Eugene Cho

humble beginnings

We hosted the first “info meeting” for the global poverty organization this past Saturday at Q Cafe.  Like any new ventures, Minhee and I were anxious if anyone would show up.  Well, to be honest, I was anxious…Minhee rarely gets anxious about such things.

Everything needs a beginning and while you may hear stories of things that begin with a HUGE BANG, I think most things begin with a whisper or a whimper.  At least that’s the case with me.

During our first gathering for Quest Church, 7 people showed up.  And one of them was obligated because I asked him to pick up the pizza.  I haven’t reimbursed him out of fear he’ll move on to greener pastures.

Minhee and I also had the privilege of birthing Q Cafe and we did that with about 40 people during the first year of our churchplant.  Together, we helped renovate the warehouse, raised about $80,000 to fund the vision, and compelled this person to take a 30% paycut to leave her job to become our first cafe manager.  Starting a new non-profit in the first year of a non-profit [churchplant]?  Pretty crazy but sometimes, crazy is good.

So, this past Saturday, we were joined by 22 adults, 5 kids, and 1 infant for the first meeting to reveal the name and vision of our organization.  We hope to reveal those things to the larger public and blogosphere next month.  Who knows what the Lord has in store but I want to again sincerely thank everyone that came out.  As of now, we have no office, no budget, several volunteers, a growing Facebook Group, a pending 501c3 status, and a vision to help change the world

 

The first year to all dreams, projects, ventures, plants, start-ups, businesses, blogs, marriages, etc…are always the toughest.  I have my theories but what do you think?

  • Why do you think that’s the case? 
  • What’s your humble beginning story?
  • And what would your advice me to others for the first year?

Filed under: religion

13 Responses

  1. sammie says:

    My advice would be for PATIENCE. We live in such an instant gratification mentality that people want instant results.

  2. Jan Owen says:

    We planted our church with 22 people – 8 of whom were kids!(That’s 14 adults!) We had no money and started with one acoustic guitar and myself plus a few terrified vocalists. Very simple, very humble. No real equipment to speak of and in a dirty little storefront that we tried to clean but it was just in bad shape. We’ve grown since then but our beginning always keeps me humble.

    I would say “remember it takes a lot of hard work” and “You never know what God is up to!”. God uses new ventures in unique ways I think – so don’t think you have what it’s going to look like all figured out. God probably has other, deeper plans for you and those that will be touched.

  3. Jan Owen says:

    We planted our church with 22 people – 8 of whom were kids!(That’s 14 adults!) We had no money and started with one acoustic guitar and myself plus a few terrified vocalists. Very simple, very humble. No real equipment to speak of and in a dirty little storefront that we tried to clean but it was just in bad shape. We’ve grown since then but our beginning always keeps me humble.

    I would say “remember it takes a lot of hard work” and “You never know what God is up to!”. God uses new ventures in unique ways I think – so don’t think you have what it’s going to look like all figured out. God probably has other, deeper plans for you and those that will be touched.

  4. Donna says:

    I think it happens in God’s way & God’s timing…always.

  5. smileforjc says:

    Humble beginnings in praying in a foreign language

    The first time I was asked to lead the prayer in a small ENGLISH prayer group I made such a mess that I did not know myself what I was praying for! Therefore, I just said to God, “Lord, YOU know what I wanted to pray, in Jesus name, Amen”

    Nobody laughed. Nobody was embarrassed. Somehow everyone was touched. Maybe, that’s what love is all about!

  6. Beth says:

    In reality, everybody has “humble beginnings” to use your phrase. We’re all born of woman, completely dependent, and in need of care and nurture. The latter is what sets people apart as they grow. So, I would say that one of the more important advice I would give to people is to make sure they receive good mentorship and leadership.

  7. Jenny says:

    Jesus had a very humble beginning. And look what He did. And he even said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

    The enemy will do his best to throw up roadblocks and discourage. “…be strong and couragous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

    FYI I am dreaming big with you. I was on the verge of driving to Seattle (2 hours) for the meeting but thought it would be packed out and I might not get in. Sure wish I would have gone. I am looking forward to revealed names, plans, etc.

  8. Wayne Park says:

    If I lived in Seattle I would be with u on this one, PE..

    the first year: if I had to do it over again I would say, more homework, test the soil, wait for another year before starting, so yeah, to echo sammie: patience.

  9. eugenecho says:

    @jenny: wow.

    “…but thought it would be packed out and i might not get in.”

    thank you for believing. that comment in a strange way encouraged me.

  10. Kevin King says:

    I read this post intently because I have taken over a church that was so near death it has been like a new plant. I am currently developing my core team (probably about 25 adults) and I am also starting a new non-profit. In July, I will have one year at this new appointment.

    Thanks for the input and ideas. I pray God continues to bless your ministries.

  11. beattieblog says:

    I think the struggle with anything new is to clearly articulate the vision and trusting that those who are supposed to join in will. It’s also difficult (at least for me) to ask people to sacrifice on behalf of my vision. But this is exactly what you should do and are doing.
    I also think one of the hardest things we can do is take our dreams and visions and start to live them out. Our dreams are always so pristine and successful in our minds and notebooks. Once you put them out there, they have a chance to fail – and others put their hands to them with you which inevitably changes things (usually for the better!). This is risky. Good on you for going public.
    My humble beginning is having led a church plant for three years and then making the decision to shut it down. We could have kept going but I felt like my last good decision as the leader was going to be to release folks. I take great comfort in Wesley and others who struggled to get their vocational and ministry groove going. 🙂

  12. Andrea says:

    For what it is worth, we wish we could have come but already had plans to host people at our house. We can’t wait to hear more.

  13. boundbyfaith says:

    I’ve subscribed, and added you to my blog roll. Hope you don’t mind. If you do, let me know, and I’ll remove it.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 20 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 21 hours ago
  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 3 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 3 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 3 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 6 days ago