Eugene Cho

my biggest fear

My biggest fear is waking up one morning and realize that I’m on my death bed.  And as I reflect on my life, I have regrets about my family – particularly with my children.  Or simply, that it all went by so quick – and I missed it.

There are days like today when I cannot believe how big my children are and how fast they are growing.  Minhee and I feel so privileged to be the parents to our three children.  And today, we celebrate our 2nd child’s birthday.  TC turns eight years old today.

We obviously love all of our children but TC has a special place in our hearts because she was born at the lowest point of my life.  We had left our previous church months ago with the conviction and call to plant a church but we had no idea how difficult the new year would be:

  • I was unemployed and had been looking for work for several months
  • we became financially broke
  • the kids were on foods stamps and the WIC program
  • I felt like a failure for letting down my wife and kids since I felt like I couldn’t provide for them
  • the job I eventually got was working as a custodian at a retail store
  • I had grown increasingly frustrated about not being able to get Quest Church off the ground

Mostly, I was angry because I had “lost” control over my life.

When TC was born, it was like a “miraculous” birth.  She was born in about 4 minutes after Minhee laid on the hospital bed.  There were no drugs, no epideral, and no doctor.  She experienced sharp pain, pushed several times, and the next thing you know, the nurse and I – in panic and frenzy – saw the crown, then the body, and then Minhee and I cried like we’ve never cried before.  We sensed God speaking to us so intimately:  

I love you.  I am with you.  I have not forgotten you. 

Enough of my existential ponderings and angst.  No need to live in fear but to live in joy, contentment and to enjoy God and all of life’s blessings in the here and now.

Thank you God for the gift of our children.  Minhee and I want to treasure, nurture, and enjoy them. 

Happy Birthday TC!

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18 Responses

  1. amanda says:

    what a beautiful story. and two wonderful pictures! happy birthday!!!

  2. westcoastswing77 says:

    i am saying a prayer for you and your family, that you will preach the word until you get very very old. may God give you wisdom to run the race

  3. JB says:

    So dang cute!!! I love that photo! She’s a special kid, and I know just how you feel.

  4. chad m says:

    i actually thought some of these same things about my daughter after reading your post on dong yun yoon the other day. i can’t imagine losing my wife and daughter. i cherish my time with them…blessings and peace to you and you family!

  5. Phyllis says:

    wow. thanks for posting that… happy birthday to your little girl!

  6. Man… can I relate to parts of your journey. Thanks for your vulnerability! Birthdays have such a potential of bringing great memories to mind… and hope for the future. I hope yesterday brought both for you and your family.

  7. keren says:

    oh happy birthday, tc! what a lovely father you are too…you’re totally making me cry.

  8. that was very touching and encouraging Eugene. Thank you for that.

  9. sis says:

    Happy Birthday TC from your aunt in Korea
    It was so good to spend some time with you this summer
    I love you

  10. Jim Chen says:

    Happy b-day TC!

  11. Scooter says:

    Children are so precious! Great post man! The huge challenge is keeping them ahead of the demands of ministry. So easy to justify ministry activity trumping them by telling yourself God’s work is more important. It’s a real easy lie to believe. Being an involved father has to be one of the greatest things any man can do to move God’s kingdom forward. God bless you Dad! Give all your children your B.E.S.T. every day!
    B- BLESS
    E-ENCOURAGE
    S-SHARE
    T-TOUCH

    love to all

  12. Wayne says:

    I know this story so well, almost point for point we identify… ‘cept for the happy ending. ours ended differently and while sad we can’t complain.. he is Faithful.

  13. Ben C says:

    I’m a fan of the Cho family.

  14. Pastor, thanks so much for sharing this. My hubby and I are broke right now, so this is an inspiration. Blessings to you and your kids and wife today.

  15. Well, for what it’s worth, I doubt there are many parents out there that don’t have some regrets about how they parented their children. Even people who have seemed to me to be excellent parents seem to be able to find flaws in how they went about it.

    Our kids are in their teens and early twenties. I was watching my three youngest laughing and walk along together when we were all out at the mall the other day and was struck again by the fact that they are not babies anymore. The thought just pops up every now and then. I have the feeling I will still be thinking that years from now. I guess I’m trying to say get used to it, the sensation doesn’t seem to go away.

  16. TC,

    i don’t know you or your family, but here’s wishing you a Happy Birthday!

    Wishing you joy in your childhood and a deepening bod with your family.

    Blessings and peace,

    Adele Sakler

  17. Joonmo says:

    Pastor Eu,

    She is beautiful.

  18. g. says:

    happy bday tc!!!
    love, uncle george…

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

my tweets

  • "They got money for wars but can't feed the poor." ~ Tupac #trumpbudget || 2 days ago
  • Heartbroken. Praying for Manchester & the UK. For those mourning loved ones. For those injured and fighting for life. Lord, in your mercy. || 3 days ago
  • Window seat. For the win. https://t.co/yG66Sm2bvu || 5 days ago
  • As leaders, we must not sacrifice our family for the sake of ministry because loving our family IS good leadership: instagram.com/p/BUVAGVwg-5z/ || 5 days ago
  • We long for a Gospel that comforts but resist the Gospel that disrupts. Having the former without the latter seduces us into complacency. || 5 days ago
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