Rev. Taeseob Cho became the pastor of the Old Orchard Beach UMC in October 2019. We look forward to getting to know him more over the coming weeks, months, and years.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ at Old orchard Beach UMC. My name is Taeseob Cho. Currently, I am serving Rainbow UMC in Portland as an ordained pastor and from the first Sunday of October, I will be your ministry partner as a coordinator of worship service and group Bible study. My wife, EunHee Park, is a professional musician who services West Kennebunk UMC as a music director. I have two children, Ethan (4 years old) and Ellen (3 years old).
In my deepest despair and agony, I met God as a Healer when my family was sinking down in many ways.
From 2000 to 2003, my life was like walking through the darkest and deadly valleys every day. First of all, all of sudden, my beloved mother had a severe stroke and it caused the right side of her body to become permanently paralyzed. And then my father’s business went down into bankruptcy because of a national foreign exchange crisis. Even worse, my family was shunned by some church leaders because of misunderstanding and false rumors. We were harassed by creditors every day and night.
I felt deep and violent anger within myself like flame and I spent hours and hours blaming and screaming at God because it seemed all God’s fault. I denied my faith in God and let my soul suffer from a deep depression. At the end, in the stage of self-abandonment, I started hurting people around me and even myself. I was wounded and broken.
However, God did not leave me alone. It was the term of military service when I felt God’s healing hands touched me. One of the good things about military service in Korea is that there are plenty of times which soldiers can reflect their life quietly. My best time was overnight duties. Firstly, God led me into deep conversations with myself through reflections and writing journals. It was painful process but a necessary process for healing to know my helpless condition. Every time, I had to admit that I was destroying myself and hurting others, especial my family, by being captured with anger, sorrow, and fear. And then God led me into the next process. God gradually invited me into conversations with God. Sometimes I complained or just demanded what I wanted. Other times, I just cried out. After I disgorged everything in my heart, a long silent time came. Under the dark night sky, I did not do anything, and God did not want me to do anything. We just sat there together night after night. Later, from time to time God spoke to me a word, phrase, or sentence through the Bible, people around me, and in prayers. Those words gently but incessantly impacted my heart like a warm misty rain melts a frozen ground in springtime. It continued almost four years until I started seeing hope in Christ again. I have to admit that this healing process is still on going but I give thanks to the Lord that the Lord has called me and uses me as a wounded healer for God’s people.
God has taught me two important lessons through this experience which has impacted through my faith journey and current ministry since then. The first lesson is God never gives upon us. As it is written in Romans 8:39, nothing can separate us from the love of God. The second lesson is that we must be faithful and patient for the fulfillment of God’s will in God’s time; not my time. I wanted an instance solution for my problems but God waited, prepared, and healed me for four years because God’s will for me was transformation and growth; not a Band-Aid. Sometime the way of God seems to tarry but as God says in Habakkuk 2:3, “it will sure come, it will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3). Therefore, we must be faithful and patient to God.
These two lessons have been the central axis of my sermons and teachings. I am looking forward to sharing more details about God and God’s love with you.
I pray for you every day and I ask you to do the same thing for me and my family as well until the day we meet at Old Orchard Beach UMC.