Dosung Kim, DDS

Dosung Kim, DDS, is the founder and director of the Instituto Quebrada León. He also serves as Outpost Centers International field vice president for South America and Northern Asia Pacific regions.

The Path to Full Surrender

in Spring 2023   |
Published on 07/01/2023   |
10 min | <<|>>

On October 29, 1995, I was flying my family home in our Cessna 177RG when the airplane lost power and we crash landed in an almond orchard. The plane was destroyed, but my wife and I and our two young sons walked away from the accident unhurt. Investigators said no one should have survived that crash. It was a miracle.

I always attended church and paid my tithes and offerings but over the years I had drifted away from God. Pursuit of worldly success and wealth consumed my thoughts. My heart was one with the world. God had spared our lives, and I felt so undeserving.

It had been a long time since I had really prayed. That night after the crash, I was lying in the hotel bed but I couldn’t sleep. Thoughts of what had just happened flooded my mind.

“Are you awake?” I asked my wife.


Together we knelt down and thanked God for sparing our lives.

I knew it was God alone who had intervened to save our family, and during the following months and years, I wondered why. Later, I recalled the many times in my youth when I would find my father kneeling in prayer. I couldn’t hear him, but I knew he was praying for me.

The change happened slowly, but now, at long last and in answer to my father’s many prayers, I began to seek God. I began to spend time getting to know Him personally. The more I got to know Him, the more I loved Him. The things of the world that I once valued so highly began to lose their luster. Now the salvation of souls and knowing God became the focus of my life.

After awhile we were convicted to make bigger changes in our lives. First, we relocated our family to a rural area in Montana where I established a new dental practice. I wanted it to be a mission where we could minister to the physical and spiritual needs of my patients.

With that goal in mind, I attended an AMEN conference and took my entire dental team along with us. The stories we heard at the conference about praying with patients inspired us to provide this opportunity for patients when we returned to Montana. The Lord was really working. We began the day as a team praying for our patients. During the day, my assistant would talk to each patient and pass along any areas of spiritual interest or concerns. We allowed for as much time with a patient as was needed. If, for example, they wanted to know more about God, we took the time to share. Our focus was never money. And surprisingly, I actually earned more than when I had shorter appointments. We didn’t charge extra for the time we spent talking and sharing with them. In fact, sometimes the patients had to reschedule their dental appointments because we ran out of time, but they were happy to do so, because they appreciated these times talking with me or with my staff members.

When you go to a business, sometimes you get asked the same questions over and over. I tried to avoid this by passing along essential information, saying, “My assistant said you are going through some trials, I am so sorry to hear that. I am more than happy to pray that God will help you in this situation.” We found that a person’s religious background was irrelevant when it came to prayer. Almost everyone appreciated it. A simple, sincere prayer is so powerful. This was the best marketing tool in my practice because no one else was doing this, and it created a real bond among our staff as we worked together to care for the patient’s spiritual as well as physical needs.

One morning as I was meditating on the story of Abraham and Isaac in our beautiful log home, the Holy Spirit impressed me that there was still something I hadn’t given up for God: my dental career. I sensed that God was asking me to put that on the altar of sacrifice. For three months I battled that conviction, but in the end I realized He was calling me to go to Bolivia and start a lifestyle center and medical missionary training school.

I said to the Lord, I will go, but I asked Him for three things:

1) Skills. I didn’t know how to start or run a medical missionary training school. I’m not missionary material. I asked God to please either equip me or provide others to supply my lack.

2) Funds. I had money but it wasn’t enough.

3) Family. I prayed, “If I go, and make this “sacrifice,” will you save my family?

During my morning devotional time, the Lord responded and impressed me with the thought, Why would I call and not provide for your needs?

However, regarding my third request, God was silent. Years later, I realized the significance of this silence. If God had guaranteed the salvation of my family, I would have neglected my duties as a husband and a father. I needed to continue working with my family to do all I could to make sure they will be in heaven. In the end it would be a personal decision of each one of my family members.

One last request I had was, if You really want us to go to Bolivia, You will have to convince my wife and my children that You are calling, because I will not drag them to Bolivia against their will.

After praying this prayer, we had a family board meeting. I asked each family member, Are you willing to go to Bolivia? Yes. The vote was unanimous.
God has continued to provide the people we need; for example, educators, builders, and accountants, as well as the skills I need. I’ve never been a public speaker, but by relying upon God I have preached to large and small crowds. I have found that God provides at the moment of need.

During this time, as I studied the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy daily, I was also convinced that this world cannot last much longer, and that Jesus is coming soon. I thought that we had enough in our savings to last us five years. But we ran out after two years. What was amazing about this was that the same month we ran out, God began to provide. People we never expected would help us, even strangers, began sending funds.

We also learned early on that we couldn’t always treat people for free. If the health program or training was offered at no charge, people came for the wrong reasons or didn’t value the training. They did not participate and weren’t there to learn. One young man had killed someone. He was there to hide, not to learn.
I have also found that wealthy people need to pay a lot of money in order to appreciate a service. I have attended seminars on how to provide for the rich and famous. They want to be seen alone and receive individual, personalized attention. You have to socialize with them to get close to them. They can be hard to reach but what they really need is genuine friendship.

Everyone is concerned about health. Many think they already know about health. They read about it online and they join clubs. They think they know how to care for themselves. We as Seventh-day Adventists have what no one else has. We have a beautiful package that improves not only physical health but brings peace and joy to people’s lives and relationships, and even their work. This is what makes our message distinctive, powerful and effective in reaching people of all classes.

When patients call us, they say, “We hear that you see patients with cancer or diabetes,” to which our staff are instructed to say, “I’m sorry, but we don’t heal here. We don’t cure anyone.”

“But so and so said you do.”

“Well, actually, we don’t cure anyone, but we know Someone who can cure, and that is God. We pray, and share the word of God, and teach people how to live according to the laws of health, and allow God to do the healing.”

This explanation helps people know that we offer a distinctive service. Usually they come because someone recommended our program. We do no marketing. We have space for 12 people, but can comfortably accommodate eight. We have never lacked for patients, and they come from diverse religious backgrounds.

The principal requirement for all our workers is that they love God and that they love people. If we don’t have that we won’t have what we need to help others. We had also cultivated relationships like this with our patients in Montana.

When we announced that we were moving to Bolivia, many of our patients said, “I will go to Bolivia to see you. I don’t trust anyone else with my dental care.”

I refused to give them my contact. I explained, “I won’t be doing dentistry there.” I was changing careers. But the point is, they valued the relationship so much they were willing to travel to another country to continue receiving our care.

That was 15 years ago. Since then, God has led in the establishment of Instituto Quebrado León, a lifestyle center and medical missionary training program in Bolivia. The training program is essential in order to have the right quality of staff to work in the lifestyle center. When students come to our school, they are are often very self-centered. But over the course of two years, we see big changes in their lives as they learn to live for God and for others rather than themselves. Some choose to stay and work at our center. The most valuable staff are those who share the same cultural background as the people we serve.

Our lifestyle programs consist of 10- and 21-day sessions. Many times the patients need more time to hear the spiritual messages. But after a few days their minds tend to be clearer on a more healthful diet and exercise plan. We have worships morning and evening as well as classes on physical and emotional health. We notice how quickly they improve. Pain improves on a plant based diet combined with a little exercise.

We are also offering a new program especially for Seventh-day Adventist pastors. As leaders in their churches, they can do much to influence their church members regarding the blessings of healthful living.

Under construction now is a new lifestyle center that will better suit our needs. Additionally, we will build individual cabañas for people who prefer more privacy.

One day, one of the students who had completed our program came to me with tears in her eyes.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I am just so happy because while I was studying here, my life has changed. So has my mom’s, and a few months ago my dad was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist church.

“My mom and I have been praying for him for years. God answered our prayers! He is so good. Thank you for coming to Bolivia and starting this school.” We hugged each other and praised God for His goodness.

What Jesus said is true: “The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few.” We are doing all we can to train laborers so there can be a greater harvest for the kingdom of God.

When I graduated from dental school I never imagined where I would be today. But God’s hand has been evident in the establishment of this missionary center. Seeing lives changed for eternity fills us with joy and satisfaction. We hope and pray that many more such centers can be established around the world as a means of sharing the light of the gospel and the blessing of health.

God does not call us all to the same line of work or the same sacrifice, but each of us may pray, “Lord, what would you have me to do?” And as we surrender to Him, He will answer that prayer.

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