Eugene Cho

many still w/o power in seattle

seattle experienced some incredible weather this past week.  we had wind gusts beyond 70 miles per hour along with some pockets of torrential rain.  around midnight – 2am this past friday am, my wife and i stayed up to make sure everything was ok with the house and our children.  honestly, i was a little scared.  seeing trees outside sway back and forth was intense.  we woke up the next morning and from our perspective, everything seemed normal.  the streets were actually dry; we didn’t notice much debris on the grounds.  despite schools being closed, i proceeded to work like a normal day.  what was surprising was a steady flow of of phone calls from quest families asking if it was possible for them to stay with us since their power went out at their respective homes.

little did i know as a result of the wind storm, about a million people in the larger seattle area lost electricity!  as i post this blog, there are still over 250,000 folks that are still without electricity.  i guessed (from a show of hands at church today), about 40%+ of our church community had lost their electricity at one point in the past couple days.  had the church leaders known how many folks would have been affected by this windstorm, we would have been better prepared.  we should have had a list of homes ready to welcome guests as well as opening up the qcafe to local neighbors to use as a warm place to seek refuge and sleep if necessary.

in between hosting the quest christmas party on saturday night for about 70+ folks that showed up, our family has enjoyed being able to host several families who were left in the cold.   if you’re in need of some assistance or a warm place to crash until your power is restored, let us know.  our family and others within quest are able to serve you.  let’s use this opportunity to serve our neighbors, demonstrate kindness, and build the larger community of seattle.

be safe and stay warm.

Filed under: seattle

5 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. SJ says:

    It is encouraging to see someone really living it… I have been trying to figure out the best term for it… I tend to call it “real life Christianity”, whatever you call it, it is the antithesis to nominal Christianity… You are living it… and you need to know that people are taking notice and be encouraged in that… what did St. Francis say, something about spreading the Gospel, and if you had to, use words…

  2. Sam says:

    Thanks for being such a wonderful pastor to our church.

  3. m@ says:

    SJ, I don’t believe St. Francis said that, but regardless it’s Franciscan in nature. And humbling.

    Eugene, I was actually thinking about this during church last night (in between spurts of wondering why you didn’t have your new giraffe on stage with you) — but I wondered how the two homeless gentlemen in the back of the audience at 5pm would have perceived our battle against the power lines. For them, braving the elements, not having refrigerated food or drink, or whatever luxuries we’re afforded simply by having electricity are never promised to them. Perhaps I should have just asked them, and that question would have been answered.

    Granted, we all have our own measure of struggles, and having to throw out my dairy products was no fun, but…yeah, it just got me thinking.

  4. e cho says:

    SJ: ‘really living it’ might be a stretch. ‘striving to pursue it’ might be more accurate. we also have 3000sq feet at our home; i was more encouraged by many folks that offered to share their couches, floors, food, and how showers than anything else.

    Matt: Bobby (one of our homeless friends) is a longtime friend. we’ve been encouraging and inviting him to work with us to get off the streets. it’s much more difficult that we can ever imagine. but indeed, this whole incident has put things into perspective when there’s still a substantial population around the world that either don’t have electricity or consistent electricity.

  5. this is SJ… wasn’t logged in before… not that it matters, but it is st. francis
    “Preach the gospel everyday; if necessary, use words.”
    St. Francis of Assisi
    looked it up online it must be true (snickers, but, i have heard it attributed to him often)…

    and “really living it” is not a stretch to me as much as a compliment… might be semantics here… i was encouraged to read the original blog…

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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