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Joy Ahn Ngu is the trend-setting Pasadena, California-based mother of two, filling the world with blessings with her latest project Equipping the Saints with Ché Ahn on God TV. In our exclusive interview, we were lucky to discuss the breadth of her new project and also to get the exclusive scoop on the fashion-forward, internationally recognized pastor’s daughter and her personal pursuits and ideals.
What was it like growing up in the home of a globally recognized Pastor?
Well, my dad (Pastor Ché Ahn) was not always globally recognized. For many years my dad was a local Pastor and my family would often hold services just within our home for friends. Growing up as a Pastor’s daughter – our lives have always been very fruitful, so to speak.
Of course, most everyone in the church knows who you are – even if you don’t know who they are. They know about your family and they know stories about you. So it could be pretty challenging at a young age when complete strangers would come up (to me) and seem to know everything about us. I did get used to it, though, especially once I understood that it was coming from a place of love. My parents have always sought to be vulnerable and to use our family experiences as testimony whenever possible, which is why I believe that we are relatable and likable and have had a profound impact in the communities they Pastor.
Have you always worked in the church?
Not always. I have an extensive history working in fashion, including starting my own business in wardrobe styling. I had a mentor for some time while working at Juicy Couture corporate and Nordstrom. I went to the School of Style. One day, though, my dad called and told me we were starting a media leg of the ministry at Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena and also within the HIM network, as well as his Wagner University branch. I was approached to run this organization and to create the show Equipping the Saints with Ché Ahn and to Executive Produce it, and I accepted immediately.
How did the idea for Equipping the Saints come about?
The show was entirely my father’s vision. What I love about my dad is his ability to relate empathetically to all people. I have a deep respect for him because he is Kingdom minded – to him it is always about how he can help others. He chose to do a talk show because he wanted to honor others and highlight his friends and peers. The title of the show may have his name in it, but it is never really about him. He knows that those he invites on the show have a wealth of information and so much to give, but also that they each have profound abilities to minister on
a wide scale with real stories real conversations. While some guests are new, many of them we consider family and have been our friends for years. The show provides a look inside personal relationships, personal stories, and very real vulnerable moments. It’s very special and like nothing else, because it brings internationally recognized preachers, evangelists, leaders and prophets into a safe space and introduces the viewer to their most relatable sides. These days, people need not only role models, but also leaders who can walk with them through what they’re walking through right now within their own day to day lives, and to bring it into our daily conversations – people who can make complex situations more simple and offer perspective, offer advice, and share the burden.
Cindy Jacobs was a recent guest on the show, what was it like to interview her?
I love Cindy Jacobs. I have a great personal relationship with her and, my goodness, I have known her for 25 years. It was really fun to just ask her some questions and to go back into our personal history to tell stories that no one would ever really know.
Also as you may know, she’s a prophet. She’s on a very much governmental level – global scale. She has met with Presidents and royalty as well as people in Hollywood. She’s a mom. She’s a grandmother. She has the most tender, compassionate heart and that’s what I love about all the people we have invited onto the show – they truly love. When I spoke to Cindy, I asked for a blessing for my generation (the millennials) — she is so knowledgeable, compassionate, and empathetic – and the way she speaks about Jesus and her walk with the Lord is what is instructional, practical, and I feel people are most after in their search of the Lord. As a woman, she has paved the way for not only women in ministry but in general – often overcoming backlash both within and outside of the church. It was an episode to remember, for sure.
What other guests can viewers expect to see this season?
There is a great, long list of incredible people. We have had Mark Chironna, Eric Metaxas, and of course Cindy, but upcoming I am really looking forward to the show airing with Teri Seacrest who is not only incredibly knowledgeable in the world and the realm of nutrition, health and wellness, but specifically with essential oils, which I don’t know that any Christian talk show has ever discussed before. Terry’s episode will introduce people to essential oils and other homeopathic remedies to naturally heal their bodies, minds and spirits. She is also an incredible Mentor in the entrepreneurial world of business. I love interviewing strong, graceful and eloquent women who have so much to share and who are extremely successful in what they do. So I’m really looking forward to her show which airs on December 8th of this year.
My mom, Pastor Sue Ahn, was also a guest on our show and it was fun to have my parents in the hot seat. I learn more every time I talk to my parents and there are always little jewels and pearls that I can take away. I feel that we get to know ourselves best by talking to our parents, our families, and our loved ones to learn our history and where we came from. That is another
special episode because my mom talks about marriage and family and our role in the home. With everything going on across America including Covid, online schooling, and working from home the conversation is incredibly relevant.
What are some of the challenges working moms are facing this day, especially in this point in this climate as in covid?
I find that at this time, maintaining balance is most important. There are so many variables of the unknown – education, work, etc; so for us, we are doing the best we can to make sure that the kids are loved and secure, and their immediate needs are met. I am doing my best to give grace to myself and those around me, to accomplish everything in my work and outside of my work as well. My advice for others is to do the same – give yourself Grace – don’t worry about being a perfectionist, but meet your immediate needs, and care for yourself as well as your children. We have to remember a few things: Covid is temporary, and this difficult season won’t last forever; and also – you cannot pour from an empty cup. I do my best to be grounded, centered, and remember the promises of God in our lives, whether it’s through scripture, whether it’s through prayer, whether it’s just sitting and meditating and worship – You’ve got to set your mindset and your spirit, and strengthen your heart during these times of often hopelessness and distress. You have to set yourself up for success every day.
I would also say that one of the most important things to me is to find community because we cannot do it alone and we are not supposed to do it alone. So in a time of Covid, finding community looks very different for many people because it isn’t necessarily an in-person meeting (although for some it is – and that is great!) – but it can also be a phone call, a Facetime, a Zoom meeting – whatever works to not feel alone, to get help and advice from friends – to just connect. We need each other and not only should we be able to receive help we should be able to offer it. Check in on your friends, even the ones who seem to have it all together. We never know what silent battles we are all facing.
What can audiences expect to learn from your father on Equipping the Saints that they will not find in his regular sermons or appearances?
Audiences will be surprised to see my father so sensitive. There are actually quite a few episodes where he breaks down and cries and where he shows deep emotions that are not necessarily what I consider characteristic for an Asian American or just an Asian man in general. My father is an anomaly. My dad is humble even though he was perhaps taught not to cry in public, and especially not on television. He is gracious. He is real. He is very tender and sweet. You’re going to see the incredible pastoral father side of him where he speaks with deep love, deep empathy, and deep compassion for his guests whether he’s telling a story or in a prayer. You’re going to see a very sweet and gentle side of him that is extremely endearing and so I’m really excited for people who know him in other ways, to experience that.
What is the most exciting thing about working on the show and do expect there to be a second season?
Yes, you can expect to have Equipping the Saints back for another season – we are in pre- production now!
For readers who want to know more about the personality behind the “TV personality,” can you tell us what hobbies you enjoy in your free time?
I’m big time into exercising. I am a strong believer in being whole and healthy: body, soul, spirit, and mind. I’ve been very much into nutrition, health and fitness for almost my entire life. While gyms have been closed, I’ve been doing a lot of yoga and meditation – centering my body, my soul, my spirit, my mind for the day, pouring into yourself so that you can pour into others. This is definitely part of it. I really enjoy hiking and being outdoors and I love the mountains. I love the ocean. Having that quiet time to decompress is vital for not just physical health, but mental health also.
I also enjoy just socializing with my friends on a one-on-one basis. So whether that’s a nice long walk, whether that’s you know time for coffee together, whatever that may be I would say.
Any final words for our readers?
I want to encourage young people and millennials to watch our show (Equipping the Saints with Che Ahn on God TV) because there’s such great wisdom from the guests on the show. They may not all be you know hip or relevant or in our age bracket, but they have so much wisdom and they have so much life experience. So I would heed the wisdom of the generations of our fathers and mothers and really take advantage of the opportunity to learn to receive the impartation to be blessed. You’re going to get prophetic words directly. You’re going to get personal prayers directly from the people in the show and I have no doubt that no matter what country a viewer is from, no matter what their age is, or the language they speak – people’s hearts will feel blessed, healed and encouraged from watching.
More about Equipping the Saints with Ché Ahn:
In 1984 Ché Ahn was called by God to Los Angeles to see a Great Harvest. He believes that we are in a day and age where every medium is necessary for the Church to carry out this passionate pursuit of the Gospel, and to see God’s people equipped.
After much prayer and being led by the Holy Spirit, Ché has chosen 12 powerfully anointed leaders in their sphere of influence to join him on his new TV show, Equipping the Saints with Ché Ahn—Tuesdays at 8:30pm EST on GOD TV! Tune in weekly to hear stories of signs and wonders, receive biblically sound teachings and powerful insights on a variety of topics, ranging from the prophetic, business, family, education, government and more.