Eugene Cho

beauty in the midst of brokenness

There’s the need for balance – to understand both our beauty and depravity.  When you look around the world, it’s easy to get downright depressed, discouraged, and overwhelmed.  I certainly feel that way sometimes.   But in the midst of all this junk [including my personal junk], I’m also freshly reminded that when God created the universe and all that which it encompassed – including humanity – He saw and acknowledged that it was ‘good.’  That may be the most incredible part of God’s narrative story – right next to the Resurrection.

So, while we acknowledge the story of brokenness and sin, we can also acknowledge that God is at work – all around the earth – through the power of the Holy Spirit – to restore, reconcile, and redeem.

Locally, nationally, and globally, there have been [and always will be] a list of heavy, painful, and tragic things.  The same week that the tragedy of Virginia Tech came to pass, I received an email from a Karen Christian brother I had met during my fall visit to Station 1o1 in Burma.

How are you? you are remember me. i am xxxxxxx. i would like to tell you last two year you will come to mae sot i sending you team to 101 area church. you are remember when you visit to 101 church you are sharing the message. in this time 101 area church is S.P.D.C attack and occupy.  many people flee…please pray.  [SPDC is the military ruling regime – State Peace and Development Council]

Heavy and painful stuff.  The above isn’t just news to me; they are people I visited.  Looked into their eyes; encouraged them to have hope; taught the scriptures in that church that is not occupied by the Burmese military.

Locally in the Quest family, as it has and will continue to be, there are plenty of stories.  Why?  Because that’s life.  There are beautiful stories indeed but there are also painful stories.  Tense relationships, marriages in crisis, cancer, sickness, addictions, and so forth.  Painful stuff but this is where God’s work of restoration and redemption can take place. 

I stumbled onto this guy’s blog who lost his dear brother to cancer this past year.  His recent letter written to his brother gives me another glimpse of hope and beauty in a broken world. 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:35-39]

Love Wins.

Filed under: christianity, quest church

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One Day’s Wages

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Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on. I have to remind myself of this every day...because I can forget every day:

Don't be lazy and make assumptions about people. Ask about their story. Then listen. Be humble. Be teachable. Be human. Be a good neighbor. It's a sad reality but our society runs on the currency of fear. Don't feed into this frenzy.

Rather, invest in faith, hope, and love.

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