Skip To Content

It Doesn’t Need to be Expensive

Gifts Can Open Doors

During a trip to Korea, I learned the powerful impact of never showing up empty-handed, and how the right gift can help you form life-long friendships.

A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.

Proverbs 18:16 ESV

Trips Are Always Best with Knowledgable Guides

When I was the CEO at CRISTA, my fabulous office manager was Korean and was fluent in her native language. Part of CRISTA was King’s Schools, and we had many Korean students in the high school. 

We decided to visit Korea to build our relationship with Korean families further. Kathleen, Kate, and I planned a week of fantastic activities during the visit.

Two moments stand out in particular. The first was a dinner hosted by the mother of a very talented junior girl from King’s Schools. The second was a visit to the Korean Minister of Education, scheduled by our gracious hostess. I remember the latter often.

Korean Culture Showcases the Power of Gifts

When the appointment was set, Kate informed me that the Korean tradition was to present gifts at important meetings. “We should be prepared to deliver something appropriate to the minister,” Kate explained. We put together an assortment of King’s school items and some other educationally relevant things.

The meeting was successful. Having a very knowledgeable and fluent interpreter like Kate made everything flow easy. We presented our gifts toward the end of the conversation. Then he asked his assistant to bring him what he had prepared. 

He gave Kate a beautiful scarf, Kathleen with a stunning, pearl inlaid jewelry box, and me a BVLGAVI tie (This is a very high-end brand from Italy).

We all still have these gifts and remember the minister with fondness. My tie hangs on my tie rack. I wear it for special occasions. They were gifts we did not expect and were perfect for us. I hope he thought the same.

Give Gifts. They Can Open Doors.

I earned a great lesson from this experience and still bring gifts when I meet new people. They do not need to be expensive. They should be thoughtful and appropriate. They will open doors for you.

Try it. It is not as easy as you may think to find the right gifts, but people don’t forget you when you do. And it is an adventure finding them. Have fun.

What to Read Next...

Love One Another

Jesus is very clear that trust, reconciliation, respect, and love for our neighbors (and enemies) is paramount for our walk with God.

Read More


In today’s social environment, I can not think of a more important topic than reconciliation. We all need to be reconciled to God and to our fellow man. To every one of our fellow men.

Read More

Forgive AND Forget

The power of forgiveness is found in giving and receiving — of others and yourself.

Read More
Bob Lonac

About Bob Lonac

Today, friends call me a leader of leaders. But this wasn’t always the case.

During my life of working in faith-based, Christ-centered ministry, relationships have proved to be the common thread. My passion is helping other people grow through one-on-one mentoring and small group training. I love building teams. I love seeing people and organizations succeed. You can read more about my story and what I'm doing now.

I am still learning a lot and it would be fantastic to share this journey with you! If you haven’t yet, sign up for my email newsletter so we can stay connected.