Eugene Cho

the power and privilege of opportunities

Please read this and watch the video below.  It’s about 7 minutes long but this excellent video [from my recent trip to South Africa w/ Peter Ahn] will give you a glimpse of what I’m talking about when I’m speaking of Privilege and Opportunities:

Over the years, I’ve been developing a deeper understanding of ‘privilege.’  God loves us such that He gave us free will and the amazing privilege to make choices and decisions.  Hopefully, choices to Love God and Love People.

You and I are privileged because we have the capacity to dream, create, and pursue opportunities.  While we have the tendency to wallow on occassions in our lackings, we are truly privileged.

But sadly, there are many without that human dignity – that capacity for decisions and opportunities; Or their circumstances are so dire that they have to choose one human essential for another.  An example would be a young child or teenager forsaking the privilege and necessity of education to be able to watch her young siblings because his or her parents have died or because they have to walk hours in order to fetch water for their families.

Our dream for the global poverty initiative is to work with people that are not giving handouts but creating opportunities. Opportunities for jobs, education, health, families, and on and on and on.  Hand outs can be dangerous as it creates a cycle of dependency but opportunities creates capacity for dignity, sustainability, and empowerment.

And that leads me to this question I am humbled by:

How are you and I – locally and globally – creating opportunities for others?

One of my friends, Peter Ahn, is one example of a broken misift and visionary who gets it.  He understands the power and impact of creating opportunities for others who don’t have those opportunities.  He was the one – knowing my personal vision for extreme global poverty – that  connected me with an anonymous donor in New York and then personally hosted me in South Africa.  He took a couple other folks to visit and experience his deep partnership with a smaller NGO called Zimele Community in South Africa.  Do me a favor and check out both Peter’s blog and Zimele.  I was so impressed with Zimele that our poverty initiative have asked them to apply for a grant to fund one of their projects.


And if you’re reading this via a feeder, you can watch the video HERE.

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12 Responses

  1. ali says:

    Dear Eugene,

    Your words, piety and actions are inspiring :)

    Best regards


  2. Tracy says:

    I am so happy to share in this inspiring journey of love, care and prayers for the poor. Now, I finally know this is one of my calling, to give and support ministries in such efforts.

  3. Tom says:

    Nice run.

    We all get the point.

    Move on.

  4. eugenecho says:

    @tom: i’m glad you’re smart and enlightened.

    but it’s still my blog. and so, i’ll keep sharing.

  5. Brad Halverson says:

    Not giving handouts, but opportunities is the essence of living out missions. It’s showing true love for others. Yes, there’s showing love with the cold cup of water for those in immediate need. But helping a brother or sister create, define and sustain on their own terms, is where it’s at. Thanks, Eugene!

  6. Helen says:

    Thank you for sharing Zimele on your blog. The organization’s vision to give hand-ups rather than hand-outs proves to me that the cycle of poverty/dependence is broken from within, when the very persons affected get strong and cause change. We need more of this kind of change here and everywhere.

  7. Derek Sciba says:

    It’s remarkable how consistent everybody was about the concept of transformational mission. That’s the key – and I’m glad there are pastors like you (and your friends from the trip) who are signed onto the idea. For most Americans, the most easy thing to do with this kind of poverty – is to look away. Thanks for not doing that!

  8. Andy M says:

    As for your question, “How are you and I – locally and globally – creating opportunities for others?”, I would just simply say that we aren’t, in general. It is too often simplified down to either a “Get a job!” mentality, or creating dependancy by just endlessly giving people what they need. People look at the two extremes and don’t know what to do, so they don’t do anything.

    Initiatives like these are something that we all need to get behind, finding creative ways of creating opportunities for people to work and take care of their families, and hopefully build some relationships while doing it. The possibilities and the benefits are endless.

  9. larryboatright says:

    Praise God for your heart, Eugene. (My middle name is Eugene, you’ve made it awesome!)

    God has really hammered on me since The Idea Camp. He’s compelling me to consider a world I have ignored far too long. Scared but my heart is open. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  10. JRhine says:

    Cool video and sounds like a great project/organization/community/etc.

    Also just wanted to say, way to rep the FBR shirt in one scene, my college roommate works with them and I have a shirt just like it in my room right now.


  11. […] of my former pastors, Eugene Cho, has been very intentional about solving the problem of world hunger.  If you haven’t seen the rally cry on Facebook (or on his blog), I ask that you check it […]

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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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