Surgery For Luke Kim
Organized by: Andrew Craig
I met Luke Kim when I was living on the Chinese border with North Korea working with humanitarian aid workers and missionaries. He worked in the IT department of the North Korean aid organization where I was volunteering.
Luke is physically disabled and lives with severe physical pain everyday, but through his sufferings he has developed an inner strength and communion with Jesus Christ that is so inspiring, as you will see from his poetry and testimony below.
It is Luke’s dream to become a pastor and evangelist to other disabled people in China, sharing with them the message of God’s love and their own dignity as children of God.
Toward the end of my time in China, Luke shared with me that he had recently met with a doctor who informed him that if he does not get neurosurgery on his neck soon he has a high risk of becoming paralyzed for life. Coming from a very poor area in China, Luke did not even have enough money to pay for MRIs.
Since then, through people’s kindness, prayers, and donations, $6,000 has been raised to help cover the surgery costs and Luke has been able to meet with doctors in South Korea. He hopes to have the surgery by the end of October, but still needs at least $4,000 to make it possible.
Please read Luke’s inspirational story below, keep him in your prayers, and consider donating here.
God Bless You!
By: Luke Kim (Hyun Chul Kim)
“My happiness is not that I have good health
my happiness is not that I have a lot of money
my happiness is not that I am without pain
my happiness is not that I am without hurt
my happiness is not that I have a good family
my happiness comes from God and He is in my heart.”
I was born in Yanbian, China on August 24th, 1983. I have a twin brother who is totally normal. When I was three months old, my concerned grandmother took me to a traditional, unlicensed acupuncturist because of a discoloration under my tongue. Almost immediately after she used her needles inside of my mouth, I developed a terrible infection. My jaw and neck became twisted and stiff and have remained this way to this day. I cannot stand straight; my hip and legs are affected, along with my right arm and hand. My mind works perfectly, but my speech is difficult for others to understand.
I started walking when I was five years old, and I could not talk clearly. I grew up this way - being a disabled person. Because of me, my family suffered greatly… going to the doctors often and I had to be cared for by my mother at home.
I started having severe pain 10 years ago. Pain in the right side of the body; numbness and pain. My leg has no strength and the leg is turned inward. My chest is stiff and the left side of the body is painfully cold. I sit in hot water, but it does not make a difference. I never thought to go to a hospital and finally just accepted my situation as a disabled person.
My family life was miserable. My father was unfaithful to my mother many times, (I cannot even count the times). He would come home and beat her. When I was 14 years old, she met someone else and finally left him.
I went to a regular school and graduated from middle school with honors in mathematics. I wanted to graduate from high school but I was bullied by the other students because of my disability. Also, my mother didn’t have the money to send me.
So, I sought out a Disabled School located in Hunchun City, China. I needed a job so that I could support myself and I love to learn. With that in mind, I enrolled in this ‘special education’ school where I learned how to bake. I learned a lot not just from my education, but through all the teachers at my alternative school. It shocked me that all these people would give up their comfortable lives to help a total stranger. It was here that I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior through the efforts of Christians in that city. I studied for 3 months and worked in the bakery for school credit, where I learned to make bread. Now, I had a means for a job.
I learned of the Tumen River Vocational School through my new friends and decided to transfer. Here, I was finally able to graduate from high school as well as achieve level 3 proficiency in English and proficiency in computer. Also, I received a deeper meaning of the Bible and God’s love for me. I took a mini (1 month) discipleship training course in Southeast China, after which I took a six month discipleship training course on Jeju Island in South Korea in 2013.
Operation Needed: Recently, I had a lot of pain in my left hip, so I finally went to see a doctor in China. The doctor took an MRI of my neck because I have many problems with the disks in my back. The disks are pressing on the nerves in my back causing incessant pain and a cold feeling on the left side of my body. The doctor told me that I also need an MRI of my hip and back, but I did not have the money to do so.
According to the doctor, if I do not have surgery soon, I may end up completely paralyzed. The doctor said I should have the surgery in South Korea because the doctors and medical care are much more reliable than here. “YOU MUST HAVE AN OPERATION,” the doctor told me sternly. He was shocked that I had lived in such pain for ten years and hadn’t come to see a doctor. But now there is a serious risk that I will become completely paralyzed without an operation.
I don’t really want surgery, but I am getting worse every day. I have no strength to walk. But, one thing I have, is “HOPE”.
I hope that this surgery will help me to walk better without pain. I am already praying for the surgery, the doctor, and recovery. And, after I am healed: I want to glorify God with my body and in HIS WAY. My dream is to become a pastor and evangelist, especially for disabled people, like myself.
God has given me a great hope in my calling. I feel called to let other people with disabilities know that their disability was not God’s mistake, but his plan. It is my hope to let them know that they are not a burden but a gift to their families, society, and country. I hope that God will be their strength.
What I pray is that God will open my path for me to minister. I believe that he will lead me on this path. I am saying that despite my difficulty with speech, I am dreaming to become a minister.
We praise God who strengthens the week, enriches the poor, and provides sight to the blind!
Praise & Love Jesus Christ.
Luke Kim (Hyun Chul Kim)