When the Rev. Kyunglim Shin Lee was ordained in 1988, it angered her in-laws for contravening long-held Korean cultural values subordinating women’s roles in society. Even her husband, a pastor, told her he understood intellectually “but his heart couldn’t accept it.”
Those reactions broke Lee’s heart — and steeled her resolve. Today she is vice president for international relations at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington; has traveled to 60 countries as the seminary’s ambassador; and once served as interim lead pastor at a Korean American church for 11 months. Along the journey, she visualized herself as a speeding train.
“People would either have to get in for the ride, or step out of the way,” she said. “Once I became convinced that God can use me, no one or nothing could stop me.”