My Saint Michael’s Story: Mikaela Kang

Posted by on Sun, Oct 20, 2019 in Giving

Good morning everyone! My name is Mikaela Kang and I have been a member at St. Michael’s for almost 20 years. I love St. Michael’s for so many reasons. This is a place I have grown up from age 5, to now 24. A place where my family could get together every Sunday to worship and my brothers and I could play out in the yard afterwards. Where I got my first ever paying job! Where I learned to serve my community and now, I am part of this church as a member of the vestry, a role that I only ever saw as “for the adults”, but I guess I am that adult now.

Every member in my family have served at St. Michael’s in one way or another. My brothers and I were all acolytes, I still get anxiety thinking of ringing the bell! If you ever watched the Kangs in the pew during that part of the service, it was either a fist bump to celebrate a perfect bell, or a sympathetic sigh when it fell flat. Kin was always the best at it. My parents have both served in various roles including chalice bearer, on the vestry, greeter, probably coffee hour—it’s hard to remember it all. My first job was in the nursery at age 11. Jason and Mother Ann must have really trusted me! We have been part of the summer mission trips for so many years, I can’t keep track anymore. Now I teach Godly Play and serve on the Vestry.

Thinking back, I am surprised at how young I was allowed to work in the nursery. I started going on mission trips at 10, also younger than most. But doing those things so young and having that exposure to helping others has led me down a career of serving and teaching children. I am now a special education teacher in the Bellevue School District for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Most of these kids come from trauma of some form. Let me tell you this job is hard. It’s demanding emotionally, mentally, and physically—I have the bruises to prove it. But I absolutely love it and could not imagine doing anything else.

People ask me how I can do this job day after day. Usually, I have a hard time giving an answer because I often think, well why wouldn’t I? Why wouldn’t I help others and want to better their lives? It seems so innate to me, but I’ve learned that it isn’t to everyone. I think what has largely given me the strength and love for these kids is that I grew up in a community of support and love here at St. Michael’s. I have only ever known serving others and giving what you can because that is what St. Michael’s provides to us. This is truly a community of living through your faith and loving all. Without fail, when coffee hour rolls around multiple people approach me to ask how work is going, how are the kids, and how I am holding up. It touches my heart to know that people want to keep up with my life outside of Sundays and are thinking of me throughout the week. On really hard days, I know I can call or text Mother Katherine to pray for my kids and for me. I know I can come to church and lay it all out to God and ask to put things in his hands because there is only so much I can do. Which, if you know me, that is a really hard concept for me to accept.

I am so thankful to have grown up and been raised in this church where I know there are people that have my back and a place, I can take refuge. St. Michael’s has always felt like a home and has absolutely shaped me into the person I am today.