Dr. Kim Hyun Deok Foreman, Professor at San Francisco State University, pastor’s wife and missionary to Rwanda, passed away after an auto accident near the town of Gitarama, Rwanda.
I still have a hard time looking at those last words and believing that my friend Kim will not be back at SF State this month, inspiring her students and colleagues to think about how each of us can make a difference in the lives of students, everywhere.
Kim used to tell me how she thought I was brave, how much she learned from me about facing fear. And every time she said that - and I would think about her leaving her home in Korea, and earning a PH.D. in her second, adopted language, running the SFSU ITEC program and slogging through years of academic administrivia without losing hope or faith, her amazing Christian mission service, in Rwanda, a country putting itself back together after having been ripped apart by genocide - I would just smile. My version of bravery seems kind of silly and small when I think of Kim's accomplishments and commitment to service.
On July 19th she began her 10th mission to Rwanda, where she and her husband had founded a Christian mission school. On July 31st on her way to Kigali from Butare, she was involved in an auto accident. She passed away peacefully on August 3rd, never having regained consciousness. A memorial service was held for her in Kigali on August 7th with hundreds in attendance, among them the American Ambassador to Rwanda. Another was held in Hayward, CA, this past weekend, for her US based family and friends.
Kim's example was a daily reminder for me to always try and be a better person. This is my very small way of thanking Kim for that gift. Rest in Peace, Kim. Thanks for being my friend.