Eugene Cho

my jason bourne impression

I had the chance to travel to New York and New Jersey for a few days last weekend.  It was incredibly hot, muggy, and humid.  Typical for summers in the East Coast but unbearable for someone who’s used to the temperate and beautiful [summer] Seattle weather.  I was there for a speaking engagement at Metro Community Church.   If you’re in Northern Jersey/Fort Lee or even in the Manhattan area and you’re looking for a church, check them out. 

I don’t travel too often for speaking engagements anymore but when someone in New York City or New Jersey calls, I’m there. Why? It’s like a second home. Exactly 15 years ago, I got into my parent’s Toyota Camry station wagon and trekked solo across country from San Francisco to Princeton, New Jersey for grad school at Princeton Seminary.  I have many fond memories including enjoying the first five months of marriage there.

During this trip [because I have the hunch it may be my last trip to Princeton for a while], I did my best Jason Bourne impression [without the violence] and visited some of the significant and memorable places that helped shape my identity…

1st stop: Got right off the plane at Newark Airport and thought food. Met up with seminary classmates Joseph and JP and trekked into Manhattan to dine at Gahm Mi Oak. They got some scary looking hot peppers that are the size of your arms.

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2nd stop:  Minhee and I enjoyed the first five months of our marriage at this simple 1 bedroom apartment in a town called Cranbury [just east of Princeton].  We had some pets called rats that gave us company.  No furniture, one TV, and no bed but when you just got married, everything is fun.

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3rd stop:  If you’re from that area, you know what this is all about.  Hoagie Haven is legendary. 

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4th stop:  Miller Chapel at Princeton Seminary.  I spent lots of time praying, questioning, doubting, and reflecting – mostly the last three.  After getting married in Korea, Minhee and I “officially” got married again at Miller Chapel.  Woke up one morning and asked six of my friends to meet us there for our wedding…  Life was so simple then.

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The beautiful organ inside Miller Chapel.

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Filed under: travel

3 Responses

  1. Are these really peppers??????????????

  2. daniel so says:

    Eugene — I know what you mean about the NY/NJ area… We spent four years there after seminary and — though I grumbled about plenty of things while we were living there — seeing these photos really brings me back.

    A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I saw this jogger here in SD wearing a Hoagie Haven t-shirt and it made me all nostalgic… Simple is a great way to describe those days… Remember that noodle place — YY Doodles/Tiger Noodles (or some such iteration)?

    I do have to say, though, I kind of prefer the old-school Miller Chapel interior (the one with a middle aisle and pale yellow interior)… But that organ is really amazing.

  3. Joseon says:

    How was Gahm Mi Oak? Check out some of the Korean fried chicken joints in the Ft. Lee/Pal Pk./Leonia area next time you’re here. It’s finger lickin’ good!

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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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