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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"He Makes All Things New." In other words, Christ is our eternal hope. I'm sitting in my swinging bench on the comforts of my front porch after an exhilarating and exhausting day at church. It never gets tiring, stale, or old to preach and proclaim the good news of the Gospel - not just on Resurrection Sunday but every week as we gather as the body of Christ.

But it was this picture of Coptic Christians in Egypt pouring into churches on Easter Sunday that deeply moved my heart...just a week after two churches were bombed by ISIS terrorists taking 45 lives and injuring hundreds.

Even in the face of persecution and suffering, I'm so grateful for the witness of these sisters and brothers in Christ. May they be comforted and strengthened...and wherever you are reading this post, stay encouraged. Be faithful and steadfast. Don't give up. May we keep running the race set before us as we fix our eyes on Christ.

It's not just there. It's all over the world...God is still at work. The Holy Spirit is still moving. God is not yet done. There's only one explanation: 
Christ has risen! He has risen, indeed! Jesus is alive! Hallelujah! #OneChurch Remember, there is no Resurrection without the Crucifixion; No Easter Sunday without Passion Friday; No empty tomb without the Cross.

So, before we move too swiftly to the celebration of the risen Christ, may we sit at the foot of the Cross...and consider the depths of His sacrifice and love. "Oh, what love is this..." Just when we think we get what it means to follow Him, Jesus washes the feet of His disciples including...the one He knew would betray Him,

and the one that would deny him,

and the others that would abandon Him in His greatest need.

What amazing love.
What amazing grace. Oh. What. Amazing. Grace. M(inhee) + E(ugene). Not taking anything for granted. 20 years = 7300 days = 175,200 hours. A flourishing  marriage doesn't just happen. The idea that two Christians who choose to get married will produce a Christ honoring marriage is a gigantic myth. Its also extremely dangerous. The truth is that it takes so much intentionality and work. Intimacy definitely includes physical touch but is not only about physical touch. We have to pray, read, listen, learn, mutually submit, confess, forgive, repent, laugh, dream, rest, play, and the list goes on.

In other words, we have to keep Christ at the center because it's inevitable, there's a lot of messing up. So much messing up. It's both beautiful and painful and without grace, it's impossible.

Grateful. Thank you, Jesus, for your grace. And thank you, Minhee...

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