Eugene Cho

thanking god for his intervention

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].

I didn’t know it at the time the injury took place but as I reflect on it now, I believe this was God intervening in my life – as He often does – to demonstrate His care, caution, love,  and guidance. Sometimes, in my hubris, I tend to think that God can’t do His work without my participation. And again, I am reminded that God doesn’t really need me. I don’t have to but I get to.  In addition, over the past few months but especially recently, I’ve been once again reminded how important it is to have the rhythm of Sabbath in one’s life. God created this rhythm not because He doesn’t like productivity but because He actually values both our doing and our being…

I don’t have one day where I am able to completely Sabbath with the schedule of three kids and my wife who is in grad school. But at least twice each week, I block out several hours where I will Sabbath. Disconnect from everything else and rest and rejoice before God.

As some of you know, I ruptured my left Achilles several years ago and had surgery and it has healed very well. After some prayer and discussion, I chose to go the path of natural healing with my right Achilles.  I would have preferred surgery but even with insurance, the bill would have been about $3k and well, tis the season to be frugal. Several friends offered to help but Minhee and I prayed and felt at peace. Plus, I wanted my body to be a gift to the sciences.

Well, two weeks ago, I took off my cast and started some careful and light walking. My doctor would not have approved but after reading numerous things on the internet, I chose the aggressive method.

It’s amazing how the a completely ruptured Achilles can reattach and heal itself. Even  more amazing is how the body can atrophy so quickly when it’s not being used. Even after 6 weeks in a cast, my right calf had atrophied dramatically which was one of the reasons why I chose to take off the cast and do some light walking and to slowly rebuild my calf muscles.  I have my doctor’s appointment next Tuesday and I’m praying my doctor will be stunned by how well my heel, Achilles, and calf muscles are doing and encourage me to pursue aggressive Physical Therapy.

The drawback of natural healing is the slightly higher percentage of re-rupture rates [5% vs. 15%] but I’m praying that with therapy, regular exercise, and healthy rhythms in my life, I can be up and running in a few months.

Maybe I’m crazy but I’m really thankful to be walking about. Yesterday, in celebration of 8 weeks post the injury, I picked up a basketball, limped around, and hit a few shots.  Maybe a comeback is in my future…

Thank you so much for your kind words, prayers, and for those who helped prepare meals for my family during the first couple weeks. Thank you for your love…

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9 Responses

  1. Eugene,
    Solid skills. I like the fact that you follow your shot. But that was a Kobe-esque performance of consitency. if you need a point guard, holla at ya boy!

  2. pert says:

    i won’t call it a comeback, you’ve been here for years.

  3. Erick says:

    nothing wrong with being a spot up shooter if the Achilles ever gives you trouble…and soon enough you’ll be tossing up alley-oops to your kids, team dime baby.

    also, don’t know if you’re much of a cyclist, but it’s obviously a great way to build up calf (and leg) muscle with low impact. I don’t really know if that’s okay to do with an Achilles injury, but maybe bike to work a couple days a week?

    Praying for continued healing.

  4. Joe says:

    Wow. That ankle & achilles looked nasty. Glad you are getting better.

  5. Jim Chen says:

    Happy to see you moving around so well, so soon. Nice shooting and smooth moving. You’ll be playing again in no time.

  6. Tony says:

    Nice vid. I was tempted to make some joke about you using computer tricks to doctor the video up but I’ve seen you play. You do have major skills! I appreciate your attitude about this. Lately I have struggled with taking things that cause me pain and looking at them as something positive and God-ordained. Inspirational stuff.

  7. Eugene Cho says:

    @ryan: i was a PG in high school but the quickness is no more.

    @pert: LL baby.

    @erick: steve kerr may be my new hero.

    @tony: i got many of those jokes today already. brother, you’ve gone through so much this past year. you and angela have inspired me more than you can know. thank you.

  8. your friend says:

    What an encouragement! God can use anything to let us learn a new lesson.

    I learned a lot through your example.

    One thing came to mind when I looked at you: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Your inner strength got stronger through this and you keep going with GOD. I rejoice!

  9. Rich says:

    You skillz money! Definitely room for an Asian in the NBA. I’ll send em this vid. LOL

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One Day’s Wages

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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) May our hearts break for injustice and exploitation - whether abroad or in our own backyard. Spending a few days for @onedayswages in Thailand. Along with one of our board members, I'm traveling with a group of 10 others to learn, listen and visit a few NGOs including one of our partners, @thefreedomstory. Couple days ago, we spent an evening walking through Soi Cowboy. On a given night, about 10,000 people are in the ring of prostitution in Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, and Patpong. Much of this is driven by the consumer demand. Approximately 70% of male tourists go to Thailand for the sex industry.

Human trafficking is complex. Anyone that says otherwise is lying or selling you something. 
To reduce it to simple terms, or simple problems, or simple solutions…cause harmful consequences. While we can all agree that it is sinful, egregious, evil, and wrong…there are many nuances and complexities. It would serve all of us to grow deep in the awareness not just of the larger issue but the nuances and complexities.

When people speak of human trafficking, they tend to be ‘attracted’ to the issue of sexual exploitation. Dare I say it, human trafficking has become trendy as a justice issue.

Clearly, it’s evil and egregious. But to reduce the entire issue of human trafficking into one form is not helpful. Because the mission is to fight the entire injustice of slavery. And if that’s the commitment, we have to not only combat sexual exploitation but engage in issues of poverty, forced labor, commercial exploitation in tourism, land rights and power abuses, organized crime networks, cultural and economic realities, etc.

Oh, it's so complex but we have to be engaged whether in Thailand or in our own backyards. May our hearts break for the things that break the heart of God... More thoughts to come.

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