Eugene Cho

Prayer reminds us that we’re not alone so thank you for your prayers.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written anything on the blog. I have so many things on my heart and mind. I start but can’t seem to finish. If anything, that’s a sign in itself that I need to be praying and asking others for prayers.

So if I may, I’d like to use today’s post to thank you for your prayers and to ask for your continual prayers.

I don’t know how many or even exactly who but I do know that there are some of you who read this blog that have felt led to pray for me, my ministry, and my larger family – and I want to sincerely thank you. Almost every where I go, someone comes up to me to share that they’re praying for me and I can’t share how much that encourages, convicts, and blesses me.

Sincerely. It means the world to me.

The older I get, I am reminded – more and more – how much prayer matters in my life – not so much as a means of getting what I want but more profoundly, as a way of remaining connected and rooted to the heart of God.

I used to think that prayer was solely a way for me to change God’s heart but I’ve learned that prayer is God’s way of changing me.

So, if you’re the praying type, here’s several ways you can be praying for me, my ministry, and our family:

Minhee launches her private practice.

It’s hard for me to put into words how proud I am of my wife. Not an arrogant kind of proud but, “Wow, God is working through my wife” kind of proud. Exactly a year ago this time, Minhee graduated from her Marriage and Family Therapy program at Seattle Pacific University and recently launched her private practice: Minhee J. Cho Family Counseling.

Please pray for her practice. In light of it just getting started, we’re praying for both an infusion of new clients and connections and for Minhee to be able to really assist people in their circumstance and situation. While she is practicing personal and family counseling, I personally think she’s amazing with children, youth, women, and marriage counseling.

My role (time) at Quest has changed…

Over the past couple years, I’ve engaged in conversations with my church elders board and even with folks at our church about how I can continue to both serve the church and honor the various platforms of leadership and influence. This hasn’t always been an easy conversation but I’m grateful for the humbling privilege of planting and pastoring this church.

After numerous conversations over the past couple years, I finally made the decision (with my Elder Board’s support) to reduce my role at Quest from 100% (50 hours) to 70% and remain in my role as the lead pastor. In this decision, I’ve been asked to relinquish much of the day-t0-day stuff and I’m grateful to be working with other pastors and staff that not only enable me to do that but that allows me to do that in confidence knowing that there are some things I absolutely had to do in the early years of Quest but wasn’t necessarily gifted in those areas.

In my role as the lead pastor, I’ll continue to focus on teaching, visioning, and leading…

With some of this extra time, my hope is to invest more time in my family and marriage, in my other passion at One Day’s Wages, and for outside engagements.

Over the past few years, I’ve limited my speaking and consulting engagements to about 8x/year. With this new schedule, I’ve been given permission to increase that up to about 15x/year. As I turn 42 later this year, my desire – while building up the local church – has also been focused on mentoring, encouraging, and investing in other leaders – especially younger leaders which I hope to do so through my travels and speaking. With my time reduction, I also requested a compensation reduction because that would only seem fair for the church.

The big story is my desire to serve Christ passionately, faithfully, and joyfully.

Huge challenges and opportunities

This is an incredibly exciting season but it’s also one of the most challenging seasons of my life as I’m currently in the middle of navigating some  very important decisions that will have deep impact in my life and leadership for years to come.

While I’m not able to go into detail in all these matters, I am asking for prayer for wisdom and courage. I especially pray for courage because courage is what we often need to navigate through changes and challenges.

Thank you.

Again, thanks for your prayers and your belief in what God is doing in my life. I know that God is good because He used broken and foolish vessels like me. I am proof.

If there are some ways I can be praying for you, please share it as well in the comments.

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13 Responses

  1. Janice says:

    You are living a great story, Eugene. Thanks for encouraging so many people. It is a joy to pray for you.

  2. Elena says:

    Eugene, thank you for living honestly, and sharing that with the world. Do yourself a great service and reduce your stress by not over complicating the details. Keep it simple. Now go out there and be more of Yourself then ever before. I for one am sending prayers for great courage to share confidently the unique reflection of God You were sent here to be.

  3. Andrea says:

    I will continue to pray for your family. I’ve been praying and thinking of you both more. It has been awhile since I’ve prayed for your family like I have recently. Thanks for asking to pray for us. I personally have been down in the dumps and could use prayer. My husband is in his MBA program, and along with his work he has heavy demands. Thanks for praying for the people who you influence. You and Minhee do great things!
    Thank you,
    Andrea

  4. John says:

    Your transparency is refreshing. Bless you. John

  5. Cindy says:

    Praying for you and Minhee, thanks for sharing.

  6. Joonmo says:

    Pastor Eugene,

    I’m praying for you, samonim, and your family. Thank you for everything.

    Jm

  7. Dear Eugene,

    I have never met you, but have been following your blog for a couple months now. Thanks for moving aside, and allowing God to speak through you. “Prayers don’t change the heart of God. They Change mine…” What great words of Hope!

    This is my prayer for you, my brother. May God’s unchanging hand and his always-and-forever love provide insane stability for you and your family as you enter the newness of this season.

  8. Praying that God continue to use your family to touch other.

  9. […] thing but this, too, hasn’t been an easy thing. As some of my readers know, she launched her private counseling practice last year but I’m so proud of her as she invests in herself and her calling through her […]

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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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