M. Peter Cho's life testimony and mission report, Savannah (Coastal Georgia)
God who helps us to take delight in thrilling things
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
1. God helped me to learn humility
In the fall of that year there were Exodus Bible studies in Anam Center. I could see that many shepherds confessed their sins sincerely before God through their testimonies. From that time on I decided to live as a disciple of Jesus. In order to serve God during my sophomore year, I selected industrial engineering, because there were fewer classes than mechanical or electronic engineering. Beginning with my older brother, I started studying the Bible one-to-one with my friends. I was trained directly under shepherd Mark Yang as one of the Seven Tigers, which was the first disciple group at Anam Center.
Shortly thereafter, God blessed me to pioneer the Hangang Center for the Choong-Ang University along with some coworkers, such as Shepherds Isaac and Rebekah Sung, Andrej So, Barnabas and Young-mi Suh, and so on. Our first Bible center was one room in my new house. During the first several years, the Holy Spirit worked mightily raising disciples firmly from the Chung-Ang University, and among them, Msn. David and Esther Hong were sent to Mexico. After that God blessed the work of Hangang Center with many promising disciples, including shepherd Noah Whang. In the year 2000, I turned 40 years old, and I thought that the time had come for me to make a decision of faith like Moses. Then I resolved to go out as a lay missionary because I had a desire to be a UBF lay missionary and an international Bible teacher. Without hesitating, I handed over my chapter directorship to shepherd Deukhyun-Kang who was serving the Hanse Center in the summer of 2001.
At last, on August 12, 2002 I was sent as a student missionary with all my family members with the admission from a graduate school in Chicago.
2. God who helps us to takes delight in thrilling things
After 6 months of study at Chicago, from January 2003, I began a master’s course in mathematics at the University at Buffalo to be a math teacher. I never expected to receive a scholarship from the school because of my age, which was over 40. I cried out to God for help, God blessed me to received all A’s for the first time in my life and the position of a teaching assistant as well.At last the two year master’s course in mathematics was ended, and I moved to New York City and sought a position as a math teacher in a high school.
But I could not receive a work permit because of intense visa competition during those days. Because of that I had to keep on studying. While I studied in the master’s course in math education at Molloy College in Long Island, I worked to solve my financial problems as an assistant in the kitchen of a deli convenience store for one year. I endured continually with the hope that I could escape from these hard labors when the visa problem was solved. But the problem was not solved till the master’s course was ended in the summer of 2007. But I believed that it was God’s will, which I didn’t know. Then I applied for a PhD program in math education in the University at Buffalo where I had attended before. After the studying one year in the PhD program, I sent my resume to about 100 colleges in the USA. In the long run, I had an interview, passed it, and received a position as a full-time math instructor at the College of Coastal Georgia.
By God’s grace, beginning in August 2008, I lectured students in mathematics on a full scale, and my visa problem was solved. In March of last year, my wife and I received our permanent visas also. I have been working here for two and a half years. At first, I was afraid of standing on a platform because of my language problem. Then I realized the problem was my lack of faith and repented.
I spoke boldly and loudly with indifference about pronunciation. I helped students to see important terms with their own eyes through PowerPoint. I made all the curriculums with PowerPoint and designed all the backgrounds with beautiful landscapes from National Geographic. I made the class atmosphere joyful by putting interesting photos in every slide. And I helped them to hear exciting music for about 3 or 4 minutes during the intermission. The result was very successful.The Dean, my direct officer, gave me an excellent credit, 3.9 out of 4.0, after observing my class at work. In student evaluations about their professor every semester, I was unanimously rated as an excellent professor.
Praise God! He helped me to overcome my language problem by faith. From my first class last semester, I made it clear that I had come to America as a missionary. I announced that anyone who wanted to study Bible with me could do it free of charge. Then God brought me brother Benjamin who has desire for Jesus and has been faithfully studying the Bible with me two times a week in my office. He is now studying John’s gospel. Please pray for him to grow well as a disciple of Jesus. I also am studying a PhD course in the University at Buffalo.
While teaching, I realized that college is the best environment to serve the student gospel ministry because I can meet with them all day long. So I decided to finish this PhD course to remain continually in the school as a full professor in college. I finished the course work through a long distance study, and now I am writing the final stage of my thesis. I pray that I may receive the PhD degree this year after finishing the thesis.
I went through many hardships inwardly and outwardly because I couldn’t get a work permit and green card for a long time, but through this training God led me in the best way beyond my expectations as a professor in college to serve God’s flock through the gospel.
We are serving God’s ministry as a house church in Savannah, Georgia. Savannah is a historical coastal city which by car is 5 hours away from Atlanta, the capital city of Georgia. There are 5 big colleges including Armstrong Atlantic State University, which we are praying to pioneer. It was very difficult for us to raise disciples because we had to move from one city to another for 8 years during our mission life (Chicago to Buffalo to New York to Buffalo to Savannah). In the meantime Msn. Christine has been praying earnestly to feed God’s flock and helped me, who was very busy with teaching and study, with all her strength. I wasn’t able to do it without her support and prayers.
I thank God for my daughter, Hannah, who endured the hardship of moving many times, and who did not complain at all but obeyed silently, studied diligently, and grew well as a precious coworker of faith. She is now a senior in college and we are praying for her entrance into the best graduate school. We are truly thankful for your constant prayers for my family.
In conclusion, when I look back on my life as a missionary, I used to cry out to God with a hasty mind. I wanted to receive a scholarship quickly, graduate hastily, get a job immediately, establish myself in a hurry, and get my green card without delay. I felt that God’s response was always slower than my expectation. Actually, it was not speedy. But when I look back on my mission life for 8 years, I acknowledge that God works for the good of those who love him, though sometimes we feel God delays his work. I praise him for he is the God who helped me take delight in thrilling things.
Because of the leading of this God, now I received my green card and am freely teaching mathematics and the Bible on campus. I praise and thank God who always gives the best gifts to those who trust and follow him.
1. To follow the good shepherd Jesus.
2. To preach the Gospel boldly with one to one Bible studies.
3. To write a dissertation and finish the PhD program.
One word: God who postpones deliberately; God who helps us to take delight in thrilling things