Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Seoul Rising

Morning sun gave way to some crazy snow showers here in Seoul, a bustling city of ten million people and endless high rise condo towers. Today (it's already Wednesday here) we are having lunch with a few friends and key ministry leaders and a 2 PM meeting with pastors representing most of the major churches and ministries throughout the city.

Seoul is an interesting dynamic, a place where the Christian church has only really exploded in the past fifty years. And explode, it has. We visited today with friends (guests who were at Passion Dallas) at one of the largest churches in Seoul where they oversee ministry to the thousands of young adults and college students. When I say large, this church has 90 different services on a Sunday and has 20,000-25,000 people come through the building (they are growing fast and have trouble keeping count). And that's just this campus. In other places throughout the city that many more are meeting, as well.

But it's not the size of the church that floors you, it's the fervency. As we walked in the main auditorium (seats about 2500-3000) in the late afternoon there were three women deep in prayer scattered across the room. The one closest to me in the balcony was crying out to God with everything she had. I'm pretty sure she never noticed four guys walking around her touring the place. She was weeping, and calling out to God in a language I could not understand, but with a passion and intensity I felt immediately drawn towards. And, as I was told, someone is praying in the place all the time. That doesn't count the three weekday morning prayer meetings at 6 AM which are packed, or the forty days of prayer that just ended where people had to arrive before 4 AM to get a seat for a service that started at 5 AM!

Needless to say it was a powerful image to see on the day First Monday was being posted back in the States. I started thinking about all of our churches, and wondered if you walked into most of them in the late afternoon (or anytime, for that matter) how many people you could hear weeping in the seats. I think we like the idea of praying. But these people believe in the power of prayer.

We went out to the Olympic Park later and walked through the venue we are trusting God to give us for October. (The government has to say yes and they won't even talk to us officially yet!) They were tearing down the stage from an event the night before (The Moonies!) and we just stood and looked at thousands of empty seats...wondering if what "has been" in Korea could "be again" in this new university generation in Seoul. We're humbled to be here, and anxious to see what God will do. But, first we must pray (the kind where you actually pray), because nothing great ever happens without it.


  • Dear Mr. Giglio,
    I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Dallas Passion Conf. It was amazing, but what was even more amazing was raising money for Seoul. Seoul has a special place in my heart...I was born in Seoul, and adopted when I was 9 months old to an amazing set of parents here in the USA. Needless to say I cried when I heard where Passion was heading next. I'm praying for you all! God Bless you guys!

    , Joshua Reynolds

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/04/2008 9:22 PM  

  • Praying for Seoul- and America: that we would have that kind of ferverency here as the Church, too. How amazing it is to think that God not only listens to our prayers but answers as well!
    Have a blessed day in Him (or is it night? :)!

    By Blogger Aslan's Girl, at 3/04/2008 11:10 PM  

  • wow... that is AMAZING.
    I was really urged to pray for Seoul today and it sent me thinking about what affect our prayer really has. I was honored to be at passion Dallas and hear from the leaders who were there representing seoul. I just cant believe that when I saw the blog tonight you wrote about Seoul and about PRAYER! That is just - wow.

    I would ask for a little bit of that "passion and intensity" in my prayer... in my life........

    Just, wow.... thank you Louie for the timeliness of this blog. God just blows me away.

    By Blogger Anna, at 3/04/2008 11:47 PM  


    By Blogger B-Rack 2000, at 3/05/2008 9:32 AM  

  • Praying for the Lord to work in the hearts and minds of the government decision-makers and open wide the doors to that venue. May Jesus Christ show His power, which is way far greater than a guy named moon.

    Looking forward to volunteering in ATL!

    By Blogger Marcia B, at 3/05/2008 10:30 AM  

  • praying strong for Seoul today... praying that God would work in the government folks and we'd see pictures of thousands of students worshiping there in October

    By Anonymous robert, at 3/05/2008 11:26 AM  

  • Even though the government hasn't officially talked with you yet, there are people already officially praying that this event goes down, you officially toured a local venue, and God officially has a plan for Korea (and probably even officially has your team involved in that plan!).

    God bless!

    By Blogger Axiomwear - [See Love, Not Me], at 3/05/2008 11:27 AM  

  • wow! Thank you Lord for what You are doing in Korea in the hearts of the people there to make Your Name so fervently sought! Oh how I long that America would have that urgency in seeking Him!!
    THanks for the post Louie! We are praying for the WT!

    By Blogger teagirl79, at 3/05/2008 1:10 PM  

  • Wow - thank you for that image of prayer - Louie.

    I agree with your statement. While most people ask for prayer, I do not think most people in the American Church realize the power of prayer and the effect it has for Kingdom purpose. They do not discipline themselves to actually get on their knees in the sanctuary or whereever and cry out To Jesus our Savior for hearts to be changed in this world !! It is how God moves througout this earthly Kingdom as we humble ourselves and pray.

    I am so understanding this lately more and more in my life (power of prayer!!) as I am stepping out in faith for what God has called me to do !!

    Praying for Seoul (God is bigger!)

    God Bless,

    By Blogger Angela, at 3/05/2008 2:35 PM  

  • Mr Giglio,
    I am so excited that Passion has a heart for Seoul. I was so excited in Dallas when Seoul was announced as a global pursuit. I just affirm your prayer and heart for Seoul, I definitely feel the Lord's hand on His amazing plans for Seoul. May the Lord, again, show His ability to blow us away with works that are beyond our imagination! If our Lord was mighty enough to make Dallas as amazing and moving as it was, He is mighty to save college students in Seoul through Passion.

    By Blogger Jamie, at 3/05/2008 2:41 PM  

  • thanks so much for this post - oh man that makes me want to get on a plane right now and go pray with those women...

    Lord i pray you continue to alert the city intercessors in each city on the tour Lord and give them a burden for what You are doing through Passion.

    continue to put them in path of the Passion teams for confirmation and encouragement of what You are birthing for Your Kingdom to come on earth!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/05/2008 4:45 PM  

  • I'm glad you made it safely to Seoul. My parents actually left for Seoul on Tuesday and are also safely in town :) I hope your meetings with the church leaders will go well as planned and I'm excited for what God will do in Seoul!! I hope you get a chance to do some sightseeing in Seoul while you're there! Try some Korean food :) Have a safe trip!!

    By Blogger Grace, at 3/05/2008 5:34 PM  

  • My heart is overwhelmed with that beautiful picture you described of the fervency of the power of prayer over there... I've seen it before in another foreign land...

    Anonymous 4:45 PM - I echo your comments & prayer, too.

    First I want to thank You Lord for being who You are
    For coming to the rescue of a man who's drifted far
    For calling me to be Your son and calling me to serve
    Lord the way You've blessed my life is more than I deserve

    Keep the ones I love so dearly
    Fill their emptiness while I am gone
    And fill the loneliness in me

    This is my prayer
    Lifted to You
    Knowing You care even more than I do
    This is my prayer
    Lifted in Your name
    Your will be done I humbly pray

    Let me be the evidence of what Your grace can do
    To a generation struggling to find themselves in You
    May they come to know the love of God
    May their eyes be made to see
    Give me the opportunity to share the truth that sets them free
    And may unity in all things
    Be the banner of Your church
    And let revival's fire begin to burn

    As we face the last and final hours
    Turn a wayward country back to You
    And keep us from the evil that devours
    Keep us on the path and lead us through
    Keep us in Your light until Your kingdom comes
    And our work is done

    This is my prayer
    Lifted to You
    Knowing You care so much more than I do
    This is my prayer
    In Jesus' name
    Your will be done I humbly pray

    By Blogger Sandra R., at 3/06/2008 1:32 AM  

  • The Church of Seoul sounds amazing! They probably have more devotion in the confines of that city than in the confines of HALF, if not less, of America... I go to a Christian University, and I can only think of a handful of people who would get up at 4 AM for 40 days of prayer. This is definitely inspiring and convicting!

    By Blogger amber, at 3/06/2008 1:34 AM  

  • Dear Mr. Giglio,
    I am a Korean residing in Korea
    right now and working as an
    associate pastor in a local church.
    I have always been amazed
    from the songs that Passion
    has produced. I have been
    blessed by the songs by
    Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin,
    Chris Hall, and the David Crowder
    Band. But I thought Passion was
    some kind of a worship band.
    It was only today that I realized
    it was a movement! And a unbelievable, truly God-inspiring,
    electrifying movement at that.
    I have a heart for the college
    students of this nation as well
    and I am truly glad that you
    are coming over here to Seoul.
    I would be more than eager to help
    with anything that you need help
    with. My email is radical529@yahoo.com. If there is anything
    I can do to help, please give
    me an e-mail.

    In Christ,
    Kyumin Jang

    By Blogger Kyumin, at 3/06/2008 6:23 AM  

  • my youth group @ new life korean in c-springs prays with you all for the outpouring of the Spirit over our beloved country! we expect great things for that city!

    By Blogger Joan, at 3/06/2008 12:33 PM  

  • Two weeks out of Passion Dallas and we are already starting to have a revival on our campus. I am a student at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Two days after our group got back our campus minister left for ten days in Isreal. When he got back two days ago, we started praying for reviaval. Within the last Twelve hours, at least five that we know of on our campus have accepted Christ and the spirit is still moving. Pray for the spirit to keep moving on our Campus. We are planning on returning to Passion Atlanta.

    By Blogger AmandaLane, at 3/06/2008 2:27 PM  

  • praying for u of arkansas...yes Lord keep reviving the hearts there! thank you so much Lord

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/07/2008 7:22 AM  

  • The Korean church is such an example of the fervent church!! A Korean church uses our premises and I know what you mean about daily early morning prayer meetings!! I've been so encouraged seeing and hearing them pray - what a beautiful thing. Lifting Passion Seoul up in prayer - may the Lord continue to lead the Passion team and open the doors of His kingdom there.

    Looking forward to being at Passion Atlanta!! Blessings to all at the Passion WT teams.

    Fiona, London

    By Anonymous Fiona, at 3/08/2008 5:33 PM  

  • cool stuff here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/08/2008 9:54 PM  

  • I (and a group of my friends) are constantly praying for you guys and the work you are doing! We are praying for Seoul and know that greater things are yet to come for that city. We are looking forward to ATL!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/09/2008 10:39 PM  

  • By the way, don't know if my subscription is considered in the numbers, but me and my family (4 ladies from South Carolina) listen to your podcasts!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/09/2008 10:43 PM  

  • Louie,
    Are you guys alright? I heard there was a huge tornado in Atlanta, Georgia yesterday? I'm praying that you and the rest of your passion team are alright?

    HelenofCampbell, Ca.

    By Blogger helen, at 3/15/2008 4:29 PM  

  • So much to say...First of all, I guess I'm one of the 21 people that listen to the podcast because Sam floored me! She has wisdom beyond her years and a faith I can feel in her humble voice. I'm praying for HK and East Asia (especially since I've been to her province...kind of surreal to hear her...not going to lie, I teared up a little bit, or a bit).

    Secondly, I can't tell you how beautifully God is moving right now through prayer in my life, in my church, in my campus. People are praying all over the place and God is answering them swiftly and with power! I'm doing Beth's "JESUS: 90 Days with the One and Only" and WOW! Today, before I read this blog, I read the text from the transfiguration, Luke 9:28-36, and what caught my attention was v.29! We see God's glory when we pray...

    I've still got the Seoul, SK wrist band on and I'm still praying. I also prayed through the First Monday Prayer list...I'm not trying to brag, I'm just trying to encourage and let you know there are people praying. Because God...He's answering our prayers and reserves the right to strengthen our faith by not letting us see them answered sometimes. He did this in my life just recently. Or, He made me aware that He does that…I just have to have faith and trust in Him to know that He answers every prayer. They are answered. Wow…yeah. That’s all. Be blessed in Christ!

    By Anonymous Brian, at 3/15/2008 6:32 PM  

  • HALLELUJAH! moved and encouraged by the prayers for Seoul. was great meeting you and seeing Pastor Larry and Pastor Peter again. our prayers are with you and we'll be praying for the conference as well. Happy Easter!


    By Blogger julee1221, at 3/21/2008 11:42 PM  

  • Dear Mr. Giglio,

    It's so awesome to hear that God has given you the vision to see the Passion movement come to Korea! I've been greatly inspired by the songs that come out of Passion and the commitment to the glory of God being magnified on universities. I don't know how God will move through Passion in Korea but I know that God is good and that He probably have something different and special in store for your visit.

    It wasn't too long ago that I missed out on Passion Toronto, which happened shortly after I left UofT for a university in Korea. I thought that would have been my last opportunity to take part in what you guys are doing but I guess I thought wrong. It comes to show that what God does transcends any barriers that may come in His way.

    At the moment, I'm serving on a campus ministry at Seoul National University and praying and working hard to see the Kingdom of God be extended further onto our campus. It's hard to study as a foreigner and even more difficult to spread the Gospel onto this extremely driven and individualistic university. I hope that Passion will be able to encourage our tired souls and help us to see God's glory be revealed on our campuses!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/22/2008 6:30 AM  

  • It was great seeing you in Seoul. May God pour out His favor in every city that Passion hits for the world tour and that many "Marissa's" will be inspired to take God's love and renown to the nations!

    ~ Christian

    By Blogger Christian Lee, at 3/23/2008 12:50 PM  

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