Over two years ago on November 3, 2012, we heard about Kenneth Bae’s arrest in North Korea.
Over a year ago on August 10, 2013, we held a special prayer vigil for Kenneth Bae and his family.
Two weeks ago, we marked his two-year anniversary in North Korea and prayed for his liberation from captivity. His sister, Terri, shared some specific prayer requests and conveyed that it would take a miracle.
Last Sunday, we celebrated the news of his freedom and safe arrival in Seattle to be reunited with his family. There’s something special about family reunions.
Today, we had the joy of having Kenneth and his family worship with us at Quest Church.
While this was the first Sunday ever that Kenneth had worshipped with Quest and I’m not his pastor, it was a privilege to come alongside their family during these past two years. He took a few minutes to express his gratitude for support and prayers and to remind us that He never felt alone…never felt abandoned by God.
This is the good news we must share.
As followers of Jesus, the good news is that whether in life or in death, in our mountaintops and valleys, in labor camp or in freedom…we are not alone. Christ is with us. This is not to suggest that our journey through pain, death, or valleys are pleasant. Hardly at all. But to simply convey that God is greater than our circumstances.
For the time being, Kenneth and his family have decided not to do any further interviews but rather to embrace this season of rest, family, and reflection…
But there will come a time when he’ll share his story. I had a meal with him and his family this past week…and it was a true encouragement to hear some of these stories. Rather than anger or bitterness, he has chosen the Christ of hope, love, and reconciliation.
But this isn’t my story to tell but it will happen some day and it will deeply encourage the wider global Church…
My words for Kenneth were very simple:
“Thank you for remaining faithful.”
[photo credits: 1) AP 2) Seattle Times 3) Seattle Times 4) Quest Church 5) Derek Sciba 6) Quest Church]