Eugene Cho

a breathtaking safari


As most of you know, I’m here in South Africa – at the grace of an anonymous benefactor in New York who also cares about global poverty and justice – enabling me to do some research and relationship building for the poverty organization/initiative we are hoping to launch this year.  I’ve seen some very intense and heartbreaking things – which I’ll share later once I return to the States.  Today, we took a half day to rest and relax at experience a safari.

I have one word to say:  Wow.

Such spacious land, beauty, and majesty.  The whole time, I kept thinking about the glory of God in His creation.  

And…I really wished international travel was cheaper and accessible to everyone.

Here are several pics below for your enjoyment.  Please note that most of these pics were taken from our tour van.  We were rarely permitted to be outside that van. The highlight was seeing two pride groups of lions [groups of 9 and 6] and one group feasting on their hunt – a wilderbeast.  It was frightening, amazing, and breathtaking.  Also, please continue to pray for me during the remainder of the trip.  On Sunday, I have the privilege of sharing a word of encouragement from the Scriptures to a local Zulu church…










Filed under: travel, , ,

21 Responses

  1. gar says:

    beautiful! i hope the trip is as restful as it is productive.

  2. Becky says:

    Hey PE!

    Gorgeous pictures! Many blessings on your adventure. You are such a testament of God working in our world – God will speak through you to our brothers and sisters in Zulu!

    We’ll be praying for your journey (and the fam back home).

    Lots of Love

    Beck and the boys (and soon to be girl too)

  3. Becky says:

    Wow, this is amazing! My dream to go on a safari trip someday. I hope your time in Africa is a blessing to you and those that you will encounter. Be safe.

  4. Moi says:

    P E –
    Great to know about this wonderful opportunity to see more of God’s creations!
    We pray for your safety and may you continue to be blessed and WE, thank you for sharing your wisdom and the Glory of God with us.

  5. wow is right. so excited for you that you were able to have this experience.

  6. J. P. says:

    I think I see at least two wild animals in the last photo…

  7. david says:

    say hello to mufasa for me

  8. Kin says:

    inspirational takes Eugene. that’s an amazing shot of the cheetah. It’d be great to chat soemtime and exchange stoires, idea, and experiences in faith….
    take care.

  9. J. P. says:

    It would be really cool if you had geotagging on your camera… then we could see exactly where you were when you took those shots!!

  10. Jusified says:

    Just a fyi:

    Obama , yesteray, signed an executive order that will alow our tax dollars to go overseas to fund abortion…and here I thought he was all about lowering abortion rates and ending the recession.

    Shhh. Obama Repeals the Abortion Gag Rule, Very Quietly,8599,1873794,00.html

  11. cho mama says:

    did you meet simba jedi? miss you!:)

  12. Tom says:

    Cool shots.

    Gotten some time on reserves in Africa too so I know how overwhelming and exciting it is to see that wonderful stuff up close and in real time. You’re blessed.

    A word to the wise.

    Some supporters in the US may not be excited to see you on safari in the first online pics from a research tour re poverty in the developing world.

    Though all of those supporters would have jumped at the chance to see what you saw, some of them will expect you to be different and a cut above. Particularly in these hard economic times.

    You’re trying to do wonderful stuff. But sometimes bigger picture is better.

  13. Rachel says:

    It’s great that you get to see animals that aren’t caged. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  14. Jessica says:

    Great pictures. We started coming to South Africa a few years ago from Florida and have since toured Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Lesotho, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe by road – taking materials to school children – and have never really gone back to the States except for brief visits. You will find that if you learn Zulu – the most widely spoken language here in South Africa – that your communication lines and friends will instantly triple overnight. You can buy a CD and book at CNA and its an easy language to become fluent in fairly fast. Our base is near Johannesburg and we have had the most fantastic wilderness and human rights/social betterment experiences for the past few years. The Zimbabweans are particlularly great people and if you can, do go to Zimbabwe. Kind regards,

  15. Rachel says:

    Tom, you’ve overlooked the details. He said that a benefactor paid for his trip. If a benefactor wants to send him to S. Africa and throws in a safari–that’s their business.

  16. eugenecho says:

    for the record, the cheetah was not in the safari but in another trip to a cheetah farm. they were still wild and it was a little scary.

    @tom: i understand what you’re saying but i’m a guest of the group that’s hosting me and i’m just going w/ the flow. whether or not it’s wise to share these pics is up to the individual i guess. i choose to share my journey as much as possible.

    @ric wild: no. i was at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi.

  17. Jessica says:

    Out of 15 responses – of course you will get one harping critic! It would not be Planet Earth without the 2% trying to bring the rest of society down! Look at your Hit Stats: Over 704,000 hits – that’s incredible!!

    Just a little, harmless dig – WITH A KNIFE!! I say the big picture is respecting and tolerating the religious beliefs and actions of others.

    The mere act of interacting with new and lesser priviledged people makes the world a better place, and you definitely cannot come to Africa and not see the wild game. Promoting it is even better!

  18. My beautiful Imfolozi! We spent a wonderful time at Mpila camps last September. I am so jealous of your cheetah sighting, we did not get that close to one.

    I am sure your visit to SA opened your eyes to poverty in ways that you never imagined. I don’t believe there is a global solution, the only sure one is people helping people, one life joined to another, in relationship.

  19. eugenecho says:

    @jessica: thanks for the comment. regarding the “one harping critic”, tom is a not a critic but a friend of the blog. as far as i know, his comment wasn’t intended to be harping and wasn’t received as such. really, no biggie.

  20. […]  I was prepared to see the extreme poverty but I couldn’t picture the beauty.  And the safari was pretty dang amazing as […]

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One Day’s Wages

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The Western Wall in Old City of Jerusalem (aka The Wailing Wall) - from the Second Jewish Temple.

I'm hoping to share a few stories of people that I met (Jewish, Muslims, and Christians) in the Holy Land in the days to come. One of our Palestinian tour guides said to me, "You will leave with more questions...and that's a good thing." He was absolutely right. We want everything so nicely packaged but if we're honest, it's very rare in a broken, complex world...and I can't think of too many things more complex than the situation in Israel and Palestine.

While I certainly understand and resonate with Israel and its history and its need to protect itself from harm, one can't deny the history and existence of Palestine as well. 
Is peace possible? This was the focus of my trip to the Holy learn more about the conflict and those that are working towards peace. My friend, Scott (and other pastor), Mae (our guide) and I had the privilege of going to a Jewish synagogue this past Friday. We were then hosted by a local rabbi and his family for a Shabbat meal. It was marvelous. Incredible. Illuminating. Delicious. A true honor to be invited to his home with his wife and three children. To pray, learn, share, and ask questions. 
What I loved the most was the story of how Rabbi Daniel and his wife rented a bus to take 15 of their friends to the West Bank ... to see for themselves the impact of the wall and the Israeli policies. Some of their friends had never even entered the West Bank...don't personally know a Palestinian. It's impossible to work towards peace when we don't know anyone from the other side...when we don't understand the other side.

Thank you, Rabbi Daniel. Old Jerusalem. So many stories. So much history. The synagogue in Capernaum (Galilee) where Jesus began his public ministry. He taught with authority... Pray for your pastors and teachers...that they may teach with courage, conviction, humility, and ultimately, directing people to Christ - the Word made flesh.

Speaking of, so excited to be teaching at @Quest Church tomorrow. If you're in the Seattle area, join us. A glimpse of Jordan River where John baptized Jesus. "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." What amazes me most about this event is about...timing and patience. For Christ, it wasn't about "if" but about "when." In a world of supersonic pace,  impatience, quick results, hurry and now and NOW...Jesus waited for the Father's timing. He was patient and faithful. I need to learn that waiting on the Lord in itself isn't apathy but rather an act of faith. The town of Bethlehem and at the site of the cave (aka manger) of the birth of Christ.

One of the highlights was a class of Palestinian Muslims and Christian kids in a local public school singing a Christmas carol for us in Bethlehem...just across the Shepherd's Field. Galilee. Surreal to be at the mountainside where Jesus delivered "The Sermon on the Mount" ... aka The Beatitudes. Walking around praying for Paris, Beirut, Istanbul, Nigeria, Mali, Palestine/Israel... This verse is so particularly important in light of all the violence in the world. "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9

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