Eugene Cho

“beaten 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, Betty, the day before the surgery.  It was supposed to be a “routine” surgery to remove a “benign tumor” in his brain.  Unfortunately, the situation turned for the worse…  While they were successfully able to remove three golf size worth of tumor in his brain, the tumor was found to be Grade IV cancerous.  Needless to say, it was shocking news.

As Craig/Betty’s friend and pastor, I’ve been praying for the protection of their souls – so as to protect them from hopelessness or discouragement.  And while some may see it as foolish, we are praying for a physical miracle as well – for the restoration of his body.   The weeks and months ahead will be critical for Craig.  As you feel led, join me in prayer. 

Many of you have the presence of a “Craig” in your life.  May you be a source of grace, hope, and care to them in their difficult season.

With permission, I am posting an update [minus their kids’ names] from Betty on their recent life circumstance…

Craig and I are tremendously grateful for all your calls and emails, and for covering us in prayer these past two weeks.  I know many of you have been receiving little bits of news here and there – I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to fully update you until now.   

Craig had his surgery on Oct. 29 and the doctor was able to remove all of his tumor.  Unfortunately, the tumor was not benign as originally hoped.  Craig has been diagnosed with glioblastoma which is a grade IV brain cancer – the most aggressive form of brain cancer.  He has been back home for over a week now and is recovering very well.  He is up and about and has not noticed any mental or physical deficits. He will be starting radiation and chemotherapy this upcoming week.  The treatment will be six weeks, after which time he will continue to receive some form of chemo and continue to be monitored through MRIs at 2-3 month intervals for recurrence.  Because it is a grade IV brain cancer, we have been told by the doctors that it will almost certainly return.    

Craig and I could never have imagined ourselves in this place two weeks ago.  It still feels incredibly unreal – we have never been so scared in our lives.  There have been times in these last two weeks where our spirit has been completely broken, where we have felt so utterly beaten down and hopeless.  But in this time, we have also felt restored and lifted up by your prayers and support – we have experienced God’s love so strongly as expressed through all of you.  We feel so loved – thank you for this gift, we are forever grateful.   

While we are aware of the realities of the prognosis, Craig has far too much to live for – he fully intends to be a survivor and has tremendous fight in him.  We know the difficult road ahead of us, but Craig’s Auntie Mabel reminded us of God’s wonderful promise in Isaiah 40:31:  “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Our Pastor Eugene told us to be bold in asking God to grant us a miracle and have faith that somehow glory and praise will be given to God through this, so we ask that you join us in being bold in asking for this miracle.   

As Craig begins his radiation and chemo this week, we also ask that you will pray that his body tolerates the treatment – specifically protection from fatigue and nausea.  He has lost a lot of weight these last few weeks and cannot afford to lose anymore as his body needs to be strong and healthy to withstand the treatment – so please pray that he will have the appetite to eat and gain weight.  And J and K – may they feel stability and know that our love for them is always constant and near.  And lastly, please just pray for a constant renewing of our minds and spirits so that we may remain faithful and hopeful.   

All our love and thanks – we cannot do this without you.

Filed under: health, prayer, religion

5 Responses

  1. patlo says:

    We join you in prayer!!

  2. Rex Hamilton says:

    As one who understands “beaten down and hopeless” with my father’s struggle with cancer…I too will pray today. Peace to you.

  3. theaffirmationspot says:

    I’m going to forward this along to some people with a large prayer chain.

  4. I lost my dad on February after 1.5y struggling against cancer. So, I know how Betty and their children feel. I Will be praying for Craig and family.

    Dear Lord Jesus, often we don’t understand situations but the only thing we can do is trust that you are in control, that you are King and that your will shall be done. I pray for Craig, Betty and their children while they walk through the valley of the shadows of death. Lord, please hold their hands firmly, or even better, hold them in your loving arms, encourage them and bless them all the way through that valley. Amen.

  5. Esther says:

    I am joining you in prayer. I do not know you personally, but we are FAMILY, and family is there for one another. I was crying when I read your letter. God sees the tears of His beloved. And more: God knows your heart (since the deepest and most painful tears are cried in the heart) And God alone is able to comfort and uphold you. He will!

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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