Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty fighting and prison reform, including profiling ministries in the annual Hope Awards for Effective Compassion competition. She is also a part of WORLD's investigative unit, the Caleb Team. Charissa resides with her husband, Josh, in Austin, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @CharissaKoh.

Torin Olsen

Working for the kingdom

Religion | God’s calling on Tom Sharkey’s life seemed irresistible, but 31 years of pastoring a sometimes-resistant flock was challenging
by Charissa Koh
Posted 4/23/20, 05:02 pm

Third in a series on long ministry

Atheist Tom Sharkey became a Christian in college and was surprised when people urged him to become a pastor. “I kept hearing the word preach,” he says. “I just kept trying to push that out of my mind.” When a campus ministry asked him to preach for its service, he said no. But the group insisted, and afterward he received positive feedback. 

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Yoonjun Moon

Hospice care and soul care

Health | Christians working in hospice find opportunities to serve patients, families, and churches in their valley of suffering
by Charissa Koh
Posted 4/23/20, 04:56 pm

Lloyd Wilson remembers his first experience with hospice care: His brother was preparing to marry, and the fiancée’s mother was enduring the final stages of breast cancer. Her health declined fast, and the family scrambled to hold the ceremony on a Saturday afternoon in the mother’s bedroom while she received hospice care.

Wilson said that was the first wedding where he really understood “till death do us part.” The mother died soon after, and Wilson realized: “So much happens at that last part of life that is rich and meaningful and deep that is not talked about.” 

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Roger Nomer/Genesis

First to hurt, last to recover

Compassion | As a pandemic continues, poverty-fighting ministries struggle to meet needs, with decreasing donations and fewer volunteers. But many persevere, trusting God to provide
by Charissa Koh
Posted 4/23/20, 03:37 pm

Staff members at Watered Gardens homeless mission in Joplin, Mo., hung blue tarps between rows of cots, in case residents coughed during the night. 

Thirty-eight black metal cots, topped with blue blankets, lined the large room where men can sleep. During the day, residents earned their stay in the mission’s Worth Shop where they could grind coffee, break down donated items to recycle, or craft blankets out of plastic bags. 

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