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Globe Stories: Jong & Suji in NYC

Date Monday, 3rd April 2023

Preached by Jong and Suji

At Globe, sometimes people arrive, sometimes people stay, and very often people go to serve the church elsewhere when they leave central London. Globe Stories is a series of blogs where people, who previously called Globe their home, reflect on what they learnt and how they carried that elsewhere. This week’s blog is from Jong & Suji Yoo who left London and Globe Church in May 2022 to start a new life in New York City.

The Sunday before we left the UK, our home for almost 30 years, I remember Jonny preached on Matthew 28:19, well, 5 words from Matthew 28:19 to be exact:

“Therefore, Go and make disciples”.

These words were exactly the encouragement we needed to begin our new adventure as ‘lawful aliens’ in a country where the train is called the ‘commuter rail’, a baby dummy a ‘binky’ and don’t even get me started on the ‘football/soccer’ situ…

There was so much we learnt from our time at Globe – from being part of a Focus Group and sharing joy, suffering and meals together every Wednesday. We saw how our leaders Biff and Bethany (AKA Biffany) moved house to be closer to church. These moments helped to shape our vision around the sort of church community we wanted to be part of in New York.

After settling in the Long Island City (LIC) area of Queens, we explored churches in our neighbourhood as we knew we wanted to live close to church. We also wanted to be part of a smaller, gospel-teaching, ethnically diverse church where we could learn the Bible and serve others.

Through God’s providence we found the perfect church for us and have been attending Astoria Community Church (ACC) since August 2022, formally becoming members in January 2023. ACC is a Presbyterian Church that was started over 20 years ago as part of Redeemer’s City to City program.

One of the first things we did upon joining ACC was to sign up to a Community Group (CG). As many of you know and have sampled, Suji (most of the time) has a gift for cooking; and in a city where it’s more common to eat out / order takeaway than cook, we thought that this could be a good way to serve our CG.

Let me take you back to the first week we hosted. We were apprehensive to say the least. Would anyone turn up? Would they like us? Would they understand sarcasm? More importantly, would they like Suji’s cooking? (It wasn’t the crowd pleaser – vegan chilli – risqué to say the least!)

Fast forward 2 terms – our CG has gone from strength to strength, and we are now 12 strong, meeting at our apartment every Wednesday to share faith, prayer and food. We have collectively cried and laughed over highs and lows. The men have developed a strange but wholesome ‘bromance’ where they go on bro dates to watch action movies and drink beer. Whilst the women exchange reviews on the latest health products from California.

But more importantly, we have seen God work faithfully amongst our group, and for us, well, He has given us a family in America. A family which we had prayed for long before moving to NYC, but one which God had already planned well in advance. We have so much to be thankful to Him for.