SEOUL, South Korea The Bible says all people are brothers and sisters. I believe there is a reason why God called me to come to Korea.
With a killer smile and a clean grey suit, Hines Ward, the NFL star who arose as the Super Bowl MVP last year, delivered these words Tuesday during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea. Sincerely, Ward spoke of the hardships he endured as a mixed-race child and confessed that it was the grace of God that became his strength at those times.
Even as he entered Incheon International Airport with his mother on Monday, the 30-year-old Pittsburgh Steelers' receiver said he wanted to become a hope for those with mixed-race backgrounds.
My happiest moments were when I was voted as the Super Bowl MVP, when my son was born, and when I arrived in Korea. My hardest times were when I was teased for my mixed background, Ward recalled.
Wards mother, Kim Young-hee, who worked at a store in the vicinity of a U.S. military base, moved to America in 1977 with her two-year-old son of a different color. Although she was full of hope, her troubles soon began. Not long after arriving in the States, she was abandoned by her husband and was left to raise her child alone in a nation whose language she didnt even speak. At that time, God was the only one Kim could lean on.
Because she had no cousins and she could not speak the language, the only one my mother could lean on was God. My mother went to church from the moment she arrived in America. Looking at my mother, I also leaned on God and I learned what it meant to live a life with God.
In that light, Wards said he believes his reason for coming to South Korea is also deeply related to God.
Everyone is Gods child, he stated. Isnt the ideal world one where everyone loves one another despite the color of the skin?
Ward, who came to South Korea with his mother to find his roots, also spoke of Gods grace several times throughout the press conference. It was by grace that he was able to come to Korea and by grace that he was able to be in this place of blessing. He bowed his head and prayed as the press conference began.
According to the Associated Press, Ward had lunch later Tuesday with President Roh Moo-hyun, presenting him with an autographed ball, cap and jersey.
During his ten-day trip, Ward will also be granted honorary citizenship by the city of Seoul and be greeted at a reception hosted by the U.S. Embassy.
Christian Post reporters Pauline J. Chang and Joseph Alvarez contributed to this report from Washington.