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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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

To support both the equality of women and the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but I know we're not alone. May we press on. And may we lead with hope.

I'm at the Women's March in Seattle to show my solidarity with my wife, my mothers, my daughters, and the female congregants of my church. I'm also here to model for my son what we believe in our home. Many people have already expressed their disappointment, dismay, and disgust with my decision. Such is life. We will always disappoint someone. And that's also a lot of words that begin with "d." I'm here not because I agree or disagree with every single statement or sign at this march (although I really liked this one) but because as a Christian, I believe in the fundamental truth that women are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. They are to be valued, heard, and respected.

And because I believe we can't be a flourishing society without the flourishing of women. And because the Church cannot be the Church without the gifts and voices of women. All the gifts of women.

And in doing so, may we together honor the sanctity of life - from womb to tomb. 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

my tweets

  • Really loved this sign from the women's march from one of our church congregants. Counter cultural. Subversive. L… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… || 4 hours ago
  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn can be lonely but we're not alone. Lead with hope: instagram.com/p/BPjMGTOhMjL/ || 5 hours ago
  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but we're not alone. May we press on. || 8 hours ago
  • Going to the Women's March in Seattle bc as a Christian, I believe women are fearfully and wonderfully made and are to be heard & respected. || 11 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 12 hours ago
  • God bless America...so that we may be a blessing to the hurting, poor, vulnerable, immigrants, oppressed, marginalized. God bless America. || 1 day ago

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