Nathan Cho – Post Philly Testimony


I went into the missions field with the wrong mindset. I wanted a project that I could use to glorify myself, something to brag about and say, “I did this, I did that.”

One might think, “Missions in Philadelphia? That’s nothing like going to Mexico or Africa.” And they would be right; it’s totally different, but it’s just as heartbreaking to know that there is so much poverty and so much brokenness just a few miles from a well-off city. In a city where 1.5 million people live, 25% are in poverty and there are dropout rates of 50%.

One night, we stopped under a bridge where a homeless man might sleep. It was cushioned with bags filled with trash, and bricks covered in slime. “How would you feel,” we were asked, “if you had to sleep here?” And I thought back to earlier that day when I complained about our housing at CSM. We had beds, bathrooms, electricity, running water, what could I complain about?

But in the midst of all the hurt and brokenness in the city, God was still there. He brought people like Hubie who created parks where kids could just have fun. The mayor who brought down crime rates and built schools for people who didn’t have anything. Also, God worked in the people and united them through art and murals.

God was with us when we served at the many facilities where we met and helped homeless people and children. We built relationships, not just within the team, but also the people that we helped. Quickly, we realized that we are all the same and the only difference was our life situations. It was heartwarming to see all the people who kept fighting to get back on their feet and the huge amount of people who were willing to help them do that.

In the end, I could say that I played with kids, fed over 1100 people and built relationships with them, but the thing that I want to brag about is the work that God was doing in the streets and in the people of Philadelphia. He did this, He is doing these things, and He will do that.

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