Dear friends, my name is Eric Merchie, my Korean name is Kim Myung-Soo. I’m missionary in Romania for Youth For Christ Romania since 1992
I was born in Soul, South Korea in 1966. I grew up in Belgium from 1971 to 1992. In 1971, a wonderful Belgian family adopted me. I grew up in city of Liege. In French speaking part of Belgium. My father name is Raymond, my mother is Fernande, my sister is Pascale and my brothers are Maurice and Michel. I’m the youngest. My new family gave me and still give me so much Love. But only my mother is going to Catholic Church. My father went also when he was young. With my mother, I went to the Catholic Church when I was between 10 and 16 years old. It was my first step in knowing God.
In school and high School, God gave me the opportunity to meet Eric Zander, he became my best friend He shared me the gospel for 6 years. He had a lot of perseverance. Even if I didn’t go in his church, he still was my best friend. His attitude was really a big testimony for me. After hundred invitations to go to Eric’s Church, I accepted when I was 19 years old for the Christmas party in Evangelical Protestant Church from Ans-Alleur City. I really liked the way that youth welcomed me and let me fell so comfortable. Week after week I went back to Eric’s youth group.
One year after, at 20 year old, I decided to accept Christ as personal savoir in my life. In 1985, I was baptized. After that, for 7 years, I was on the youth leadership team, with Eric Zander and Philippe Salsac. I went to University of Liege, for a master’s degree in Physical Education. In February 1992, a good friend Mark Montgomery, took me with him for a mission trip to Romania for 2 weeks. In 1993, I moved in Romania for starting Youth For Christ Romania. In 1994-1995, I went to European Bible Institute in Paris, to learn more about Mission. After I went back to Romania and became National Director of Youth For Christ Romania.
My life started in Korea, without anything. I was alone, I had nothing. No parents, no love from a mother or father, no brother nor sister to play with. I praise God every day in my life since I had no future at all and He has given me an eternal future. I had no family and God has given me two families: a wonderful Belgian adopted family, a sister and two brothers, and another Christian family with brothers and sisters in Christ as numerous as sand grains on the seashore. From my adopted family I have received much love and affection and a very good education. Even though they are not Christians, my parents are in my eyes exemplary parents. In my Christian family I have brothers and sisters who have encouraged me to know and love God, my Eternal Father, and to serve Him as a missionary.
Since Belgium is a merely catholic country, my education has been impregnated in this Catholic environment. Until I was 16 I regularly visited the Catholic Church with my mum. I learnt that God exists and I used to pray the Ave Maria and Our Father daily. I was firmly convinced that God was a good God. But that was it. The Catholic Church does not really encourage people to read the bible and hence it was very difficult for me get to know God better in person.
But in God grace, He brought me into contact with a 12 year old Christian boy at school, who gradually became my best friend. Over 6 years he persevered in sharing the gospel with me, praying for me and in inviting me to the church where his father was a pastor.
I declined the invitations since my free time and holidays were fully consecrated to basket ball. I was a very introverted boy and faced big difficulties expressing myself verbally. This sport was for me a way to express myself.
In the last year of secondary school, I agreed, for the first time, to attend my friend’s youth group. It was around Christmas time in 1983. I really loved the atmosphere. The youngsters welcomed me and gave me much attention. God gave me the courage to go back to this evangelical church week after week. One year later, when I was 19, I made a public testimony and was baptized, to show that I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and as master of my life. My parents never opposed my decision to become a Christian and to become a member of a protestant-evangelical church. They were rather happy with my decision.
Accepting Jesus Christ in my life was as if after years and years I had finally got to know God personally. During my youth I knew that God existed and that He was behind the door of my heart. The catholic church taught me that God was somewhere behind that door, that we could talk to Him but that He did not answer us. By accepting Jesus, I opened that door and established a relationship with Him. I learnt that God does answer our prayers, and responds to our questions and worries. The communication works in both directions. I learnt that God is not a distant God who only cares about us humans when He finds the time. I know that He loves me, that He loves us so much that He sent Jesus, his only Son, to die on a cross for our sins after He instructed us to reconcile ourselves with God and to live eternally with Him.
A missionary came to our church, two years after my conversion, to talk about his life as a missionary in Nepal. I was very touched by his testimony. And little by little God planted in me the desire to become a missionary as well. Looking back at my life, I noticed how good God had been to me. From the orphanage without a future, God found me a wonderful family thousands of kilometers away where I found love and a good education. And he helped me to find and know him through my Christian school friend.
I have decided to serve God full-time. It’s as if I give back to Him the life He has given me. And with all my heart I want to serve Him until the end of my days here on earth. This verse in Acts 20:24 expresses well the purpose of my life.
The first step in my Christian life was to serve God during 8 years in my church as a youth leader. The second one is currently serving serve Him in Romania for the past 11 years as director of Youth for Christ.
In all the years of my Christian life I praise God for his support and for being a rock in all circumstances, both happy and sad. Through Him I have met faithful Christian friends in several countries. Being a missionary is not the work of one person alone but, a team work, a collaboration between one person in the field and Christians who support him in prayer and financially.
God has given me the opportunity to visit Korea, the country where I was born, to meet my Korean Christian family. He has been gracious to me in giving me an adopted Belgian family, but I also pray that several Korean churches would adopt me as a missionary and would support me in prayer and financially for my missionary work in Romania. But just like anything else in life, this is entirely in His hands. Day after day I learn to serve Him better in living by His grace
My Belgium family
My father Raymond and my Mother Fernande : my Parents Pass Away, my father on November 2014, and my mother on January 2015
My sister Pascale, she has 2 childrens, Roch and Beatrice :
My first brother Maurice, he has 2 children, Sophie and Charlotte:
My second brother Michel, he has 3 children, Catherine, Michel Jr. and Vincent:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. – Jeremiah 29.11