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Global Coffee Break Leader Retires

August 16, 2023
Grace Eun-sil Paek
Grace Eun-sil Paek

For the past 25 years, Grace Eun-sil Paek has served as a trainer, coach, and partnership coordinator for Global Coffee Break, a program of Resonate Global Mission. With experience in small group ministry even before she took on these roles with Coffee Break, Paek was actively involved as a trainer, and she has written several books related to small groups.

For many years Paek spoke on a weekly Korean Christian Radio Broadcasting segment. She also served global partners by raising leaders and supporting the translation of materials into many different languages. She recently retired from her role.

“We have been very blessed to have had Grace in the role where she has worked tirelessly with the Korean community here in the United States and especially with partners around the world,” said Juan Sierra, Resonate’s program manager for Global Coffee Break. “Grace has trained countless groups in her many years with Global Coffee Break and has introduced multiple countries to this ministry.”

In fact, Sierra said, Global Coffee Break, which focuses on small-group Bible discovery methods for evangelism and discipleship, is currently being used in 11 languages in nearly 30 countries.

“Grace was instrumental in making that happen with her tireless work of connecting with global partners,” he added.

Paek recently shared her thoughts with Korean ministry leaders and others who were part of her Global Coffee Break outreach.

“I give thanks and praise to God for planting me in a position where I could serve Korean American Coffee Break and Global Coffee Break ministries from 1998 until 2023. It has led me to blossom for the kingdom of God,” she said.

She noted that when she was only 20 years old, she told God that she wanted to receive his Word and live in obedience to it.

“Hearing the prayer of a humble girl in a small room, the Lord has faithfully kept his promises to me,” she said, adding that God has accompanied her for the past 40 years as she’s been involved in small group Bible study, including her 25 years with Global Coffee Break.

Sam Huizenga, who has worked closely with Paek in the Global Coffee Break role for many years, said she admires Paek’s faithful following of the Holy Spirit.

“God has used Grace to strengthen the practices of Global Coffee Break. Grace also followed the Spirit in sharing the simple yet effective gospel practices of Coffee Break with missionaries and church leaders around the world,” Huizenga said. “This all happened because Grace, following the Holy Spirit, has led with faithfulness, patience, and tenacity. I would call it long obedience in the same direction. She stayed on the same path and did not get distracted by organizational changes and other structural barriers.”

This has not always been easy, said Paek, noting that there were many times when she “shed a lot of tears because the weight of the position I carried was too heavy.”

She also noted that her husband and two children often had to accept that she would be busy with ministry needs not only during the workday but on weekends and during vacations as well.

“But the past 25 years have also been a grateful time when I was able to experience how great and amazing the love of our heavenly Father is,” she added. “God covered a humble person like me with grace and accompanied me with great love.”

She also credits many people for having supported her along the way. This includes her father, who has since passed away, a mother who continues to pray for her, her husband, her children, and many leaders at all levels of Global Coffee Break.

“There were many people who stood by me, defended me, taught me, and became my support in any situation. I am grateful to Deaconess Myeong-Sook Lee, Pastor Won-Hwan Yoon, Mrs. Shin-Sil Park, Deacon Tae-Wook Han, Pastor Dong-Gun Park, and many other pastors who believed in me and put me in the position to train small group leaders,” she said.

Paek specifically thanked a young pastor who mentored her and encouraged her to introduce a nondenominational small group ministry at a time when female lay leaders within Korean churches were not always well respected or listened to.

“With the grace of God, who delights in small group evangelism, and the precious prayers and devotion of so many people, this small ministry that started in the 1970s was expanded to a global ministry and was planted in 35 countries,” she said. “We give glory and praise to God who blessed and accompanied the Global Coffee Break ministry with his glorious presence.”

In her retirement, Paek plans to continue serving as a Global Coffee Break small group leadership instructor and advisor.

“I hope to help train instructors and to continue my own ministry as an instructor to small group leaders,” she said. “And wherever I am, I want to continue being a member of a Global Coffee Break small group so that I can meditate deeply on the Word, know God's heart, and pray as a worshiper according to God's will.”