Eugene Cho

half way to life or death

on a lighter note, i am one year closer towards 40. turned 36 last friday. enjoyed some quiet time at home with the family. it’s been an eventful 36 years – one intense immigration, moved about 25 times (mostly from one dorm to another), 8 cross country drives (7 of them alone), 3 kids and 1 wife, 1 knee operation, 1 broken bone, 1 ruptured achilles, visits to 17 countries, about 63 trips to vancouver, bc, 2249 pieces of sushi consumption, and other stuff but my memory is fading. 

life expectancy in the US for men is 72 years old (77 for women).  global male life expectancy is 62.7 years (66 for women).  the world’s lowest life expectances are swaziland (33.2 years), botswana (33.9) and lesotho (34.5) – all countries from africa.  that’s a long post in itself so I won’t go there because I started off the post with the words, ‘on a lighter note…”.  the world’s highest life expectancies averaging 83.5 years are represented by andorra, san marino, singapore, and japan. 

life is fleeting.  we all know that.  halfway through my statistical life expectancy, i guess my self plea and prayer is that i would live the remainder of my life without regrets.  asides from the importance of relationships, i’ve recently started making a list of things i want to do before i move on.  it includes:  go to at least one u2 and common concert,  attend one 0lympics and one world cup soccer match, backpack europe with minhee, hike up baekdusan in north korea (home of my parents), throw out the first pitch in a future seattle mariners game, give a rah rah speech to the seattle seahawks in a future football game, ‘live’ in africa with family for at least couple months, plant a few more churches, publish one book entitled, ‘the overcomplexified spiritual wanderer,’ catch a 50+lb salmon in alaska, and blah blah blah.  So, my question:  what would you suggest as, “you must do this before you die.”

Filed under: family

5 Responses

  1. john says:

    Happy birthday Eugene. I hit 36 myself a few weeks ago…I’ve got about eight days on you. It’s not so bad from up here.

  2. Teresa says:

    Looking forward to your book:)
    Happy birthday!

  3. james says:

    You’ve got to do that RV roadtrip you’ve talked about before you die.

  4. Baine says:

    It is my personal goal to surpass your sushi-cosumption-at-age-36 by the time I am 36. I am well on my…watch out.

    bbc

  5. eugenecho says:

    baine
    i’m not sure man.
    i’m in tokyo right now (waiting for 2.5 hours to head to bangkok) and there’s sushi right in front of me.

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 1 day ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 1 day ago
  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 4 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 4 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 4 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 6 days ago