Eugene Cho

my quasi nazarite vow

nazaritevow

In recent years, I’ve taken couple quasi Nazarite vows:  no shaving, hair cutting, and alcohol.  Minhee and the kids aren’t big fans of my long and messy hair.  I recently had it in a ponytail when I picked up my kids at school and my oldest exclaimed:

Don’t wear that ponytail at my school!

I grounded her for 6 months.  Anyways, my quasi Nazarite vows take place when I’m praying or working on something pretty important. I admit it’s a little warped but it’s a reminder that I need God’s grace, mercy, and intervention.

For example, I did it when I was waiting for all the permits and construction for the building and opening of Q Cafe in 2002 and for the long process of the “merger” with Interbay and the miracle of their gift to Quest.

And now, I’ve been undergoing my current quasi Nazarite vow as I’ve been praying and working towards our 501(c)(3) issuance with the Internal Revenue Services.  I knew I needed some intervention and God’s favor when I received this email from my lawyer who’s been doing non-profit work for some time:

On the IRS…xxxxxx still didn’t call, I left him another message. Went through the customer service again and they are put in a request to have your user fee “extended” for thirty days and to have the original letter asking for additional information re-sent to you and me. It isn’t clear yet whether the request for the user fee extension will be granted, it will be disappointing if you have to re-pay the $750. Again, I’m confident we’ll get there, but this has been an insanely frustrating process for me, and I can’t imagine what it is like for you to get held up like this. The lady I spoke with was nice, but the bureaucracy she’s in the middle of is like nothing I’ve ever seen. All over a lost piece of mail and an agent who won’t return calls.

Thankfully, we finally some good news: we received an extension and now know what  additional info the IRS wants – so we can keep the ball moving forward.  Hopefully, we’ll receive our official issuance this upcoming summer.  So, it’s possible that we’ll be rolling out our logo, name, vision, and website in the coming months.  It’s a difficult economic climate so we’ll need to be in continual prayer and discernment.

But I’m thinking I may need to finally give in to my wife’s request to cut the hair.  I have heard the funniest comments about my hair or look.  I have been told I look like:

  • Beethoven
  • Joel Osteen [when my hair is combed w/ my mullet]
  • Lord Farquuad from Shrek [this is m wife calling me this!]
  • Asian version of Keith Green

Some advice for those who are looking to start a non-profit organization: Don’t cut corners.

I received help from friends who were lawyers but none of them specialized in non-profit and it was unfair to them – and also set us back.  Spending couple thousand dollars might be one of your best investment in order for your non-profit and vision to get off to a good start.

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11 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    Dude, you have some serious white hair. Getting old like the rest of us.

  2. Rebecca says:

    I dunno, with this photo, I think you should add Genghis Khan to the list!

  3. Greg says:

    I still like the “Saddam Hussein” after he was captured comparison. 🙂

  4. Tom says:

    Once again, you’re the dude.

    Great satire all the way around.

    Or, at least, I’m hoping satire–and not hacking–is the goal.

    I’m out on your blog, but congrats.

    Very convincing :^)

  5. daphne says:

    I will continue to remember the non-profit in my prayers. I know you will get there.

  6. eugenecho says:

    @daphne: thank you. i guess this was a weird way of saying,

    “I covet your prayers.”

  7. beattieblog says:

    I think you need to start sending to this places you’ve been invited to speak as your promo pic. They might get a whole new crowd coming. 🙂

  8. beattieblog says:

    oops – swap the “to” and “this” around in that last one…

  9. leebenvic says:

    You are quite the trendsetter. We told our teenager that maybe it’s time for him to get a haircut. His reply, “What’s wrong with long hair? Pastor Eugene has long hair…and so did Jesus”.

  10. Paul Kuhlmann says:

    Hey Eugene, check out this site before you cut the locks:

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/93617/How-to-stay-healthy-don-t-cut-your-hair

    The long hair is what makes men powerful. Think about Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist! Your times is near. You can prove or disprove the entire Nazarite concept. Forget what the whiners tell you. We watch and await your victory over common-ness.

  11. test says:

    I think other site proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and fantastic user genial style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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