Memorial Day 2015

m1Memorial Day in the United States is a day of remembering the men and women who gave their lives defending freedom. It is a day of somber remembrance and gratitude. For me, Memorial Day has come to have new meaning. After leaving ubf, I remembered former members discussing the suicides of ubf members. I decided to do my own research, especially about the suicide at Chicago ubf in 2005. I found L-Train reports and discovered that indeed, the former members were correct. There was a suicide in 2005. So I decided to dedicate Memorial Day with an additional meaning–a day of remembering those who chose suicide in the midst of their problems and the burdens placed on them by the ubf lifestyle.

Remembering Sarah


Back in 2012, I shared my thoughts on remembering Sarah. I pray for the continued healing and  restoration of their family. I pray for grace and peace to be with them. I pray for the memory of Sarah to be a good one–a reminder that life is short and that we should live our lives in happiness. I pray that her life may remind us of the pressure people are living with.

Remembering the Others

frThe other suicides related to ubf people are still mostly a mystery to me. They are like unknown soldiers, people I don’t know much about. Still I remember them. Here is a quote from the past: “Then something tragical happened. A UBF shepherd from my chapter had commited suicide. I had known him a little bit and had lived for some time together with him in UBF “common life.” Therefore I went to his funeral, together with D (who had been his shepherd) and one or 2 other UBF members.” When we begin to pressure someone to make life decisions for the sake of ubf mission, might we remember the burdens people are dealing with?

The Burden Layers


In my article, “My Journey of Recovery” I shared the multiple burden layers that I had discovered in my life after leaving ubf. I suspect there are more. It is these burden layers that ubf imposes onto your life, so much so that thoughts of suicide enter your mind. It is these layers of burden that I demand ubf leaders to remove from ubf members. I demand that ubf “shepherds” no longer falsely advertise “just one hour of bible study per week!” when they have this massive lifestyle of entanglement planned for the new students.

Suicide is not the Unforgivable Sin

1I also take the time each Memorial Day to share with people that suicide is not the unforgivable sin. Suicide may be the only way to find peace. You see, that is what the human soul seeks–peace and hope. When you take away peace and hope people are left with darkness and silence. I find solace in Jesus’ Gethsemane prayer. Our Messiah prayed for us. He forgives us. He longs to live inside us. He is alive today and loves us.

The Bigger Issue

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 1.32.16 PMFor those who took their own lives, there is nothing left to discuss. My greater concern is for those who live with thoughts of suicide, depression or sadness. That is why I bring up this topic on Memorial Day, to raise awareness and courageously talk about a typically taboo subject.

So I ask: What gives you hope? How do you find peace? Why do you say we should value life?

One final thought… The movie “A Few Good Men” inspired me with courage beyond belief. I love this scene and I see myself as Tom Cruise :)


  1. Thanks Brian. Yes, I’ve heard of suicides in UBF, both in the US and in Korea. The families of those of took their own lives certainly need our prayers and tears and compassion. By God’s help the day may come when we may begin to address these suicides and learn from them.

  2. forestsfailyou

    From an early age my brother would threaten suicide and it was something we always watched out for. When my brother was 14 he tried to kill himself with aspirin when a girl he liked wanted to date another guy. My brother had given all of his saving thinking he could buy her love. When his first girl friend dumped him he tried to kill himself again and then finally a third time. When I arrived at the hospital he didn’t recognize me and it was the worst day of my life. To look right at my brother and have him look at me with some semblance of recognition but with no idea who I was. He lifted his hand to me and yelled something that only he could understand.

    One day a few years later he lost his job, and he was facing many drug related fellonies. Everything seemed hopeless and I told him he just had to have faith. Everything comes to pass. A few weeks later I was moving to St. Louis when my pastor asked me to have a going away dinner. At that dinner he said he really hated to see me leave, but he knew God had plans for me. Then he told me that my brother had contacted him and told him he was planning on committing suicide. I was so stunned, it had been weeks and this guy didn’t have enough sense to come tell me. I could tell as he told me that he had no idea how to handle, half way passing it off as something that wasnt really a big deal. I sat speechless and just said “Well, thank God nothing happened…”

    Suicide is a serious thing.