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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#TamirRice Incredible news: @onedayswages is projecting to have our most impactful year as we grant out $1.3 million dollars! Thank you so much for your prayers and support...please read on to learn how you can join in our work.

As you gather with family, friends, and loved ones for Thanksgiving and the holidays, I wanted to share an opportunity. Often times, when I speak to people about the privilege of generosity, I remind them, "You don't have to but you get to." It's so true.

My wife and I (and our three kids) started ODW in 2009. We felt the Holy Spirit convicting us to give up our year's salary. It wasn't an easy thing to say "Yes" or "Amen" to but we made the decision to obey. As a result, it took us about three years to save, simplify, and sell off things we didn't need.

It's been an incredible journey as we've learned so much about the heart of God and God's love for the hurting and vulnerable around the world - particularly those living in extreme poverty. ODW is a small, scrappy, grassroots organization (with just 3 full-time employees) but since our launch, we've raised nearly $6 million dollars to help those living in extreme poverty: clean water and sanitation, education, maternal health, human trafficking, refugee crisis, hunger, and the list goes on and on.

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You can make a one time gift or make monthly pledge of just $25 (or more). Thanks so much for considering this: http://onedayswages.org/give (link in bio, too) Don't just count your blessings. Bless others with your blessings. Here, there, everywhere. Be a blessing for this blesses our Father in Heaven and builds the Kingdom of God.

#ReThinkRegugees #WeWelcomeRefugees
@onedayswages Grateful. Still reflecting on the letters that I've received from classmates and students that have come before me and after me. Never imagined all that God would have in store for me. Lots of humbling things but in the midst of them, there were literally thousands upon thousands of daily decisions and choices to be faithful. That's what matters. Seen or unseen. Noticed or unnoticed. You do your best and sometimes you stumble and fumble along but nevertheless, seeking to be faithful.

Also, you know you're getting old when your school honors you with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Lol. 47 is the new 27. Or something like that. Here's to the next 47. In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
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