Eugene Cho

in loving memory of craig

Read Craig’s 7 Life Lessons!

If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you know that we’ve been praying for a family at our church.  Craig [couple years my junior] was diagnosed – out of the blue – with brain cancer about 15 months ago.  The staff have been regularly visiting him.  But this past Saturday, his wife called and asked me to come over to pray with and over him.  His health has rapidly deteriorated in the recent months and in the recent days, he had grown unresponsive.  Honestly, it was chilling but I read the Scriptures to him and prayed over him – and sensed that while nothing about his expressions changed, he clearly heard our words – especially the words from his wife tearfully releasing him.

Couple hours later, Craig past away – his physical life over.  And while God did not grant our desire, he ultimately answered our prayer by restoring Craig completely into His hands.

My admiration for Craig has grown immensely over this past year.  His courage has surprised me.  His devotion to his wife and their two young children have been humbling and infectious.  While I saw him as a quiet and introverted person, I was overwhelmed by the support he received from every aspect of his community.  He was truly respected by so many people.

Craig was the only congregant I’ve ever met that gently rebuked me for being with him or at least spending too much time wit him.  He would often say:

“Pastor Eugene.  You need to be home with your wife and children.  They need you.  Go and be with them.  Cherish them.”

I don’t know what else to write.  While I rejoice in the truth and power of the gospel that nothing shall separate us from the Love of God, we mourn with those who mourn and ache.  You will certainly be missed Craig. Thank you for the privilege of being your brother in Christ and your pastor…

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Before Craig lost the ability to express his thoughts, he shared some of his struggles, fear, faith, devotion, and “life lessons” on his blog.  The following was one of them.  May it encourage you and remind you to Love God and Love People. Nothing else matters.

“Meaning is not something that you stumble across, like an answer to a riddle or a prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life.Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you.” -Anonymous

As I sit here nearing the end of my own life, I have been reflecting on this quote that I found about 10 years ago……The things that I think about and cherish the most are my family and other loved ones; the most important thing in my life is Love and friendship, and my faith in God. Love gives meaning to my life.

There are many other things that can give meaning to your life, but without these three things, I think it is difficult to find true happiness and inner peace.

Love God. Love your family. Love your friends. For that matter, show love to strangers. Use your love to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s easy. 

My love for my wife and kids is what gets me up every morning. I have been completely overwhelmed by all the love that people have shown me over this past year – whether it be a caring email, a meal made with love, a visit, or a phone call. I’ve always known that I’ve had wonderful friends and family, but complete strangers have reached out to our family and have loved us and supported us. It has been awe inspiring. I am so thankful to God that he has put you all in my life.

I truly love you all. Your love gives me strength and helps keep me going.

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3 Responses

  1. queermergent says:

    Eugene,

    My thoughts, prayers and tears go out to you and Craig’s wife, children and other family and friends. May you all find comfort in an encounter with the Divine.

    Warmest Regards,

    Existential Punk

  2. korea says:

    To my precious sister in Christ, who lost her beloved husband,

    Lots of love in Christ from Korea! My heart aches and my tears flow. I have felt close through prayer, though I never met you in person.

    May the God of ALL comfort comfort you! (2.Cor.1: 3-4)

    When my heart was ripped apart in pain over my parting loved ones, there was no person and no word that could comfort me, what comforted me in this indescribable pain was GOD comforting me with HIMSELF.

    I would like to just sit with you, be still, just be there and pray quietly.

  3. Pam says:

    I only met Craig a few times when he picked up his little one from my class, but the absolute joy on her face at seeing him spoke volumes about the dad that he was.

    Craig, please know that we will do our very best, by the grace of God, for your family. We can never replace you, but we will care for them to the best of our ability.

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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.

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

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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. I have to remind myself of this every day...because I can forget every day:

Don't be lazy and make assumptions about people. Ask about their story. Then listen. Be humble. Be teachable. Be human. Be a good neighbor. It's a sad reality but our society runs on the currency of fear. Don't feed into this frenzy.

Rather, invest in faith, hope, and love.

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