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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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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