legacy of Johnathan Sim

L2 Foundation has a vision to develop leadership & legacy for Asian Americans. Legacy simply means leaving something behind. To read of this man’s legacy was particularly touching, because it came as a shocking surprise to so many. I had an opportunity to meet with Johnathan Sim several years ago in New York City, and he was doing some really good things for World Vision. Then I heard 2nd hand that he suddenly passed away with no warning signs.

This Seattle Times’ article, Legacies of love and learning, speaks of a Korean/Asian American’s legacy. This poignant excerpt from “Daddy’s Letter” video of Johnathan Sim gives us a look at his legacy [hat tip: Eugene Cho] ::

This is an excerpt from the “Daddy’s Letter” video to his young son, Nathan, now 5, that Johnathan Sim made in May of 2002. Johnathan Sim died of a stroke on July 25, 2005. He was 33 ::

Soon, work will begin on another of Sim’s legacies.

In the small, isolated village of Twachiyanda, Zambia — 9,700 miles from Seattle — the building supplies have been delivered, and work to build the town’s first school is scheduled to be finished in August. It will house 430 children in the elementary grades, many of them orphaned because their parents have died of AIDS.

The school will be named the Johnathan Sim Legacy School, honoring the staffer for World Vision, the Christian relief agency based in Federal Way that sends help to more than 100 countries. Some $110,000 was raised in donations in Sim’s memory to build the school and buy school supplies.

… At that time, Nathan was 7 months old, and Natalie not even born. Sim decided to leave a recorded message for his young son.

“… life is unpredictable, and anything can and does happen, and just in case, I wanted to leave a message for you,” Sim began the video.

He would go on to tell his son:

” … I have a lot of dreams for you … study hard … be a leader, not a follower … ”