A Life Transformed

Born in 1982 in South Korea, Rev. JD Kim was raised in a Christian family attending church on Sundays, participating in church activities and events, and learning a thing or two about the Bible. When he was thirteen years old, his family moved to Denver, Colorado, and he became a pastor’s kid, a rebellious pk. While growing up, he had a major identity crisis between American and Korean cultures and experienced spiritual dilemmas between non-Christian and Christian life styles. Long story short, unlike his parents, who had dedicated their lives to God, he committed his life to the worldly life style, walking away from the God of the Scriptures.

When he was 22 years old, on December 13, 2004, it was a sunny, warm day, the best day to snowboard and ski in the great state, Colorado. Yet, it was such an ordinary day, that his friends and he, who went snowboarding at Aspen Ski resort never expected that he would break his spinal-cord, C5 vertebra, and be paralyzed from his shoulders down. This is how a wheelchair became his friend. Doctors explained that he would be paralyzed for the rest of his life. He thought his life was over. As he decided to end his life, he remembered things that he had learned from his Sunday school and he remembered Jesus. He chose him and Jesus embraced him.

After the accident, starting at a community college, he went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in psychology at the University of Colorado Denver, a Master of Arts in pastoral and spiritual care at Iliff School of Theology, and a Master of Divinity, concentration in theology, at Denver Seminary. Having compassion on many of the facets of suffering in the world, he started a PhD program in Divinity in September 2016 at the University of Aberdeen in the UK. He was ordained as a pastor or a teaching elder from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, serving a special needs ministry as a teacher at Cherry Hills Community Church and JD Kim Ministries as a pastor.

God gave him his mission through JD Kim Ministries that focus on these three main areas: the ministry of teaching a theology of suffering and of hope, the ministry of encouragement, and the ministry of supporting disability ministries. Through his amazing grace, God transformed his life. Rev. JD says, “Although I used to live for my selfish desire, ambition, and pleasure, now I live for God, regardless of my condition, pain, and disability. Though I am disabled, God almighty who is more than able is with me; though I am in a wheelchair, the one who rides on the chariots of fire carries me; though the world defines me by my disability, the Father identifies me by what the Son did for me on the cross, through the Spirit. My hope in the sovereign love of God moves me to share his unconditional love and to bear the brokenness. It is all about wheeling with and wheeling after our Maker. I love Jesus!”

Though I am in a wheelchair, the one who rides on the chariots of fire carries me.
— JD Kim