New Faces in Chaplaincy: May 2020

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Chaplaincy and Care Ministry congratulates John Kyu Hahn on his recent endorsement and welcomes new Senior Administrative Assistant, Carol VanderArk Champion. Learn more about their work and ministry here!

John Kyu Hahn

“Grace is sufficient.” My mother used to say these words often. When she walked the streets of Los Angeles eighteen years ago, picking up bottles and cans as a newly arrived immigrant, trying to make some sort of income until finding a stable job, the grace of God was what strengthened her. When she experienced failure in life and was betrayed by close friends, the grace of God was what comforted her. When her marriage abruptly ended after long years of heartache, the grace of God was what gave her hope. All the while, the grace of God was a complete nonsense to me. 

My adolescence was characterized by instability and a search for “home.” As a pastor’s kid growing up in a foreign country, I wandered quite a bit through those years. At the age of twenty-three, I found God (or He found me) as my “home.” This specific experience inspired me to go into ministry and seminary education. The gift of God’s grace was sweet and transformative.

God’s sovereign grace guided each step of my spiritual formation. Through the gift of seminary training at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI, my experiences of God became encompassed and nurtured by safe boundaries of theological wisdom. Through relationships with thoughtful mentors and friends in ministry, my leadership gifts and sense of call have been confirmed and strengthened. Most of all, through the five years that I have been serving in a Christian Reformed Church in Northern California (Granite Springs Church, Lincoln), my sense of identity has not only become nurtured by Reformed accents but rooted in the Gospel story of the Church of all times and all places. Along the way, I sensed a call to Army Chaplaincy.

I look forward to sharing the grace of God with my neighbors in the Army. In places of chaos and instability, I pray that I would be able to point the Soldiers to God and rejoice with them when they too may say, “Grace is sufficient.”

Carol VanderArk Champion

I would like to introduce myself as a new face in the Office of Chaplaincy and Care, although not at all new to the Christian Reformed Church in North America. I grew up in Grand Rapids and am a CRC member. Over a span of about 15 years, I have served in a variety of positions within the CRCNA, most recently Safe Church Ministry and Finance Services. So I may not be a new face to all of you.

To have this opportunity to serve our chaplains in their incredibly valuable work is an honor and a blessing. I enjoy being a connector, a people person, with identified strengths including positivity, empathy, and hospitality. I believe God desires to use me in these areas for His glory.

As the new Senior Administrative Assistant in Chaplaincy and Care, I will be communicating regularly with the chaplains, walking alongside them as they navigate the endorsement process, coordinating annual trainings, and providing overall support to our director, Rev. Sarah Roelofs. I am eager to connect with all the chaplains serving near and far.

I grew up in a wonderfully crazy family of eight kids, and studied at Grand Rapids Community College and Kuyper College. Currently I am serving a 3-year term on the leadership team (council) at Encounter Church in Kentwood, MI. I am married to Bob, and have a teen-aged daughter, Lidia. I enjoy reading, hanging out with family, cooking/feeding people, and spending time in Northern Michigan whenever possible.

I look forward to connecting with you in this new role with Chaplaincy!

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Good news. Carol, you will be a gift to this office. I know they will love you and you will enjoy this work a lot!

Aunt Jan