Eugene Cho

Churches Standing Together for Oso Mudslide Relief.

10155736_10152012755456476_1230201708_n

UPDATE (4/24): Grateful for the spirit of collaboration between churches. Grateful for the spirit of generosity. As of today, 29 30 churches have covenanted together to pray and raise funds. Thus far, we’ve raised $129,000 for Oso Relief and Rebuilding efforts (of which 100% will go directly to efforts). Hoping for at least one more church to join us to come alongside the 30 churches in the Oso/Darrington/Arlington area.

——————-

It’s been such a heavy week processing all the news from the tragedy of the mudslides in Snohomish County in Washington or otherwise known by locals as the Oso Mudslide.

On Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 10:37 am, “a major mudslide occurred 4 miles (6.4 km) east of Oso, Washington, United States, when a portion of an unstable hillside known as the “Hazel Landslide” collapsed, sending mud and debris across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and onto the adjacent river valley, covering an area of approximately 1 square mile (2.6 km). As of March 28, 2014, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed 17 of the dead have been identified,and that a further 10 bodies have not been formally identified, and 90 people remain missing or unaccounted for as a result of the landslide. [link]

To be honest, I had no idea this took place until later on Saturday evening. And by then, I was too focused on  getting my heart and mind ready for my Sunday sermon…and had no idea of the depth of tragedy and human suffering.

17 37 confirmed dead.
10 6 not formally identified
90 30 missing
And we know these numbers will increase.
Hundreds of families directly impacted.
Thousands grieving and mourning.

We cry. We mourn. And we cry more…

Sometimes, you just cry because that’s all that you can do. But we keep praying for all those that have passed and their loved ones. We pray for those missing. We pray for all the relief efforts and the relief workers.

Oh Lord, in your mercy, we pray…

As we pray, we act. We come alongside…

A vision has sprouted among some leaders within several Seattle area churches. This isn’t about their church, my church, that leader, this leader… This is about the wider Seattle area church, the regional Church, and the larger Body of Christ to respond to this tragedy.

Churches Together for Oso Relief

We’ll be launching a We’ve launched a special fund this week with hopes of raising $100,000 through various churches around Seattle, Belleuve, Puget Sound, Pacific Northwest, and around the country/world. We’ve working on launched the website right now so we’ll need your help to share it but as you’re reading this, maybe you might encourage your church this weekend to consider joining us. For example, Quest will be making a donation and encouraging our congregation to make donations to their own church (designated for Oso Relief) and then, we’ll make a collective donation to this relief and rebuilding fund.

So far, the following churches have joined together. I’ll be adding churches to this list as we hear commitments:

Alderwood Community Church
Ballard Church (Seattle)
Bellevue Presbyterian
Bethany Community Church
Bethany Covenant Church of Mount Vernon
Compass Community Church
Cornerstone Christian Fellowship
Creekside Covenant Church
Emerald City Bible Fellowship
Evangelical Chinese Church (Seattle & Redmond)
Faith Bible Church (Seattle)
First Covenant Church of Everett
Highland Covenant Church (Bellevue)
Kent Covenant Church
Marketplace Church
North Sound Community Church
Overlake Church
Pacific Northwest Conference
Pine Lake Covenant Church
Praise Covenant Church
Quest Church
Redmond Presbyterian Church
Roots Church
a Seattle Church
Seattle Chinese Alliance Church
Shoreline Covenant Church
Trinity Church (Kirkland)
Westminster Chapel
Wiley Heights Covenant Church
University Presbyterian Church

Dear churches and pastors: Would you join us? Let’s stand together.

Email me (eugene@seattlequest.org) or leave a comment so I can add you to our #OneChurch list.

* And we’d be thrilled to have businesses, schools, clubs, individuals, and companies join us as well.

The funds will go to a Relief Fund administered by local pastors/leaders in the larger Snohomish Country/Arlington Area. They are folks that we trust and have pledged that 100% of the funds will go to relief and rebuilding efforts.

In the coming weeks, we hope to also mobilize local Seattle area churches to send volunteers to the region.

Unity and Love

This is important because we want to show unity in the body of Christ in the larger Seattle area. We want to demonstrate our love to the communities in Oso. We will send a letter sent representing all the women, men, and children from all the churches that will partner together in this relief fund. We want to come alongside local leaders because they know their context and community better than we ever can. These churches, congregations, and leaders will remain…when the attention dissipates to another story.

And lastly, we want God to receive all the glory and honor.

So, once more, if your church or community is interested in making a donation and signing a joint letter to the Oso community, please email me at eugene(at)seattlequest.org.

Together – to demonstrate God’s love and compassion to the grieving and suffering. For the glory of God.

– Pastor Eugene

photo credit: King5News

120424_slide_aerial_01_lg

Filed under: , , , ,

24 Responses

  1. Greg says:

    Please add ‘Pacific Northwest Conference’ to this list. Praying and standing together.

  2. Doug says:

    Hey Eugene, add us to the list for #OneChurch.

    Creekside Covenant Church

  3. Jason says:

    Please add First Covenant Church of Everett to the #OneChurch list

  4. Tim Gaydos says:

    Hey eugene, count us in. thanks for getting this going.

  5. Abe says:

    Hey Eugene,

    Our church is small, but we’d like to unite with the other Seattle area churches in the relief efforts. We’re going to have an offering next Sunday.

    Abe
    Compass Community Church

  6. […] for 100% of  funds to go to relief and rebuilding efforts.  As Pastor Eugene Cho wrote on his BLOG “We want to come alongside local leaders because they know their context and community better […]

  7. Eugene Cho says:

    Excited to share that Highland Covenant Church has joined the efforts.

  8. […] leaders because they know their context and community better than we ever can,” Cho said in a blog post. “These churches, congregations, and leaders will remain…when the attention dissipates to […]

  9. Royce Yuen says:

    Marketplace Church would like to join in on this effort. Thanks Eugene for leading this.

  10. Reiko Aramaki says:

    I also sent you an e-mail but Faith Bible Church would like to be a part of this.

  11. […] been a pretty ragged week, I’d say.  There are glimmers of hope, people who still unite in the face of hardship, such as told about by Eugene Cho.  There was another post from Kathy Escobar about healers, […]

  12. Mark says:

    We’ll be taking an offering this Sunday for Oso Families–Wiley Heights Covenant Church (Yakima, WA)

  13. Eugene, we will be taking an offering this Sunday. Keep us in the loop.
    Mark, Pine Lake Covenant

  14. Victor Caraveo says:

    It is amazing this tragedy became now a competitive tournament to see who is helping more, most of the evangelicals want to be on top of the list but no credit at all to the Catholics, go and see for yourself to see who is really helping recoveries at the site and you find names like Jeff and Theresa Smith and pastor Tim Sauer. Inmaculate Conception,and St.John Vianney from Arlington and Darrington they been on top of this tragedy. From New Mexico a former Oso Resident. Victor Caraveo

    • Becky says:

      I am glad to share that Immaculate Conception is part of the Arlington Ministerial Association, who will be receiving funds through this ecumenical multi-church effort.

  15. […] leaders because they know their context and community better than we ever can,” Cho said in a blog post. “These churches, congregations, and leaders will remain…when the attention dissipates to […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

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