Eugene Cho

the courage to go for it

As an introvert and someone who has struggled with “shyness” for a good chunk of my life, I can’t tell you how proud I am of all of our kids.

Our kids are naturally timid and shy. At times, it’s difficult to see since it brings up memories of my personal struggles and confidence – particularly as I immigrated to this country at age 6 only equipped with three English words: Hello, Bye, and Thank-You (or “Sank you”).  I was even voted the “shyest person” in 6th grade.

But, I suppose this is all part of the process of “finding” oneself and maturation. While our kids are still young (13, 10, and 8), it’s been beautiful to see them emerge in courage and confidence.

I’m especially thankful that as they wrestle with identity and personality, they are finding the courage to:

  • Speak up and voice their opinions
  • Pursue their passions
  • Try new things and adventures

Speaking of trying new things, our son, Jedi  – our youngest child – came home recently to share that he had decided to run for School Council.

And with that, he launched “his campaign” by making his poster and prepared this speech below:

” I am running for a student council, because I’m in 3rd grade. I believe that 3rd grade is special because you are in the middle of elementary school.

My goal is to do new things in 3rd grade. So I am doing student council. And I want to help you with your needs. And I know you and me will change throughout the year. That is why you should vote for me.

And “May the force be with you!'”

And…he won. Got the most votes in his class but who’s counting. 😉

  • Am I happy that he won? Of course.
  • Is he happy that he won? Of course.

But honestly, it’s not about the “victory.” It’s the fact that he wanted to try and went for it.

We all need that kind of courage.

 

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11 Responses

  1. Joey McGee says:

    This is awesome! Thanks for the encouragement and reminder!

  2. katey says:

    I ran our student store in third grade through student council. On my first day, I was so nervous I could barely give people the right change for their $.09 cent eraser tops and $.15 pencils. the force is definitely with your sweet Jedi.

  3. YJK says:

    Where IS that “love” button!!! 🙂 Totally relate as someone who fights being an introvert to this day. May the force be fierce! Go Jedi! (Awesome name, btw).

  4. jddoug17 says:

    Love that Jedi stepped out of the circle that so easily constrains and contains us. Just wrote a blog along these lines today.

  5. Jason says:

    What a cool kid…love the poster…bonus for naming you child Jedi…my wife would never let me get away with it.

  6. Tony says:

    I can’t get over the fact that your wife let you name your son Jedi. My wife wouldn’t let me name mine John Calvin… I had to go with just Calvin.

  7. Angela says:

    Good work, Jedi! As Student Council Advisor that is the first “May the Force Be With You” Campaign I’ve heard of. Totally beats guaranteeing pop machines in the lunchroom (never gonna happen…)

  8. Irene (Eunhae) says:

    I’m also an introvert and shy person, and I am currently a freshman in college. It’s been hard trying to come out of my shell, but reading this has given me courage to be myself. Gam sa ham ni da! ^^

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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

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 20 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 21 hours ago
  • 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 || 3 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 3 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. || 3 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. || 6 days ago