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God’s Unexpected Plans

Chris Baik and his girlfriend photo

“I was really bitter. I thought that the seven years that I spent in the US were a complete waste,” says GIS alumni Chris Baik (Class of 2010). Despite being able to graduate with a B.S. in Kinesiology and M.A. in International Studies with plans to stay in the US long-term, door after door were shut in his face and Chris was suddenly forced to sell everything and pack up his seven years of life in the US within three weeks to go back to Korea. Even in Korea, Chris felt history repeat itself. Now married and looking into securing a stable job, he had plans to enter the international corporate world but doors once again closed due to Covid-19. Chris was understandably full of questions about God’s plans for his life. But God has a plan for everyone and his plans are always good even if they might be unexpected.

During this time, Chris’ parents, who have done ministry work in Southeast Asia for over twenty years, invited him and his wife to help with their work. With his background as a TCK, a Master’s in International Studies, and recent English teaching experience as he tried to figure out his life in Korea, Chris felt that God was calling him to take up the position of Vice Director at the international school that his parents founded. “At first, I didn’t think this was for me. My wife was actually the one who encouraged me to give it another thought. But now I’m asking God to do even more and more in the country we are in,” Chris says with a smile. The school currently has sixty staff members and around two hundred students from kindergarten to 9th grade. Chris’ plan is to expand the school to cover all of high school as well as offer other educational services. He is looking to really develop the school, which operates on Christian values, into a business to support the kingdom workers and the people in Southeast Asia. 

“Looking back, my experience at GIS is part of what prepared me to follow my parents’ footsteps,” Chris says. “I had teachers, mentors, and dorm parents who took time to invest in me. They taught me the Bible and how to be responsible for my words and actions. The people in the GIS community are great examples of what my life should look like. I graduated from GIS with not just the academic knowledge to help me succeed in college but also with the foundations that I needed to grow into a mature Christian.” 

It is in alumni like Chris that we see the vision of Grace International School shining through—that every student will know who they are in Christ, that they will experience a quality education in an inspiring learning environment, and that they will be equipped with a Biblical worldview to impact the world for Christ.