Eugene Cho

Churches Standing Together for Oso Mudslide Relief.

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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

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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 […]

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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