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Jade Jun

Jade Jun

Breathing Lessons

M.A./MC student, Jade Jun, talks about beating asthma to sing a new song.

Jade Jun’s life, more than her songs, sings of God’s salvation and mercy.

“God used me to bring my family to Christ when I was one,” she says. “I had severe asthma when I was born. I was hospitalized for so long that the doctor said, ‘She has no hope. Take her home. She’s going to die.’”

But her aunt convinced Jade’s mother to take Jade to a pastor so that he could pray for her. The family left the church, and on the way home Jade’s face, which was normally blue because she could hardly breathe, flushed a new shade: pink.

“My mom went back to the hospital,” Jade says, “and the doctor, who was a Christian, said, ‘Hallelujah. Your daughter is saved. There is no other way to describe it.’”

Jade’s mother had secretly prayed that if God healed her daughter she would go to church. She kept her promise, and eventually Jade’s entire Buddhist family became believers.

“We can’t deny God in my family,” she says. “It’s not possible.”

Nor can they deny Jade’s ability to sing—and the miracle of it considering she spent her first few years of life fighting for breath. Today Jade, a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, has won two singing competitions: one hosted by a radio station in the
San Francisco Bay area, and the other—the California Korean Gospel Competition—in which she won a round-trip ticket to her home country of Korea, where she competed as a finalist.

“The winners put on a really good show, but their songs didn’t have a message,” she says. “I need to be in a position academically and musically to tell people that if you’re going to judge a Gospel competition, which are all original songs, you need to value their heart and their lyrics and how much they have biblical content instead of who puts on the best show.”

For this reason Jade passed up a partial scholarship to study vocal performance at the graduate level in order to pursue instead a master’s degree in Media and Communication at Dallas Seminary.

“I’m happiest when I’m at church singing for the Lord. I feel like it’s worth my time. I can’t get enough of it,” she says. She also can’t get enough of learning the Scriptures and applying the advice of her mentor at Korean First Baptist Church in San Jose, California. “He said, ‘These days a lot of contemporary Christian artists or people who do ministry don’t have seminary degrees. They have great music backgrounds, but they don’t have the theology. They don’t have any biblical knowledge to back up their music. You need to be a scholar to do music,’” Jade says. “That really hit home for me. If I want to lead a praise team I need to be able to lead and teach biblically as well as musically,” she adds. “I need to have both sides.”

At 24 Jade defines Christian music as “a message from one heart to another,” and sees herself contributing songs that reflect the message of Jesus. “When there’s no message,” she says, “you know there’s something wrong. Every time I read Scripture now I try to see if I can make that into song lyrics. It’s a different way of thinking.”