Eugene Cho

not your typical church sleepover

I’m stumbling my way as a quasi “project manager” for our church remodel. Ahh, add more lessons learned via planting Quest six years ago.   Ready or not, we’ll cross the parking lot and return back to our new “traditional” church building on Sunday, September 23. 

We’re about 70% done with what we need to do.  This would have been a far easier thing if we had the money to simply HIRE OUT for the entire thing but so goes the law of economics.  With 70K, we’ve needed to basically remodel the entire church building that was built almost 40 years ago:

  • New Exterior Paint
  • New Interior Paint Everywhere
  • Stain Beams
  • Remove Pews and Purchase New Chairs
  • Build two Extensions for the Sanctuary
  • Create New Family Room [cryroom]
  • Update Moms’ Nursing Room
  • Paint Doors and Re-Trim everything
  • Remove a Part of the Stage and Extend Stage
  • Complete New Sound System
  • Stage Lighting for Sanctuary
  • New Fencing for the Backyard
  • New Landscaping
  • Roof Repair
  • New Signage
  • And Lots and Lots of Small Minor Things [emphasis on LOTS]

When half of the 70K budget is spent on new sanctuary chairs and sound system purchases, you’re not left with much.  This is the reason why 80% of the work that we’re doing is done w/ church volunteers.  We’re blessed with having couple architects, interior designers, several professional contractors/project managers, graphic designers, a landscape architect and friends of quest that include a seamstress, a structural engineer, a roofer, and whatever else comes up.  We’re also blessed with the staff that have worked overtime to help lead the volunteer work parties in the evenings.

Lessons learned:

  • Colors you see in paint swatch come out differently when you paint in on the wall or building.  This was a painful lesson but we feel like we got the right colors…
  • Stained beams looks incredible.
  • Having volunteers are great.
  • Having volunteers with experience is better.
  • But having volunteers – regardless – is just wonderful.
  • Make sure you order the right paint.  Ordered semi-gloss paint for all our doors but needed to have purchased “quick dry” paint but instead, ordered the normal paint which takes 24 hours to dry…which means that the church was without doors over night…which means I needed to sleep at the church.
  • BE FLEXIBLE

That’s something you can’t necessary ask others to volunteer for – especially last minute.  But fortunately, two  guys “volunteered” to hold the fort down with me.  I’m thankful for George and Jin – two brothers amongst the seven folks the joined our first bible study over six years ago.  We’ve had out tiffs and spiffs, but they have been some of the most loyal and dependable friends and partners in ministry. 

Thanks George and Jin for being there last night and freezing on the floor with me. 

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Filed under: church, churchplanting, emerging church, quest church, religion

6 Responses

  1. Rebecca says:

    As one of those volunteers without experience, I can say that stumbling along doing the work has been hard but I’m grateful for the opportunity to put some heart, soul, and sweat into this building we now call home.

  2. Randall says:

    I thought you were joking about sleeping over…now it makes sense!

  3. Shaula says:

    I’m feeling your pain. I thought I’d never make it through our warehouse reno. Thank goodness I never had to sleep there.

  4. Tract says:

    Jin and George are blessings, its no surprise they were by your side.

  5. Sue says:

    What a very ambitious and heartfelt project! I am interested in knowing what wall color you chose to paint your sanctuary. Yours is a modern church, I know, and mine is a quaint, old New England style Congregational in Massachusetts, but I’d like to know what you used, anyway. We just recently had the pipes on our beautiful old pipe organ painted gold and I thought that a very subtle grayish-green might really make those pipes stand out! I’d just like to know what others are doing! God bless you.

  6. […] after 26 very intense days, the church renovation is done.  OK, there’s a few more loose things that need to be taken care of but we worked […]

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest Took a train to Busan. Did not encounter any zombies but I was ready just in case.

Busan. First visit to this city (couple weeks ago) and was blown away by its beauty. Also, shocked that it has become the fifth largest containment port city in the world. That's a lot of import and export.

#MyAttemptToBeTheBestSmartphonePhotographer 
#Pusan #SouthKorea

my tweets

  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 6 hours ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 6 hours ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 6 hours ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 2 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 4 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 4 days ago