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

My Instagram

Everyone loves the idea of  reconciliation...until it involves truthtelling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, forgiving, and peacemaking. Charlottesville. So heartbreaking and infuriating. We weep and mourn over the hatred in the hearts of these white nationalists. We weep and mourn but we can't be defeated.

As I stare at this photo that's making its round on the internet, I'm reminded of the utter importance of showing up. I'm grateful for the news media, law enforcement, clergy, and peaceful protesters that are currently there to report, protect, pray, and protest.

And this is an invitation to us. May we not be mere bystanders. May we keep pressing forward. Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly. Commit to truth-telling, justice, reconciliation, peacemaking. Follow the ways of Christ. Every day. And it's important to note that we don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. In fact, it's more important that we do this exactly where we're at. May we live out the call to reconciliation in our churches, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and around our dining tables. Lord, may it be so... We don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. We have to do this wherever were called to be.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. /// Thanks to those who let me know that the photo wasn't actually from today but rather from last month in Charlottesville. - https://www.facebook.com/FrankSomervilleKTVU/posts/1551137301616258:0 Grateful for a spontaneous, last minute trip with Minhee to my old stomping grounds - San Francisco. 48 hours of visiting this special city that I called home for so many years.

Pic 1: Went to the Cliff House restaurant where we got engaged about 21 years ago to make out. Oops, sorry, I meant...to reflect on God's faithfulness over these many years.

Pic 2: Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge because it's such an iconic place - with some of the most incredible views.

Pic 3: Enjoyed a glass of some Cabernet Sauvignon and pretended to be wine connoisseurs at a vineyard.

Pic 4: Had lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Sam Tung, which boasts some of the best chicken in the country. And of course, we ate at In-n-out.

Pic 5: And finally, celebrated with the good folks at @thefreedomstory where @onedayswages received their annual Freedom Award. What an honor.

Grateful. Thankful for this sabbatical. Breathe.

Show yourself some grace.

We can't do everything for everyone in every situation. Do what you can and do it with a joyful heart.

Amen A family that eats sushi together stays together.

Seriously, I don't ever remember eating so much as a teenager but these kids eat and eat and eat. Perhaps, the reason why this kid is pushing 6 feet tall. Grateful for a special treat with the family at @JaponessaSeattle. I'm sharing an obligatory, "I love and appreciate my wife, she's amazing" photo. Also...because I did something naughty...or brilliant. ;) Seattle is in the midst of a crazy heatwave. Near 100 degrees, hazy, and humid. An excessive heat advisory warning has also been issued.

So, Minhee and I needed to run some errands. It waa horrible but sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do. It's also known as adulting.

So, I'm driving and the air conditioning seems to have minimal effect. Minhee is in the passenger's seat and umm, when she's not paying attention, I turn on her seat heater to 5 - the highest level. All along, she's complaining about how hot she is...for nearly an hour...until she finally realizes what I did.

Bam. Boom. Gotcha.

Minhee, I love you!

my tweets

  • RT @mrmedina: When Bryan Stevenson speaks, we do well to listen. https://t.co/o5GJD0KWR2 || 12 hours ago
  • "Mourn with those who mourn." Lifting up the people of Sierra Leone in prayers. Hundreds dead and many more missing… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… || 14 hours ago
  • Dear Barcelona: We are so sorry. We mourn the violence and tragedy in your beautiful city. We pray for healing and yearn for peace. Amen. || 1 day ago
  • Love wins in the end but meanwhile, it fights for things that matter. Love isn't sentimental. It's both gentle & fierce. Seek God's Kingdom. || 2 days ago
  • In response to racism, folks often say, "It's a sin issue." Yes...but don't be naive. Sin creates sinful systems: youtube.com/watch?v=LEbUa0… || 3 days ago
  • Everyone loves the idea of reconciliation...until it involves truthtelling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, forgiving, and peacemaking. || 5 days ago