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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One Day’s Wages

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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

  • Heartbroken. Praying for Manchester & the UK. For those mourning loved ones. For those injured and fighting for life. Lord, in your mercy. || 1 day ago
  • Window seat. For the win. https://t.co/yG66Sm2bvu || 3 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/ || 3 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. || 3 days ago
  • Love wins in the end but in the meanwhile,it fights for things that matter. Love isn't sentimental. It's both gentle & fierce. Love endures. || 4 days ago
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