Eugene Cho

my official retirement announcement

Last night, I ruptured my Achilles while playing basketball.  *#@&*

No, this isn’t an old post. I ruptured by LEFT Achilles several years ago and let me say it was one of the most painful injuries I’ve ever experienced. I’m not embarrassed to say I cried like a baby when it popped (while playing basketball). The surgery and recovery was arduous – further complexified that it took place a few months after the birth of our 3rd child.

In preparation to play ball yesterday, I tweeted this in the afternoon:

is considering playing basketball with the quest boys tonight. praying that i don’t rupture the other achilles.

And during the last basketball game, I ripped my RIGHT Achilles. *#@&*

The physical pain is there and I’m not looking forward to going in for another surgery (and recovery) but I’m just a tad emotionally worn out.

Most of my readers & those that are praying for me know that the past couple months have been especially tough. I made one of the hardest decisions as a father & husband and chose to move our family out of our home to sublet (to position ourselves to honor our pledge for One Day’s Wages).

The pain will subside but it’s the emotional stuff, you know?  Needing to tell the kids that we need to cancel our camping trip this weekend. Needing to tell them we may need to cancel our summer vacation trip next month. We were going to borrow our friend’s RV for a great road trip to the Midwest and that was to be the highlight of our summer. Trying to support (not well) my wife while she’s a quasi full-time grad student. Blah blah blah.

And maybe it’s just seeing your kids see their Dad vulnerable and in need. Because while I don’t want to admit it, I don’t like to see my kids see me like this.  I’m supposed to take care of them…I don’t like them crying for Dad.  Several years ago, after my ruptured achilles, surgery and recovery…I got run over by car. True story.  This was when I was attempting to save a young woman’s life…and well, it didn’t go too well. What I remember the most about that time (besides a Honda Civic rolling over my leg) is rolling on the pavement and seeing Minhee and the kids ABSORB the whole incident and the absolute horror of the worst scenario.

The kids still haven’t forgotten. And last night brought back all those emotions.

I want to be strong, be in control…I want to be a hero.

And so, today, I am making my retirement official (a la Brett Favre). I don’t want to be a wanna-be-hero anymore. I’m taking off my mask (or my goggles)…

And at least for me, storms often take place when our allusion of control and strength are challenged and humbled. And this season has certainly been challenging and humbling.

And so I pray, invite, receive His Grace – sufficient for me in my Weakness.

Thanks for your support & prayers. I’m seeing a specialist tomorrow and hoping to go in for surgery on Friday.

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33 Responses

  1. there’s such heartache and freedom and joy and grief in taking off the mask and goggles. thanks for sharing and inspiring me to remember that i need to do that again and again.

    hope the surgery on friday will bring relief and healing like taking off the mask and goggles.

  2. dave says:

    Praying for you man! Hang in there. Thank the Lord you can keep writing…I pray you never break your arms or fingers. 🙂

  3. Michael W says:

    i can’t wait to read your full length biography.

  4. Andy says:

    What PE failed to mention was that he retired on a sick move to dunk the ball over not 1 player but 2 players – just a step up over this video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIlwUgdp3BM. It was a legendary move that will be remembered for years to come – best to leave on top 🙂

    PE – hope you feel/get better soon.

  5. Everett says:

    Sorry to hear that. I will be praying for you too.

  6. gar says:

    Yeouch. Maybe it’s a divine sign from the LORD that playing basketball isn’t your thing, Pastor E.

    I’ll be praying for a quick recovery – hopefully it won’t interrupt all of your summer plans with your family, or at least, maybe you’ll find an alternative. Some of my best memories growing up were summers spent with my Dad – even the ones where all I did was hang around the church all day while he worked. I drew a lot of Snoopy cartoons, ate gummy bears, and challenged by Dad to wall-ball.

  7. Megan says:

    Bummer. Good luck with the surgery and healing process. I haven’t been able to run for 5 months due to a calf injury (running is my life), and it’s been very emotionally trying.

  8. co-laborer says:

    I pray that you recover quickly!
    When I saw your post I remembered that you had previously posted you didn’t want this to happen…I think more than anything the taking off of the mask and goggles 🙂 is a major victory and you do walk humbly and transparent before us (your brothers and sister) – may we see your genuineness and passion in following hard after Jesus…thank you for being an example even in your pain!

  9. Terri says:

    Hang in there, PE! I know it’s tough…

  10. jake says:

    I can vouch for Andy’s testimony of the dunk. It was epic.

  11. Eugene Cho says:

    Let’s not forget that I was fouled by Dan on the play as well. …And one.

  12. Tony says:

    This has been heavy on my heart. I’ve been thinking about you and praying for you PE. Ugh… this isn’t the most eloquent way to put it but man it really sucks that this happened and I feel horrible for you. You bust your butt all year long and then this happens right before your planned family time for the summer. I’ll keep praying for you, that God would give you an unusually swift recovery from this. Physically, emotionally and spiritually.

  13. Bright says:

    My prayers are with you and your family. I pray the surgery will go well as God’s plan. Yes, God is in charge and you’re still your kids’ hero.

  14. matt says:

    Hey man, hope you get better. I must admit that Matt and I laughed a lot at the Q this morning when we read your tweets!

  15. Dale says:

    I can relate: I sprained my ankle playing basketball 3 weeks before I was supposed to run a marathon. I appreciate you frustration, both with the injury and the emotional impact on your family. Somehow, though, as I’m sure you know, God uses those frustrations as ingredients for meaningful life. Still . . . aaauuuggghhh!

  16. Teresa says:

    A little scary you tweeted about the possibility before it happened. Prayers for your swift recovery, and for creativity to find the blessing in the bummer and have some fun with the family in a different way than you initially planned. You’re still a hero even without the goggles:)

  17. Beverly V-S says:

    PE:

    Met you and your family at Peter and Lotus’ wedding and at various EC events; you may have even visited Wellspring in Hawaii. I’ve been lurking around your site for months now, being ministered, encouraged, inspired and entertained, but hearing of your ATR injury is enough to out myself, as I too was recently running/crawling in the same race.

    I am so sorry to hear of this major setback and pray for you. May your surgery go well on Friday, and that you have the strength to endure the next weeks as your body tries again to heal. May your obstacles be few(er) and that you and your family be at the receiving end of God’s graciousness.

    If you also want to check on the latest ATR community, check out achillesblog.com. These are people who have indeed felt my pain and walked in my shoes. Did a lot for my healing too.

    Can’t wait to hear what superhero color you’ll choose for your cast. 🙂

  18. Rosalind Sciammas says:

    More time to Sabbath? A time for stillness and reflection? I’m so sorry that you’ve got more pain to weather. And you can’t even relax and recover in your own bed. Could be that the fam will really love having you tied down.

    You give the role of good Samaritan new meaning. May all the pain subside quickly. All of it.

  19. Karen Claassen says:

    Praying for a full and fast recovery.

  20. Rebecca says:

    PE-prayers are definitely with you, for all the storms you are facing right now. May the love of the Lord completely overwhlem you and fill you with His peace.

  21. Eugene Cho says:

    thanks for your prayers and kind wishes. i have to head out to dallas for a conference. in almost every instance, i would have called to cancel but i’m the keynote speaker and feel horrible about canceling at this point especially when the surgeon says he prefers to wait 10 days after the accident. but i’ve got a family vacation our kids have been dreaming about for some time…

    so, need to pray to make some decisions…

  22. Lori says:

    Brother, I will be praying for you. You are humble, brave, and have allowed yourself to be open and vulnerable. Know that we all love you, and you have been a blessing in our lives. Your passion for Jesus and righting social unjustices has inspired many. You will be okay. It is a new season of your life that is not all roses and sunshine, but your family, friends, congregation, and blog readers all love you and do not judge you. I pray your healing is signifacantly speedier than last time. Take care brother. This is a season in your life when you need to focus on taking care of yourself.

    Prayerfully,
    Lori

  23. caristone says:

    Eugene.
    I’m so sorry to learn of your injury. We’ll be praying for you as you endure this process once more. I recently posted an entry in my blog that I think you might appreciate regarding kids and how they process our pain. It seems that serveral of us are walking our own flavor of this journey. Thinking of you today.

    Cari

    http://caristone.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/an-unlikely-celebration/

  24. […] I’m getting over the “feeling sorry” for myself state and facing the reality of the recovery ahead for my ruptured Achilles. I’ll be in a cast […]

  25. the son's couture says:

    oh my gosh! i will be sure to pray for healing and a speedy recovery!

  26. Rooting for you! So sorry things are so rough. Hoping you find some deeper meaning in it all.

    Hugs, Elena

  27. Su says:

    If you are open to acupuncture, please see following link: http://www.siom.edu/clinic. Located near greenlake.

    They have $35 a session if you let students poke you, or $50 a session if you have the instructor poke you with students watching, or $75 for just the instructor.

  28. […] Just wanted you to know that I’m heading off for vacation with my family. Because of the ruptured achilles, we had to scratch the original plan of my dream of RV’ing around the States but perhaps […]

  29. […] pastor eugene cho. – injured playing basketball: in the last ten minutes of the open gym, was going to the hoop and […]

  30. […] Exactly two months ago today, I ruptured my right Achilles while playing basketball with some men at Quest.  The injury was painful but the emotional stuff was even more painful.  As a result, I officially announced my retirement and took off my mask [& goggles]. […]

  31. […] I ruptured my Achilles – the other one. It really hurt – physically and emotionally. […]

  32. […] with hot water.  He’s never even broken a bone, or ruptured both his achilles tendons like Eugene Cho!  But you should’ve seen the attention I was getting from Matt’s wife.  Matt was even […]

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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