Eugene Cho

christian hostages in afghanistan – 1 month

Spread the word. Shout. Cry. Pray. Blog. Kneel, stand, and shout in solidarity.  But don’t be silent.  Love wins.

On July 19, 2007, 23 Korean Christian relief workers [16 women and 7 men] went to Afghanistan on a short term relief and mission trip.  The majority of them were from Saemmul Presbyterian Church in Bundang, Korea [just south of Seou].  Thus far, two of the male hostages – Pastor Bae Hyung Kyu and Shim Seong Min – have been killed and two of the female hostages were recently released.  After one month, 19 hostages still remain in captivity and their lives still remain uncertain.  

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While it is VERY clear that these individuals were Christians, it’s also very clear that their “mission” was to demonstrate the Gospel through care and compassion. People are making the mistake of assuming that this hostage situation took place BECAUSE of these Korean Christians.  They have suddenly become culprits and ceased to be the victims of a grave human rights violation. 

As this hostage situation enters its one month mark, let’s renew our commitment to pray and advocate for the remaining hostages.   Spread the word. Shout. Cry. Pray. Blog. Kneel, stand, and shout in solidarity.  But don’t be silent.  Love wins.

Relevant Links and Reads:  Daily Updates; Wikipedia Entry on Korean Hostages; Todd Kim’s Blog on Hostage Situation; Newsweek Exclusive:  Taliban – Why we took the Koreans?; Love Letter from Husband to Wife ; Hostage Families’ Pleas to Taliban ; Families Unite and Pray for Hostages [Baptist Press]; Costly Commitment [blog]; Michelle Malkin – one of the few “visible” voices expressing outrage; Silence of the GodBlogosphere is Deafening; Avaaz.org Petition for Release of Hostages; Families Seek Solace and Comfort [NY Times]; Plight of the Families [JoongAng News]

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Filed under: christianity, religion

11 Responses

  1. […] Tomorrow is the ONE MONTH MARK of this hostage crisis.  Let’s continue to pray and advocate for our fellow brother and sisters.  19 hostages still remain in captivity with the Taliban. […]

  2. Paulas says:

    Hi, Cho!

    thank you for regular update, we do care for our brothers and sisters in Afaganistan and in our prayers we are always lifting them up. in my place people hardly hear about them, so I do continue to read articles on blogs and other sources and provid the information so that my friends here also can pray for the situation.

    keep updating.

    Paulas

  3. Mark Peach says:

    Thanks so much for the daily updates and specifics on what to pray. I continue to pray daily for this situation.

  4. Deneen says:

    Thank you for the consistent updates on the Korean hostages. I am in a state of disbelief at how little I hear of the hostages, outside of your blog and the Korean news websites that you listed.

    I work for a Korean company, and none of my co-workers have even mentioned let alone discussed the hostages.

    I am praying for the safe release of the remaining hostages, as well as for the families of the hostages and the country of South Korea.

  5. Rand Millar says:

    Saturday Greetings Mr. Eugene Cho.

    In my reconnoitering of the internet, your site does appear to be the most constant in its attention to the plight of the hostages (and their families and fellow church members). Many thanks for your good work. One thing you may rely on is that they are remembered every Sunday in prayer by the congregations of the thousands of Korean Christian churches throughout the USA and Canada. To put a further edge on the matter, it is exceedingly easy to imagine that each one of them is one of our own church members, teaching Sunday school or going out on short-term or long-term missions.

    Whether in unspeakable captivity or in interminable waiting, each person concerned must see this as a trial of faith.

    Thank you dearly for tending the candle.

  6. Thanks, Eugene, for the updates on the hostages. I’m reading with great interest and am glad that while the media has put this story on the back burner there are those who care. Thanks again for taking the time to keep us in the know.

  7. I never even knew about this situation!

  8. rogueminister says:

    Praise God for these individuals who realize that taking up your cross really means you may have to die for your commitment to Christ. I do pray that their faithfulness will bear witness to the Kingdom of God and that the remaining hostages will be released.

  9. Eugene,

    I care and I am praying for the release of these hostages. I am praying that God receives the maximum glory in all that happens.

    Shane Trammel
    http://blog.shanetrammel.com

  10. Gabriel says:

    Its my prayer that God who ensured the timely release of Peter will authorise quickly the release of our brethren,my luv to their families.

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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