Eugene Cho

if we’re truly people of the resurrection…

Earlier this week, I was down in Long Beach, CA to speak at a conference called the Ideation. In my true vulnerable fashion, I managed to do my presentation to a larger group of non-profit leaders and humanitarians with my zipper open.  Classic.

But this post isn’t about my zipper or my other embarrassing moments.

It’s about a surprise meeting – in a bathroom at Westin Hotel in Long Beach – the location of the conference.

In need of going to the restroom during one of the sessions, I snuck off and as I stood at a urinal, I looked over and next to me…(in God’s amazing sense of both humor and grace)…is Mike Foster.

Seriously. you had to be there. Mike and I just laughed.

Not to rehash old stuff, but most of my readers know of the intense and painful situation surrounding the removal of the book, Deadly Vipers.

I read a tweet that he was going to be at the conference and thought it would be “cool” if we could just naturally run into each other and I guess this an answer to that prayer.

After relieving ourselves, composing ourselves from the laughter, and washing our hands…we stumbled onto the conversation of “hey, we should grab some time together” and agreed to meet the next morning.

We chatted for over 2+ hours. While I had met Mike once before some time ago in a split second passing, this was our first conversation and enjoyed the opportunity to hear one another’s stories.

And yes, we spoke about other things – namely the stuff around the DV situation. While I don’t regret my views of the inappropriateness of the DV marketing and calling for the authors and Zondervan to remove the materials, I grieved in how some of the situation unfolded.

While this isn’t the right time to share too many details of our conversation, what I’d like to convey with all of you is that if we truly are people of the resurrection…

then…

we need to be people of the restoration.
we need to be people of reconciliation.
we need to be people of redemption.

I’m not suggesting  that we be naive in thinking that everything is perfectly reconciled with all the parties involved because it is not but let’s also not be cynical in thinking that the story is over.

If we’re truly people of the resurrection, then – Restoration, Reconciliation, Redemption – aren’t options. We all need to keep pursuing these things…

And if you get a chance, I want to encourage you to check out the project that rose out of the closure of Deadly Vipers:

People of the Second Chance.

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11 Responses

  1. jamesbrett says:

    so, eugene, i’ve only just recently added you to my blog reader, so i know i don’t have a great volume of your work to stand on…

    but, dude, you talk a lot about the potty. all my reader’s loaded so far is stories about zippers and bathrooms. but i’m hanging in here; i’ll see it out a bit.

  2. djchuang says:

    I too noticed Mike Foster among the attendees, and I thought to myself that it was so refreshing to see someone who’s a regular conference speaker on the platform to sit among the audience with a learning posture. I was deliberating whether to breach the subject of DV, and opted out. I did suggest Mike to attend Charity Water’s workshop on storytelling, and I hope that was inspirational for his well-honed creative side.

  3. Jim Gray says:

    Thanks for the transparency in this article…glad to hear to got to connect with Mike.

  4. DK says:

    I love and respect both you and mike. Great to see you guys at ideation

  5. r2k says:

    This is what the Gospel looks like. It may not be seamless or pretty to some, but any move towards reconciliation, redemption, resurrection is a glory-bound move. And sometimes that work starts at a urinal.

    (maybe this is why real Christians are supposed to pee standing up?”

  6. jamesbrett says:

    so thanks to that link above, yet one more post on urine… i mean i feel like this is all a practical joke or something. seriously, i’ve read three eugene cho posts in my life. every one = pee.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      jamesbrett: you do NOT want to subscribe to this blog. do yourself a favor and un-subscribe and you’ll be happier for it. i won’t be offended.

      • jamesbrett says:

        i’ve made it through some of the archives now, eugene, and am happy to be here. [i didn’t mind all along… just thought it odd.] thanks for all you’re doing in and for the kingdom. i really appreciate it. God’s richest blessings on you and your ministries.

  7. Daniel says:

    When did the blog legalism police join the group?

  8. […] Stuff Christians Like. “210 Million Reasons to Adopt” from Christianity Today. “If we’re truly people of the resurrection…” from Eugene Cho. “A Need To Be Right” from Pete […]

  9. john lin says:

    that is legendary. i’m so glad your conversation continued beyond the urinal.

    yes – so true that resurrection MUST yield reconciliation, restoration, redemption.

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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

  • 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 || 2 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 2 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. || 2 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. || 5 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 6 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 6 days ago