Taeho Kim: Experiencing God at Olivet

“Life with people who believe in God is amazing!” — Taeho Kim, sophomore marketing major at Olivet Nazarene University

God had great plans for Taeho Kim when he came to the United States for the first time at age 16 from Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. By himself. As an international student on a visa. He didn’t know about God. He didn’t know who Jesus was. 

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Staying with host families in Kankakee, Illinois, he attended Kankakee Trinity Academy and Grace Christian Academy. He studied the Bible and learned about God and Christianity, but he continued to live a worldly life. In his college plans, Olivet wasn’t even a possibility.

When his mother suggested that he apply at Olivet, he did. His acceptance plus scholarships convinced him to give Olivet a try.

“I was learning how to survive on my own and take care of myself,” he says. “I was selfish and protective of my things. I didn’t want to trust anyone.” 

His freshman year at Olivet was rocky, and he changed majors twice. Then he met Nate Frantz ’11. 

Nate pastors One:Seven Church in Bradley, Illinois. “At Olivet, Nate was the first person to ask me challenging questions about my faith and my life,” Taeho says. “He sat next to me, and we talked. He shared his faith with me, and I shared my own story with him.” 

In December 2017, Taeho gave his life to Christ. Today, Taeho — now a sophomore marketing major in the McGraw School of Business at Olivet — is active with One:Seven Church, working with Nate to tell others about Jesus and help them put their faith in Him. 

“As an Olivet student, I have more people to invest my time in and share the gospel with,” Taeho says. “I’m bolder about my faith.” 

Each week, Taeho reaches out to students, hosting events so he can get to know them and minister to them. Just like Nate did for him.

Taeho and the people he has met at Olivet are doing life together. Studying the Bible, holding one another accountable, having fun, enjoying retreats and trips to Chicago. “Life with people who believe in God is amazing,” he says. “This is what the communion of saints means to me.”

He continues to be impressed by the way Olivet faculty and staff are available to him and openly share their faith with him. “Every day, I’m with people who are living for God,” he says. “All my professors are passionate about God. Dr. Brian Allen [Olivet’s vice president for institutional advancement] is teaching me how to be a servant to others. He challenges me and encourages me to be available for God to use me.”

In Taeho’s Olivet experience, he has found many opportunities for academic success. More importantly, he will be the first to tell you that he has found God’s truth here.

“Find your identity in Christ, and know the definition of true success,” Taeho says. “That changes your whole life.”

To learn more about life at Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Reprinted from Olivet The Magazine, Winter 2019 issue.