Eugene Cho

broadening worldview

Two of our children are now in the public school system in Seattle and our third will be on his way in 1.5 years.  I’ve always been a fan of the public school system mainly because it’s all I know.  I entered Sherman Elementary School immediately after my family and I immigrated to San Francisco in 1977.  Philosophically, it makes sense to invest heavily into the public school system in order for ALL children in ALL neighborhoods to benefit.  On paper, it’s supposed to work but sadly, easier said than done.  The Seattle Public School system has been in much disarray and the school that my kids attend, Whittier Elementary, have been in more disarray with the removal of the principal for disciplinary reasons – a difficult and painful story I’ll probably write about at a later time.

Anyways, Whittier is an excellent school.  The teachers are caring; the parents are very invested; and resources – like technology and a great library – are available.  We’re also only five minutes away from the school.  We should be loving it but every single week when I drop off my kids at school, I can’t help look around and notice the lack of diversity.  It’s no fault of the school – it just reflects the neighborhood.  So, we’ve considered moving – except we want to live in the neighborhood our church is located; so, we’re considering the possibility of transferring our students to a school called Sanford International School – if we can get in. Whittier is about 85% Anglo and there’s only couple ethnic teachers – two of whom we’ve enjoyed through our children.

While we want the best for our children like any other parent, there’s not a week that goes by when I don’t think about my immigrant and minority experience – and how this impacts my children.  For Minhee, it’s a very fresh experience since she only immigrated ten years ago.  I still remember a dinner conversation couple years ago when our oldest daughter J shared how kids were laughing at her ‘Chinese eyes.’  Minhee and I tried not to weep visibly but it was painful – not only because others were making fun of her but because she didn’t know that they were making fun of her…

How do we help our children to fully embrace who they are – as Koreans, as Asians, as Korean-American, as US citizens, as children of God, and as followers of Jesus Christ – in a larger culture that is dominated by the White Worldview?  How do we shape and nurture them to accept, care, and embrace others – that don’t look or think like them?

It’s for this reason that we attempt to share our ethnic identities with our church, our neighborhood, and our other communities.  I was unable to go but Minhee joined our oldest daughter’s third grade class last week to help educate them about Lunar New Year and Korean New Year.   I appreciate Minhee so much – not only because of her sincere faith and trust in Jesus but the manner in which she lives out her faith.

Long post simplified in one line:  We all owe it to our children (and to ourselves) to broaden their worldview…

Filed under: asian-american, justice, seattle

3 Responses

  1. anonymous says:

    thanks for sharing this eugene. i wholeheartedly agree.

  2. Tracy (Noah and Ari's mom) says:

    What a blessing to read this…keep on keepin on!

  3. james says:

    e: you are blessed! minhee is wonderful.

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

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.

my tweets

  • "They got money for wars but can't feed the poor." ~ Tupac #trumpbudget || 18 hours ago
  • Heartbroken. Praying for Manchester & the UK. For those mourning loved ones. For those injured and fighting for life. Lord, in your mercy. || 2 days ago
  • Window seat. For the win. https://t.co/yG66Sm2bvu || 4 days ago
  • As leaders, we must not sacrifice our family for the sake of ministry because loving our family IS good leadership: instagram.com/p/BUVAGVwg-5z/ || 4 days ago
  • We long for a Gospel that comforts but resist the Gospel that disrupts. Having the former without the latter seduces us into complacency. || 4 days ago
  • Love wins in the end but in the meanwhile,it fights for things that matter. Love isn't sentimental. It's both gentle & fierce. Love endures. || 5 days ago