• 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | Jane H. Kim

    “Christianity is NOT a religion of escapism, but a religion of responsibility.”
    Pastor Bryan Kim

    Going through Orthopraxis changed the way I value my walk with God. For so many years, I called myself a Christian, but it really wasn’t until I finished Orthopraxis that I truly understood what it looked like to walk with Him and what it meant to submit to Him. I always thought that I lived a “good Christian life” but at the same time, I knew that something was missing. I was always frustrated with my spiritual life because I never found myself where I wanted to be with God.

    A few weeks into Orthopraxis, I learned that it was because I didn’t allow God’s authority to reign in my life. Being so close to my family, it felt so natural to obey my parents but I realized that I forgot to leave room for God’s authority. Coming to this realization was hard but it marks the beginning of my journey in becoming an adult and a more mature child of God.

    One of the things I loved most about Orthopraxis was the raw material that the Ekko leaders used to stretch our minds and open our hearts to invite our Father to do life with us. For the first time in a long I time, I felt the courage to walk beside Him. I wouldn’t say that Orthopraxis gave me all the answers to walking with Christ, but rather it provided me with a spiritual guideline. It’s now my responsibility to use this guideline to live like Christ.

    Through Orthopraxis,
    I was reminded of how powerful He is.

    I was reminded of His heart for His creations.
    I was reminded of the responsibilities I have been given as a child of God and that I am to use the gifts that He gave me to help carry the burdens of the Church.

    I continue to pray for courage and strength for this journey that lies ahead. He is so good and God Almighty! I pray to always remember that.

    Jane works as a merchandise coordinator for a denim apparel company. She enjoys DIY projects, the great outdoors, especially through camping, and spending quality time with family and friends. She is a member of Hacienda Heights Ekklesia.

  • 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | Sung Kim

    Orthopraxis as a whole was great on many levels—the retreat, the lectures, our small group times and the readings. The most impactful and important weeks for me was the retreat when we learned about metanarrative, and the week on scripts. It was helpful to begin with the larger picture of God’s story and slowly zoom in to how our own stories fold into His. The week on scripts/mantras was liberating and it unraveled a lot of things I always knew about myself but never intentionally worked on. It was profound because it made me think about my family, my culture, and how all my experiences shaped the person I was. It was a turning point for our group because we started to share our struggles and become a little more transparent. I think we began to learn how we could love one another in the areas each person needed it the most.

    Besides the rich material, the one thing that impacted me the most was the community of brothers in my group. I didn’t realize the degree of my independent nature before Orthopraxis. I realized that I liked my independence and had a hard time asking others for help. My childhood, adolescence, and previous ministry created circumstances where I had to be independent. I think this created in me a sense that I always had to do things alone. I knew it in my head I could not do things alone, but having these brothers week after week in my life made me realize that pride had swelled up in me. I could no longer go the path of a lone-ranger. This would lead me to my own death.

    What I needed the most was for God’s people to speak into my life… God’s people to call out the things that needed to be put to death, but also for God’s people to resurrect the visions and dreams that had laid dormant… visions and dreams that I had voluntarily put on hold for the various reasons of discouragement, lack of faith, and burnout. As I approached the end of Orthopraxis, I found myself ready to dream again. This time, with God’s people.

    Sung does event/project management and database reporting/management for a nonprofit in West Los Angeles. He enjoys brewing good cups of coffee, reading good books, playing basketball, and long walks on the beach. He is a member of Los Angeles Ekklesia.


  • 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | Mindy Lee

    What started out as my search for a home church, with Orthopraxis ended up being something far greater. It led me to the discovery and realization that we have so much more to learn about who God is and what He desires and what our roles, as His followers, really entails. I think all of us know the dangers, as well as easiness, of falling into the routineness of Christian life. However, what I have come to recognize in the past couple weeks while going through Orthopraxis is how much we have been neglecting the beautiful things God’s given and is giving to us because of our numbness.

    With Orthopraxis, I learned that even the “basics” of Christianity was something I did not actually fully know or understand. Something so fundamental, like where I am to end up after death by following Him, or the depth of what my relationship with Him really means, has been misconstrued in the years by man’s interpretations of what we believe are His desires. Because of this, it has become that much easier for us to not truly live up to the people God meant and desired for us to be.

    I was once again reaffirmed in my belief that living in this world as a Christian really is probably the most difficult way to live; however, I was also taught that God’s love, desire, and mercy towards us is so much grander than we can ever begin to comprehend and that is more than enough to try to live for Him. Greater than all my hurts, my insecurities, my thoughts, my desires, my pains, is His unconditional love and never-ending hope for me to return to Him no matter how many times I may screw up or run away.

    Above even all these realizations and healings through the readings and the lectures, I can honestly say that the greatest gift God gave to me through Orthopraxis was actually my Orthopraxis group. The community God provided me just through my Orthopraxis girls alone has honestly been the greatest blessing throughout this whole experience, as God used them to break down my heart that had hardened in the past few years.

    Though I entered Orthopraxis with the desire to find community, I realize now that I had built up a wall around my heart, so high that even I found it difficult to penetrate through myself. What I didn’t know is that God had different plans for me. With every week that passed, God wore down this wall, brick my brick, and somewhere along the line, the wall was torn down. I’m so thankful to have had these girls placed in my life and even with the fear that this may not entirely happen, I can and want to say that our journey is not over, even with Orthopraxis coming to an end, and these girls have and will be playing a great role in my life and future.

    Mindy works as a director of C2 Education, which provides academic and college counseling with supplemental education to students K-12. She enjoys singing, crafting, Netflixing (yes, that's a verb), and searching for adventure. She is a member of Fullerton Ekklesia.


  • 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | David Kim

    Somehow, I missed the fine print with regards to Orthopraxis: "The Art of Discipleship." Art is funny in the sense that the final outcome of any artistic endeavor is what a viewer gets to see and hopefully, admires. But for the artist, the process in his or her mind never truly ends.

    All that to say, even though Ortho is over—it really isn't over. I have friends now—Tony, John, and Pastor TJ—who have shown love and care through their words and actions and who I can count on going forward in my journey with God. I don't want to stop learning and growing and these brothers are going to help, mold, and challenge me through the discipleship process.

    Orthopraxis gently—and sometimes not so gently—reminded me that discipleship is a lifelong thing. It made me revisit my past and really examine even my current state through one particularly difficult-to-swallow lens: the adult lens. That's right. I admit that somehow through my years as a Christian, that I never really grew up. I spoke like an adult, looked like an adult, and mimicked adult behavior but in many ways, I never became one. Looking backand with the help of PB's supernatural insight—I still, in a hard to reach spot in my heart, believed the lie that I was undeserving. In essence, I stayed a child and as a result, my relationships with family and friends (and even my pastors) were off.

    I'm thankful for Orthopraxis.
    I've learned I'm not a finished work.
    God continues to work on me through His people and His word.
    Because He loves me and sees that much value in me.

    I forgot to mention that a true artist, deep down inside, loves his work even when others don’t.

    “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good."
    -Genesis 1:31

    David currently works as a tutor, and his vocational credo is to "maximize others to realize their potential." He is married to the amazing love of his life, Rebecca, and has two beautiful children, Judah and Kate. He enjoys basketball and making viral family v-logs. He is a member of Brea Ekklesia.

  • 2015 Orthopraxis Testimony | Grace Johnstone

    God's grace meets you where you are at, but does not leave you the same. That is what God did in me through Ortho. Where I was when Orthopraxis found me was wounded from hurtful relationships that left me with a need for approval, struggling to feel known in relationships, confusion of relational boundaries and lack of understanding of calling/purpose. But, I was eager to grow more deeply in knowing the heart of God.

    What happened during Orthopraxis is that God revealed to me that I must live in submission to him, through the life rhythm of: posture my heart to hear, listen, submit, go now: REPEAT. I have questioned for years why my voice seemed to have no power, no influence, no weight. I never consistently submitted my will to God. How could my voice have power without submission to THE power of the Holy Spirit? I would be interested for a season and posture heart to hear, listen and then go do things in my timing my way. I would not want to offend people and I thought I could accomplish God’s purposes by my work ethic alone. My philosophy was: if you work hard enough what you want will happen. The submission piece was missing. I have begun to listen and act out of submission, which scares me to death, although the peace that comes after each act of submitted obedience reminds me that my God is good. As I seek his heart all things are working together for my good and the good of those whom I am in relationship with.

    Where I am going from here is uncharted waters. My sight was foggy for years when I chose to chase ambition, work and the next accomplishment. God has downloaded new vision to me. I am excited and expectant of where God is taking me, out of the old into the new. The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

    Grace currently works at the Biola Youth Institute as the Communications Coordinator. She is a self-described CrossFit addict, avid reader/podcaster, and practices guitar recreationally. She is a part of Buena Park Ekklesia.
  • Faces of Ekko | Joanne Moon

    Most of us are familiar with Joanne Moon—we have often been the recipient of her generous hospitality, her willingness to lend a patient ear to our worries, her commitment to our tribe, and the unique gifts that she utilizes so compassionately for the Kingdom of God. Many lives have been impacted by her quiet life. Ekko has recently had the privilege of investing back into Joanne's life and call. A great Spiritual Director program was discovered by the help of Pastor Janette and Joanne was invited to consider further study in this specific skill set in ministry. With the church in mind, even with a full load at home, Joanne accepted the invitation. We look forward to seeing what God will do through this process. Let's continue to pray for all those undergoing constant formation for the sake of the others.

    Below are Joanne's responses to questions we asked about her studies:

    What is Spiritual Direction?

    Spiritual Direction has been a part of the Church since the first century. While it has undergone a series of shifts in its focus over time, it has been an essential component of Christian growth and nurturing. Spiritual Direction is a series of conversations where the director will come alongside the directee to help listen for the words and work of God in the directee’s life.

    Spiritual Direction is different than counseling, first and foremost, in that counseling is usually concerned with the relationship dynamics in one’s life—all relationships, but especially the primary relationships with family are explored in this context. Spiritual Direction, which also focuses on relational dynamics, is concerned specifically with relationship with God—how one is in relationship with God, how one communicates (both sends and receives) with God, what God’s call or purpose is for one’s life, etc. Spiritual Direction is not a discipline that is oriented towards solving problems, but about growing in our inner life with God.

    Why do you want to become a spiritual director?

    There’s a hidden dimension in every human’s life—one that is not visible or fully graspable even by ourselves. The demands and rhythms of our current culture can often dismiss and demean the important work of nurturing our interior life with God.

    For a long time I have had this great burden for people to have a space just for them, where they can gain clarity about God, self and life. This growing desire found a home in the long tradition and practice of spiritual direction where I have been witnessing firsthand and am learning that directors offer a sacred and safe space for directees to explore and articulate their deep places and encounter God who loves them and is with them there. It is a powerful ministry of presence that is truly transforming me from deep within—and when you are experiencing the living God, it is hard to keep it just for yourself.

    To read more on Spiritual Direction, click here.

    Joanne is our Story Advance facilitator, where she guides groups of people from our tribe through deep inner healing and restoration through the presence of God. She is married to TJ, Ekko’s Intern Pastor, and together they host Ekklesia in Cerritos. She is the mother of two beautiful and energetic boys, Jio and Max.

  • 2014 Orthopraxis Testimony | Rebecca Suh

    During the first week of Orthopraxis, I was prayed for by a member of the pastoral staff and given a word: God has seen your endurance and is proud that you persevere. Fantastic, I thought. God is telling me that He has seen me – He knows all that I have endured in the past and I must be on my way to hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

    In the next few weeks that came, my life started unraveling around me. What I knew about my personal relationships, family, career and future all shifted one by one. Orthopraxis, in this season, has been a time for me to let go of control and the things in my life that I knew to be such a solid part of my identity. I stepped into Orthopraxis this year not really having any personal expectations or knowing what would come from it all, and my world literally turned upside down. There’s not a single thing this season I let go of willingly and God had to take them to create the empty space that is here now.

    I am now in this ironically safe but dangerous place. A leader at Ekko once said to me that, “The irony is that the center of God's will is the most dangerous place to be because it's a place where we must continually die to ourselves and live for Him and others. But as we relinquish control, we stop spinning out of control.”

    I am still spinning. It’s slower now, but I’m still there. I hope to eventually reach a place of stillness and to revisit now what it is God told me at the beginning of my journey: to endure and persevere.

    Rebecca works as an attorney in Newport Beach. She enjoys yoga, reading books, listening to NPR, and spending time with her loved ones. She attends Fullerton Ekklesia.

  • 2014 Orthopraxis Testimony | Esther Han

    I honestly didn’t know what to expect going through Orthopraxis for the second time. It was a hesitant, unsure decision, but something in me urged me to do it and so I decided to do it with faith. I realized when I first took Orthopraxis 4 years ago, my heart was guarded and unwilling to change. Part of it was a self-defense mechanism, while another was just a spirit of unrepentance and fear. I wasn’t allowing myself to take a close look at what was really going on deep inside. What happened throughout the course of these few months wasn’t some significant change or transformation that took place, but rather a change of heart in the way I viewed God, others, and myself.

    There were moments where Orthopraxis seemed repetitive and monotonous to me because I knew I had once “digested” the material before. But everything I read, whether for the first or second time, made me realize how I wasn’t the same person that I was even a year ago. I was re-learning and re-applying everything I’ve always known in my mind, but never put into practice with my heart. It started off with remembering what God had done for me and why He had to die for a sinner like me. Only then was His grace able to be much sweeter and personable to me. How could He love someone like me? What did I do to deserve His love? And why was I continuing to live a life that didn’t reflect that revelation? It was so easy for me to forget. All those moments where I felt like God was so distant in my life, He was there – but I always mistook His silence for absence. I wanted to live a life that remembered what He did on that Cross and reflected the power of His love, truth, and healing. Re-experiencing the beauty of that truth was so simple, yet so profound. It was a reminder that I was bought at such a high cost and that how I lived my life actually mattered. Simply put, it was a realization that my life was not my own to live.

    That is when it hit me that discipleship really wasn’t about the 5-something months of intensive reading and teaching. It wasn’t some prerequisite of becoming this “radically transformed” Christian. It was a change in my attitude, posture, and lifestyle. It was reminding myself daily of what He had done on that Cross and remembering the beauty of the covenant relationship He had established with us.

    So really, the journey is just getting started. These past few weeks were merely a starting point in discovering and co-writing this unfinished narrative God has for me. Thus, Orthopraxis is an ongoing, lifelong process of learning and practicing the art of becoming more Christ-like through both the mundane and extravagant, everyday moments of our lives. It is being given a chance to express what the Cross means to us through how we live our lives and allowing it to affect and penetrate our relationships with Him and others. It is Him allowing us to have a say in how we want our stories to be written, and as a good Father, He wants us to do it well. How amazing is that? 

    Esther works at a law firm in Orange County and is currently preparing for grad school and her future as a high school English teacher. She enjoys laughing at people who make jokes (instead of the actual jokes), buying books that she plans on reading but never finishes, and having fun as one half of the dynamic duo "Polyester" with her boyfriend Paul (get it?). She currently leads Orvine Ekklesia.

  • 2014 Orthopraxis Testimony | Christina An

    Before attending Ekko, my faith was not a priority in my life. Growing up, I always belonged to big congregations and was never plugged in so I never had a church that quite felt like home. As a young adult, attending a Sunday service once a month was fulfilling enough to where I felt I had done my “Christian deed” and left with my spiritual fix.

    However, joining Orthopraxis was a game changer. Orthopraxis taught me ground up what it means to live a Christian life and for the first time, forced me to make a commitment to the Lord. Orthopraxis provided spiritual structure, personal discipline, and a breakdown of God’s expectations of me-things all very new to me. During a season of aimlessness, destructible behavior, and consistent bad habits, God made his voice heard in my life and for the first time I was receptive and it’s been a beautiful relationship ever since.

    I didn’t change overnight, I didn’t receive vivid prophecies, or experience spiritual anomalies. Most times I wonder if he even hears me. However, establishing a relationship with God and getting to know my Creator was the first step in finding myself. In a world full of looming temptations, Orthopraxis helped enlighten me on how to repent should you fall and how God’s unconditional love will guide you. Above all, Orthopraxis has taught me we are all sinners. Sinners who are working our hardest to serve God’s kingdom and become more like him. I struggle with my faith, I have waves of doubt, and sometimes I don’t like the answers I’m given, but believing God has a plan for me is the faith I thrive off to do my share. Putting God first has helped bring such peace and I’m excited for the future story, future life God and I will create together.

    Christina works in fashion PR and ultimately would like to become a creative director of a lifestyle brand. Her hobbies include collecting and framing art, amateur astronomy, and practicing acupuncture on whoever will let her (she promises to start with the small needles). She attends Torrance #2 Ekklesia.

  • 2014 Orthopraxis Testimony | Kevin Pak

    I did some “Christian” things. Some may even say extreme Christian things. I moved into a church and cut myself off from everything of this world for two years, no internet, no nothing, to study the Bible. For six months I was in solitude, in the mountains, in a small prayer hut, no human interaction, just praying. Yet, here I was on the verge of denying my faith, to try and run away from the confusion, insecurity, and depression that I found myself in.

    More confusing still, I found myself signed up for “Orthopraxis” at this church I just began to check out. But in Ortho, as the weeks went by, the story I told began to change. Not that I started to twist or fabricate events, but the way I told the story was slowly changing. My attitude and perspective slowly transformed from deep regret to thanksgiving. I began to see and understand why God has taken me through the things that I have gone through. It was to humble this prideful heart of mine; it was to break this thick head of mine. It was God deconstructing my life so that I can open up to Christ. It was so that I would finally open up to those around me. And the most unexpected and amazing things began to take place. Relationships in my family began to heal. Relationships with the church began to form. Light was shedding into my little corner of darkness.

    By no means do I have my life set, nor am I certain of the paths I will take. I also know there will be more times of trials and tribulation. But I know I can walk on without the regrets of the past, the worries of the present, and the uncertainty of the future.

    Kevin works as a math and science teacher for C2 Education and is dreaming about his future with God. He enjoys gardening, math and science, and tofu stew (which he expects to see in the banquet hall with Jesus at the end of time). He currently attends Irvine Ekklesia.