David & Catarina Park
I grew up attending church, but I approached it like everything else in life--something to excel in; something to do better at than others around me. Meanwhile, I wasn't sure if any of it was true (God creating the world in six days, a massive flood and a big boat, people coming back from the dead--really?)
But college changed everything. First, I discovered that there were good answers to all the "clever" questions about Christianity and the intellectual viability of faith. I devoured books by Lee Strobel and CS Lewis and watched countless debates by William Lane Craig in that first semester of college. Second, I met a group of people who were passionate about the Bible and strove to live out their lives according to what it said, a stark contrast to how I lived out my faith. And finally, I recognized that though I had called myself a Christian all my life, I had never submitted to Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and so in January of 2008, I decided to follow Jesus.
Since then, life has been simple (though not necessarily easy). It's been about following Jesus and answering his call to make disciples of all nations. Particularly, my passion has been for college ministry, as I've come to believe that reaching college students for the gospel is not only my personal call but also strategic for the kingdom of God. I look forward to many more years of serving the Lord alongside my wife as we raise our two kids, Emma and Lucas!
By the time I was a senior in high school, I was jaded by church life. Outwardly I was the goody-two-shoes kid, but inwardly I was tired of the self-restraint. After witnessing the drama of church splits over politics and money, I decided that the kind of church I had read about in Acts 2 was a long bygone dream. So I looked forward to college, where I could put my Bible away for good, reinvent my image and be free.
But then my older sister shared with me the reason for the joyful change within her. She cited having found a biblical church and becoming a part of a people of God. I remember rolling my eyes but secretly wishing such a community really did exist.
When I joined my sister at UC Berkeley, I saw for myself that there really could be a group of people living out God’s will together. I wondered what led them to live like this, and I was led back to the Bible I had abandoned. I finally understood the gospel, and every few days I remember feeling like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, saying, “Did not our hearts burn within us…while He opened to us the Scriptures?” In January 2008, I repented of my sin and decided to follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Since then, my passion has been sharing the same amazing gospel with college students just like me. I worked in the Bay Area for six years, mostly in supply planning, until my husband and I entered full-time ministry. We now serve in our college ministry at the University of Chicago. I love getting to know students over a cup of coffee, playing with our two kids and all their church aunties and uncles in my living room, and exploring the beautiful Midwest together.