The Man Behind the Uniform - Salvation Army Canada

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    The Man Behind the Uniform

    One of the Army's most recognizable symbols is stitched with prayer. July 13, 2015 by David Kang
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    Feature
    I was born in Seoul, South Korea. My parents died as a result of the Korean War when I was young. For a short time I lived on the street. When I was about five or six, I was taken in by a Salvation Army boy's home. A lot of good things happened there—I went to school, played in the band and accepted Jesus. I don't know exactly when, because I heard it all around me. I used to go up a mountain to pray.

    I liked sports and by the time I was 10, I had four martial arts black belts. There were a lot of gangs in those days. I was a good fighter—I stuck up for people and tried to make peace.

    At 18, I left the boy's home and studied design. After my mandatory military service, I worked for the government.

    In 1973, when I was 26, The Salvation Army helped me immigrate to Canada. My fiancée followed me and we got married in Medicine Hat, Alta., two years later. We moved to Toronto and I began working as a tailor, making uniforms for The Salvation Army. The first uniform I made was for General Clarence Wiseman.

    David Kang at his sewing machine "The uniform shows people that we stand for the Army, for people and for God,” Kang says


    In 1976, God called me to start a Korean corps in Canada through a vision. I didn't want to do it—I was scared. God kept calling, but I kept coming up with excuses—I was helping a Korean corps in California, I was building a business, we were starting a family—and the years went by.

    Then one day, as we were having dinner, my wife told me she wanted to leave our corps to go to a Korean church. She didn't speak English very well and didn't feel at home, and she wanted our children to know their roots. It was time to respond to God's call.

    I didn't sleep all night. In the morning, I went to territorial headquarters and met with Commissioner Will Pratt, who was then the territorial commander. We prayed together and he gave his blessing to the work.

    We started with just a few people and met in our home for dinner and a Bible study on Friday evenings. After three months, we moved to my workshop downtown. Lieutenants Paul and Catherine Lee joined us as our first corps officers. Since then, we have moved several times as the corps continued to grow.

    Last year, I retired after 28 years as the corps sergeant-major. Now my vision is to help young people find Christ and serve his church.

    Making Salvation Army uniforms is more than a job, it's a vocation. I could have made more money working somewhere else, but for me it's not about the money, it's about serving God. The uniform is important. It shows people that we stand for the Army, for people and for God. When people see the uniform, they ask what it's for, and we can talk about The Salvation Army, and about Jesus.

    When I make a uniform for somebody, I think about them and pray for them. I make the uniform so they can do good work for God. That's my prayer.

    I'm sad when people don't care about the uniform anymore. They leave it in the closet. If you invite someone over for dinner, you make a nice meal and set the table. Doesn't God deserve the best? We should be proud to wear the uniform.

    These days, I'm very happy. My children and grandchildren are doing well. My mind is at rest. Every day, I ask God: What can I do for you? How can I please you? I work for Jesus. And he has always taken care of me. Whenever I need him, he's there. We were created for a better life—to be with Jesus. He redeemed me. How can you not believe it? Jesus is awesome.

     

    Comment

    On Friday, June 9, 2017, Richard Boryer said:

    Wonderful testament. Our uniform is our testament on the street.

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