Eugene Cho

Pointing our children to Jesus – with words, affection, and actions. One of those greatest days of my life.

Grateful. Deeply grateful.

This past week, at our church’s “Day Retreat”, marked another of  those memorable “one of the greatest days of my life.”

Life has been busy and hectic and there are days when Minhee and I feel exhausted but it feels good to be investing in the things we deeply care about. It’s not an empty tiredness but a gratifying tiredness. Does that make sense?

An example of this is the joy, privilege, and burden of parenting, nurturing, raising, and empowering our three children.

We obviously love all of our children but our second child, Trinity, has a special place in our hearts because she was born at one of the lowest points of my life. We had left our previous church months ago (before her birth in 2000) with the conviction and call to plant a church but we had no idea how difficult the new year would be:

  • I was unemployed and had been looking for work for several months
  • We were financially broke
  • The kids were on foods stamps and the WIC program
  • I felt like a failure for letting down my wife and kids since I felt like I couldn’t provide for them
  • The job I eventually got was working as a custodian at a retail store
  • I had grown increasingly angry and frustrated about not being able to get Quest Church off the ground

Mostly, I was angry because I had “lost” control over my life.

When Trinity was born, it was like a “miraculous” birth.  She was born in about 4 minutes after Minhee laid on the hospital bed.  There were no drugs, no epidural, and no doctor.  She experienced sharp pain, pushed several times, and the next thing you know, the nurse and I – in panic and frenzy – saw the crown, then the body, and then Minhee and I cried like we’ve never cried before.  We sensed God speaking to us so intimately:

“I love you.  I am with you.  I have not forgotten you.”

This past week, we experienced another new and miraculous birth in Trinity.

While faith and formation has been a part of her young life thus far, she had becoming increasingly growing in her ownership over her faith in Jesus and at the age of 11 chose to be baptized.

And so, I again – with Minhee, her sibilings, and in the fellowship of her former children’s ministry pastor, and her church community – we collectively experienced this amazing moment. Trinity shared her faith story, confessed her sins, professed her love for Jesus, and was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

What an amazing day.
One of the greatest days of my lives.

As parents, Minhee and I, obviously want the best for our children. We do our best – even as broken and imperfect parents – to provide for our children in many ways: food, shelter, clothing, education, etc. Those things matter – no doubt.

But we’ve learned that nothing is more important than pointing them to Jesus – with words, with affection, and with actions.

Thank you, Jesus, for your amazing grace.
Thank you, Jesus, for Trinity and our children.
Thank you, Jesus, for the joy of our family and our church.

Thank you.

[baptism photos courtesy of Joseph Lee]

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19 Responses

  1. Josephine Kim says:

    Trinity is beautiful, and so are your words. Thank you, Pastor Eugene, for again reminding us of what truly matters in life…

    • Eugene Cho says:

      Thank you, Josephine.

      I trust that you’re well and enjoying the new chapter of parenthood.

      Would love to visit you at Harvard one of these days. I think I’m visiting Boston for a speaking engagement in the Fall…

  2. Daniel says:

    Thank YOU for sharing.

  3. Bok says:

    That is so Awesome PE!

  4. hilsonthomas says:

    Hey, that must be the most awesome feeling in the world. I have two girls, but the oldest is only three so we have a way to go yet. But I too feel the calling to plant a church, and am hopeful that it will be happening sooner rather than later.

  5. Such a beautiful post, Eugene. I have a very close relationship with my own Dad, and there is something special between a father-and-his-girl. Love that you are marking this moment for her and with her. So lovely.

  6. aussiemonica says:

    Very encouraging esp as I have an 11yr old Trinity too!

  7. bill says:

    Ah. So tender. Thank you. From one Dad to another.

  8. Jumy says:

    Thank you for sharing this… Very encouraging and deeply moved to pray for more of Him.

  9. Karen says:

    This is so beautiful. I loved it. While I was unable to fully participate because I had a running toddler at the moment, it was a privilege to witness Trinity’s baptism. The joy you felt was not lost on me🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this!

  10. diane says:

    What a beautiful story ~ how special! Always appreciate your real authenticity & tenderness, Eugene… keep it going, Diane

  11. Alice says:

    in the midst of reading this post, God simultaneously spoke about two areas of my life, all to say that He is good! thanks for continuing to post on here!

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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