Eugene Cho

the testimony of one north korean girl

You need to watch this. In fact, you must watch this. Please watch this.

While I wasn’t personally able to attend the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Capetown, South Africa (Nov. 11-18), I tried to catch some of the events via the web. While there were numerous webcasts, the one that caught my attention was the testimony of a young 18-year-old Korean girl. I believe, with intention, her name wasn’t released but she was born in North Korea, lived in China, and now resides in South Korea.

I want you…in fact, I urge you…to take about 10 minutes: 8.41 minutes to watch the video and the remainder, 1.19 minutes, to lift a prayer for the people of North Korea. Here’s the video. It wasn’t available on YouTube so I uploaded it here:

If you watch the video, you’ll get a glimpse of her story but I wanted to share her closing remarks:

I look back over my short life and see God’s hand everywhere. Six years in North Korea, 11 years in China, and a time of being in South Korea. Everything that I experienced and love, I want to give it all to God and use my life for His kingdom. I hope to honor my father and bring glory to my heavenly Father by serving God with my whole heart.

I believe God’s heart cries out for the lost people of North Korea. I humbly ask you, my brothers and sisters, to have the same heart of God. Please pray that the same light of God’s grace and mercy that reached my father and my mother and now me will one day come down upon the people of North Korea… my people.

I am familiar with North Korea for numerous reasons but hearing her story – a story I’ve heard in various forms – convicted me of my forgetfulness of my people; a forgetfulness to pray; a forgetfulness that God loves the entire world and the invitation to share and live out the Gospel is still dear to His heart.

God is indeed on the move and I want my life to be a part of His movement rather than trying to fit God into my ambitions.

God is not only moving but moving in diverse ways and for that, I’m grateful and thankful.

For those that don’t know, my great grandfather was one of the first christians in a village nearby Pyongyang. God’s grace was poured over his entire family but they experienced intense persecution because of their faith. As a result of the persecution, his family “escaped” with his entire family from what it now known to the world as North Korea. My father was five during this time and the stories he shares don’t seem real. Not everyone in his family survived that journey southward that one chaotic night.

North Korea, as some may know, is one of the most isolated nations and subsequently, some of the gravest human rights violations and suffering go unnoticed – including approximately 200,000 Christians that are in prison labor camps simply because of their faith in Christ.

Some day, I will return to North Korea. Some day, I will return to the birthplace of my ancestors; the birthplace of my father and mother. We still have family in North Korea…that is, if they are still alive. We do not know. Some day, I will return with my wife and children to not only proclaim and demonstrate the gospel of Jesus Christ but the good news of human dignity that must be afforded to all people. 16 years ago, I climbed Mt. Baekdusan at the border of China and North Korea and prayed for an opportunity some day to return home. I echo that prayer again.

Some day, I will return to Korea but for now, I must pray and raise awareness. Please join me.


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15 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho, Josh Roberts, Dave Baldwin, Aaron Chang, Chuck Eklund and others. Chuck Eklund said: RT @EugeneCho: PLEASE watch this & share. | The heart-stirring testimony of an 18-year-old North Korean girl: http://bit.ly/cdAnrk #fb […]

  2. Scott says:

    Thanks for introducing me to her story! I find myself looking for heroes and mentors in many social spheres. Recently I bought a Ray Lewis football jersey. Despite my hope-filled allegiance to the Chicago Bears after NFL Films’ “The Ray Lewis Coaching Tree” I was inspired.

    When I watched I felt Ray Lewis’ passion.

    His successes and his shortcomings were discussed. He spent time in jail. He works a violent job. He seems self-centered.

    As I watched I felt motivated to remember:
    – Be careful with my passion, it can hurt people.
    – Lead by example and raise the level of the people around you.
    – Embrace what’s true and inspire others with it.

    So, when I saw a Ray Lewis jersey for a great price on ebay I asked if I could buy it for my birthday. I’ll wear my jersey to remind me that appearance don’t matter except when they do.

    Scott Volltrauer

  3. BL78 says:

    Thank you for sharing this video clip. IHOP-KC (International house of prayer in Kansas City) has a korean dept that is praying for North Korea weekly.

  4. Justin says:

    Hey Eugene,

    Thanks for this post. I too will lift up a prayer tonight. I recently went to the DPRK this past summer… went to Mt. Baektu to pray over the country. My mother’s side is from the North. I join you in praying and raising awareness.

  5. David Kim says:

    Praying together with her, you, and all the believers.

  6. That was one of the most powerful moments at the Lausanne, Eugene.

    May the Lord shine into North Korea and produce the changes in people He is known for!

  7. Our prayers are for you and your family, the people of North Korea, and your call to return. May it be so.

  8. Josh Roberts says:

    Thanks for sharing your story and the story of this young woman. My heart breaks for the North Korean people and will continue to pray for their freedom and access to the gospel. Although I do not have a natural connection to the people of North Korea, I too long for the day to share the love of Christ in word and in deed in this great land.

  9. Jeph Mercury says:

    I don’t want to sound like a douchebag here, but I think it would’ve been better for her to have given her testimony in Korean, translated in to English, I just think it would’ve been much more powerful message instead of speaking rather awkwardly in English. Delivery of message is important in all cases, and heavy accents I think have diminished the potential power of the message this would’ve had.

  10. Hi I understand the message completely, I’ve often heard the Lord speak during my prayer time regarding North Korea, and the words keep echoing back, ‘my people are suffering,’. I have started a blog purely for the same reason. Wanted to ask you if I could post a link to ur blog for the same? God bless you

  11. jchenwa says:

    If Timing is right, as He usually is, you will be more than welcome to stay at Trophy Condos in Yigo, Guam, http://www.trophy-condos.com .

  12. I agree–this was truly one of the most gripping moments of Lausanne 2010. She poured her heart out and cast a much bigger vision for how we pray. Thanks for re-posting this!

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One Day’s Wages

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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. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter

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