Eugene Cho

gratitude and prayers on veterans day

Let me begin by sharing my appreciation for all veterans and their service and sacrifice for this country.  I am able to enjoy certain blessings, privileges, freedoms, and benefits because of those that sought to preserve such liberties.  The world has witnessed the rise of those who would seek to destroy the gift of freedom and liberties and there were those who sacrficed to oppose such forces.   May our country, in our righteousness and power, distinguish between aggressors and protectors. 

My parents were children of the Korean War.  The stories they share are as hard to believe as the “When I was a kid, I used to walk 12 miles to school” stories.  My father served in the US Army.  We have several folks that are currently serving in the military in our church community.  Couple have already served stints in Iraq and may need to return in the near future.  I hide no reservations in my stance of being against this war but despite my opposition to the war, I do not want my support and appreciation for our troops to be feint.  And through our “merger” with Interbay Church 1.5 years ago, I have personally heard the stories of several who served in the military through both World War II and Vietnam.  I am thankful for them; Words cannot capture. 

How about you?  Do you have loved ones that are currently serving in the military?  Where?  How many of your parents and grandparents are veterans? 

Share your stories.

As I express my gratitude to our veterans, I also lift a prayer for the day when war may only be a memory; I pray for a day when leaders, governments, and citizens of the global community realize we can live in peace; I pray for a day we can collectively work to reduce our military spending beginning with the next American administration;  I pray that we can work towards shalom.  I pray.

We are all sons and daughters, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and such.  We all have stories and lives.  We are all created in the image of God.  May we learn to live in peace.

Certainly, this is something we can all agree to work towards.  Shalom.

Filed under: politics, religion,

8 Responses

  1. Matt S. says:

    Thank you Eugene for your gratitude and prayer. I’ve found that my blogosphere is surprisingly lacking today in such sentiments. As a veteran in a long line of veterans I too pray your prayer. Let it be I pray.

  2. Baron Miller says:

    In a world of sheep and wolves, we still need sheep-dogs, protectors of the flock. As a former sheep-dog (Sgt. USMC) I too long for the day when lambs and wolves will dwell together, and when that day comes, all things will truly be made new.

    I really did enjoy my 5yrs as a Marine and enjoyed my work as a Rescue Swimmer. The motto, So Others May Live is very Jesus, very pastoral and consider myself now still doing search and rescue work, only serving a kingdom, not an empire.

    Come Lord Jesus.

  3. janowen says:

    my grandfather was a WWII POW and it is only as an adult that I’ve realized the sacrifice he made so that MANY could be free – and he would never be thanked for it personally. My uncle served in Vietnam and has struggled ever since. I don’t have anyone serving presently but my husband is employed by the Army and goes to Iraq some and we’ve seen firsthand how dedicated those soldiers are not only to American interests but to the absolute good of the Iraqi people – serving them in many ways we never see reported.

  4. Jenny says:

    My family has many who have served in the military and I am thankful for each one of them, and indeed, all of our military personnel, both past, present and (because we live in a fallen world and will likely always need some level of military power) future.

    My grandfather served in the Navy, my father in the Army (Korean War), his brother in the Navy. My uncle (on my mom’s side) gave his life in Vietnam, his brother served in the Army after his brother’s death. My brother served in the Navy. My husband has served in both the Army and the Coast Guard. His father served in the Army and met his mother in Berlin.

    I do pray for peace. Yes, Shalom. Yet as I pray for peace in the world, I also pray for wisdom and courage to stand up (and sometimes that is defined as war) for what is right, to defend the defenseless and to protect freedoms.

  5. Jeff says:

    I appreciate you recognizing the service of men & women.
    I served in the Air Force ’79 – ’92. My wife served a term in the Air Force. My son is in the WA State Army National Guard currently in Iraq. My Father was a consciencious objecter in the WW II and served in the Coast Guard, He was a Seagoing Cowboy taking needed livestock to China, New Zealand & Europe. My wife’s father served as a Dentist in the Army. Her brother’s served in the Army & Navy. I had Uncles that served in the Vietnam war, Korean War & WWII. My family has served going back to the Civil War.
    This may seem like a lot to some people. For our family, service is expected and encouraged. Not necessarily military service, but service to the community, church, State & Nation is a priviledge, not a duty. My children are all currently actively serving in Church and School activities.

  6. disinter says:

    In America, we enjoy the freedom of giving half our income to the government through various forms of taxes. We have the freedom to participate in a Ponzi scheme known as Social Security. We have the freedom to vote for the president. Unlike the voters of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, who only had one choice for president, we have two choices! We have the freedom to choose between Republican-led big government programs and Democrat-led big government programs. We have the freedom to use government-controlled money, which loses value every year. We have the freedom to subsidize the poltically-connected agricultural, automotive, and banking industries. We have the freedom of sending children through the compusory government-run education system, and then pay for job training for those that get through 12 years of schooling and still don’t know how to do anything. We have the freedom to own guns, provided that said gun is approved by the government and we pass the government-mandated background check. If we get the appropriate permits and stand in then proper free-speech zone, we have the freedom to protest.

    Thanks to all the veterans that defended these freedoms and kept them from being taken away!

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/023944.html

  7. Dk says:

    The silence amongst Christians and those that you call evangelical left are embarrasingly quiet. Even if you are against war and who is not…why can’t we pay our respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much so that people can enjoy our freedoms?

  8. Bret says:

    My father in law is buried at Arlington….I take my daughters every year and as they get older I pray to instill in them what a place like that is all about.

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

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 Took a train to Busan. Did not encounter any zombies but I was ready just in case.

Busan. First visit to this city (couple weeks ago) and was blown away by its beauty. Also, shocked that it has become the fifth largest containment port city in the world. That's a lot of import and export.

#MyAttemptToBeTheBestSmartphonePhotographer 
#Pusan #SouthKorea

my tweets

  • 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 || 6 hours ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 6 hours ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 6 hours 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. || 2 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 4 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 4 days ago