A Korean Youth’s Singapore Dream5 min read
Synopsis: Meet Kim Byoung Seob. He was born in Korea and migrated to Singapore when he was eight. Byoung Seob always dreamt of becoming a Korean actor one day, until things took an interesting turn. Find out how his journey unfolded.
Kim Byoung Seob :
Hi everyone, my name is Kim Byoung Seob.
I grew up in Korea and came to Singapore when I was 8. Singapore or Korea, it’s all the same. Doing well in school is a huge thing. So I always felt pressured to be at the top. I studied hard, I had tuition for almost every subject…. But I wasn’t smart enough, so I tried to be popular. I joined the coolest group in school. After lessons, we went drinking. I didn’t even like alcohol but to fit in, I drank anyway.
We also bullied people. Once, I pushed a classmate down the stairs. He fell more than 10 steps and twisted his ankle. I felt so bad, but because of my pride, I didn’t even apologise. I thought I looked powerful but actually, I felt horrible. I also wanted to be good at something.
Obviously, I’m no K-pop star. But I really dreamt to be a Korean actor! So, I joined the Drama club in school. I worked super hard and never missed a single training. Eventually, I became the vice-president of Drama…Once, I played the main role for a major drama performance. People told me I could really become a Korean actor! It felt like I finally made it. But the next day, all the joy was gone. It felt like everything I worked for was over, just like that. I felt so empty on the inside.
As I felt so lost and frustrated, I vented it on my mum. Once she asked me something and for no reason, I became so angry. We started arguing and I even punched the wall till my knuckles bled. My mum was crying and we didn’t talk for 4 months straight. I knew I was wrong, but I didn’t know how to change. Sometimes I wondered, “Everything seems meaningless. Why was I even born?”
Then when I was 15, a friend brought me to Heart of God church. When I came – I saw everyone lifting their hands to worship. Standing there, I felt a peace in my heart. I didn’t know why, but I was so moved I started to tear. I wanted a relationship with God! So in that service, I gave my life to Jesus. I wanted to know God more, so I came back to church. Each time, I felt God’s love filling my heart. All my fears of not making it in life left. I knew didn’t need to do anything to earn God’s love. I also had Bible Study lessons with my leaders. Through those lessons, I also learnt to listen to God. God told me that He has a plan and future for me. As long as I followed Him and stayed in His house, I would be on the right path.
Also, I found true friends in church! We would always talk about life, our encounters with God and our dreams. I felt I could truly be myself with them. Soon I stopped trying to fit in with my friends in school. I wanted to be a person of Godly character.
I also realised that I wasn’t the best son. I didn’t treat my parents right, especially my mum. So I texted my mum one day “Hope you will enjoy work today. I love you. (in Korean)” I was quite nervous and embarrassed. But thank God she replied, “Thank you, I love you too. (in Korean)” Now we eat together and joke all the time…Both my parents have even visited church a few times!
I’m also amazed that God gives us visions and dreams. As a new Christian, God showed me a vision. It was an image of myself playing the drums on stage with the worship team. As I played, I could see the entire church jumping and praising God with all their hearts. At first, I thought, “Wow, I’m so imaginative.” But God told me that I could be a drummer for Him. So I decided to pick up the drums in church, practised almost every single day…
And at 17, I made my debut as a drummer on the worship team! The first day I played in service, it felt so surreal. What I saw was exactly the same as the vision God had given me. In that very service, people were coming to know Jesus… they were going to Heaven. Nothing could compare to the joy of serving God.
Over the years, I grew as a drummer. Once, Pastor Lia also prayed for me. She told me that as I played, I would have both the skillfulness of hands and the sensitivity to the spirit. I was so encouraged. Pastors also included me for 2 overseas Christian conferences in Hong Kong and Penang where they preached. There, I played the drums. I couldn’t believe that I was changing the world for God with my Pastors and my friends in church!
Today, I’m a connect group leader of 35 people in church. I guide people in their walk with God and lead them closer to Him. I’m also training the youth drummers in the worship team. My dream is no longer to be a Korean actor. Instead, my dream is to be a full-time staff in church and to lead a zone one day. Truly, a life with God is the best and the most fulfilling!