Eugene Cho

god, i am so amazed by you…

I’ve never been a crying person but the last few years, for whatever reason, I’ve been so easy to cry. I could be watching Dumb and Dumber and I’ll start tearing. So, let me warn you in advance:

This week: I’m going to cry like crazy.

It’s not because of my 41st birthday on Thursday but because Quest Church will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary on Sunday.

Even watching the 5 year Anniversary video above [RSS readers, click here], I couldn’t stop crying. So much has happened out of ‘nothing.’ Certainly out of two people with nothing to boast of ourselves and yet, God created something unique:

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. – 1 Peter 2:9-10

It is surreal to look back and marvel at the journey thus far:

  • Minhee and I (and our 2 year old and 2 week old daughters) ventured forth to start this church. I was only 31 at that time and honestly, not quite sure what I was doing. Minhee had just arrived to the US only three years prior to starting Quest.
  • We had 7 people come to our home for our first ‘info meeting.’
  • I worked as a janitor for the first 6 months trying to make ends meet.
  • From the first few months of our church, two people are still with us know. I will never ever have enough love for George and Jin. From the Sunday we launched the church, 8 people are still with us now. 8. The crazy 8.

The past few weeks, we’ve been going through pictures and stories – as we put together our 10 year video and in preparation for my sermon…

There’s so much to write and share – and hopefully, in the coming weeks, I’ll be able to share some significant “chapters” of Quest and some important lessons I’ve learned about churchplanting and leadership that I hope will be of encouragement to those who are currently or will be planting churches.

But as I reflect upon the past decade, the only words I have:

“God, I am so amazed by you.”

If you’ve ever prayed for us, encouraged us, served with us, worshipped with us,  gave to our ministry, or simply blessed us in any way:

Thank you.

And if you’re anywhere in the larger Seattle area, my wife and I would be so honored and blessed if you joined us for our 10 Year Anniversary Celebration this Sunday at Whittier Elementary School. Service is at 10am and we’ll have a special Feast afterwards.

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10 Responses

  1. david says:

    don’t cry, PE- thankfully, your videos are much better now (for the record, this was made 5 years ago on my slow pc with free software after sorting through hours of footage on those tapes). looking forward to sunday!

  2. Cristina says:

    Congratulations!

  3. wowowow – congrats, Eugene! I’ve only come to know about Quest this past year but still feeling the impact of all that God is doing through you and the church all the way across the country. Here’s to another 10! –cate in ny

  4. gadberry says:

    Wow what a great accomplishment. Being in ministry now for over 23 years full time and at my current church 14 years I fully appreciate pastors who are in it for the long run. It takes courage, strength and determination to do what you do. Congratulations, many blessings!

  5. Jason says:

    Congratulations to 10 years and many blessings

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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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