My name is Yaeji (Emily) Ra. I was born in Korea. My parents’ families were Christian to varying degrees; while I acted like a Christian, I just followed the letter of the law like a Pharisee, not realizing that true holiness must be motivated by God’s love.
After finishing grade five, my family immigrated to British Columbia. That meant entering grade six without any English ability! Another adjustment: changing my hard-to-pronounce name to Emily.
After graduating from high school, I took engineering because it was the only bachelor’s degree with which I could find a well-paying job quickly. Money, I thought, was the path to acquiring everything I wanted. I graduated from mechanical engineering and started my career as a field engineer in Red Deer.
In the summer of 2017, I was in a terrible accident while driving to Prince Edward Island. The doctors doubted I would survive and put me in an induced coma to deal with a badly swollen brain. My pelvis, sacrum, and left femur were broken. Despite seven brain surgeries, doctors had little hope of my surviving, telling my mom that if I did, I’d be bedridden for life.
Mother did not give up hope. She trusted that Jehovah Rapha (the God who heals) would heal me. While I was in the induced coma, she patiently read the Bible to me in Korean and English. Her prayers were answered over two years. Although I still struggle with some pain and short-term memory loss, it was only by God’s grace that I regained most of my language and singing ability.
After my accident, I no longer chased money; I followed something far more valuable: a promise from the never-changing God: “I will not leave you or forsake you” (Deut. 31:6). What joy to know that with everything having been taken from me, I could find all I needed in Christ.
With my recovery, I stopped being a pharisaic Christian and sought God personally, embracing His love. Today, I live to serve His kingdom. I rejoined the Montreal Gospel Choir, using my voice to worship and bring joy to others. I started an Airbnb Experiences soap making workshop, and by God’s grace, connected with many participants, sharing my testimony.
Although the pandemic stopped my soap making workshops, I use YouTube to share the joy of the Lord, and His miraculous healing and transformative power in my life, through my singing.
Yaeji (Emily) Ra
Former international student