Eugene Cho

thank god for george

No, this isn’t a post about President Bush although can read my latest one here about W.

About 8 years ago, Minhee and I sent an email to folks about our desire to plant a church in the city of Seattle  called Quest.  It was pretty scary not knowing who was going to show up – if anyone.  But seven people showed including two people that are still with us right now.  Over the next several months, about 30 people joined us of which about 5 people are still us with us.

Lots of changes.  People coming in and out.  Lots of pain.  Lots of growth.  Lots of joy.  Lots of memories.  And lots of “What in the world am I doing?”  There’s been lots of ups and downs and but through it all, Minhee and I have been privileged to have a handful of people journey with us for the majority of our journey.

In particular, I’m thankful for George and Jin – two brothers amongst the seven folks that joined our first gathering in our living over seven years ago.  They have been some of the most loyal and dependable friends and partners in ministry. Every pastor and leader needs people like these two to journey with them.  I’ll roast Jin another time.

George has served the church in almost every way conceivable including being our worship director from Day 1.  Now, nearly 50+ musicians rotate through various teams.  For the first couple years, George volunteered ALL of his time and it was only in the recent years that the church “compensated” him as a part time worship & arts director.  After  7+ years as the church’s worship director, George officially stepped down from his position last Sunday. He’ll be taking couple months off to rest and simply enjoy sitting and worshipping on Sundays next to his Vivien [his wife], attend a community group together, and prayerfully discern how they can serve God together at Quest. 

georgesong1

But before I give him too much praise, I want folks to know that I taught him everything he knows about what it means to be an artist and leading worship.  When I first “discovered” him, he was a little rough on the edges:  no style, no range on his voice, guitar playing was a little shaky, rhythm was off, and he kept wanting to wear sunglasses while leading worship.  But I saw his potential and invested in him.  But just in case you don’t believe me, I have a clip of George when I discovered him.  Make sure you check it out.  Thankfully, he’s since much improved in his giftings as an artist and musician:

*  Just in case you don’t know, the youtube video is NOT George.  C’mon!  Not all Asians look the same.  If you want to listen to one of George’s original worship songs, click here to listen to ‘Testament.’

Filed under: quest church, seattle

10 Responses

  1. […] que toca também a Q Café, um sonho de café missional na cidade, ele postou ainda hoje “thank God for George“, um agradecimento a um amigo seu que o acompanha desde quando começaram as primeiras […]

  2. Rachel says:

    You say, “thank God for George.” But does George say, “Thank God for Eugene?”

  3. lfbatista says:

    As you see in trackback, your post gave me great inspiration when I read about the beggining of your community in Seatle, also, I could appreciate how important is to have loyal friends with you at the beggining.
    Thank God for you both
    luis f.

  4. Pam Christensen says:

    PE,
    With George not on staff, who will you have people send irate e-mails to after one of your fiery sermons? 🙂

    George, thank you for the amazing ways that you have led us into the Lord’s presence. We are truly thankful for you and your service to our church family.

  5. gar says:

    No matter how many times I see that YouTube video, I’m still in awe. Hilarious.

  6. david says:

    hi. i read your post regarding your views on george bush.

    you said that his memoirs would be the biggest selling because he would share things he could not during his presidency as well as an apology.

    and i would like to know if he had explicitly communicated that he would issue an apology in his memoir or are you just implying in a back handed way that you view his decisions as huge mistakes to be apologized for?

    if not, then i would like to remind you, with respect, the words of romans 13 instructs us that we should respect our governing authorities and fall in submission to them. paul wrote these words as christians were being persecuted and killed. the same apostle instructed us that everything is permissible but not beneficial and you who are mature should always be mindful of the weaker christian.

    pastor eugene, as someone whom i greatly respect for the honorable work and service you execute for God, i know that many take your lead and follow it. i just want to express my concern for the weaker christian, as many in our city are theologically deviant and authority hating. I wonder is this sentiment due to the lack of good examples to follow? should we not try to foster a heart that respects our government and authorities no matter how much we disagree?

    though its flawed because of sinful humans, in God’s economy we all have our roles. the bible says we submit to the government and the government submits to god.

    is it not the christian’s hope that the leader makes his apology to God not us? and is it not the christian’s role to ( regardless of the situation ) repect the government? NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH CONDONE SINS… but address sins in a respectful way? so christ is exalted.

    Dr. King set the bar with civil disobedience. he addressed atrocities in a holy yet extremely painful way. instead of borderline gossiping, slandering, and gossiping about the government.

    if its something to write about maybe its your responsibility to address the situation respectfully and leave it between you and the government. instead of posting hateful disapproving words that could potentially lead the weaker christian down a bad path.

    to be sure, i do not intend this to be a judgement of your heart and person, as im sure everybody knows it is a large and loving one. but it is an expression of concern regarding your followers and their misinterpretation of your words and sentiments.

    ~ D

  7. aaron says:

    I miss Sunday worship with George!! He has an amazing gift!

  8. […] que toca também a Q Café, um sonho de café missional na cidade, ele postou ainda hoje “thank God for George“, um agradecimento a um amigo seu que o acompanha desde quando começaram as primeiras […]

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stuff, connect, info

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.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 20 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 21 hours ago
  • 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 || 3 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 3 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. || 3 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. || 6 days ago