Eugene Cho

the most encouraging christmas card…


Quest recently received one of the most encouraging letters… From the beginning, we’ve tried to BE the church and as such, not be a community that merely worships (and hides) behind our liturgy or church building. Remember the post entitled, The Blog Post No One Wants to Read?

For example, the Q Cafe was started to help us engage the larger neighborhood and city and various ministries have been sprouted including one called, “To the Streets” led by Pastor DeAnza Spaulding (one of our pastors) and her team from the Compassion & Justice Ministries.

She received this letter during this month’s To the Streets distribution. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been very encouraged to see Questers take up her challenge and invitation to purchase and provide necessary stuff to help our homeless friends with the cold elements: clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, etc.

In the upcoming year, I’m excited to hear more about the vision of the Quest Justice Compassion (QJC) Ministry to build and fund a Drop In Center on or near our church campus for the homeless community that takes the care and distribution from once/month to a regular engagement.

Here’s the letter:

To All the Members of Quest Church,

We wish to thank each and every one of you for everything you do. There aren’t enough words to say how grateful we are. You have put so much love and compassion in helping others. Everyone helps with everything from clothing/food distribution to holiday meals, and more importantly, just being there to lend a loving and compassionate ear to all who need it.

Thank you so much from all you have helped. Happy Holidays.

With much love…

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4 Responses

  1. Daniel says:

    Beautiful.

    Thank you for encouraging us by sharing that letter.

  2. jenny says:

    What a beautiful card. What a beautiful reflection of Christ your community is to the community. May that reflection continue – and grow – in 2010!

  3. Joy says:

    this IS what church means to me.

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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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