Sent with Kingdom Priorities: James Jang’s Return to Mission 

22 Feb 2024

By Amy Galliford 

In October 2023, James Jang spent 10 days serving a small Cambodian community on a mission trip with his church. In May this year, he is going back – this time, with a fresh intention to be formed by their slow pace of life and to bring it home when he returns. 

Missionaries Jun and Sohee had invited a group of people from The Chapel Sydney, where James serves as Associate Pastor, to come and join them in their school ministry in Cambodia – Bridge of Hope.

The group spent the 10 days teaching Bible studies, playing with the kids and helping with odd jobs around the school.

What struck James most profoundly was the slow rhythm that characterised this community’s lifestyle – a stark change from the pace he had grown used to in Sydney. 

 “They were aware that there were things to get done, but they did this from a place of not being hurried. They were slow enough to see. For me, I would love to be able to get to the place where I know I have a million things to tick off but can slow down enough to enjoy that process.” 

James attributes that slow and steady pace to the leaders’ absolute prioritisation of relationships with the people they serve. 

“They truly live out what God has mandated. Seeing that in person, outside our Sydney bubble, has been a great perspective shift.” 

This contrast becomes especially clear when we consider the extremely basic resources the community has access to. Despite living on the most minimum wages, often lacking the money even to source food for the day, the people of this Cambodian community carry an ease that highly contrasts the stress of Sydneysiders. 

This kind of trust characterised the missionaries to their core. James recalls hearing the countless stories of individuals willing to make life-altering and highly sacrificial decisions in saying yes to God. 

One such story came from a male missionary called Charles, who began missionary work in Cambodia immediately after marrying 10 years ago. Pursuing this lifestyle ran deeply against the grain of his native Korean culture and its definition of success. As James puts it,   

“He has had to continually say no to the things that are normal to life – saving up enough to buy a house and settle down, raising kids in stable environments. I really got to see how he has put God and His Kingdom first. 

 “He was not a special person; he was just available. He was willing to say, ‘God, this is your story to write; this life is yours.’” 

Charles was 36 when he began that journey – the same age as James now. 

  James will soon set off to Cambodia again; only this time, he will be going for six months. Having been deeply challenged by his encounter with the community last year, he is returning with what he modestly describes as a “selfish desire” to serve under the leadership of these missionaries, glean from their wealth of knowledge, and truly learn what it is to be a wholehearted Christ-follower. 

He will spend his time discipling a young man through establishing a new church and ministering through daily devotions, worship and sport – specifically, badminton. He hopes to return with “a deeper love for God and a deeper love for people – and a broader perspective of what God is doing in His world.” 

While the best of his adventure is still to come, his world has already been shifted by this Cambodian community’s countercultural wisdom and steady-paced devotion.

His encouragement to his fellow Australian leaders echoes the faith he has witnessed: “We carry the greatest news in the world – the work has been finished for us! It’s not that we have to do what we do, it’s that we get to.”  


Our Ethos at Work:

This story highlights one of the seven facets of the ethos of our network of churches: SENT with Kingdom Priorities. James’ story, while one of hundreds across our network, reminds us that God’s Spirit is drawing His people to champion this value for His Church today.

Do you know of a story from a church of Christ community that shows one of our ethos statements in action? We’d love to hear from you at

To learn more about the churches of Christ in NSW & ACT ethos, check out our Who We Are resources.


Read more stories from churches of Christ in NSW & ACT HERE