Eugene Cho

Imagine a singular decision of courage and faith that will bless the generations to come.

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It’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged.  For various reasons, I’ve chosen to take a little sabbatical from blogging. It was meant to be life giving but somehow, it grew to become a chore, a job, a metric, a regular statistics checking habit…and to be honest, it was attracting more than its share of angry folks that were going out of their way to contact me. Just leave your comments and let it be. Please. I appreciate the dialogue and the comments but we don’t have to be best friends and you don’t have to save me. Fo realz.

But…I’m back.

Life has also been full. Beyond full.

And as much as I want life to be neatly packed, organized, and compartmentalized…it just doesn’t seem to work that way.

It’s been full but it’s not chaotic. Does this make sense?

You see, we live in a busy world but there’s a difference between empty fatigue and gratifying tiredness.

My hope is to invest in the things that I deeply care about. And this…takes prioritizing or in other words, a life audit. So, why the silence on the blog? Because it was time for a life audit…

Speaking of investing in things that I deeply care about…family would be one of them.

Minhee is doing her 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 vocation, giftings, and passions.

Our oldest daughter is now in 10th grade.
Not a typo.
What the halo?
Yes, a sophomore in high school.
We can hardly believe in ourselves
And wow, what an amazing your woman she is.

Our 2nd daughter will be entering 8th grade and is a passionate basketball player. Her father’s been tough on her and thus, I sometimes make her upset and cry but it’s because I want to both affirm and push her beyond her self perception of her capacities and help her with her shooting, ball handling, left handed dribble, defense, sharper passes, leadership, and willingness to compete.

Okay, I admit…I need to focus a bit more on the affirmation part.

And our youngest child (our son) will be entering 5th grade. During his school’s recent promotion ceremony, he – along with a handful of other students – were selected by their fellow peers to receive a very special award: Humanitarian Award.

Minhee and I couldn’t be prouder.

Joining us to celebrate with our son were my  parents (his grandparents). Sitting next to my parents, how could I not think about the step of their faith and courage to immigrate to this country in 1977 with the singular hope of giving opportunities to their children…which were not given to them. Both my parents were born in extreme poverty. Both my parents endured through many trials and struggles. Both of them struggled and lived through the Korean War and its devastation.

Somehow, they wanted more for themselves and especially more for their children.

As I’ve shared before, no one is an island to themselves. There is no such-thing as a self-made person. Someone invested in you and that’s certainly the case with both Minhee and me. Many people invested in us and we hope that we can – be and do – likewise for others but especially for our children.

I know this may sound like I’m foolishly boasting but I’m proud that all of our children have received Humanitarian Awards through their schools. I share this not to be that proud Dad (ok…only a little) but to testify to not only God’s faithfulness but to take a moment to honor my parents. In a singular decision of courage, they altered the trajectory – not only of their lives but for the generations to come. While I believe in the sovereignty of God, I also believe in the capacity and freedom God gives to his creation. In a singular act of courage – likely processed through prayers, planning, anxiety, worry, conversations, prayers, planning, anxiety, prayer, more conversations, and more prayer – they altered the destinies of their children, their grandchildren and our children, and our children’s children.  My father’s grandfather and grandmother made a similar singular decision of courage to be one of the first believers of the Gospel of Christ…and it altered the trajectory of their lives and the generations to come. They made a decision of courage to leave what is now called North Korea and flee south…not knowing that a war called the Korean War would eventually break out.

Take a moment to let that sink in.

Our lives, our choices, our faith, our commitment, our steadfastness, our courage…they not only serve us but they have the capacity to impact our children, our children’s children, and for the generations to come.

Imagine.

Minhee and I are so proud of our children. So proud.

And we’re especially proud and grateful for our respective parents for their faith, hope, and love. We’re grateful for their courage.

We’re grateful for their singular decision of courage and even more grateful for the steadfast life of devotion.

#thankyoujesus

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14 Responses

  1. Matt Appling says:

    That incredible, Eugene! (Just for the record, I opened my blog reader this morning, and happily clicked on your name with a number ‘1’ by it, just because it had been a while since we heard from you.) I’ve taken the same kind of life audit this summer, pulling back from online activities to focus on the people who are closest to me.

  2. An awesome, thought provoking, and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Candace Donovan says:

    A delightful, thought provoking writing. Appreciate your view on the world.

  4. Steph Chang says:

    really appreciate hearing your voice and words of encouragement, PE. These are things we want to be thinking and praying about. (and Congrats to your son! )

  5. Kristi says:

    That’s an awe-inspiring testimony! Are your grandparents still in South Korea or in the States? Reminds me of a song…How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, that He should give His only son, to make a wretch His treasure.

  6. Deona Flores says:

    Dearest Eugene, Thank you for your thoughts…especially your closing remarks. The Holy spirit has directed your family for generations and now you life I life where you and your loved ones can freely worship. I thank the Holy Spirit that led the disciples that first witnessed to you great grandparents (I think) and lead your parents out of a future of unfathomable obsession (in North Korea)! What a privileged to know you…praise God for cyber space! And a Humanitarian award is a great thing for your son and for you…his father! Praise God!

    Yet technology can be a trap that keeps us from the living presence of Christ. It was wise and prudent of you to prioritize your time and energies…I often avoid reading all the blogs I receive for that very same reason you stopped writing…the task becomes more human (of humanly corrupted) than the once Spirit filled endeavor!

    Oswald Chambers in ‘My utmost for His Highest’ talked about Peter from Matt 14:29-30, in today’s mediation. Not to reiterate the story you probably know very well but the reckless abandon that held Peter’s heart when Christ called him ..in the midst of a storm…standing on the water…to get out of the boat and go to meet him…perhaps is the same devoted abandonment that calls us to turn from a public life filled with storms to those times of private devotion with Christ and our families. I am reminded not to turn from that devotion…focusing on the water below, the circumstances we find ourselves in or we will sink…yet even then…’Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him,’ (vs 30).

    Blessing to you my dear brother. May God continue to reveal Himself to you…consciously…each day!

    ‘For in him we live and move and have our being,’ (Acts 17:28).

    Deona Flores

  7. Karen says:

    Awesome. You make me want to be a more courageous mom.

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 2 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 2 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 2 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 5 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 6 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 6 days ago