lieutenant Do-Hyun Kim. Today, I want to tell you a story. 

Once upon a time, there was a young boy who loved the corps more than the playground. One day, he looked at an officer preaching at the pulpit and thought, it’s so cool. And he used to copy the preaching officer. The boy thought the officer was special because only two people in the corps could wear red epaulets. He decided to be an officer of The Salvation Army. 

How do I know that boy’s story so well? Because that boy is me. Yes, The Salvation Army officer was my first dream, but I didn’t know that meaning of being an officer, a full-time minister of God. In fact, I knew I want to be an officer, but I wasn’t sure if it was God’s calling. 

One day, something happened that made me re-examine my calling. I attended youth camp before entering the college. And on the last day, officer called out future officer to the mercy seat.

Naturally, I went to the mercy seat and prayed. But then, I suddenly had a thought. Is this really what God want me to do? At that moment, I lost the courage to commit as an officer. But my faithful Lord, he sought me out, he met me, and he told me, the path you will take will never be in vain. Come with me.

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. It would be hard to take up the cross, but my Lord would always be with me, whenever and wherever. So I had responded to his warm invitation to give my life entirely to him. My time as a cadet in training to become an officer in The Salvation Army was incredibly meaningful. I experienced God’s strength through my weakness and lack of ability. And it was truly life-changing. The spiritual and intellectual preparation for ministry as an officer was my deepest and most fulfilling experience from God so far.

I am so grateful for the amazing opportunity to have trained for a year in the U.S. After a year and a half of training in Korea, God has guided me through the support of people around me and provided me with the opportunity to experience the international Salvation Army. I realized that God has been writing the story of my life and I trust that he will continue to do so. And I will be his best storyteller. 

Today, I’m standing in the moments of my first dream come true, but now my last dream will begin. This is my dream, to be the officer who loves him, obeys him, and trusts in him indeed.

* *

Davrah Williams: It was either we need to go to the shelter right now or we’re going to have to sleep in the car. It was all of our belongings, a dog, me and my sister all in the backseat. It was very cramped. 

So March 13th, 2020, almost everything shut down because of COVID. We went to the Lambuth Salvation Army Center. The room was incredibly small. I felt like I didn’t have any space.

I like fought with my parents a lot. It was just a hard time for our relationship. I was in a very dark place mentally. I was looking for stability and safety. And I just remember crying out to God. I had so many questions and I felt like I didn’t know how to find the answers. We were in the shelter for about three months. I spent my 14th birthday there.

I spent the rest of my eighth grade year in that shelter.

So after that, we had a place to live. It was a feeling of relief. It was the first time I had my own space, my own bedroom, for like seven, eight years. And I think that’s when we started attending the corps regularly, because it’s only like 15 minutes away. I was still angry, but it was like I constantly felt his presence. 

When I started coming here, because everyone was just so nice and friendly, I felt comfortable enough to ask questions and get a response that was honest and true. I felt like I could trust the people here. That was the turning point. I asked more and more questions until I finally just was like, okay, I believe in Jesus, I believe in God. He died for me and I turned to Scripture. I feel like once I fully put my faith and trust within God, my life in a way became so much easier. He has a plan.

I’m getting to know my parents more and more every day, rebuilding a relationship with them that I really didn’t have during my early teen years. And we get along a lot better now. My mom, she’s secretly really funny. I’m about to graduate. I’m going to go to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs for nursing. 

But beforehand, I’m going to go to High Peak Camp to work over the summer. I hope that the girls I get as campers ask questions like I did, and I hope that God gives me the wisdom that I can answer them in a way that helps them understand and leads them to Christ as well. 

I’m incredibly thankful for God and where he placed The Salvation Army, how the Centennial [Colorado] Corps was right here, and how I found salvation.

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