Eugene Cho

our family trip to korea

Our family trekked back to the Korea for a six week excursion for various purposes but especially because Korea is our “heart home.”  We had a great time even despite the intense humidity.  Great memories that we hope our children will remember throughout their lives.  Here are some pictures and a video to give you a glimpse of where our shoes took us in Korea. 

This was Daddy’s first meal in Korea. Once he started eating, he didn’t say a single word. He’s quiet anyways but just kept making weird noses of satisfaction.

excited about eating korean food all the time.

School runs through July here in Korea. We’re done so we tried to rub it in. It was cool to see even young kids go to school on their own without parents and cool to see so many people – even grown ups – hold hands with their friends as they walk. We saw these three young girls holding hands while walking to school around 8.30am. Our brother stopping playing on the see saw and kept checking them out. We told our parents on him.

Something called Monsoon season has started in Korea which means it’s raining alot. Fortunately, we were able to catch a day of beautiful son at a nearby super spa and waterpark. Daddy and Mommy said that if we posted naked pics of them in the Mok-Gyok-Tang [Korean bath spa], we would be grounded for life.

As we walked around one of the University districts, our parents took us to an outdoor live concert. We think they took us there because it was free. Anyway, this was sort of a Korean Idol tryout. Our dad tried to rush the stage to do his hip-hop act but thankfully, the security guards stopped him.

This past Saturday, we went to visit our mom’s graduate school – Ehwa Women’s University. She studied Psychology there and looks forward to going back to school this Fall to study Marriage & Family Therapy.

We went hiking on Monday morning [June 30]. It was beautiful but our father kept slowing us down. He said he was lagging because he wanted to protect us from the rear. He also said that the last will be the greatest in God’s kingdom. Our father is a brilliant theologian.

Dad really wanted to go to the world famous KimChi Field Museum to get some free samples of various forms of kimchi but the museum was closed on Monday. He was very upset and came home and went on a kim chee binge. It was very scary.

We also went to the COEX Aquarium yesterday [July 6]. Nice but nothing close to the aquariums in Monterey, Chicago, and Vancouver [BC] – the three best aquariums we’ve been to. We went with mom’s cousin and her family.

They dressed up and made us take pictures of them all day long. As we were about to take this picture, our dad proclaimed, “Now the world will know who carries the big stick in our house.”

Dad and mom took us to Gyeongbokgung – the largest and main palace of the Joseon Dynasty in Seoul, Korea. We also went to the the Korean Historical Museum that’s dedicated to the Joseon Dynasty. Conveniently, the admission was FREE. Here’s mommy looking very royal-esque.

On this day, we went to visit Everland Amusement Park – about an hour away from Seoul.  It was incredibly fun.  Our parents took this video on one of our favorite rides – a rollercoaster.  We all rode it together but for whatever reason, we can only hear our Dad screaming like a little baby. 

We walked around everywhere and took the subway every single day.  Our grandmother lives on the last stop of one of the lines so we were able to take this photo of an empty subway. 

It was so hot and humid in Korea so we were very excited to enjoy swimming and anything where there was water.   

Our dad went hiking one morning by himself.  He said he needed some time for “solitude for the soul.”  We think he just wanted to play by himself.  He climbed up Mt. Suraksan and enjoyed this view of one area of Seoul, Korea. 

Seoul is really crowded.  Everywhere we went, there were tons of people.  The city never sleeps.  This was one of the “quiet” streets we visited for dinner one night.

And we had this meal with our parents.   This is called budaejjigae.  It was really hot but we enjoyed eating hot dog and spam in our Korea stew.

Our relatives took us to see the World Cup Stadium.  Korea co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with Japan.  Here’s Dad wishing he was on the soccer team.  We had a great

We had a great time in Korea but are glad we’re also back in Seattle.  But we hope to return again to visit Korea.

Filed under: family, travel

9 Responses

  1. Liz says:

    Great and fun pics Eugene. Glad you guys had good time. Enjoy these moments with your children. They go by very fast.

  2. Ben says:

    Korea’s national football team in WC 2002 absolutely ruined US sports for me such as the NBA/NFL. I’m a huge fan of our national football team and I’ve never experienced the high that I felt when we went to the semis in 2002.

    What a magical event and moment in Korea’s history. I want more!

  3. Donna says:

    Loved all the pictures & your comments/observations. I know how special the trip was for you, Minhee, & the kids & am so happy you got to go and spend time with your parents.

  4. gar says:

    Great photos!

    Rollercoasters are the best… GJ taking the video without dropping your camera. 😉

  5. ryanbd says:

    wow – great pics and I loved the rollercoaster video. Welcome back to Seattle -hope the post sabbatical blues go easy on you.

  6. eugenecho says:

    @ryan:

    the reverse culture transition wasn’t easy this past week. but i guess that’s one of the reasons why we chose to come back 2 weeks earlier than we had initially planned. i still have about 5 weeks left for my sabbatical.

  7. Tracy says:

    Thank you for sharing. What a blessing. *crying*

  8. […] as an adult and doing pastoral ministry for couple years in my birthdplace referred to some as the Land of the Morning Calm, I had absolutely no idea that adultery was “illegal” and a crime.  I enjoy following […]

  9. alroy says:

    hilarious narration of your travels! i’m flying to sk on September

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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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