Eugene Cho

world aids day – who cares?


Today is World AIDS Day. We must care. Every one of us…we need to take a step closer to learning, growing, giving, shouting, singing…each of us playing a part.

You can learn more via the ODW blog about World AIDS Day: Turning Grief into Action.

Do you have any good resources to share with others? Words of encouragement, advice, etc? How are you taking a step closer towards caring & acting?

One of the best resources to learn more about the HIV/AIDS crisis is UNAIDS. And from that site:

  • Approximately 33.4 people living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2008.
  • 2.7 new people infected with HIV in 2008.
  • More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.
  • Africa has over 14 million AIDS orphans.
  • At the end of 2008, women accounted for 50% of all adults living with HIV worldwide
  • In developing and transitional countries, 9.5 million people are in immediate need of life-saving AIDS drugs; of these, only 4 million (42%) are receiving the drugs.
  • Around 95% of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

And of course, we need to be reminded that this isn’t just a global issue but a local and national issue as well: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: health, religion, , ,

in memory of brenden foster

While being away in the East Coast last weekend, I did not receive the news of Brenden Foster’s passing last Friday, November 21, 2008 until this morning.  Brenden is the 11 year old boy from Seattle diagnosed with leukemia three years ago who stirred a movement of compassion and genersosity.  On a recent trip from his doctor, he passed the homeless community called Nickelsville and his last wish was to help feed the homeless.  It’s an amazing and beautiful story.

Like many others, I’m moved, compelled, and deeply encouraged by the short but significant life of Brenden.  His life is an encouragement – simply – as a reminder that one person really can make a difference.  And even more so, he isn’t alone.  We are not alone.  There are many people seeking to be agents of hope, compassion, and generosity.

The stuff below didn’t make the news and we don’t do it for the purposes of making news Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, health, religion, , , ,

your “past” year resolution?

Many of us make resolutions every year.  But before we get into our new resolutions for 2009 next month, how about we talk about how we’re doing with this past year’s resolution.   This is an easy question so I’m hoping that many of the regulars, visitors, and blog lurkers and stalkers will contribute.

Question: What was your past year resolution?  And, how’s it going?  [* Be honest.  Don’t forget.  You are commenting on a minister’s blog.]

Me and my past year resolution?  Not well. 

My resolution was to Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, health, ,

relationships, technology, facebook, and fighting poverty

I’ll be posting a more thorough update on our Global Poverty initiative and organization in the next couple days.  I was supposed to be in Haiti this week to visit some orphanages and to learn more abou the global food crisis but had to make some changes due to the increment weather in that area.  Today, I’d like to share about two things that make our goal of creating a grassroots movement to fight extreme global poverty possible:  Human Relationships and Technology. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: health, technology, , , ,

the power of education

* if this post compels you, consider joining us in prayers and dreams.

Consider this quote from Joseph Addison [an English essayist/poet – 1672-1719] regarding the power and influence of education:

“Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate, no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend, abroad an introduction. In solitude, a solace, and in society, an ornament. It hastens vice, it guides virtue; it gives, at once, grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage.”

Asides from the “reasoning savage” [think contextual], it’s a very potent quote which explains why it’s often used to support education.

For the past week, we were able to enroll our daughters [9 & 7] as guests in the local public elementary school here in Seoul, Korea. Our oldest joined the 4th grade class and our younger daughter joined the 2nd grade class. To be honest, they weren’t thrilled about our plans especially since they “already finished school and we’re on vacation” but we told them that this would be an incredible cultural experience. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, health

fighting global poverty f.a.q.

As most of my blog readers know, my wife and I [and our three children] are starting an organization for the purpose of joining the fight against global poverty.  We are not the first, and thankfully, we will not be the last.  People – acquaintances, strangers, blog readers and stalkers, Twitters, Facebookers, internet surfers, and our church folks have asked us questions and so this entry is our attempt to answer those questions – in hopes that it may intrigue and inspire you and also to excuse myself from answering countless personal emails.

Recent Updates: Dec. ’08 / March ’09

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions: Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, health, , , ,

compassion versus indifference

I was deeply saddened and disturbed when I read the following story of Esmin Green – a 49 year old woman who collapsed and died on the floor of a waiting room at a New York psychiatricl hospital.  After she collapses landing face down on the floor, no one attends to her.  No one – for over an hour until it’s too late.

Compassion is what makes us uniquely human; another manner in which we were created in the image of God [imago dei].  If we lose our heart or sense of compassion, we become less human…less than what God calls us to be.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: health, religion,

materialism, mammon and simplicity

Materialism and money is an issue and a threat in my life.  I hate to admit it but it is.  I wrestle with it nearly every day.  I read once that a person spends about 80% of their time awake engaged with MONEY:  earning it, spending it, and dreaming about it.  There are days it overwhelms me and there are days I feel like I have a great understanding and mastery over money but only for it to rear it’s beastly head again. 

We’re all consumers.  Every single one of us so how would you respond to this question?

In our society, we’re surrounded by the push to consume. We’re constantly bombarded with the newest gadget or trinket we supposedly cannot live without. How do we combat the pull toward materialism, and what does simplicity look like in the 21st Century? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: health, religion

girl effect

What do you think?

“The powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society.” Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: health

using facebook to fight global poverty

After mocking social networking sites for awhile, I finally joined Facebook one year ago.  And while there are still some things that I strongly dislike about Facebook [e.g. constant invitations to Applications], I am a big fan.  It works.  I’ve reconnected with friends from high school and college.  And Facebook is helping me to stay connected to the growing community at Quest. 

But asides from just connecting with past and current friends, I’ve been dreaming how to leverage the power of technology and the internet to further social causes.  This is one of the primary hopes with the new organization we are working on.  How do we utilize and converge technology and human relationships to fight global poverty?

With that in mind, I started this GROUP on FacebookRead the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, health, technology,

stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

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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