Eugene Cho

in memory of pastor ha yong jo

On August 2, 2011 (Korean time), Pastor Ha Yong Jo – founder and senior pastor of Onnuri Church in Seoul, Korea, passed away at the age of 65.

A life well lived…

While 99% of my readers will never have heard of this man. Pastor Ha was not only one of the most influential Christian leaders in Korea and Asia but perhaps (in a quiet and humble way), the entire world.

While many have influenced me, I have always seen and looked to him as my pastor and one of my mentors. It pains me not to be able to go to Korea directly to pay my respects…

하목사님과 대화했던 순간 순간을 떠올리게 된다. 늘 꿈을 꾸시고, 사랑하시고, 열정을 나누셨던 하나님 닮는 삶을 사신 목사님, 사랑합니다.

After my wife informed me of his passing, I just sat there in silence – mourning his passing and yet mindful and amazed by his legacy.  Minhee and I have deep respect for Pastor Ha for many reasons and one of them is simply because he was the pastor that officiated our wedding in 1997. Pastor Ha was also Minhee’s boss through a Christian company he founded called Tyrannus Ministry (Duranno in Korean).

In recent years, Pastor Ha had battled numerous health issues including an ongoing bout with liver cancer. But even despite his illnesses and what has been reported to have been 7 major surgeries in the past couple years, he continued to serve the Lord faithfully.

My Mentor

I first met Pastor Ha in 1994 when I joined his staff – first as an intern and then as one of the 35 full-time pastors (at that time). Pastor Ha – to be blunt – spoke firmly and directly into my life on several occasions. But he also always spoke lovingly.

Oh the stories I have…

Some of our conversations, truthfully, were painful at the time but as I looked back, I have grown to appreciate all of our conversations as I later understood how he was willing to invest and speak into my life.

When I joined the church in 1994, the church was then about 20,000 people. It has since reportedly grown to over 75,000 people.

But beyond numbers, I was always convicted by his passion for the one – both near and far. Read the rest of this entry »

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Birds. Clouds. Trees. Nature. Breathe. Sabbath. Grateful for the walks with my wife around the neighborhood exploring the Fall foliage. Love this season. Grateful for your prayers, support, and generosity. Because of you, @onedayswages just sent off this $25,000 check to Catalyst Foundation and their work in Vietnam. This grant will improve the food security of many families of the Raglai people - one of the most marginalized and poorest ethnic groups in Vietnam. THANK YOU. A good Sabbath day of rest, reflection, and fishing at one of my favorite local places. Oh, and a beautiful silver salmon for dinner.

#deceptionpass #fishon #salmonfishing God is so gracious. Inspired by what God did at the #NewLifeConf in Colorado Springs. What a privilege to encourage other leaders and pastors. Thank you @pastorbrady67 for inviting me. The highlight was meeting the 30 or so men who are in a drug & alcohol recovery program. They sold banana bread to raise money to make their way from New Mexico to learn. What a reminder that God is a God of redemption. Caring for my soul today with a visit to the museum. Thank you @artsmia for always keeping art free. Love Minneapolis and this museum.

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