Preaching that we should always trust in God can feel kind of trite and condescending when done from the comfort of a sleepy Southern California suburb while yet another South Korean hostage has been murdered in Afghanistan. It’s bad enough that such a terrible series of events is happening, but I start to despair when the response of the body of Christ here is either deafening silence or outright hostility. One outstanding voice has been Eugene Cho, through his regular updates and insights into this situation.
There is a time and place for critiquing and questioning this group’s purpose and methodology in their trip to Afghanistan, but now is not that time. When people are being murdered and held hostage, we should mourn, weep and pray — not stand on our comfortable soapboxes, point fingers and blame the victims. It saddens me that a powerful voice such as Christianity Today barely mentions this tragedy — and, even then, focuses their coverage on critiquing Korean missionary efforts rather than sounding the call to prayer and solidarity.
Regardless of whether or not this particular group was there to overtly share their Christian faith, it frustrates me to hear criticisms such as, “Well, they should have known something like this would happen in such a dangerous place” or “They have no right to try to be there.” Maybe one day I will share some of my thoughts about the shortcomings of Korean and Korean American missionary efforts, but I will say this right now — I have known many Korean missionaries who have given up very comfortable lives in order to go live in hard places, often without electricity or running water and usually without recognition or applause, simply because they are compelled by the love of God in Christ. By the same line of reasoning many critics are following, the martyrs of Hebrews 11 should never have gone into difficult places hostile to Christ.
Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy.