Eugene Cho

ted williams: finding your true voice

Have you heard the story of Ted Williams?

It’s likely that you may have heard the story (and voice) of a “homeless” man named Ted Williams. His voice is indeed amazing but the story behind his voice, truly shines.  Most will focus their attention on the voice and the feel good story of second chances but if we listen to his story – in his own words – we’ll hear the story of redemption and reconciliation and…

a God who is still speaking to the world today.

While his story is unique, it also has a common thread that can be understood by all: we’ve all been down and out in some way or another.

  • A few years ago, he was strung out on drugs & alcohol, barely surviving, and living out on the streets.
  • Even a few days ago, he was homeless and simply looking for a break.

And then this video below was filmed this week. It was uploaded on January 3 and at the time this post got published, it was viewed 8,747,752 times and counting:

You’ve heard his voice…

Now, listen to his story…in his own words.

Just take 6 minutes to watch this video. It’s pretty amazing. In his own words, he speaks of 2010 – while perceived by most as another wasted year –  as the most significant year of his life as he encountered God in his life.

Stories of redemption & encountering God never grow old.

They are the most beautiful stories.

I love this story – maybe even more than the story of Susan Boyle – because it gives a face and a story to many who are homeless.

So many nuggets of wisdom and life lessons, no?

We’re cruel and unfair when we paint everyone who are down and out with a broad stroke or description of ‘homeless.’

We all have a story and a voice.

We are created in the image of God. We are loved by God. This – in essence – is the definition of human dignity. Indeed, the Gospel matters…

Everyone needs a break. 2 million?

And as we feel all tingly and mushy inside, know this:

When the frenzy dies down, we need to remember that there are anywhere from 672,000 to 2 million people that are homeless in America that are looking for 2nd chances.

They, too, have stories and voices.

How about you? What’s your takeaway from this story?


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13 Responses

  1. KH says:

    no words…just feelings…and words don’t work!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho. Eugene Cho said: Ted Williams: His VOICE is amazing. But the STORY behind his voice…is life changing. – http://bit.ly/hwQhn1 […]

  3. brian says:

    ha! updated my blog and then checked twitter and found out we were on the same brainwave snd had almost identical posts. funny 🙂

  4. Garry says:

    What an inspiration to all!! Wishing him the best of luck!!

  5. Pat Pope says:

    I saw him on the Today Show this morning and I cried as I listened to him and saw how he seemed to really impact Matt Lauer. He talked of what has changed in him is that now he doesn’t miss an opportunity to talk to God and to thank Him, whereas before, he took so much for granted. I wish him all the best!

  6. Tim Morey says:

    Great piece Eugene. Thanks for posting –

  7. Deb says:

    Love this story! Love your post. Thanks for the reminder that he is just one of many. My take away:how many people drove by this guy with his sign? All it took was one guy to stop and ask him about his story. What can I do as one person?

  8. Peter Jang says:

    What an encouragement and challenge to start 2011!

  9. What a cool story…loved the video of him reuniting with his mother, as well.

  10. Rosie says:

    God is Awesome!
    It’s expected that people will criticize, but how often doesn’t God come knocking at our own door and we don’t let him in. God’s always on time!!

  11. Elvin says:

    It had to be a**holes who called him a phony and looked at his previous history. That shouldn’t matter. As a 15 year old boy, that is an inspiration for me to pursue my dreams and it definitely brought a tear in my eye. Congrats Ted, you deserve it.

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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