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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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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