Eugene Cho

10 year anniversary

on february 1, 1997, at onnuri church in seoul, korea, a woman named minhee jin and i exchanged our vows as husband and wife under God’s covenant of marriage.  i was on staff at that church.  minhee was attending another church but on staff with a christian organization called duranno ministries.  i asked her out during my last week in korea; we had five very intense dates leading to a very long distance relationship.  during our wedding ceremony, i butchered the vows which was conducted in korean, my 2nd language.  embarrassingly, i mispronounced one syllable in one word during the last sentence of my vow.  the result: instead of saying, ‘i covenant my life,’ i said, ‘i will poison you…”  that may be the single most embarrassing moment of my life.

10 years, one big fat mortgage, one quasi-churchplant, one churchplant, 3 kids, and many memories later, we celebrated our ten year anniversary yesterday.  similar to my lame proposal where i dressed up in my best suit, got on my knees and proposed over the phone,  my (our) ten year celebration was a dud.

i was on my way back from chicago; picked up some near dead roses at QFC and arrived home at 7.30pm on our anniversary; wife and kids were all coughing, sneezing, and sick.  not the most romantic way to celebrate the day.  thankfully, we do have plans to take a week off near the end of this month to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate.

our journey thus far has been wonderful  but our marriage isn’t perfect.  jokingly, i often share that’s the case because she’s not perfect.  but honestly and brutally, what do you expect when two broken and depraved individuals converge together to share in the ultimate expression of ‘life together.’  the answer: combustion and explosion.  thank god for GRACE AND MERCY.

and so in that end, i can share that although our marriage hasn’t been perfect, it has been filled with Mercy and Grace.  minhee has certainly modeled those things for me.  she has exemplified jesus to me and compelled me to reciprocate His image unto her.  i admire her for many things but especially for leaving all that was comfortable and meaningful in her life in korea to live life together as my wife and life partner.  at the age of 27, she left her family, friends, church, job, homeland, and all things that resonated with her for a new life – culture, country, language – everything.  she only knew one person and that was me. 

thank you minhee.  i love you.

minhee2.jpg

Filed under: family

6 Responses

  1. chrismarlow says:

    congrats man, that is so awesome…and thanks for being honest.

  2. sunny says:

    pastor, congratulations!

  3. your friend from Korea says:

    God’s big and wonderful blessings upon you! I remember your wedding vividly and still see the BEAUTY everywhere. I did not hear your misspelled word… that is the blessing of not understanding Korean perfectly, so, my weakness was strength in that moment 🙂

    By the way, I am 10 years ahead of you and confess: Love intensifies with the years.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Our 10-year was a dud too. Jeff was flying home froma work-trip, and his plane got grounded overnight in Salt Lake City.

    We celebrate 12 years next week.

  5. Blake says:

    Congratulations, Pastor Eugene. 🙂 Here’s to another 10 years, and another 10 after that, and another 10 after that, and well, you get the picture. 😉

    Blessings upon your marriage and your family. You’ve definitely been a great model for me in terms of being a good husband and father. Thank you for that, Pastor Eugene.

  6. Jason k says:

    PE congrats on your real 10 year anniversary. Thank you for always being “real”, not being afraid to show your vulnerabilities, that teaches me alot about how a christian man should be. God bless you and your family. JK

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One Day’s Wages

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Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

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