Eugene Cho

prayerfully fighting poverty

Thanks for the feedback on last week’s entry on [Wisely] Fighting Poverty.  After reading the responses, I wanted to share a few more details of what we’re envisioning.  Details are still to be worked through but here are some more random thoughts:

  • Our vision cannot eradicate poverty.  If I am honest, poverty – locally and globally – will likely persist on some level but extreme poverty can be eradicated.  But our simple hope is to be moved and move others into action because while we can’t save the world, we can help one child, one family, one village, one area, etc.  We can make a difference.
  • And yes, as I shared before, we are simply joining in what is already going on around the world.  We are not the first and thankfully, we will not be the last.  Nevertheless, our hope and prayer is that our Foundation and NPO can provide a unique opportunity for many around the world to engage this fight.
  • We aspire to be an international non-profit Foundation that seeks to a] educate and inspire, b] receive financial donations, and c] wisely redistribute those funds.
  • Our hope is to create a newer model of integrating the following elements:  Human Suffering & Compassion, Global Community, and Web 2.0.  Our goal is to see the convergence of the Web & Philanthropy to create a simple global community and movement.  Clearly, easier said than done.
  • Our hope is to primarily support smaller organizations and NGOs because our conviction is that they have a deeper idea how to help their villages, people, and contexts more than we ever can. They may lack the resources or tools but from my limited experience, they are sharp people who are able to care for their own with some assistance and resources. 
  • We want to make sure that folks know that we’re not directly or indirectly stating that global poverty is more important that local poverty since they do exist and cannot be forgotten.  It’s simply an encouragement for folks – whether locally or globally – to pursue their convictions.  We must care.
  • We’re not ready to release the name of the organization because once we do, it’ll all make sense.

HOW CAN YOU PRAY:

1  Pray for all the necessary documents to be completed in the coming months.  We’ve received our official articles of incorporation with the State of Washington and we can proceed forward with the next steps.

2  Pray for our 3 month sabbatical this summer.  It will be a very critical time for our family and for the organization.  The Elder Board of our church has graciously granted us the sabbatical to rest and devote our time to the work of this Foundation. 

3  Pray for a team of volunteers and eventually staff that can help with web design and developing, accounting, non-profit legal support, marketing, networking and connections, fundraising, etc.  We are planning on hosting at least one INFO meeting in the local Seattle area for those who want to learn more about the vision and how to volunteer before we head off near the end of June.

4  Pray for some very big financial decisions.  We are blessed and owe mortgages to 1.5 homes.  We will need to sell our home by the end of August and are getting concerned with the housing market.  Lots of work to do to get the home ready as well. We’re hoping to find a real estate agent who might list our home pro bono.  We need to sublet our current home for this summer and possibly through the Fall.

5  Pray for strategic relationships with women and men that can possibly serve as Advisors or potential Board of Directors. 

6  Pray for wisdom.

7  Pray for generous donations as we’ll be raising funds in the coming weeks for the Operations Fund.  As I shared before:

While huge organizations such as World Vision, Mercy Corps, Catholic Relief Services and others are doing wonderful work, our hope is to create a different model – not necessarily a better model. We will establish two funds in our organization. The MAIN fund will give away 100% of every donation to the cause of fighting global poverty. We will give our year’s salary [$66k] to this fund to help jumpstart the collaboration. We are scouting and reviewing organizations to support – right now. It is through this Fund that we hope to eventually raise $20+ million dollars [while simultaneously giving it away] to fight global poverty. 

The second FUND is called the OPERATION Fund. We will raise funds separately via fundraisers and donations so that we have modest funds to cover our operations to run the organization. While numerous have already offered to volunteer their time, we hope to hire two employees in the next several months to assume certain vital roles to carry out our implementation plan. Minhee and I will volunteer our time as members of the Advisory Board/Board of Directors and I will lead the organization as the Exec. Director. We will give an additional $34K to help jumpstart this Fund and will be sending out letters in the coming weeks in hopes of raising an additional [minimum] $66K and totaling at least $100K – which we believe will sustain us for at least 1.5-2 years to build the this movement. Our goal is to create this organization with minimal expenses from the OPERATION Fund.

We are starting this Foundation not only because we feel “convicted” but because we are privileged.  We are privileged because each of us have the power and capacity to exercise CHOICE.  I sincerely hope you’ll consider partnering with us in the upcoming months.  The goal of our Foundation is to making “Fighting Global Poverty” as accessible to each person and to remind people that generosity is not reserved for the rich and famous…

The world is a beautiful place but there are many things that are just not right.  But not doing anything when we clearly know something is wrong and evil might be the “best” example of our human depravity.

Relevant Links: 

Filed under: health, religion

8 Responses

  1. Jules says:

    Thanks for sharing some of your requests Eugene. Our family and I will be praying.

  2. Kace says:

    Yes we most certainly can help a child. Sadly we now have more saddened people in Burma. When is it ever going to end.

  3. DK says:

    How you set up your structure from the beginning and how clearly you’re able to share your vision will be really important. Someone’s else comment on the other entry talked about that. There are so many things out there wanting support but it’s really hard to know what makes them different from others.

  4. Jim says:

    Dude I can’t wait to hear what you have planned – rock it! We need to band our churches together to crush poverty. Who then can deny that God does miracles?!!

  5. Loba says:

    I am very moved by your vision and would really appreciate it if you could review Humanity First. While I totally respect, admire and love initiatives to further help the world, I still believe that it is quite costly to set up and reinvent the wheel everytime and being able to support an established foundation and possibly work together would ensure that more funding actually goes towards the core purpose of the program.

    Humanity First and its projects are administered by its own members – all of whom are volunteers. Fund raising and aid work is undertaken by unpaid volunteers who donate their time and money to ensure that the maximum amount of funds raised are used for direct aid work.

    I am a volunteer in this organization and am working on various projects and, God willing, will be working on orphan care soon as well. Please feel free to contact me for any further details or any information you require, and I’ll be more than happy to assist.

    http://www.humanityfirst.ca

  6. […] If this is up your alley, please keep us in PRAYER. […]

  7. […] Poverty: Loudly | Wisely | Prayerfully | Strategically | Video […]

  8. […] Poverty: Loudly | Wisely | Prayerfully | Strategically | Video […]

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The 2nd baby turns 14 today. Oh my. How time flies. Every birthday now is bittersweet. So amazed at the young woman she is becoming ... and that much further away from being that little baby. Happy Birthday, @trintaay! The world is fallen, broken, and messy. This is the truth.

But the story is not yet finished. God is not yet done. This is the Truth. There is Hope. God is our Hope.

#Advent #MyanmarSunset #NoFilter #BackHomeSafe In solidarity. From Thailand. #ICantBreathe I'm in Thailand for two days to meet @theexodusroad - one of @onedayswages' partners doing compelling work in the fight against child sex trafficking in Thailand and other countries.

Several of their team members took me and Phillip (one of my staff ) into several brothels as part of their investigation. Needless to say, it was very disturbing but an important experience. Women were scantily dressed and places on stages ... as commodities. As part of the investigation, we spoke with some of these young women to collect information, liberate underaged girls, and shut down brothels that exploit underaged girls. To be honest, it's complicated... The evening was intense and my heart was beating so rapidly...but as the hours passed and my initial shock and fears subsided, I felt the Holy Spirit remind me that God loves each and every person and desires to draw them until Himself.  And so I prayed for these women, men, girls, pimps, johns, mamma sans... Lord, break these strongholds.
Lord, give us courage. When in a remote village in Myanmar, ask local fishermen to teach you their techniques. Then catch a big sea bass with them and have it prepared over a wood fire. Then enjoy it. #thankyoujesus #bucketlist Six years ago in 2008, Cyclone Nargis wiped through Myanmar killing about 140,000 people. We visited 6 villages and the stories were unreal. Some villages had everything destroyed. Every home. Nothing standing. One village had 3 homes left...and everyone in the village stayed there for several days. 
One village had a population of 870 people. Only 120 survived...90% of their village died in a moment. Mothers, fathers, children, siblings, grandparents... It was surreal speaking to them. While you can sense their noticeable scars and emotional pain...it was also humbling and inspiring to tangibly see and feel their hope. Their spirit of unity, community, and courage. For many, their faith in Christ. Their yearning for better things for their children.

This was one of the villages we visited. I spent some time talking and hearing their stories and dreams...and all they could talk about was wanting a better school and education for their children. Again and again. 
It's obvious that the Western world is incredibly rich but in many ways, we are so impoverished ... and have much to learn from our global neighbors.

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