Eugene Cho

I desperately need good news


[photos by HageCreative]

Yesterday was a really sucky day.  A tough day for some reasons I won’t share here but I can share one thing.  I woke up to a phone call very early morning that our non-profit Q Cafe was broken into at some point in the middle of the night.  Whoever – broke in, made a little mess, broke into several office rooms, snagged a laptop, and took the cash from the cafe and live music venue.  We’ll get over the loss and damage but it just sucks bigtime to have someone rob your place. 

But in the scope of the bigger world, it’s nothing.  Even before the news of the break-in, I’ve been recently overwhelmed by heavy news:

  • One of our church folk’s cousin [only 24 years old] died in a tragic accident last week.  While they were ice climbing, she and her boyfriend were struck by ice slides.  She did not survive.
  • The escalation of the war in Gaza has been tough to hear and see.  I ain’t no fan of Hamas or Hezbollah but seeing the death toll of civilian Palestinians rise daily is painful.  Civilian deaths happen during war…  I get it. It still sucks.
  • 27 million slaves.  Still…in 2009?  Crap.  And stories of children as sex slaves?  Outrageous, disgusting, hideous, and painful.
  • And on Sunday night after a very intimate and meaningful evening worship service, I was winding down the night and reading some news online.  I was absolutely heartbroken over the news  in the Seattle Times about the body of a baby boy that was found at a garbage dump near Tacoma, Washington [just south of Seattle].  The dead baby boy was discovered at 2.10pm on Sunday Monday.  Reading the news just brought a dark gloom over me.   The 16 year old mother and 41 year old father are both in custody.  Details have yet to be released behind the story but it doesn’t matter…a baby literally thrown away as garbage?  Sigh.

Interestingly, I preached on the Lord’s Table this past Sunday and attempted to explain why Quest Church hosts and celebrates communion every Sunday.  For many folks, it’s an odd experience.  Some have said they would rather have more music and the occasional spiritual masochist wants longer sermons.


Simply, we celebrate communion because we desperately need to hear Good News.  We celebrate communion because we have been given Good News by the Grace of God.

There’s so much bad news all around us.  

But the Lord’s Table is a sacrament.  Sacraments are a visible form of God’s invisible grace.  In short, it’s a sign of God’s promise. It’s a demonstration of His Love and Grace.   It is Good News.

Why do we celebrate community every Sunday?  

Because the church must proclaim the Good News – even in the midst of brokenness around us.   God sending His Son, Jesus Christ,  is Good News.  Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God is Good News.  Jesus showing us the way of Shalom is Good News.   God’s new covenant through His son Jesus is Good News.  The resurrection is Good News.  The gift of the Holy Spirit is Good News.

I can’t speak for you but I need to be reminded of Good News – especially on days like yesterday when I was feeling overwhelmed.  

Good News.  

The world news to be reminded…

And I don’t care what kind of church you are:  Traditional, Mainline, Conservative, Liberal, Emerging, Post-emerging, Calvinist, Reformed, Presbyterian, Catholic, Missional, or [insert category here]…

We should always be committed to being heralds, doers, and ambassadors of the Gospel of Jesus that is truly Good News.

the Lord's Table

Filed under: bible, christianity, church, quest church, seattle

23 Responses

  1. Samuel says:

    I really appreciated your sermon from this past Sunday. As you shared, I come from a church background where we rarely celebrated Communion but at Quest, it’s a weekly reminder and renewal.

  2. gar says:

    Robbing the cafe / church offices? What a punk/punks. Glad to hear nobody got hurt, though.

    Hope God tugs at their conscience to return what they stole…

  3. Jim Chen says:

    Thanks for that reminder! Added to my list of goals for 2009 is pray for ministering opportunities with my neighbors.

  4. Eugene,

    Thanks for sharing and i am so sorry Q Cafe was vandalized. That sucks and even though there are far worse things going on, it’s still a sad thing for you guys. Will be praying for you guys!

    i lived in Northern Ireland for 2 years and trying to understand the “trouble” was very difficult. Some there told me that when you think you have a grasp and understand the ‘Troubles’, then you really don’t. This is me on the whole Paletine/Israel Gaza conflict. i just can’t seem to get my head around this mess. That is all i really understand: It is a mess that is killing innocents on BOTH sides.

    i appreciate your tender heart towards others and have much to learn from you. THANK YOU! i want to meet you when i visit Seattle the next time.

    Warm Regards,


  5. Thanks for sharing. I will be praying for you.

  6. It’s a cold world we live in. That’s why churches like yours and mine are necessary. I get sick too reading some of the garbage but I always temper it knowing that God has given us a tremendous responsibility to try to bring SOME hope to this dark world.

    Good post.

  7. Thom says:

    The Eucharist is our safe haven and mysterious reminder that the community of the kingdom is light in great darkness. Thanks for your meditation.

  8. jaredmlee says:

    wow – well said. The table should be a place we regularly run for comfort from the pain that comes from living in the brokenness.

    thanks for the encouragement!

  9. Matthew says:


    I’m really sorry about what happened to the Cafe. It’s never a fun thing to have your home or place of work or worship be broken into and robbed. And along with everything else that’s going on in the world, I definitely sympathise – I’m one of those guys who sometimes gets really neurotic about these kinds of things (I remember being almost physically ill at seeing the plight of the civilians in Tskhinvali back in August when the Georgians attacked them; the Gaza situation for me was much the same).

    At the same time, thanks for reminding us why we share in the body and blood of Christ, and why we have to keep committing ourselves to the way of the cross.

    Best, and here’s to a better year than the last,

  10. jan owen says:

    Eugene, I rejoice today that your heart is tender enough to be broken. When we are unaffected by the sin and desperation around us, we are in more trouble than ever. Being broken over what surely breaks the heart of God is an indication of oneness with Christ, an indication that we are concerned for more than ourselves, an indication we care and are a human at it’s best, which is only possible through Christ.

    I think being broken over what breaks the heart of God means we are awake to God and to the world around us and to His purposes in this world. That is not a comfortable place to be.

  11. Judy says:

    Pastor Eugene,
    I am one of the silent ones that checks in on you regularly. I am sorry about the break in at QCafe. I pray these events, all over, do not become routine, but, I fear they will.
    Now for the good news…after my Bible time in the morning, I put my Cathedrals Quartet in the cd player and get a dose of good news…permit me to share some of the lyrics…
    I’ve just started living, I’ve found me a brand new life, changed my direction, washed away all my stife…load’s a gettin’ lighter, days are gettin’ brighter, I’ve just started living!

    Lily of the Valley, let your sweet aroma fill my life, Rose of Sharon show me how to grow in beauty in God’s sight, Fairest of Ten Thousand make me a reflection of your love, Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night. Lead me Lord, I’ll follow, anywhere you open up the door, let me know your witness, show me things I’ve never seen before. Lord I want to be your witness, you can take what’s wrong and make it right, Daystar shine down on me….

    I’ve read the back of the book…and WE WON!!!

    How could a night be so long? Then came the morning, night turned into day, the stone was rolled away, hope rose with the dawn. Then came the morning, shadows vanished before the sun, death had lost and life had won for morning had come!

    Well, you get the idea. Hope this small voice from afar(Ohio) can help to encourage you today…

  12. JG says:

    Eugene – I am praying for you and your church today! God is doing amazing things through you and your church! I have been touched by what you are doing in the Seattle area. God is going to continue to do great things! Remember – He put you there for His purposes – Look for how He is working even in the midst of “sucky” days.

    I also appreciate your comments about the Lord’s Supper. We too share the Lord’s Supper weekly but not weakly! It is the highlight of every Lord’s Day.

    Hang in there! From your Brother in Florida!

  13. Johnny Laird says:

    So sorry to hear about the break in, Eugene. It’s gut wrenching when that happens.

    Keep walking the way of Jesus.

    Peace & blessings


  14. This does sucks! Sorry to hear about that. May the Lord work through your days, Eugene, in some powerful and complicated ways…

  15. ryan says:

    Eugene – sorry to hear about the break-in. Ministry in the urban can suck sometimes. But so many leave and I’m glad you guys are there. I suppose it’s part of the cost.

  16. Andy Larsen says:


    I’m with you. The story of the baby was rather heavy. I wonder how God carries all these burdens and am glad he/she is God and not me.

    Our home got broken into 6 times in the space of 2 years when we lived in Mexico, once when we were sleeping, with little kids and all. It is a horrible feeling. Another time we came home from a short vacation and found the house in disarray, drawers pulled out and contents missing or thrown. It feels like a personal assault. We later found out that one of the break-ins was a personal friend, a young teenager that we had trusted to wash our car. Uggg. All very ugly. But in the midst God protected us and carried us through and as you say, there are things going on in the world more weighty to be concerned about. But it weighs on you, personally. It is now fun being a target. I will pray for you today.

    Thanks also for the plug on Sunday. It was a tremendous worship service/sermon. I am continually uplifted and challenged at Quest.

  17. Andy Larsen says:

    Ooops. Meant to say “no” fun being a target instead of “now” fun being a target. Interesting how one little “w” can drastically change the meaning.

  18. eugenecho says:

    hey folks,

    thanks for the kind and encouraging words. the cafe staff are all fine. and i’m doing much better. just needed to dust off the initial sucky feeling. was encouraged when i gathered with the other staff and we prayed for whoever broke in.

    interestingly [and kinda funny], they broke into four rooms except the the two rooms with “queest church offices] on the doors. others didn’t. i don’t know. thought that was funny.

    @andy: pastor ray shared about an occasional attender at the former ICC breaking into their church years ago. as you know, he said it really sucked.

  19. Just Meee~ says:

    OK… it sucks! But let me tell you about my enlightenment. My dad was in a BIG name hospital for months outside of Chicago, on death’s door – my mom never left him for a moment… she knew every nurse and they all knew my mom and dad. I came to visit and my mom and when I was leaving she walked me to the elevator – in that brief 30 seconds one of his favorite nurses came in and took all the $$$ in my mom’s purse along with her gas credit card.

    I was devistated!

    AND often when I don’t understand, I call on GOD to help me understand… somehow HE opens my vision and lets me understand. I was troubled by this thift and asked HIM for understanding!

    The LORD opened my vision and told me how it was only $$$ to us,,, but it was the Nurse’s “test”…. and she didn’t do too well !

    So… sometimes you have to call on the LORD to open your vision and let you better understand why….

    Hope this made some sense… it did to me when it happened!

  20. jimmymccarty says:

    You need good news…

    Today someone was freed from slavery because of the work of good people.

    Today someone received a meal in Haiti because someone else donated money.

    Today someone who once was homeless is still in their own place with the help of our non-profit.

    Today someone with AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa received cheap ARV’s and will live a little longer.

    God is still present today, often in the places we don’t want to look.

    Yes, the world sucks in many ways in many places, but don’t lose sight of the good that is being done and will be done.

    Grace and peace.

  21. Pam Christensen says:

    thank you for your sermon on Sunday. I was at that place on Sunday, too-personal/family struggles, friends in pain, national/international news. Thank you for the reminder that even in the midst of whatever we are going through, we are in community. Communion reminds us that we are a part of the body of Christ TOGETHER.

    @jimmy-thank you for that.

  22. chad m says:

    amen on celebrating communion. it is the sustenance we desperately need.

  23. Joe Hunich says:


    Great post. I like the idea of constantly being reminded of The Good News through communion, and I love the charge for the church to be the proclaimers of good news in the midst of tough times. Thanks for the encouragement on that!

    Also, if you want to read some good news (as in positive/uplifting news stories) check out our site (We even wrote about the Q Cafe last summer

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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.


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 || 2 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 2 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. || 2 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. || 5 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t…… || 6 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: || 6 days ago