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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Grateful. Still reflecting on the letters that I've received from classmates and students that have come before me and after me. Never imagined all that God would have in store for me. Lots of humbling things but in the midst of them, there were literally thousands upon thousands of daily decisions and choices to be faithful. That's what matters. Seen or unseen. Noticed or unnoticed. You do your best and sometimes you stumble and fumble along but nevertheless, seeking to be faithful.

Also, you know you're getting old when your school honors you with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Lol. 47 is the new 27. Or something like that. Here's to the next 47. In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove

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