Eugene Cho

breathe

It’s been a busy few months.  In fact, it’s been a pretty busy 6.5 years since we planted Quest and then started Q Cafe.  It was busy trying to build up critical mass when we only had a handful of people.  It was busy finally launching the church and ministry.  It was busy when we renovated an unused Warehouse for Q Cafe 1.0 to use for church, cafe, music venue, and community center. And then, it was busy orchestrating a merger where we integrated into our community the wonderful history and story of a 65 year old church and their 50 congregants.  And then, it was busy trying to renovate our new church building.  And then, it was busy remodeling and re:booting Q Cafe 2.0.

Whew.  It’s been busy and thus, I’ve been trying to take some time to breathe. 

Inhale and exhale. 

I mean…really breathe.  To really enjoy the crisp winter air of the Northwest and look around; soak and absorb all that is beautiful and good; To enjoy God and all that has been blessed unto my life.  On a glorious sunny winter day in Seattle, the mountains are absolutely glorious.

As I breathe, I’m trying to enjoy all that has taken place in years past and as I exhale, I anticipate with hope and joy the things to come. 

Inhale and exhale.

I’m trying to breathe because the next 3-4 months are going to go by so quickly and the next thing I know, I’ll be on this quasi-sabbatical – attempting both to breathe and rest and also do the necessary stuff to launch the humanitarian org project we’ve been convicted about.

I’m trying to breathe this week because in couple weeks, it’s going to get busy again until June.  We have lots of decisions to make, paperwork to fill out, lawyers to meet, web developers to meet, prayers to lift, people to meet, cities to fly, places to speak, immunization shots to take, a home to sell, etc.

Stuff to do without diminishing my commitments as one of the pastors to Quest and my role at Q Cafe.  Stuff to do without forgetting about people.

Stuff to do, most importantly, without forgetting my primary indentities as child of God, husband to Minhee and father to my three children.

Breathe. 

Inhale and exhale. 

Inhale and exhale.

And if you don’t mind, say a prayer for my family and me during the next few months.  One simple request:  Pray that we never forget to breathe.  Because when we stop breathing, we will die – literally and metaphorically.

Inhale.  Exhale.

Filed under: family

3 Responses

  1. Dennis says:

    Will be keeping you in thought and prayer.

  2. Randall says:

    Eugene,

    May you find the wind of God filling your lungs with life.

    prayin for you guy, especially as you move into a sabbatical time.

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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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