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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.

To cut a long story short, Oong and Elena started dating and got engaged in 2015 and have been married since 2016. In 2022, they were gifted with twins (boy and a girl)!

Elena worked as a Montessori teacher in London for 10 years and Oong, after being an apprentice and a pastoral assistant for 5 years, worked as the lead church planter at a church plant called New City Church in Shepherd's Bush, London, from 2018 to 2023.

During his ministry at New City Church, he has also been the youth pastor at the Korean Calvary Church and the Kingston Korean Church (his sending church).

Oong's sending church is 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 Kingston 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.

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 mixed in on the inside.

Our children are even more mixed, being British, Korean and Italian!

New City Church was 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 reached people of all backgrounds; different ethnicities as well as different economic statuses.

The Lee family are now embarking on a new church planting project in Kingston, United Kingdom.

The vision is to be a gospel-centered church, with the gospel being preached in an expository manner, the leadership makeup reflecting the people we envision to draw in for the sake of Christ. 

The workers and staff of this new church plant will mostly be fully funded missionaries sent from various churches around the world and the Lee family won't be any different. We will need financial support from individuals and churches like yours to go about serving where God has called us 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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