Damon & Saehee Duran
Damon and Saehee's journey together started out in South Korea. Through an English ministry, they met one day and have lived their "Romantic Comedy" out for over 12 years!
Damon was born and raised in the Miracle Valley, Arizona where his father was the President of a Christian college and the pastor of the local church. He was literally raised under the pews of the church (of which he was left in church a couple of times sleeping!).
He moved at the age of 12 to San Antonio, Texas where his father was asked to lead another Christian college. The next four years were the most difficult of Damon's young life. His senior year, the family moved to Taos, New Mexico and had an enjoyable year preparing to go to college. He played Ice Hockey that year and was a dream come true!
Damon Attended Southwestern Assemblies of God University where he earned an Associate, Bachelor and Masters degree.
In 2002, Damon decided to take a year to travel and live in South Korea as an English teacher. Little did he know that God had an incredible journey in store for him: first meeting and marrying Saehee, having a radio ministry, earning a Black Black in Taekwondo, planting an international church, and the birth of their first child, Damon Jr.
After moving back to the U.S. in 2006, they pastored one year in Colorado followed by two years in New Mexico.
God brought the Durans to Springfield, Missouri in 2009 as Damon was invited to be the Dean of Men at Central Bible College. During this time, Saehee completed her bachelor's degree while Damon worked on his doctorate. It was during this time that God started moving their hearts to intercultural ministry.
Saehee was born and raised in South Korea, a country of growing Christianity against the backdrop of Buddhism and Confucianism. She studied Korean traditional dance during middle school years, aspiring to become an ambassador of her home country by performing around the world. However, God had a better plan.
When she turned 15, her family briefly transitioned to Thailand, a land of idol worship, while waiting for their visas to America. During that time, her family experienced a lot of demonic activities, and upon receiving a physical healing Saehee gave her life to the Lord. She graduated Suma Cum Laude at McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, and then returned to South Korea where she met her life-long soulmate, Damon Duran.
She and her husband pioneered the international ministry in Suwon, South Korea nearly 4 years before returning to the States. They have been ministering together as a team since the first day they met; first time as a worship team, and now as multicultural missionaries to Southwest Missouri, where nearly 30,000 international/intercultural people struggle to thrive and be accepted in a homogeneous culture. Together with their team, Saehee and Damon wish to bring unity among all people groups as a means to celebrate cultural and ethnic diversities as God’s precious gifts!
Interesting facts about Saehee:
- Her first job was a radio announcer at a Korean radio station in Hawaii.
- She was crowned a Miss Korea Hawaii Queen in 2002; her very first pageant!
- She hosted a Christian radio program in South Korea that was named after her.
- She holds 3rd degree black belt; but could never take her husband down . . . yet.
- She serves Springfield, MO as a volunteer police chaplain.
- She graduated as the valedictorian from Central Bible College (2013) and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (2016) and was the commencement speaker both times.
Damon Jr. [대범]
- Damon Jr. was born in South Korea. His name in Korean means "the one who honors the Great Law."
- He learned to play drums at age 3 and now plays piano, viola, and saxophone
- Has a heart of gold and talks about helping the homeless consistently
- Loves sports; especially soccer, basketball, baseball, BMX racing and Martial Arts
- Really enjoys meeting people of different ethnicities and eating different kinds of food
- Devon's name in Korean means a "great shepherd." His Spanish middle name, Frascuelo, is his grandfather's first name, which means "Free one."
- He goes every Tuesday to Phelps Center for Gifted Education
- He also likes to play soccer, basketball, BMX racing and Martial Arts
- He loves spicy food and would add hot sauce to just about anything
- Devon excels at art, music, and math but likes PE and computer class the most
- Demi's name in Korean means "great beauty." Her middle name, Lelaine, is a combination of her grandmother's names: Lee from Saehee's mother and Elaine from Damon's mother.
- She loves to sing and dance! Especially to the music at the end of a movie!
- She is learning piano and enjoys making up her own songs
- She loves spicy food from both her cultures; Kimchi and Jalapeños!
- She wants to be a mom one day but is afraid of the baby in her belly, "because it will hurt!"