Eugene Cho

the grand canyon – oh, my god…

“Oh my God…”

Those were literally the words that came out of my mouth couple days ago as my family and I soaked in the majestic beauty of a sunset at Grand Canyon.

Minhee and I are both aware how blessed we are to have this time – not only with our children but also with one another. Honestly, I’m not sure how if I’ll ever get to take our whole family on a 10 week cross country drive and exploration again. While the first two weeks haven’t necessary been “restful” with three kids doing their kid thing in the back, we’ve had some really precious moments of family bonding and creating memories.

By far, the most special moment was soaking in our visit to several national parks including this trip to the Grand Canyon. We grabbed a great spot (a bit too close to the ledge for Minhee’s comfort) to witness another example of God’s amazing creation.

I wish I had more profound words that came across my mind but I simply thought

Oh my God. How magnificent you are…

again and again…

I last visited Grand Canyon about 17 years ago and while I hope it doesn’t take me another 17 years, who knows what the future holds. I’m trying to live neither in the past or too far into the future but to simply rejoice in this day…

If you’ve never had a chance to visit the Grand Canyon, I hope these pictures compel you to make plans – not only to visit but to plan on soaking in a sunrise or sunset. Click on the images below to see the higher resolution pictures. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

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your favorite national park?

As most of you know, Minhee and I – and our three kids (12, 10, and 8 ) are driving about 7000 miles around the country (mostly around the West and Midwest) for our sabbatical. We’re loosely making things up as we go along – which is both very adventurous and very stressful. But one of my hopes is to show my family – especially our urban kids – the amazing beauty of this country.

During my younger and single days, I drove through every single state in the Mainland U.S. and attempted to visit every single national park. I was pretty close.

While we won’t be able to visit every state or every park, my goal for our sabbatical road trip is to visit a handful of them. We were recently able to spend several hours at one of my favorite national parks, Arches National Park. It’s definitely in my top 3 if not my favorite. While you’re not able to see much wildlife, there’s something about the rocks and the dizzying shades of light that’s throughout the park including numerous spots and “caves” where it’s probably about 20-30 degrees cooler that the area temperature.

This country is so amazing and beautiful so here’s a simple question – both for my curiosity and for our planning:

What’s your favorite national park and why?
Any you’d like to recommend?

Here are some pics from our visit to Arches National Park: Read the rest of this entry »

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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

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The Western Wall in Old City of Jerusalem (aka The Wailing Wall) - from the Second Jewish Temple.

I'm hoping to share a few stories of people that I met (Jewish, Muslims, and Christians) in the Holy Land in the days to come. One of our Palestinian tour guides said to me, "You will leave with more questions...and that's a good thing." He was absolutely right. We want everything so nicely packaged but if we're honest, it's very rare in a broken, complex world...and I can't think of too many things more complex than the situation in Israel and Palestine.

While I certainly understand and resonate with Israel and its history and its need to protect itself from harm, one can't deny the history and existence of Palestine as well. 
Is peace possible? This was the focus of my trip to the Holy learn more about the conflict and those that are working towards peace. My friend, Scott (and other pastor), Mae (our guide) and I had the privilege of going to a Jewish synagogue this past Friday. We were then hosted by a local rabbi and his family for a Shabbat meal. It was marvelous. Incredible. Illuminating. Delicious. A true honor to be invited to his home with his wife and three children. To pray, learn, share, and ask questions. 
What I loved the most was the story of how Rabbi Daniel and his wife rented a bus to take 15 of their friends to the West Bank ... to see for themselves the impact of the wall and the Israeli policies. Some of their friends had never even entered the West Bank...don't personally know a Palestinian. It's impossible to work towards peace when we don't know anyone from the other side...when we don't understand the other side.

Thank you, Rabbi Daniel. Old Jerusalem. So many stories. So much history. The synagogue in Capernaum (Galilee) where Jesus began his public ministry. He taught with authority... Pray for your pastors and teachers...that they may teach with courage, conviction, humility, and ultimately, directing people to Christ - the Word made flesh.

Speaking of, so excited to be teaching at @Quest Church tomorrow. If you're in the Seattle area, join us. A glimpse of Jordan River where John baptized Jesus. "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." What amazes me most about this event is about...timing and patience. For Christ, it wasn't about "if" but about "when." In a world of supersonic pace,  impatience, quick results, hurry and now and NOW...Jesus waited for the Father's timing. He was patient and faithful. I need to learn that waiting on the Lord in itself isn't apathy but rather an act of faith. The town of Bethlehem and at the site of the cave (aka manger) of the birth of Christ.

One of the highlights was a class of Palestinian Muslims and Christian kids in a local public school singing a Christmas carol for us in Bethlehem...just across the Shepherd's Field. Galilee. Surreal to be at the mountainside where Jesus delivered "The Sermon on the Mount" ... aka The Beatitudes. Walking around praying for Paris, Beirut, Istanbul, Nigeria, Mali, Palestine/Israel... This verse is so particularly important in light of all the violence in the world. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9

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