Growing up in Korea, Chong attended a Presbyterian church.
The church I grew up in was much smaller …. my childhood Sunday School was more like the kids going to a gathering space and mostly singing. On Christmas morning, any and all members would go house to house singing carols. Also, Christmas Day was the ‘big’ church day, versus here at Zion Christmas Eve is the ‘big’ church day. At Christmastime, like Zion, there was a children’s pageant. Easter was also a big celebratory Sunday like at Zion. Our church also had missionaries and Bible study groups.
I have a very deep and personal relationship with God. But, in my younger adult years my older sister and brother-in-law were active in the church, and always prayed for me. Their faith is something that I have carried with me, even today.
Chong met and married an American who was working in Korea, and returned to the United States with him in 1983. Chong started attending Zion around 1988.
I was going through a challenging time in my life, and I remember someone giving me advice to try going to church. Until then, I still didn’t know very much about church, even though I had followed my sister to church growing up. I think God was guiding me during that time, and led me to Zion.
She loves Psalm 119:71 because it directly related to what she was going through in her life.
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
Being at Zion is so comfortable for me. It feels like home. I love that our church has such a variety of talents in our congregation, it keeps our church alive. I hope our congregation continues to grow not only in membership, but in growing a deeper faith. I hope that we continue to be active in living God’s Word.
Chong is involved with the Korean community in the Minneapolis area, and attends a monthly Korean Bible study.
The Korean community always finds each other. I found friends within the Minneapolis area community who were part of a Bible study, and I joined that group. It is held at someone’s house, we take turns hosting.
At Zion, Chong is known for her Korean Egg Rolls. After her daughter was crowned Miss Montrose in the 1990s, Chong, served a Korean dinner at Zion to raise funds and give back to the community in thankfulness to God.
People liked this, and asked if I would keep making more egg rolls. The rest is history!
Chong’s Korean Egg Rolls soon became an important part of each year’s Harvest of Hands Festival, and Chong enjoys the fellowship of gathering with other members to prepare the egg rolls.
We have so much fun. There is so much laughter. Thank you to whomever aides me in my egg roll making! Harvest of Hands is a wonderful opportunity for people to share their God-given talents with our communities, which serves as a way to raise the much-needed money to aid in world hunger. It is a beautiful way to share the love that God has given us to share with the world.
Chong has also served coffee fellowship, been part of the Rebecca women’s circle, and participated in the Duluth All-Ages Mission Trip both with her granddaughter, Trinity, and by herself.
Her daily prayer is from 1 Chronicles 4:10:
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory. Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. And God granted his request.
Chong worked as a hearing aid inspector for Miracle Ear for a little over 25 years before retiring in 2010. She has two daughters, Kathy & Lynda, who grew up at Zion. Kathy and her family now attend a United Church of Christ congregation in Robbinsdale, MN. Lynda, doesn’t have a church home at the moment, but occasionally visits Kathy’s church or comes home to Zion.
Chong likes to exercise at the health club, where she has made many wonderful friends that now get together outside of their exercise classes. She also enjoys going to local musical and theater events. Chong loves to travel, grow flowers and vegetables, play ping pong, bowl, watch other sports, and is learning to play the piano. She goes camping with the family every year, and loves to spend time with grandchildren, Trinity and Grant.
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