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

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"He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:30 We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant.

Be faithful.

PS: Also, it helps to get some Vitamin D especially if you live in the rainy Northwest Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on.

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