Eugene Cho

moving beyond the janitor’s closet

Dear Quest,

Thank you so much for your partnership in the gospel.

I am so proud to be one of your pastors and to have had the honor of planting Quest Church almost 10 years ago. This past Sunday, while Pastor DeAnza was preaching a spirited message at Quest from our ongoing study through Philippians,  I had the joy of visiting and preaching at the Burmese Karen Churchplant in Kent, Washington. On their behalf, I pass on their sincere greetings.

Several years ago, Quest helped plant this church and it is in part because of your prayers and generosity that allowed us to have a small part in birthing this beautiful church through our Quest Churchplanting Foundation.

This church and community did not exist 3 years ago. In fact, the majority of them are recent refugees and have entered this country in the past couple years. This past Sunday, I asked – before my sermon – how many of them had arrived to the United States in the past year and it appeared that over half of the nearly 150 people raised their hands! Many of them were living in refugee camps…and how amazing it must be that a church community was here to be their fellowship and support.

But for a second, I want to encourage you to think about what it would feel like to be completely new, foreign, and lost in a new country.  Asides from the people they see at their church, there is absolutely nothing familiar at all about anything.  My heart goes out because I lived through the ‘immigrant’ story.  I understand what it feels like to feel “dumb”, useless, and completely lost simply because the language and culture is entirely ‘foreign’ to me.

Want an example?  Read this from an email I received from one of the folks helping with this refugee community:

M and W went to meet four newly resettled families in Tukwila and found the agency that brought them in had left them with money, but left no instruction how you get food in this country. The families hadn’t eaten for four days…

Wow.

My “favorite” aspect of worshipping with them was the children’s choir. While I did not understand exactly what they were singing, I was most encouraged by the smiles of so many children. You see…when I last visited couple years ago, this church was meeting in a very small community center (emphasis on: small). Their space was so limited that the 16-18 children had nowhere to gather for Sunday School and had to meet in the janitor’s room.

What great joy to see so many children:

  • worshipping Christ
  • reunited with their families
  • seeking a fresh and new start in the United States
  • and able to go to their own classrooms!

Many challenges remain for this community. They’ve been dramatically affected by the economic recession; Many have lost their jobs and are currently unemployed but to see this community care for one another is a fresh and vital reminder to all of us about the beauty of the body of Christ.

Thank you Quest for your commitment to the Gospel.

Thank you for believing that the Gospel is not just merely for your personal salvation, for your own spiritual health, and for our own church depth and growth. Thank you for caring for one another – in both the highs and lows. Thank you for your partnership in birthing The Bridge Care Center to reach and build relationships with the homeless and refugee community and more deeply engage our passion for mercy, justice, and compassion.

Thank you for playing a small part in being a source of blessing and grace to this new Burmese church.

Thank you for not only loving Jesus but for living in a way that demonstrates that the Gospel matters

– Pastor Eugene

PS: Here’s a picture from couple years ago…

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2 Responses

  1. wow. what an incredible journey and honour. thanks for sharing this. sincerely.

  2. jchenwa says:

    I think every kids should take janitorial 101.

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One Day’s Wages

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You can do it, sun. Break through the clouds. I love her. Saturday morning date at Pike Market with @minheejcho. Enjoying the final day of sun before 6 months of rain and gray. Not lol'ing. Some of my moat memorable travels have been to Myanmar (otherwise known as Burma). In fact, the vision of @onedayswages began on my first visit to this country in 2006. On a recent visit, I began learning about the Rohingya people. Sadly, it has escalated to horrendous, genocidal proportions.

Thus far, about 500,000 people have been driven out from Myanmar through violence...with most going to Bangledesh...regulated to a massive refugee camp. Stateless. Undocumented. Minority groups. Dehumanized. Homes and villages destroyed. And so much more unspeakable atrocities.

Yes, it's complex and messy. It always is. But the root of this injustice as the case for so much brokeness in the world is the sin of dehumanizing one anotber as..."the other." May we see each person, including the Rohingya people, as one who is created in the image of God. It's the truth and the remedy to the incessant dehumanization that goes on in our world.

Lord, in your mercy. The obedience of discipleship which includes the work of justice is a marathon. It's long, arduous, and emotional. Be tenacious. But also take care of yourself. Create healthy rhythms. Don't burn out. We need you for the marathon. Friends, don't give up. Press on. In the midst of so much chaos in the world, may we continue to cling to the hope of the whole Gospel. May we cling unto Jesus:

Way maker!
Miracle worker!
Promise keeper!
Light in the darkness!
That is who You are!

What an encounter with the Holy Spirit at @seattlequest today. Grateful for our worship team, the gospel choir, and the Audio/Visual team. Thank you Matt, Teresita, and Chris. Please thank all the volunteers for us. .
The world is broken.
But God is not yet done.
God's work of restoration
is not yet finished.

This is our hope.
God is our hope.

#NoteToSelf

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