Eugene Cho

Arizona, Immigration, and Xenophobia.

I know that there are many of you that are engaging, debating, learning, and wrestling with the issue known to most as Immigration Reform or known to others as, “What the Arizona?” And these debates and discussion will continue with more and more incidents like this one.

One thing that is clear to me is that no matter where you might “stand” on the issue, silence should not be an option but from my view (and I can be wrong), the church – especially evangelical Christian churches and its leaders – have been mostly silent. While I know that many are still “waiting” to receive & research more details  and “praying” about how to respond, don’t just pray and wait  – and remain silent.

But what are your thoughts:

How are YOU engaging and wrestling with this issue?
What are your thoughts about the AZ Immigration Law SB 1070?
Does Governor Brewer’s changes to the original law make a difference?

Here are some of my thoughts:

  • It’s nonsensical to throw out terms like “racist” or “racism.” It doesn’t help the dialogue. Let’s not demonize and vilify one another.
  • No one in their right mind is advocating for open borders.
  • For goodness sake, do not criminalize acts of mercy and compassion.
  • Governor Brewer: ““These new amendments make it crystal clear and undeniable that racial profiling is illegal and will not be tolerated in Arizona.” – Hmm.

While I disagree with Arizona’s bill, I somewhat understand their intent. People are afraid Read the rest of this entry »

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my top 10 wedding advice

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In the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of teaching at my church on dating, relationships, and marriage. Later, I’ll share with you some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my marriage but today, I want to share my top 10 wedding advice – both the preparation & day of the “event”.  Marriage is biblical but the wedding industry is one of the most undiscussed idolatries of our society in my opinion. It’s so easy to get sucked in so here’s some advice to consider:

  1. Be the right person. Read the rest of this entry »

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my TEDx talk (video) – social technology, being over-rated, another F-word, and our story

Been having some brain and creativity freeze as of late and thus, having a hard time finding the motivation to blog regularly. So, for now, here’s my talk I’m entitling, Social Technology, Being Over-Rated, An Alternative F-Bomb, and the Story of One Day’s Wages, from the TEDx Seattle event couple weeks ago.

Some other stuff: Read the rest of this entry »

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reflections on TEDx seattle

Last week, I had the privilege of being part of the TEDx event in Seattle. Along with giving my 18 minute chat about “The Story of One Day’s Wages“, I had a chance to soak in the various speakers under the following theme of the event:

This regional TEDx event will bring together great minds in creativity, scholarship, and entrepreneurship to discuss the possibilities and prospects of social development enhanced through information technologies. Inspiring projects and innovative leaders from Seattle to Cape Town will be showcased in this day-long conference.

Here are my 10 random observations & take-aways:

  1. I really had a good time. But I had another wardrobe malfunction. I was so concerned about my zipper that I actually came out on stage with my 3 button sportjacket all messed up.  Minhee was in the audience and she was cracking up. Embarrassing. #Fail. Read the rest of this entry »

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speaking at TEDx

Hey friends,

I’ll be posting up a schedule of my speaking events for the rest of the year in the next couple days but wanted to put a heads up for the Northwest community in case you were interested in attending the TEDx Seattle next Friday, April 16 (8.30am-5pm) at the Pacific Science Center (IMAX Theater). I have the honor of speaking about the impact of social media, action, and the story of One Day’s Wages. I’m thinking of titling my chat:  “We are the most over-rated generation in human history.”

For those that also enjoy the TED talks, share some of your FAVORITE videos?

For those that are not familiar with TED:

TED is a nonprofit that started in 1984 as a conference dedicated to bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED). Devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” TED created TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. This event is called TEDxSeattle where x = independently organized TED event. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

And specifically about the TEDx Seattle: Read the rest of this entry »

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the tragedy of a 15 year old girl’s abortion

As I’ve shared in posts before – here and here – I believe emphatically that abortion is wrong and as Christians, we should graciously hold and believe in everything that upholds the sanctity of life – which includes protecting the lives of the unborn.

But how? The government should be involved but how does a government legislate and enforce such a value? And I agree with others that the church needs to be careful not to relinquish – blindly or in totality – our responsibilities to a mostly secular government. As I wrote earlier:

Rather than legislating it, I wonder how abortions can be reduced by speaking and appealing to the Heart and Soul of a person and to make all necessary provisions if a person decides to have that baby. In short, can we maintain choice but do all that we can to preserve and ensure the life of an unborn? This is where most of us fall short.

I find it incredibly frustrating and naive when Christians take a stance of being against abortion at all costs but are unwilling to yield to issues that have direct correlation to abortions: sex education in schools [starting in middle school], health care benefits for low income families and women, post birth care and benefits, usage of contraceptives, etc.

Having said that, I was reading an article online on the airplane en route to Seattle from Guatemala (research trip for One Day’s Wages) about a 15-year-old girl who ended up getting an abortion without her parent’s knowledge. She is a student at Ballard High School in Seattle (which is couple blocks from my home) and the school that my 6th grader will be attending in couple years.

It is true that Washington is one of seven states that give minors the right to act alone in deciding whether to have an abortion, [The other states are Oregon, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, & Washington, D.C.]. And yes, it is true that no laws were broken through this situation but the fact that Read the rest of this entry »

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inviting artists and musicians to help change the world


I’m a wanna be musician. I live in Seattle so I have to pretend that I’m in a band. I have a guitar sitting in the corner of my room and I also have drumsticks on my desk…and I don’t even play drums.

Because there’s something unique about artists and musicians. Yes, there’s vanity and narcissism but then again, who amongst us aren’t vain and narcissistic?

Hear this: No one gets a free pass so we’ll be sharing ways that everyone can join the movement of One Day’s Wages! But one of our strategies we’re sharing today is to partner with artists and musicians from all around the world that are interested in using their voices and platform to partner with ODW and our movement towards ending extreme global poverty.

We’ve just started this initiative and we’re pleased to announce our first partners including Seattle’s very own Rocky Votolato. If you’re an artist/musician, click on the image below to learn more about what the partnerships can look like. And PLEASE forward this to bands, friends, artists, your favs…for their consideration.

But here’s my question and your help is important: Read the rest of this entry »

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break dancing competition at qcafe

We were hosting a rental fundraiser via a b-boy competition and so after a busy and eventful Saturday, I stopped by the Q Cafe in the late evening for some relaxation and flashback to the past.

I wasn’t expecting much but woah, these cats were serious and there were some pretty good 1v1 b-boy/b-girl competition going on. Here’s a clip of some of the battles of : Read the rest of this entry »

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the most encouraging christmas card…


Quest recently received one of the most encouraging letters… From the beginning, we’ve tried to BE the church and as such, not be a community that merely worships (and hides) behind our liturgy or church building. Remember the post entitled, The Blog Post No One Wants to Read?

For example, the Q Cafe was started to help us engage the larger neighborhood and city and various ministries have been sprouted including one called, “To the Streets” led by Pastor DeAnza Spaulding (one of our pastors) and her team from the Compassion & Justice Ministries.

She received this letter during this month’s To the Streets distribution. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been very encouraged to see Questers take up her challenge and invitation to purchase and provide necessary stuff to help our homeless friends with the cold elements: clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, etc.

In the upcoming year, I’m excited to hear more about the vision of the Quest Justice Compassion (QJC) Ministry to build and fund a Drop In Center on or near our church campus for the homeless community that takes the care and distribution from once/month to a regular engagement.

Here’s the letter:

To All the Members of Quest Church, Read the rest of this entry »

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we finally did it and excited for the future

We’ve received our share of criticism about our public pledge to donate our 2009 salary to fight extreme poverty. Everything ranging from “Stop boasting” to “You’re lying” and

How about Matthew 6:3 and “…when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

For the record, I have no good response to people rebuking me with that scripture.  I know some of you are sick of me mentioning it but this will be the last time I mention it (although I know that this is what most of the media and bloggers will focus on as we get started).

I need to share it because there were many (mostly anonymous Facebookers) that doubted our pledge. While we weren’t able to honor the pledge by the October 20, 2009 launch date as we had hoped, I went to the bank yesterday and walked out with a cashier’s check for $68,000.

When we made our pledge, we had a plan to make it work but the year proved to be much more difficult than we had anticipated.  But after this past year+ of saving, scrimping, subletting, saving, borrowing, and other creative things, we were finally able to make the donation.

And while it was a difficult year, we learned much; grew more in love and respect for my wife; experienced many teaching moments with our children, and are excited for all that is in store…

There are two main reasons why we did this: Read the rest of this entry »

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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

my tweets

  • Make friendships more than transactions. There's a huge difference between "I appreciate you" and "I appreciate what you can do for me." || 1 hour ago
  • There's much to ponder in this article. Much to repent. Much to grieve. "Seattle's vanishing black community." - seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-mag… || 21 hours ago
  • People often ask, "How do stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much.… instagram.com/p/BF2giXwyWTY/ || 1 day ago
  • Don't obsess about your platform.Just do your thing with passion, humility, integrity. We do what we do for God's glory, not human applause. || 2 days ago
  • Someone tell Steph Curry that he's the MVP because he's playing a lot like me in my rec league. || 2 days ago
  • .@SeattleQuest recently hosted Kenneth Bae (Prisoner 103). He was detained in DPRK for 735days. WATCH his testimony: vimeo.com/167680426 || 3 days ago

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