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

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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