Eugene Cho

thailand expanded version

hi folks.

i have a little more time to give you an update on what i’m experiencing here in thailand.  it’s aout 10.40pm in bangkok and it’s been a very full day in my 2nd day here since arriving at around 1am couple days ago.

after visiting and hearing some local missionaries, we spent the bulk of our day yesterday meeting some indigenous thai ‘missionaries’ who are pastors, and community developers.  they use music as a means to demonstrate care and love for people, particularly for young children.  we visited the slums where they do some ministry and it was a beautiful sight.

today, i spent the bulk of my time visiting the ‘field’ where some local covenant missionaries do their ministry.  visited the abundant life center where such stuff like community housing, microbusinesses, churchplant, and holistic ministry take place – especially focused on the issan people group that are seen as second class citizens in thailand.

in the evening, we went to a visit a leaders’ gathering for newsong church (irvine, ca) who planted a global churchplant here in bangkok.  my heart with quest is that we would plant holistic churches both locally, nationally, and globally.  clearly, they no need to mimic quest seattle but would hope that our ministry philosophy would be contextually embodied.  so, along with meeting local thai leaders, a team from newsong church, i also had a chance to spend a half hour with david gibbons, the lead pastor at newsong, who flew in the day before.  i did not realize that the church had raised 1.4 million dollars  for their venture into thailand.  along with planting a church, they have invested in a fish farm (the largest in thailand), and are building a school in another area of thailand. 

as quest celebrates our five year anniversary in two weeks, i often wonder why doubt and fear still creeps into my heart.  i’m often afraid of people, of rejection, of doubts, of finances, of hardship…  with balance, wisdom, discernment, and accountability, i want to kick ass so that jesus may work through the people of quest.  i don’t want to control that, stand in the way, but simply be a conduit for the Holy Spirit to unleash His might power.

thanks for praying for me, for minhee and the kids…  for those from quest who are reading this, may the Holy Spirit give you grace and power!  and for friends, supporters, and random visitors, would you pray for us in considering how quest will live out the next five years.

on a side note, it’s pretty surreal to be at around similar places that the quest vision team was at couple months ago.  it’s such a small world. as we live in this point in human history, i often marvel at the amazing opportunity that WE have to impact the glocal community in both WORD and DEED.  and by the way, it’s cool that people here in thailand (the xtian community) have heard of quest and the team that strolled into town during that time.

Filed under: emerging church, quest church

3 Responses

  1. leah says:

    peace be unto you, pastor eugene!

    we are missing you here, but enjoying the updates. may you be blessed with vision as you travel throughout the region. i look forward to chatting more when you get back. please pass our greetings to the folks there in thailand, and when you reach chiang mai, if you connect with ktwg and kwo, please bless them for us.

    i’m missing thailand today. thanks for the glimpse into God’s heart there.

  2. eugenecho says:

    5am. on my way to roi et this morning. will be catching a small plane this am. will eventually head towards chiang mai.

    exhausted. cold; itchy throat; losing my voice; but engorged heart. missing all in seattle. missing my family – minhee, kids, and each of you.

  3. g. says:

    kick ass for Jesus!

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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