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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41 years ago today, our family immigrated to the United States from Seoul, South Korea. I was six years old; the youngest of three sons. My father, when he was also six, fled from what is now known as North Korea. Just recently, he shared with me that he and some of his family had been in a refugee camp when war and violence broke out on the Korean peninsula. It's emotional thinking about what my brothers and I went through coming to a completely foreign country. It wasn't easy. And then, I think about what my parents had to go through:

They fled their homes near Pyongyang which also meant leaving some of their extended families.

They experienced unfathomable hunger and poverty.

They experienced the pain of war.

They immigrated again to the United States as adults with minimal resources and a handful of English words.

All in hopes that their children would have the opportunities that were never afforded to them.

I'm thinking of my brothers today. I'm thinking of my parents and honoring them for their sacrifice and tenacity. And finally, I'm thinking of refugees and immigrants all around the world that are yearning for family, peace, hope, and opportunities. Don't reduce Martin Luther King Jr. to a yearly quote on social media. Live out the dream. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Confront evil. Be a truth-teller. Seek justice. Love mercy. Pursue reconciliation. Build bridges. Love your neighbors. Forgive your enemies. Pray unceasingly. Live a committed life of peace, love, and justice.

The God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today.

Be brave. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here's the full context of his famous quote: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that." An important word for the Church... Oh, how God loves the nations. The Scriptures make this so clear. No one - let alone, the leader of a country - should ever disparage other nations with such a disgusting comment.

To the beautiful people of Haiti, El Salvador, and of the many countries of Africa: We are so sorry. Please accept our apologies on behalf of President Trump.

I've had the privilege of being in Haiti twice and numerous countries in Africa including Kenya where I took this picture during an afternoon drive near Kijabe. In many of these visits, I witnessed such creativity, courage, leadership, hospitality and kindness. To follow Jesus without obedience, repentance, self-denial, and dying to self is an oxymoron. In other words, are we more in love with the idea of following Jesus than actually following Jesus?

Grateful for an incredible Sunday at @seattlequest of beginning our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting.

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