Shared by Min J. Kim
I came back home and asked God to give me assurance and confidence because I didn’t have the ability to reestablish a bank on the verge of bankruptcy. I thought to myself, If this is God’s call, then God will provide all the resources and capital to turn the bank around.
God spoke to my heart and the next day, I called the chairman to inform him that I would join his company. I asked him to give me three months to fulfill my plans to go on a few mission trips, as I didn’t want to leave for missions right after joining the bank. Brian told me to join the bank first and then take a vacation.
Upon joining the bank, as I examined all the paperwork, I found that the bank was in a condition much more serious than I had thought. I had to do four things: 1) raise capital, 2) reestablish the management of the bank, 3) address all regulatory issues, and 4) rebuild the bank’s reputation and image. No customers were coming because the bank was about to close down. The existing customers were also concerned.
With a tarnished reputation, it was unlikely that anyone would want to invest in this bank. For the first six months, I called everyone in my network from prior banking careers. From a list of 100 people, I only generated 2 million dollars. I was devastated and doubt came upon me as I thought, Am I going to fail in this bank?
At this moment, I experienced God’s wake-up call—I was relying on my own way, not God’s way. I repented and said to the Lord, “I give up. I cannot do anything. You run the bank, Lord. I will be your instrument.” I will never forget how difficult it was to throw away my networking list. I prayed to God, “I have no one to call. But I need 10 million and I know you will give it to me through your people. I don’t know who they are. I will share the vision you gave to me.” All I could do was to pray everyday. I asked God, “Who should I meet today? Give me referrals.” Amazingly, people gave me referrals whom I had never met previously – all Christians. They opened their wallets and started investing, starting at a couple thousand dollars. Four individuals whom I had never met invested more than a million dollars.
Eventually, with all the odds against us but with God’s leading, 12 million dollars were raised in 12 months. Indeed, it was a miracle! I didn’t raise it, but God raised it. It reminded me of when God sent manna in the wilderness to the Israelites so that they had to depend on God daily to survive. In the same way, God provided for me, little by little. For a whole year, I had to rely totally on God. I learned that God was training me and helping me to realize that God is the One who helps us through mountainous obstacles. Through these experiences, I learned that God is in charge and that I am God’s servant.
Min J. Kim is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Open Bank and a member of the Board of Directors of Open Bank. With over 30 years of banking experience, she was named one of the “Most Powerful Women in Banking” by US Banker in October 2007. Min also has strong ties to the local community, serving as a board member for Koreatown Youth and Community Center and for the Open Stewardship Foundation.
Interviewed by Young Lee Hertig