Living Hope Community Church, located in Brea, CA, celebrated its 23rd anniversary on October 16.

What began as a ‘mission church’ established by a Korean immigrant church in 1993 with less than 10 members has grown to become an independent church of over 600 children, youth, and adults.

The service featured a message from guest speaker Yong Moon, the Korean American Director of Compassion International, and a choir performance.

Yong Moon encouraged the members to step out of their comfort zones.

“That holy ‘uncomfortable-ness’ will compel us to do even greater things for the kingdom of God,” Moon said.

In an interview, Pastor Steve Chang, the lead pastor of Living Hope, said that in the beginning stages of the church, he hadn’t imagined that the church would grow to become what it is today. As a mission church started by Good Stewards Church, Chang had imagined that the ministry would always continue alongside its mother church.

“I grew up in the Korean immigrant church, and I love the Korean church. My personal desire was to bring the first and second generations together,” Chang recalled.

But as both churches began to grow rapidly, Living Hope had become its own entity, Chang explained, as he added that he is now simply following how God is leading the church.

For the next chapter of Living Hope’s journey, Chang said he wanted to provide another opportunity for the church to “engage in the Great Commission and the ‘great compassion.’”

“Most of the time, churches and individuals seem to get overwhelmed, and we end up doing nothing, or things sporadically — but in the long run it doesn’t help the cause as much,” he added.

Hence, Chang said, the vision for Living Hope in 2017 is to partner with Compassion International and to identify a town or project in Central America that the church could engage in.

“We can’t save the world, we can’t feed all of the hungry, but through this we will know, ‘I can take care of at least one child in the name of Christ.’”