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Our Story

We are Oong and Elena
AKA The Kortalians

Oong came to London in 1988. Elena came to London in 2010.


In 2011, Oong met Elena at the London School of Theology. Oong being a city boy British-Korean and Elena being a country girl Italian, were not the couple that the world would have expected.

In 2011, Oong persued Elena.

To cut a (very) long story short, Oong and Elena started 'dating' in 2014. They got engaged in 2015 and have been married since the autumn of 2016.

Elena works as a Montessori teacher in London and Oong works as a pastoral assistant at a church plant called New City Church in Shepherd's Bush, London.

Alongside the ministry at New City Church, he is also the youth pastor at the Korean Calvary Church.

Oong's sending church is called London Korean Church, one of the first Korean churches in London since 1978 and it is part of the International Presbyterian Church here in the UK. Although Oong is sent by the London Korean Church, he is an employee of World Harvest Missions UK, an organisation that exists to equip, send out and plant new churches. This organisation is the UK extension of an organisation called Serge that's based in Philadelphia (US), which was founded by pastor Jack Miller. 

As a Korean that came to London at the age of 3, Oong is not a missionary in the traditional sense of being sent to the UK as an adult from another country. He was raised as a 2nd generation Korean in London and continues to live in London to minister and serve the community of London at New City Church.

Growing up as a British-Korean, God has personally shown Oong the need for churches to become homes for the next generation of Londoners. His initial heart was for the British-Koreans in London but since working at New City Church, his heart has grown to desire, not just British-Koreans to understand the gospel and know Christ, but all the generations of Londoners to know Christ.

2nd/3rd generation people groups do not feel comfortable in their parent’s churches because they are not like their parents. Londoners and most people growing up in urban communities are multiethnic people. They are all Korean, Polish, Indian on the outside but British (or American in your case) mixed in on the inside.

New City Church is one of the few churches that are intentionally building a home for these people groups that do not have a church that they can really call home. Through New City Church, God is reaching people of all backgrounds; different ethnicities as well as different economic statuses.

Currently Oong is serving as a pastoral assistant at New City Church, while also training for ordination. New City Church was planted in 2011 (Oong has been involved since 2013) and is not financially self-sustaining.

The workers and staff of the church are mostly American missionaries from Serge that have all raised financial support themselves in order to work here with Oong to advance the gospel in Shepherd’s Bush, London. This means that all workers and staff have to raise financial support in order to work at New City Church full-time. 

To put it plainly, Oong and Elena need financial support from individuals and churches like yours to go about serving where God has called them to serve.

Would you prayerfully consider teaming up with Oong and Elena to advance the gospel in London, so that many would know Christ crucified, so that they would also be equipped themselves to share this good news with others? It will take a team of people giving at all different levels to get us there.

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