My Third Best Friend at Berkeley
Luke 15:1-31 and Philippians 1:6
By Joseph Yosuk Lee
This testimony is an encouragement for me and other
struggling believers. Christ promised that He will
perfect every good work in us until the day of Christ.
It was a few days before my graduation in May of 1994
at Berkeley. I called about 15 people from KCPC (Korean
Central Presbyterian Church) to come to my graduation.
I expected only one person to show up. That was John
[alias name]. He was my third best friend at Berkeley.
Brian Lim told me that he had to study and may not make
it. I told myself that I was going to be disappointed
because only one person out of 15 would probably show
up at my graduation. As all of my colleagues in the
physics department were getting their diplomas, I only
heard a soft applause. I was about to receive my diploma,
and suddenly, I heard a roar of believers yelling my
name from the top of the balcony. I was shocked. I could
not believe that almost all of the people including Brian
Lim showed up. Frank Han, my second best friend at
Berkeley, also showed up for my graduation. Frank Han
is Tommy Han's older brother. Only John did not make it.
He was busy studying for his finals and could not make
it to my graduation. Although John let me down by not
being there, I still love him as a friend.
It was the summer of 1996, and I had just come back
from San Simon, Mexico. It was a culture shock to be back
at home. I remembered that I threw up after I returned
from San Simon. Even though I faced some physical
hardships at San Simon, my faith in God was at its peak.
I was so blessed to have my first real shower in a long
time. I called one of my good friends at Berkeley to
see how he was doing. Of course, I called John.
The following was our conversation.
"John [alias name], how are you doing?" I was talking
on the phone from Irvine.
"I am not doing so well. My roommate told me that you
are really mad at me," John responded from Berkeley.
"Come on, John. I am not mad at you. What are you
talking about?" It sounds so ridiculous. I felt like
"So, you are not mad at me," he spoke with relief.
"Of course, not. Anyway, how is church?" I asked John.
"I am not going to church anymore," John told me the
"Why?" I was curious.
"Because I do not like the brothers and sisters in
church," John complained.
"What did they do wrong?" I wondered.
"They are all hypocrites, and I have something to
tell you," John said.
"What is it?" I showed my concern.
"I am no longer a Christian," he said, and I thought
that he was joking.
"What are you talking about? You뭭e got to be joking,
"Joseph, I am very serious," he spoke in a monotone
"O.K. Prove to me that you are no longer a Christian."
"How am I going to do that, Joseph?"
"Use the 'f' word," I whispered in a soft tone.
"O.K. I hate God. F--- God as well," John said and
Suddenly, I felt so terrible, "John, what happened to
"Did you ask for forgiveness?"
"No, because I do not believe that God really cares about
"John, you are making me extremely sad. Do you know that
there is a hell?" I spoke almost with tears in my eyes.
"I used to believe in hell, but now, I do not believe that
"I am going to pray for you. John, can I ask Brian Lim to
pray for you?"
"Joseph, please do not tell Brian," John panicked.
"John, I want Brian to know so that we can pray for you.
He can keep this a secret. He is my very best friend."
"Joseph. I thought I was your best friend," John was obviously
disappointed when I acknowledged Brian as my best friend at
Thus, I had to lie, "Well, you are my second best friend."
Actually, John was my third best friend at Berkeley.
Miraculously, he believed me even though I was terrible
in playing Mafia.
"I guess that you love Brian a lot," John said.
"John, I love you too, and I really do care for you. If
a North Korean soldier were to point a gun at you and me
and said that one of us must die, I would tell the North
Korean soldier to take my life," I told John (Summer of
"If the North Korean soldier were to point a gun at me
and Brian, you would probably tell the North Korean
soldier to shoot me. Right, Joseph?" John expected me
"No, John. I would tell the North Korean soldier to
take Brian's life because I know that Brian would
understand," I tried to encourage John by telling him
that I love him a lot.
A few months later, John rededicated his life to Jesus
Christ, but he is going through some tough times. He
was another proof that God continues the good work on
a person once He starts.
Please forward to your friends.
Copyright - CHEMISTRY (CHristian E-mail MIniSTRY)
************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]