By Judge Tom Kohl
I am a circuit court judge in the State of Oregon. God has given me a powerful story through the brutal murder of my daughter of how He can take a tragedy and turn it into a triumph. It is a story of forgiveness and hope that is only possible in Jesus Christ. I have written a book about this experience and have been blessed to share this story in churches, special events and prisons throughout the country.
I had the honor and privilege to present a workshop at Mission ConneXion’s annual conference in January of this year. I spoke on Jesus and the criminal justice system.
I have known the founder and CEO of Mission ConneXion, Bill MacLeod, for over six years. We were members of the same church and house church, but I really didn’t know him as the founder and CEO until January. At that event, I realized the impact of Mission ConneXion and its true connectivity.
Mission ConneXion brings together churches and missionaries from all over the country and the world. At my workshop I met a young pastor from Corvallis, Oregon. He invited me to speak at a branch of his church located on the campus of Oregon State University. It is a Calvary Chapel denomination. I spoke there and had an awesome experience with the young college students in attendance. What a “connexion”!
A short time later I was asked by a senior pastor at Calvary Chapel to speak at an upcoming men’s event in Corvallis. And just recently my wife was asked to speak at a women’s event that will occur on the same day. What a blessing and what a “connexion”!
A few months ago now, Mission ConneXion was the vehicle that connected me with the country director of Prison Fellowship in Rwanda. I was invited to speak in prisons and reconciliation villages in Rwanda. I just recently returned from Rwanda. God opened the door and made a way for me to speak in two prisons in Rwanda. The experience was life changing and I plan, God willing, on returning to Rwanda next year. There are fourteen more prisons to visit. An amazing “connexion” once again!
I will be forever grateful to Mission ConneXion for facilitating these eternal connections. Mission ConneXion is doing God’s work here on earth.
Tom Kohl is currently in the criminal and civil trial rotation for the state court of Oregon. “Losing Megan” is the book he wrote about his daughter’s brutal murder in 2006. About a year prior to Megan’s death, he helped to establish one of the first adult drug courts in the State of Oregon and has been presiding over it since the beginning. It is an intensive treatment court that combines the criminal justice system with a community effort to change the lives of drug addicts. Tom is married to his wife, Julie.