Thank You, ABC!

From James:

Our pastor, John Park, recently sent an e-mail to the congregation asking that we relate any stories we have of how we have seen God working through our church, ABC. For the longest time, I have wanted to write such a post, so I’m going to make my reply to him public…

Dear JP,

When you ask me that question, I don’t even know where to begin. Our ABC family has meant so much to us over the years. One would think it just started four months ago, when we found out about So Young’s brain tumor, but as I reflect on it, God has been working through ABC constantly for the last 13 (almost 14) years.

ABC was the first church So Young and I went to as a married couple in 1997. It is the church in which we have raised our three girls, from when they were in diapers to now, with one of them in the youth ministry today. Through all that time, ABC was a constant source of spiritual nourishment for all of us. I realize now, looking back, that during all the years of relative calm, God was teaching us and preparing us for more difficult times.

ABC was there when So Young’s mom died too early, at age 51, 11 years ago. She lived long enough to see her first grandchild, Shannon, turn one. We were so incredibly touched to see so many of our friends from ABC at the funeral. I had no idea until that time how much it means for people to show up for something like that. So I would say that when ABC showed up, it was as if God showed up, too.

ABC was there when So Young and I went through some very rough years in our marriage. I remember meeting with Kenji right in the thick of it, at my lowest point and the worst moment. He embraced me (literally), and that embrace has embodied the grace of Christ for me ever since. So many men at ABC rallied around me during that time, sharing their own struggles transparently and praying for So Young and me. So Young has a similar story to tell as well. It took her longer to open up, but when she did, she experienced nothing but God’s grace from the women of ABC.

ABC was there when So Young was diagnosed with this terrible illness — literally there. Kenji took the first, tearful phone call. (Well, the second, after Mom.) You (JP) prayed with me the next morning. Rose and Yoon showed up with dinner the next day — and with that gesture, the spiritual feeding became physical feeding, which (unbelievably) lasts to this day.

We became the recipients of such overwhelming compassion from ABC. We got in touch with our neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins through ABC. Hayong set up a schedule for meals and visitations for So Young, and eventually even prayer and fasting. Literally over a dozen people banded together — most of them from ABC — to drive So Young to Johns Hopkins every day for radiation. Amanda and Ashton recorded two songs for us that we blasted on the way to Baltimore. Money for medical bills started pouring in from ABC. Ashleigh rallied PrimeTime to help us with various things, most notably some really intense babysitting. Small groups prayed for us, brought us care packages, and even helped with the Christmas shopping. And honestly, that is a very short list that doesn’t do it justice. People did so much that I often wonder if it is possible to keep track of it all or thank everyone.

We got the message loud and clear! God was telling us that He loved us and would not leave our side. So Young  and I always pray two things: please heal So Young and thank you for showing your love for us so clearly through these people, and especially through ABC.

So you ask how God has worked through ABC? That’s the short answer from my perspective. I could write a lot more.

God bless and thank you, JP, for everything you continue to do…

James

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