Eugene Cho

an unexpected tumor

Update 10/30:  Received word last night that the surgery was completed and the tumor removed.  Craig is recovering.  However, there’s possibility of some very difficult news. Unfortunately, what was initially diagnosed as a benign tumor is likely cancerous – 80% probability according to the pathologist.  The complete diagnosis and pathology report will be released in 3 days. 

I have chosen to move the updates on Craig’s situation to the Quest Church community blog.  Because this blog receives its fair share of visitors and subscribers from all over, I prefer not to take the focus away from surrounding Craig and Betty with care and prayer.  Some comments were posted re: the authenticity or reality of prayer [and God] and while I’m a supporter of open dialogue, I’d rather not use this occassion or blog entry to pursue that.  Instead, I’d prefer to direct people to this blog entry, Does Your Prayer Work, which was written by one of the commenters on his blog, I believe, in response to this blog entry.  Feel free to engage there and be nice blokes.

And yes, I still invite you to join us in prayer for Craig and Betty.

****************************************************

I heard some not so good news about a congregant at church yesterday.  After hearing the news after the 2nd service, I called and went to visit Craig and Betty at their home to pray with them.

Craig is only in his 30s and a wonderful guy.  In the past couple weeks, Craig was experiencing some discomfort, dizziness, headaches, and general illness.  I actually remember chatting with Betty about it couple Sundays ago – it wasn’t that big of a deal. 

After couple visits to the doctors, Craig went once more just this past Friday for an MRI for some clarity to his illness.  And on Friday, he was told the reason why he was feeling so much discomfort and it was the absolute last thing he could have imagined.  He was told that there was a tumor in his brain and that he needed to consult a neurosurgeon ASAP.  And just like that, he is scheduled for surgery to remove that tumor in his brain this morning [Monday].

Such is life.  Unexpected events take place.  How will we respond?

Even under difficult circumstances, I enjoyed visiting and praying with Craig, Betty, and their children today.   Please join me in praying for them as Craig has surgery today.

Filed under: prayer, religion

17 Responses

  1. hughstan says:

    Have prayed for Craig, that the beauty of Christ will be real to him during this ordeal.

  2. Owen McLeod says:

    Didn’t you learn the first time you prayed?
    It didn’t work. He has a tumor.
    But yeah, keep praying. It’s only logical. *cough*

  3. Esther says:

    I had a benign tumor in my womb. I received prayer and it was still there. The doc asked me to come for the next possible date for surgery. However, just before, I went to a prayer meeting, where people prayed again. The next morning the doc examined me and he could not understand it: The tumor was gone! I told him that this is due to prayer. He said that he does not understand it but the real fact is: the tumor is GONE! Not logical, but real!

  4. Kim Aliczi says:

    Owen – what a mean thing to say!😦
    Mean people truly do suck. Whether you believe in prayer or not, geez – what an awful thing to say and what a sad, sad way to live, kicking people when they’re down. Unbelievable!

  5. Keren says:

    yeah, i don’t know owen and wouldn’t have said what he said, but i understand that he probably just hasn’t experienced the power of prayer yet. although, prayers haven’t always been answered in the way that i want them too, i find that prayer just changes me and am so surprised sometimes. so, yes, let’s keep praying!

  6. e cho says:

    owen: yes, he has a tumor. and he’s in great spirits and surrounded by family, friends, and community that are praying for him and his family and the surgery.

    yes, we’ll keep praying and take care of that cough.

  7. Father God, i pray that your Kingdom come to Craig’s life, that you are with him during the surgery and that your healing hand conforts him while he recuperates. In the name of your beloved Son Jesus Christ, amen.

  8. Beth says:

    Owen:
    discursive reason (“logic”) is necessary but not sufficient for the full flourishing of our intellect–indeed, of our humanity. It is the lie of modernism to think that it is sufficient; and the lie of postmodernism to think that it is not necessary.

    So even as I pray for Craig, I pray that the Lord might use him to make this tangible for you, and thus show you something of who we can be in Christ.

    Eugene:

    May the Lord use you to offer His head, heart and hands to both Craig and Owen.

  9. Owen McLeod says:

    My statement still stands.
    The responses offered to my comment were no more than a display of the habitual ‘safety in numbers’.
    You may keep praying, I obviously can’t stop you.
    Although, while you’re praying on Sundays for health, charities, and all those other unfortunate things, there will be doctors and other people who are actually making a difference.
    I did find interesting the post by Keren:
    “although, prayers haven’t always been answered in the way that i want them too, i find that prayer just changes me and am so surprised sometimes. so, yes, let’s keep praying!”
    This is correct. While prayer doesn’t really offer you the response you want, it will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. So I guess that prayer does have a use.
    Just like meditation.

  10. e cho says:

    owen: you bring up good questions. it’s good to think critically.

    people are simply questioning your tact in addressing them as the person i bring up on this post is in brain surgery right now. that’s it. you get it?

    you have the freedom to have your beliefs and enjoy your life in australia.
    it’s a good discussion so let’s discuss it on your blog where you’ve brought up the topic:

    http://owenmcleod.wordpress.com/2007/10/29/does-your-prayer-work/

  11. billwp says:

    As I write (having just now read the above), it is late Monday evening. I don’t know if your friend survived the operation or not.

    It is too late to ask that his surgeons be granted insight, skill and focus. I can’t pray for a speedy recovery. I can’t pray that those who mourn him be comforted. But I can pray that Jehovah’s will be done. This is the prayer Jesus offered when he was about to face his own brutal murder. I can pray that Jehovah strengthen those whose lives he has touched, as, no matter what the outcome of the surgery, they are under strain.

    If your friend did not survive, I remind you of the hope of resurrection. If he did survive; I would remind him of the hope of resurrection … to put it before himself so that when the day comes where the sun rises but he does not, his rest will not be eternal but will be broken by a renewed call to life.

    As Jesus said: “not my will, but thine”.

  12. billwp says:

    It has been my frequent experience that most of my prayers have been answered before I even prayed. That is, unbeknown to me, the answers were already in progress before I made my concerns known in prayer.

    That is analogous to the experience Daniel reported when the angel informed Daniel that he would have been there sooner but he had been delayed by conflict until he had gotten help on the battlefield. (Daniel 10:12-14)

    There are all sorts of explanations for that. Social scientists have had a field day on that topic for centuries.

    Yet, faced with problems I could not solve, I have asked for divine assistance and watched as superlative answers have unfolded without any further direct assistance from me.

  13. Esther says:

    I apologize. Sharing about God’s healing in my case sounded insensitive in the face of a surgery for brain tumor. My intention was to instill HOPE and the FOCUS that yes, God DOES answer prayer. Prayer matters, even though God often may choose a DIFFERENT way of responding to our prayers. My prayers have been with Craig and his family. I do not know them personally, but Got has stirred my heart deeply. I know from experience how much we need each other in painful and difficult times. Please let us know how Betty is holding up.

  14. e cho says:

    hey folks:
    updated the situation with craig. he’s out of surgery but still needs our thoughts, cares, and prayers. i’ll be updating @ http://seattlequest.wordpress.com/2007/10/30/prayer-for-craig/ from here on out.

    you can go to owen’s blog to continue a good dialogue,

    ESTHER: absolutely no need to apologize. thanks for sharing your testimony.

  15. […] 11.22..26 and the question if prayer works or not. Incidentally a similar discussion takes place at Seattle Quest. This Sunday we’ll hash through these troublesome sayings of Jesus and try to figure out what […]

  16. […] down and hopeless” Couple weeks ago, I posted a request for prayer for one of my congregants named Craig.  I recall dropping by his home to pray for him and his wife, […]

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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