Eugene Cho

going back to school

One of the reasons why my wife, Minhee, and I decided to come to Seattle in 1997 was not only for ministry but her desire to re-do her Masters degree in the Northwest.  Her undergraduate and grad school degrees in Korea were focused on Psychology and Counseling and she worked couple years in those areas.  But after getting married, she was excited to study again and enter into the Marriage and Family Therapy [MFT] program at Seattle Pacific University.

In 1997, she applied and received admission.  She still has her student ID card from that year but was never able to begin her studies.  Couple weeks later, we found out great news that we were pregnant with our first child.  After some lengthy conversation, we made a decision that one of our priorities was to have one of the parents home with our child [and future children] for the first five or so years until they entered the public school system.  That was a nice way of saying that our decision was to have Minhee home to be with our children.

She made an important sacrifice and I respect her immensely for her decision to put aside those personal hopes in our joint commitment to place our children as a priority.  We made significant family and financial decisions to be present in their lives these early formative years.  In the Fall, our three children will be in the same public school – 5th grade, 3rd grade, and kindergarten.

Because of this transition, Minhee recently re-applied to the MFT program at SPU and this past Friday, she participated in the full day interview at their campus.  We received word this weekend that she officially received admission to the MFT program for the Fall of 2008.  So, yes, Minhee is going back to school this Fall.

I’m so very proud of Minhee and excited that she will pursue her convictions and dreams to be a source of encouragement and hope to others – particularly the Korean-American immigrant community.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.  This upcoming  year will likely be one of the biggest seasons of change for our family.  In many ways, it resembles the year 2000 all over again when we took a big leap of faith to plant Quest Church.  This upcoming year, we are: launching the humanitarian organization, Minhee is going back to grad school, Quest hopes to plant a church/campus in the Eastside, and our youngest kid will enter the public school system joining his older sisters.  Whew.

How will it all work?  Only God knows but it will.

For now, I just want to commend Minhee for her faithfulness these past eleven years – both in her beauty and depravity.  She has been so supportive of everything I have dreamt about.  She has called me to follow and honor Christ.  She has loved and encouraged me.  She has been a wonderful mother to our three children.  And now, it’s time for her to honor her dreams and for her family to support her.

Filed under: family, marriage

6 Responses

  1. christine says:

    Congratulations Minhee! Very exciting and thank you for the faithful example you have been to so many of us.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Minhee – I am so excited for you. I know that you will love studying again, and will be able to do amazing things for the Lord when you are done!

    PE – it will be a distrupting year, but at least she’s not going to MHGS, where disruption is an art form (and people like it!) 😉 Also, I think its awesome that you are supporting her in this since I know how important it has been for my own husband to support me in grad school. You guys will figure it all out and even thrive, I’m sure.

  3. 3mily says:

    Thank you Minhee for providing us with an example of someone who made the sacrifice to stay home, while still being a vibrant part of the world around her. Especially, I think, around here many women are dismissive of that choice. Thanks for showing us an alternative. — Ethan’s Mother🙂

  4. Andrea says:

    Very excited for you Minhee! Congratulations!

  5. JB says:

    This is awesome news! Congratulations Minhee!

  6. jim says:

    very much admire the courage for wife to pick up where she left off and study for a greater good for the community. also, very much admire the courage of husband to pick up areas to support. Best of luck!

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One Day’s Wages

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It appears I brought a little Seattle to the NYC. Drizzle fest. 24 hour gathering with a small group of leaders from around the country. Learning. Listening. Asking hard questions. Head exploding. Heart trying to have hope. 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.

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