Eugene Cho

In prison or in freedom, the good news is that God has not abandoned us. Christ is with us…

Over two years ago on November 3, 2012, we heard about Kenneth Bae’s arrest in North Korea.

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Over a year ago on August 10, 2013, we held a special prayer vigil for Kenneth Bae and his family.

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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.

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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.

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Today, we had the joy of having Kenneth and his family worship with us at Quest Church. 10309029_301464550043658_4909089910111236367_n

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]

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5 Responses

  1. Thank you Eugene. I appreciate you bringing this part of his story, and God’s story to the table.

    God is good indeed! Praying for His continued mercy and grace all the days of our lives. May we always give God the glory as Kenneth has done here.

    Your Brother in Christ,

    JUSTIN STONE

  2. missyscud says:

    God is good all the time.
    All the time God is good.
    Even in the deepest pain, He is there and with us.

  3. djchuang says:

    #hallelujah – praise to God for this, it’s a good Thanksgiving. Perseverance all around..

  4. […] drawing as much attention to themselves as possible. Instead, Eugene has been busy praying for a recently released prisoner and caring for a family battling childhood […]

  5. Stanley says:

    Just wish to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clearness in your post is just cool and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.

    Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep
    updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying
    work.

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest Took a train to Busan. Did not encounter any zombies but I was ready just in case.

Busan. First visit to this city (couple weeks ago) and was blown away by its beauty. Also, shocked that it has become the fifth largest containment port city in the world. That's a lot of import and export.

#MyAttemptToBeTheBestSmartphonePhotographer 
#Pusan #SouthKorea

my tweets

  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 13 hours ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 13 hours ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 13 hours ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 2 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 4 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 4 days ago