Alumni Mosaic

October 8, 2013

Justice Awakening

by Eddie Byun
Finaleddie

My time at Regent College (1995-98) was one the highlights of my life. It was there that I learned to turn theology into doxology and for that, I am forever grateful.  

After graduating with an MDiv in 1998, I began pastoral ministry and taught courses at Handong Global University in Pohang, South Korea, which is an international Christian university. During my three years there, I met my beautiful wife Hyun, was married and shortly thereafter found that God was leading us to Sydney, Australia. In 2002 I founded New Life Worship, and what was expected to be just a one-year stopover in the land Down Under, turned into almost seven years of seeing the Korean-Australians of Sydney excited for Jesus and His Gospel.

In 2008, God led me back to Korea to be the Lead Pastor at Onnuri English Ministry, which is the international congregation of Onnuri Community Church, where I am currently serving today. But for the past few years especially, God has been leading our church to begin pursuing justice for many of vulnerable groups in Korea. Our church began serving the orphans, the single moms, the elderly, the poor, the refugees, and especially the trafficked victims in Korea. I discovered that South Korean women were the #1 trafficked people group into Australia and Japan, and one of the top into the United States. I also learned that just in South Korea alone, there are estimates of 350,000 to over 1 million women and girls who are forced into sexual servitude in this country. This shocked me, angered me, and awakened my soul to pursue justice for these precious souls. 

So we began a justice ministry in our church called H.O.P.E. Be Restored (Helping the Oppressed and Prisoners of injustice Escape and Be Restored) and began taking steps to help these women and change the tide of this evil within our nation. God started giving me many ideas and practical steps that a church can take to help end this evil and as a result, it led me to write my first book, Justice Awakening: How You and Your Church Can Help End Human Trafficking. It will be published through InterVarsity Press (IVP) in May 2014. I would love your prayers for this book to be used to awaken the heart of the Church globally to pursue justice for the millions who are enslaved in one of the worst forms of evil the world has ever known.  I believe one of the reasons why this great evil has grown so large around the world is because the Church has been absent in this fight for far too long. It’s time for the Church to stand and be the light that God has called us to be, especially in the places of great darkness.

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Eddie is a pastor who has chosen to actively engage in critical issues of social justice, for his community in South Korea and beyond. In addition to the work with orphans, Eddie leads "Single Love" a ministry specific aimed to serve single mothers in South Korea. And he is the founder of  HOPE Be Restored, which focuses on serving people affected by modern-day slavery. On October 26, 2014 the group will be involved in a bike ride for hope against trafficking  (YouTube video by one of the supporters). Eddie is planning a mini book-tour to the US and Canada for fall 2014. For details and information stay tuned to Eddie's website.