Eugene Cho

our summer plans and prayers

Folks from both our church community and blogosphere have asked us what we intend to do during our summer sabbatical and how people can be praying.  Well, first of all, please pray that I don’t get run over by a car [this is not a joke] as I did during my last sabbatical three years ago.  I was attempting to save this woman’s life [who we discovered was later pregnant] and in doing so, I got run over by a car. I am blessed to be alive.

You can read more of that crazy story by clicking the pic of pants [notice the tire treads!] which the fire department ripped open to tend to my leg. In case you were wondering, I was wearing clean underwear that day.  Praise the Lord.

copy-of-vacation-pictures-2004-023.jpg

SABBATICAL:

  1. Every three years, I take three months off.  It’s great but in actuality, I’m getting stiffed.  Typically, senior pastors take a full year off every seven years.  Seven years is too long to wait and a year away is too long to be away.  So, every six years, I take six months off so I’m actually losing some time.  But regardless, the sabbaticals are absolutely important to my rhythm of maintaining vitality in ministry and family.
  2. My sabbatical begins on Saturday, June 22 and will be returning to the pulpit on Sunday, September 21. 
  3. We are spending two months in Korea and a month here in Seattle.  We leave for Korea on Monday, September 23.  We are staying with Minhee’s mother for two months.  This will be the highlight of our trip.
  4. After we return to Seattle, I’m hoping to take trips to two of the following three destinations:  India, Haiti, or Africa.  If airfares are reasonable, hoping that we can take the entire family to Haiti.
  5. I’m hoping to rest, get some exercise, read some books, eat good Korean food, party with Minhee like it’s 1999, and work on the new humanitarian organization.

HOW YOU CAN PRAY:

  1. Pray for health and safety in travels especially for our children – and for my left leg.
  2. While our hope is to rest and rejuvenate, Minhee and I will also be devoting much work to launching the new humanitarian organization this Fall.  Please pray for the critical work we need to do this summer. 
  3. For “divine appointments” during our travel to Korea and to the other countries I plan to travel to.
  4. While we’re away, we’ll be selling our home.  We hope to have our home listed by the 2nd week of July and sold by the end of August.  Trying not to be anxious but the real estate market isn’t doing too well – even in Seattle.  Gulp.  We’ll be subletting the current home we’re living in right now so please pray for “good” tenants.
  5. I’ve got a great group of pastors, leaders, and staff working with me.  So continual prayers for the work at Quest Church and Q Cafe.

I hope you’ll journey with us over the summer via this blog. 

QUESTION:  What are your plans for the summer?  Anything special? 

Filed under: family, religion

8 Responses

  1. drunkdreamer8 says:

    ALOHA,

    Read your post, and just wanted to invite you over to check out mine. If you ever dreamed before this might intrest you.

    C.Apana

  2. Matt says:

    wait…
    # My sabbatical begins on Saturday, June 22 and will be returning to the pulpit on Sunday, September 21.
    # We are spending two months in Korea and a month here in Seattle. We leave for Korea on Monday, September 23. We are staying with Minhee’s mother for two months. This will be the highlight of our trip.

    u sure about those dates? return to pulit on sept 21 and go to korea on a monday, two dates later?

    I was just in Cambodia with my seminary cohort, and it was definitely a country in need. If you have any contacts there, I think it would be a great place to visit while you’re in korea. you can spend some time with your fam visiting angkor wat while getting a feel for a country that’s been ravaged by genocide. There’s also a LOT of foreign investors (from korea/japan) that are almost robbing the country, going in and making a quick buck and getting out, while leaving the people there poor and begging.

    Anyways, I hope you have a great few months, and are rejuvinated on your return to continue the work you’re doing in Seattle.

  3. gar says:

    Good luck on your travels, pastor! I’m still working on those music mixes you requested, but I should have them done well before you leave. 😉

  4. Beth says:

    Blessings on your travels.

    Our summer plans are simple. Stay home, save some money, enjoy our family, and build good friendships with our neighbors.

  5. Paul says:

    i work with the haitian timoun foudnation, a group from colorado and beyod who’s focused on giving children in haiti a shot at life. they sponsor a couple of orphanages, street kid orgs, a hospital, and are working now with a non-profit bank in haiti that is doing micro-credit lending to the poorest of poor. when i travel with them in haiti, we stay at st. joseph’s home for boys in Petionville, a part of port-au-prince. if you’re interested, here’s their website: http://www.hopeinhaiti.org

    my summer plans: start a conversation with other 20somethings at my church about creating a ministry they’d want to be a part of and own themselves. fish. stain my fence the approved HOA color.

    in my christian-tribe (lutheran-elca), they recommend a 3 month sabbatical once every 5 years. talk about getting jipped!

  6. Are you friggen kidding me? You got toppled by a CAR. I love the tread and blood on the ol’ trousers.

    I had a similar experience- motorcycle accident a few years back (including a pavement slip n’ slide down an offramp at 40 MPH). I too received the red carpet treatment from the ambulance staff and cops- pants and underwear cut off, whisked to ER. I still have my bloodied underwear. They make for a great souvenir don’t they?

    Should we compare skid marks? Uhh…

    Thanks for the post. Our prayers will continue and will be focused around your requests.

    -ian

  7. eugenecho says:

    @ian: geez. i’d rather get run over by a honda civic than be in a motorcycle accident.

    i wanted to save those pants but before i could think of doing that, the fire department tossed it away. let me just say i was very cold in those underwear.

  8. Daniel says:

    Sabbaticals are definately a key part to staying in shape as a pastor. But why three months? why not 4.5 months so it will balance out?

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One Day’s Wages

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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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