FOUND IN THE SHADOWS AND SPOTLIGHT
Bobbie – “Jihea is the cute and cool bass player you see playing with Hillsong UNITED. She was born in Korea and currently lives in London with her family. She’s an active member of our church and a professional musician who has played with some of the world’s most famous secular artists. She has the sweetest spirit – always gracious, kind and warm. On a recent worship tour in the United States we were highlighting our partnership with Compassion child sponsorship and our collective ability to intervene into the lives of children (and their families) through sponsorship. Part way through the tour someone told me that Jihea’s father was himself a sponsor child many years ago in Korea. Knowing this was moving for all of us, because we suddenly realised that perhaps this beautiful young woman would not be a part of our lives, had her father not been given a help out of poverty. On that particular tour (which included 18 cities), every time I asked the people to turn and watch the story of a Compassion child on the screen, I was mindful of Jihea, standing quietly in the shadows of the stage, praying for the children about to be sponsored and embraced. We asked Jihea a few questions.”
WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO THE UK?
I was 15 when we left Korea to live in London.
WERE THERE CHALLENGES IN MOVING AS A YOUNG TEENAGE GIRL?
My biggest challenge was obviously the language issue as I didn’t speak a word of English when I moved to London. As a young teenager, I had a major identity crisis at the time and felt like I lost all my future, friends and ability to express myself to anyone. I had to find out who I was and who I was not, and every day was a fight to step out of my comfort zone and interact with people.
WHAT IS YOUR JOB AND LIFE LOOK LIKE DAY TO DAY?
I am part of the Hillsong UNITED band, and my “day-to-day” life is mostly on the road, touring with the team.
DO YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO?
I love that I can worship and express my love for Jesus through the instrument that God has put in my hands. That moment every night on tour when hundreds of people respond to the invitation of Jesus, makes it all worth while.
ARE THERE CHALLENGES IN WHAT YOU DO?
I don’t see challenges. I am so grateful for where I am, but I remind myself to remain healthy – from my physical wellbeing to how I am doing spiritually, because if that is good, what will flow out of me to others will also be good.
SHARE SOME OF THE JOURNEY THAT LED TO THIS CURRENT SEASON OF LIFE.
I have been a pop bass and keyboard session player for about 8 years. I studied musical performance at university and have served as a volunteer in Hillsong London until recently, when I was asked to join UNITED full time. As a self-employed session player I had to remind myself everyday, before facing the world, of who I am in Christ. I discipline myself to have confidence in what God has called me to, regardless of whether things are going well or not. He holds my tomorrow.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF “ON MISSION” IN YOUR FIELD?
I want to bring my best skills to the table, but even more important is loving people. I want to accept the people I work with for who they are. I want to build genuine friendship and be there if they need someone to talk to. I want people to know they can rely on me, especially when we often find ourselves together and on the road 24/7.
IS THERE MORE YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH IN THIS FIELD?
I want to influence influential people, and I want to do so from within the church and outside of it also. I don’t want to draw a line and choose one over the other – I want to merge the two fields together and bring my best to both.
ON A RANDOM NOTE: FAVOURITE MOVIE, STYLE OF MUSIC, FLOWER, AND WHAT ONE PERSON IN HISTORY WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?
I don’t like violence or horror, so I usually choose Disney or Pixar movies. I love Gospel, Soul and R&B… and sometimes I resort to a little hard rock and metal. Love sunflowers and daisies. And I would love to meet Beethoven. I love his compositions.
WHAT MAKES YOU CRY, AND WHAT ENCOURAGES YOU PERSONALLY?
I cry when I talk about my Jesus and His love. And knowing that I am part of something bigger always encourages me.