Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cochrans in Korea!

Nothing beats having family close by, and Sarah and I have had the immense blessing of having family around here in Daegu over the past few weeks.

The family (L to R)- me, Wanda, Sarah, Brian, and George

Since the middle of August, Sarah's mom has been here with us, helping us raise our newborn son, and helping alleviate much of the stress and challenges that first-time parents face, specifically in the face of the unique challenge of going through all of this in a foreign country.

Sarah's mom Wanda with Liam

Sarah's mom is a rock! She has taught us so much so quickly about how to care for a baby, and she has truly been an amazing support system. We are extremely blessed!

Last week, Sarah's dad George and brother Brian arrived in Korea. Having the additional family around has allowed us the freedom to do more active outings and fun events, showing them the ropes of life in Korea.

Brian and I are a Samsung Lions baseball game

We've had an amazing week or so, climbing a mountain, catching a baseball game, attending a body painting festival, watching a 4D film, walking around a beautiful lake while the sun sets, enjoying Korean BBQ, experiencing a dog & cat cafe, visiting a trick art gallery, walking around traditional markets, and introducing Sarah's brother to the uniquely Korean experience of a multi-bang (a Karaoke, video game, and movie room all in one).

Me at the Trick Art Gallery at EWorld in Daegu

The body painting festival at Duryu Park in Daegu

We also officially booked our flights home to America this week. We officially leave Korea on Thursday, September 20th.

It's been an AMAZING 13 months, and having family around for the last month has truly made this a grand finale!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Over the past few days and weeks, Sarah and I have had to say farewell to the majority of people we have come to know and love as family here in Korea during this past year of an adventure in our lives.

These are people we have journeyed with, laughed with, cried with. They are the ones we have expanded our worlds with, experiencing Korean culture together while simultaneously being challenged by each other's cultures and life experiences.

The whole gang at one of our last dinners

God blessed us with an amazing community of friends here in Daegu, people who (for example) stayed by our side in the hospital for days when our son was in the NICU. They are friends who have taught us so much about caring for one another, and we are so excited to have them as lifetime comrads.

The crew at one of our other last outings together

Here's to a year of love and community, of friendship and shared experiences. May God bless each of these wonderful people, and may our journeys once again cross paths in the not-so-distant future.

Sarah with our amazing friend, Soo Yean

Me and my good buddy Greg

Thursday, August 16, 2012


On Wednesday August 1st, Sarah and I met up with a group of our close friends for a yummy traditional Korean dinner in downtown Daegu.

About 30 minutes into our meal, Sarah's friend referenced an inside joke towards Sarah saying, "whenever I think of you in a car, I think of you peeing yourself." Immediately after she said this, Sarah looked up at everyone and said, "I think my water just broke."

Indeed, it had.

Sarah and I were quite confused by this in the moment, as the baby was not due until August 31st, roughly 5 weeks later.

In what became an unexpected whirlwind evening, Sarah was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance where she was then held overnight for observations.

The following morning, her OBGYN paid us a visit in her hospital room and relayed to us that in fact the baby would need to be delivered by c-section that very day in order to ensure his health and stability.

Less than two hours later at around 9:40 a.m. on August 2nd, Liam Jae Henry came into the world. However, the roller coaster ride had not even cleared the first hill.

Liam, roughly 3 hours after being delivered

Liam was born 5 weeks early and weighed a mere 4.3 pounds. His lungs were not even fully developed, and he was placed in NICU with an intubation ventilator. The doctors were very concerned about a wide range of things from his oxygen levels, brain hemorrhaging, blindness, heart defects, pneumonia, his digestive system, high billirubin levels,  and the list could go on.

Liam (August 4th) hooked up to the breathing machine while receiving UV treatment for billirubin

From the minute we learned of Liam's condition, the massive prayer chain was started. We had people all over the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, and South Korea lifting our child up in constant prayer and asking God to protect and heal our little guy, as well as wisdom for the doctors in how to treat him and help him get better.

Day after day, we saw God's healing work being done in Liam's body. Small step after small step, Liam was able to come off of the intubation ventilation machine within 6 days of his delivery. By 8 days old, Liam was completely independent in his breathing, his digestive system was back on track, and his billirubin levels were almost in check.

Liam (August 8th) officially off on his intubation machine...a BIG answer to prayer!!

Liam (August 10th) completely breathing on his own and ALMOST off the feeding tube!

13 days after his birth and one crazy roller coaster ride, we witnessed the biggest miracle of all- Liam came home from the hospital 100% healthy and on track to being a perfectly healthy little man. Praise God!

On Tuesday August 14th, Liam was released from the hospital and came home!

We cannot fully put into words the magnificent power of God healing our son, nor the gratitude we feel  to all of you who continued to lift us up in prayer during this difficult week and a half. It was by this power alone that we were able to stay strong and keep the faith.

Liam's first day at home with his mommy and daddy

As I type this, Liam and his mommy are taking a nap together in our living room. Looking at them sleeping reminds me of the blessings God has bestowed on us and the millions of reasons we have to be thankful.

Liam showing his Buckeye spirit this morning!

God is good, and because He is good our son is still with us.

We are also ETERNALLY grateful to God for our amazing group of friends here in Daegu, some of whom stayed by us the entire time Sarah and Liam were in the hospital. We don't know exactly why Liam was born prematurely (and we may never know), but we know that had he not been, many of our friends would not have been here in Korea to help us and be our support system. The Lord works in mysterious ways!!!

A few of our good friends (Tom, Lisa, & Sydney) who were with us through the whole ordeal

Sarah with our amazing friend Soo Yean, one of the most amazing people we know who also happens to work at the hospital and was able to come with us to every appointment and visit with Liam to help translate...she is simply an ANGEL!

We are also immensely thankful to the entire medical staff at Kyungpook National University Hospital in Daegu, South Korea for their amazing work and dedication to the well-being of all the mothers and babies who come through their doors. God has gifted them skillfully, and we will be forever indebted to them!

Sarah and I with the amazing OBGYN who was with us the entire journey and successfully delivered our baby!!

I want to leave you all with this amazing verse that reminds me why there is ALWAYS reason to hope:

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 
-Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, June 18, 2012

Don't Forget the Marshmallows!

This past weekend, Sarah and I went with a group of our close friends up to Pohang for an experience we had yet to embark on during this year in South Korea- CAMPING!

The campsite

Sarah and I had both been discussing how much we had been missing camping in tents in the midst of nature, and we were determined to find a cool place in and around Daegu to set up some tents, roast some hot dogs and marshmallows, and enjoy some good old community with our friends.

The ladies settling into their weekend home

This led us to Chilpo Beach, a very secluded and beautiful beach in the city of Pohang. It was equal parts woods and secluded areas perfect for pitching a few tents, as well as a beautiful beach that we were able to enjoy almost exclusively with our group of friends.

Brad taking in some waves at the beach

It was so refreshing to be away from buildings and busyness, to be able to lounge around on a beach, catch some waves in the ocean, and sit back and relax around a fire with some beef franks, cheap beer, and smores...all alongside good conversation with remarkable people! This is the stuff of life!

Sitting around the fire at night

If you are ever in South Korea or you currently live here and need a weekend 'away', Chilpo Beach is the perfect backdrop to a time of relaxation, meditation, and renewal.

Our morning view from the campsite 

I'm just sad it took us this long to find this place!

Some nighttime fun with sparklers and John's expensive camera with cool features!

Monday, June 4, 2012

City & Beach

These past few weeks and weekends have been filled with loads of adventure and fun!

Our good friend from the states, Kersti Bury, got to visit us in Korea from May 24th-May 28th. We got to show her around our hometown of Daegu and then headed out with some friends for the weekend to the wonderful wide world of Seoul!

Sarah and I with our friend Kersti in downtown Seoul

There we partook in some of the traditional tourist excursions- Namsan Tower and cable car, the ancient palaces, Taco Bell (he he he!), and the Korean War Memorial.

(L to R) Lisa, Sarah, me, Jennifer, & Tom making the letters to "Korea" at the Japanese prison camp in Seoul

We also got to experience a few new things, visiting an old Japanese prison camp that was used to hold (and sometimes execute) Korean patriots during the Japanese invasion, and we also got to experience our first ever dog cafe!

Me and the most gigantic husky in the world at a dog cafe in Seoul

During the week after our trip to Seoul, Sarah and I were invited to perform a set of songs at a Canadian delegates gathering at the Novotel Hotel in downtown Daegu. We were even introduced by the Canadian Ambassador to Korea himself! Definitely a once in a lifetime kind of gig! We did some cover tunes including Bryan Adams, Michael Buble, and Sarah McLachlin, among others.

Sarah and I performing at the Canadian delegates gathering in downtown Daegu

This past weekend we took another trip with our group of friends down to Busan for the annual beach Sand Festival. If you have not witnessed a Busan Sand Festival and you live in or plan to visit Korea, you NEED to check this out!

One of the crazy cool sand sculptures in Busan during the Sand Festival

We spent a good chunk of time at Haeundae Beach, and I must say that this was my favorite trip to Busan yet! It really becomes the place to visit in summer time.

                                             Sarah and I taking in Haeundae Beach in Busan

In the evening on Saturday we wined and dined and celebrated our good friend John's 25th birthday, followed up by some much needed karaoke!

(L to R) Tam, me, Jeff, John, Lethan, Sarah, Alexa, & Lisa in a karaoke room in Busan

All in all, we've been staying busy this month and look to continue staying busy into the heart of summer!

3 months away from being parents, and Sarah and I are on cloud 9! God is good!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Catching Up's been a little while, huh?!

I realized as I sat down to write this that there are quite a few things to get you all caught up on.

It seems like the world sort of stopped when we found out Sarah was pregnant back in late December, but the reality is life has gone on in all the ways that it does. We've been teaching, we've taken in a few baseball games and soccer matches, we've been exploring this amazing country and getting to know many of its amazing people, and we've been growing closer to all of the amazing people in our little community here.

Needless to say, we haven't stopped living! We're excited to be parents and can't wait for little Liam Jae to arrive, but we are also trying to be mindful of the present and soak in every second we are still here in Daegu, South Korea.

Back in February and March we said goodbye to a few of our good friends- Greg, Gabi, and Vanessa.

Greg and Gabi Boy finished their 2 years of teaching in February and headed back to South Africa after spending a few weeks taking in all the spots in the United States. Greg and I became good friends through our mutual love of music, and we got to become great friends alongside of the experiences we had playing out and jamming together. Greg is definitely a lifelong friend and someone I know my path will run into again someday down the road.

Greg and Gabi Boy

In March we said goodbye to our friend Vanessa, who is from Toronto and left recently after spending time here in Korea training in archery with the hopes of representing Canada in the upcoming summer Olympics. From what I've seen and heard, it is pretty likely she will! She also had a chance to play percussion with me at a show I did in Daegu, and Sarah and I got to experience our first ever subway performances with Vanessa at her prompting. Cherished memories for a lifetime!!!

Vanessa Lee, future Olympian! :)

In April, we went to Jinhae (about 90 minutes from Daegu) for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. It was absolutely gorgeous, and we got to see a side of Korea that really encapsulated the magnitude of the country's beauty.

At the Cherry Blossom Festival in Jinhae

I recently celebrated my 27th birthday on May 8th, and Sarah and my good friends here surprised me with a fantastic party at a multi-bang (which is basically a party room with video games, movies, karaoke, food, etc.) and then treated me for dinner at Bennigans (yes, Daegu has a Bennigans!).

Me with my party face on at the multi-bang in downtown Daegu

Our friends at my birthday dinner (L to R: John, Tom, Lisa, Chris, Ann, Sarah, me, Jeff, Alexa, 
Sydney, Luke, & Jen)

I've taken a few months off from music in preparation for my big acoustic CD release show on June 8th, when I will be releasing my new acoustic CD The Daegu Sessions, which was written in and inspired by this year we've been living in Korea. My friend Brandon Inman was kind enough to use his AMAZING talents to draw the album cover for this new CD, which in itself is a masterpiece!!! I am excited to share this new music with everyone.

Album cover for "The Daegu Sessions" (illustrated by Brandon Inman)

I am also nearing the final draft of my non-fiction book, Handling Static, which I've been writing since 2008. The extra time I've had due to the lenient job hours of teaching has allowed me to pour so much more into this book over the past few months, and it's almost complete. The final book should be finished and ready for print/purchase by August of this year. Below is the book cover created by my good friend, Kersti Bury...another AMAZING artist!!

Book cover for "Handling Static" (illustrated by Kersti Bury)

Sarah has begun the incredible task of applying for youth pastor jobs back in the states, in the hopes that God will lead us to a new church and youth ministry by the time we return home this fall. She has already submitted several applications, and there are more in the works. Please keep us in your prayers during the next few months as Sarah looks for a ministry position where God can use her for His perfect plan. We're excited and nervous all at the same time.

Sarah will be 26 weeks pregnant this upcoming weekend...CRAZY! It feels like we just found out about the pregnancy yesterday!! God has been good to us and has been taking care of and watching over both mom and baby boy.

Sarah at 22 weeks pregnant

It's also crazy to think that my little sister Emily, who was born premature, came into this world at this same week Sarah is approaching in her own pregnancy. No doubt, my sister is a miracle baby!

This week our friend Kersti comes to visit us and spend some time with us in and around Daegu and Seoul.

The next few weeks look to be pretty fun-filled, featuring a trip to Seoul, a weekend trip to Busan for the Sand Festival, and a July trip to Korea's Mudfest (we'll let the name speak for itself for now...more to come!).

Anyways, we hope to become more consistent with this blog again, and we'll look to make another post within the coming weeks.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Subway Rockstars \m/

For those of you that know me (even a little bit), you know that I am not very big on drawing attention to myself in public. Yes, I'm a musician and a teacher. I have no qualms about being in front of people or performing in public...when it's planned.

However, the idea of spontaneous and attention grabbing public performances in which a song or dance randomly emerges in a random location and it is not expected, there is an intense type of fear that overwhelms every inch of my body.

We recently became good friend with Vanessa Lee, a girl I played drums with at a church we were attending for a while. She expressed to Sarah and I that she had always dreamed of doing a subway music performance, and she wondered if we also might be up for something like this in and around Daegu. Sarah, I learned, had also always wanted to do something like this. The idea alone brought tears to her eyes.

So I, alone, was the deciding factor on this adventure. Would I say no and let down the hopes of two incredible gals who just wanted to get their public groove on and fulfill a childhood dream? Or would I cower away in my fear and lack of self-confidence?

The answer to this million dollar question is below...

It should surprise most of you then to read that I, along with Sarah and our good friend Vanessa, are now apart of an elite group of people who have dared the adventure of performing music in a metropolitan subway. In addition, we also broke out in song recently on a stage in the center of downtown Daegu.

Yes! You heard me correctly. Sarah and I have recently embarked several times of performing both originals as well as Korean and American cover songs in the downtown Daegu subway and on the streets of Korea.

It was an adrenaline rush of an experience and a nice resume addition. I highly recommend this to all!