2.08.2011

Law Chapel: Homelessness and Reconciliation

Last week Regent Law welcomed Rev. Dr. Sang-Ching Choi to campus as a guest speaker at Law Chapel. The only ordained, Korean Mennonite pastor in the world and an adjunct professor at the Southern Baptist Seminary, Dr. Choi founded the APPA Ministry Center in Washington, D.C., a service to the homeless community that includes a shelter, church, legal and medical clinics, and after-school programs.

Dr. Choi opened his talk with a powerful video depicting the homeless men, women and children of Washington, D.C., who are served by the APPA Ministry Center.

Dr. Choi, whose surname means “peacemaker,” shared a personal story of how the conflict between his father and uncle - who fought on opposing sides of the Korean War - spawned his interest in issues of peace and reconciliation. When he came to the United States from Korea in the 1990’s to earn a Ph.D. in Conflict Resolution from George Mason University he was struck by the racially motivated violence against Korean Americans he encountered in our nation’s Capitol.

During his time in the U.S., Dr. Choi said God touched his heart, and he responded to God’s call in Isaiah 6 to be sent to the homeless of Washington, D.C. Fifteen years ago, Dr. Choi founded the APPA Ministry Center which grew rapidly, and today is headed by nine of the homeless men and women touched by the ministry. Through their efforts the ministry estimates that several thousand homeless have come to know Christ.

Dr. Choi shared how recently he voluntarily spent 30 days living like a homeless person. During his homeless experience, Choi said he found Jesus to be all He said He was as mediator, negotiator, and reconciler. He referenced Matthew 8:20 and reminded listeners that Jesus Christ himself was homeless, and that through His homelessness we are saved and given entrance to Heaven.

He challenged students not to draw stereotypes about homeless people, stating that the primary reason 3.2 million people in the U.S. are without a place to live is not due to drug or alcohol abuse but to war trauma.

Stressing the need to promote peace and reconciliation, Dr. Choi appealed to Regent Law students to respond to that need. He suggested that the world does not need more lawyers, but that it does need more Christ-centered lawyers who will answer the call to serve as reconcilers and mediators in the legal profession.


 - By Kristy Morris