Spring 2019

The Speech Heard Around the World

By Jason Newell

I was typing away on my laptop about eight years ago when a message from a colleague popped up on my chat screen.

“Have you seen this yet?” 

I clicked on the accompanying link, which took me to a video of a young North Korean woman speaking at the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization — an event that had drawn the attention of Christians around the world. The once-in-a-generation global missions conference was taking place that week in Cape Town, South Africa, and many thousands were attending in person and watching from afar to hear stories of God at work among the nations. (Biola was hosting a simulcast on campus, and President Barry Corey had traveled to attend the event in person.) 

With the young woman’s image on my screen, I put in my earbuds and hit play. Seven minutes later, my face was a mess of tears. 

In the hours and days that followed, tens of thousands of people — perhaps including you — had a similar experience, as this high school student’s gripping testimony spread across social media, blogs and news sites, quickly becoming Lausanne’s standout moment. Sarah Chang, as she is known today, had touched the world with a soul-stirring account of her family’s persecution in North Korea, of her father’s desire to spread the gospel even at the cost of his own life, of Jesus meeting her dramatically in the midst of her grief, and of her desperate longing to see the light of God’s grace and mercy shine down on North Korea. It remains one of the most impactful and memorable speeches I have ever heard. All these years later, having watched the video several times since then, it still makes my eyes swell with emotion. 

In this issue’s main feature article, we’re excited to be able share what has unfolded in the time since that memorable speech: an unlikely journey that led to Sarah becoming Biola University’s first North Korean graduate just a few months ago. It’s a remarkable story — one for which she credits the faithfulness of God. 

“My story is, everything is about God,” she told our video and storytelling team. “You can’t explain it without God. That’s why I think my story has touched a lot of people’s hearts.” 

I encourage you to visit our website at magazine.biola.edu, where we’ll include links to both the original Lausanne speech and a new feature produced by our video team. As you do, I hope that you’ll not only be blessed by her inspiring story, but also be stirred to pray for her and the many thousands of other Biola graduates — seen and unseen — seeking to share and live out the good news of Jesus all around the world. 


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  • Elizabeth Swift March 21, 2019 at 9:48 AM

    I cannot find the link to Sarah Chang's Lausanne speech. As you say, "I encourage you to visit our website at magazine.biola.edu, where we’ll include links to both the original Lausanne speech and a new feature produced by our video team."

    I would love to view both. Please let me know how.
    Biola student 1967 to 1969

  • Megan March 21, 2019 at 3:55 PM

    Yes, I too am looking for the links for these videos. Please advise :)
    Thank you!

  • Peter Garra March 21, 2019 at 10:08 PM

    Where is the link???

  • Kathy Flynn March 21, 2019 at 10:43 PM

    I thought it was just me. I can't find the link either. I'm on my phone. Is the page different if I viewed it on my PC?

  • Peter Perona March 28, 2019 at 1:53 PM

    What’s the link to the Lausanne speech?
    I see that others asked a week ago but no
    answer is posted.

  • Sharon Perkins May 5, 2019 at 7:15 AM

    The speech is on YouTube titled “Powerful North Korean Testimony.”

  • Biola Magazine May 9, 2019 at 4:50 PM

    Sorry to leave you all hanging there! You can find links to both Sarah's speech at Lausanne in 2010, as well as the video our team produced for the Lausanne movement at the bottom of our story here: magazine.biola.edu/article/19-spring/a-voice-of-freedom.

    Thanks all for your interest in Sarah's story!

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Issue Highlights

  • A Voice of Freedom

    How Sarah Chang fled North Korea, inspired thousands and became an unlikely Biola graduate

  • Where Psychology Meets Spirituality

    Now in its 50th year, Rosemead School of Psychology is a leader in theologically integrated education and research — with bold aspirations for the future

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