Local Ministry Spotlight: Korin Okamura

By: Reality SF

In preparation for our Local Ministry Volunteer Training on Saturday, April 8th, we’re sharing the experience of one of our Local Ministry Volunteers, Korin Okamura.

Why did you decide to serve in Local Ministry?
I strongly believe in the transformative power of relationships, and that God’s call to defend the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, and liberate the oppressed is for all of us. I also have a huge heart for people negatively affected by the criminal justice system.

What Local Ministry Partner did you chose to serve with? Tell us about the partner.
After months of searching for long-term, relational volunteer opportunities that worked with my 9-5 schedule, I heard about City Hope. It seemed like the perfect fit. City Hope is an organization with a beautiful vision to see people’s lives transformed by God through meaningful relationships. I chose to participate in the Women’s County Jail Mentorship Program, but they also have a community center in the Tenderloin with safe, sober, social events every week and a Men’s Recovery Mentorship Program.

How did the Local Ministry Volunteer Training shape how you approach ministry?
I think one of my favorite aspects of the training was how it emphasized the importance of entering into each opportunity with an attitude of learning rather than a savior complex. It’s easy to carry an air of pride into service, thinking we have more value to offer than the people we serve do. My relationship with the woman I mentored was mutually transformative, and I learned as much, if not more, from her than she did from me!

What has your experience serving been like? How have you experienced Jesus in it?
My mentorship experience was the highlight of the past two years for me. I left almost every meeting feeling more encouraged, inspired, and in awe of God’s faithfulness than when I entered. Seeing Jesus provide for the woman I mentored far beyond what I could offer her was a humbling and powerful reminder of His ever-present and very active love.

If you would like to learn about our approach to serving in San Francisco and the various opportunities with our Local Ministry Partners, please register for and attend the training on Saturday, April 8th, from 9:30AM – 12PM.