Eugene Cho

These children share their dreams…and poignantly show that we still have a long way to go. #MLK

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On this Martin Luther King, Jr. day, it would be good to take a moment to pause, reflect and honor this man.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an extraordinary person.  Not perfect but nevertheless, extraordinary.  And as we pause, reflect, and honor this man…it would be prudent for us to consider how far we’ve come and how far we must go.

Clearly, we live in a much better world today in comparison to the days of slavery, lynchings, and Jim Crow. We live in a better day in comparison to the Japanese internment camps. We live in a better day in comparison to yesterdays when women weren’t allowed to vote.

Clearly. Thankfully.

There is much to celebrate…genuinely and sincerely.

But let’s not be fooled.
Let’s not fall asleep.
We have a long way to go.
We have much work to do.

We must keep pursuing and seeking the Kingdom of God. And to give one glimpse of how far we must go, I wanted to share (anonymously) with you some perspectives of children because while they may still be young of age, there’s something about their raw honesty and painful innocence that can challenge us.

I know because we have three children in our home…and sometimes, the questions they ask and comments they make. “Out of the mouths of…”

We have numerous teachers that attend Quest Church and one of them contacted me this week – heartbroken by many of the replies given by her students in response to the assignment to complete the sentence: “I have a dream…” Many of these teachers purposefully teach in low-income schools. I admire them, respect them, pray for them, and honor them…because what they do truly matter. They are living out the Gospel – and that’s often difficult to do in the public school systems but they do their best – in all their own personal brokenness – to love Christ and love on these children.

Here are some of their answers. I don’t know about you but I want our kids – all our kids, of every color, of every background – to be able to dream in ways that capture and fascinate their imagination…which is why there’s a deep poignancy in reading their “honest” dreams:

“I have a dream…That I will not be poor when I grow up.”

photo (2)

“I have a dream…That imagrant can cross the border so they could see their families.”

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“I have a dream…My dream is that Cambodia will have more (?) better houses and better streets in the future.

photo (4)

“I have a dream…that everybody will have a home.”

dream

And of course, it wouldn’t really be authentic if there wasn’t a kid that wasn’t dreaming to be an NFL player. And specifically, a Seahawks player. #GoHawks

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Be a drum major for justice.

Yes, we have much to be grateful for…but don’t fall asleep.
We have a long way to go.
We have much work to do.

In the words of Dr. King, we have to keep beating the drums:

“Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice.
Say that I was a drum major for peace.
I was a drum major for righteousness.
And all of the other shallow things will not matter.
I won’t have any money to leave behind.
I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind.
But I just want to leave a committed life behind…”

Finally, I want to remind you that at the core of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. was a follower of Jesus Christ. His faith in Christ informed all that he sought to do as a man, a pastor, husband, father, and civil rights leader.

And that is precisely why his dream did not die upon his assassination. Because it wasn’t his dream.  This dream is bigger than one man, one race, one gender, and one generation.

God is behind it all…
And God is still stirring.
And God is still speaking into our dreams.

May we have the courage to pursue Jesus and the Kingdom of God. We wait for Christ to return to restore all things, but while we wait, we must actively partner with God to work towards that restoration.

“When our days become dreary with low hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” –  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Don’t reduce Martin Luther King Jr. to a yearly quote.
Live out the dream.
Live a life committed to peace, love, and justice.

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5 Responses

  1. […] These Children Share Their Dreams… and poignantly show that we still have a long way to go. (on eugenecho.com) […]

  2. Lori says:

    …that Cambodia will have more mone=money, probably. Thanks for posting this and sharing their dreams.

  3. Brian says:

    Beautiful. Sharing this with my kids.

  4. Garrett says:

    Thanks for writing this, Pastor E!

  5. Al says:

    A long, long way! That MLK quote gets me every time! (along with many others!) Thanks for all you do to keep THE DREAM alive, brother!

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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