Eugene Cho

Africa is beautiful: The danger of how we frame the story of other nations and people.

Thank you for your prayers.

After about two weeks in Kenya and Tanzania, I’m back in Seattle. I spent most of my time in Kenya to assess ODW’s partnerships and projects in response to the worst drought the Horn of Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) has encountered in the past 60 years. I have some both encouraging stories and difficult stories to share – as well as images – some of which I’ll share and some that’s best not to share.

But before I share some upcoming posts about things that discouraged me, encouraged me, and the rise of skepticism and cynicism in development, I wanted to share a post detailing how much I’ve enjoyed my two weeks in Africa, my first trip to East Africa, and my third visit to this beautiful continent.

In fact, this post may be the most important of the ones I share about my trip – even if it doesn’t directly engage the main purpose of my trip: to assess ODW’s Horn of Africa response.

The responsibility in story-telling.

It’s important because the last thing I want to do is perpetuate a false picture of how Africans or for that matter, people of all “developing” countries are perceived as helpless, hungry, needy, incapable, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

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We can’t do everything but we have to do something. Why I’m in the Horn of Africa.

Dear Friends, Supporters, Readers, and Encouragers:

I hope you’re doing well.

I’m writing to you from Kenya. Yes, you read that correctly. Kenya as in Kenya, Africa.

I just recently arrived and depending on circumstances, may also visit Somalia and South Sudan. Over the next week or so, I’m privileged to be a guest of World Concern (one of our main partners). We’re also joined by a representative from  ONE. Together, we’ll have the opportunity to personally assess the progress and the arduous work ahead. Just this week, I read reports that the current situation in Somalia - while it improved last year – may be entering into another dire situation.

The Context

In 2011, the Horn of Africa experienced the worst drought in its region in 60 years. This drought in combination with rising food prices, extreme insecurity, and violence led to famine conditions that affected over 13 million people in the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa is the “horn” shaped portion of northeastern Africa that includes the countries of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

In fact, the UN declared famine in six regions in Somalia. Tragically, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes in search of food, water, and safety. Many of them walked for weeks, trying to reach refugee camps in Kenya. And sadly, many died along the way, including more than 30,000 children.

When tragedy strikes – whether it be in Aurora, Colorado or through a famine or drought in the Horn of Africa (and another current one in the Sahel region of Africa)…we are reminded of our finitude.  Read the rest of this entry »

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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

Unscientific research says that if you show a picture of a puppy next to your book, 78% more people want the book. :) Thanks to @alisonjmclennan for posting this photo. 
If you've got the book, would love for you to share a photo of it and tag me or use #OverratedBook. Wow. Good morning from Seattle. The view of Mt Rainier from our home. Prayer matters. It's a reminder of God's presence. Prayer sustained Kenneth Bae in a labor camp in North Korea for 765 days. After he came home, we prayed. (photo  credit: @no1camerauser) I love family reunions. Mother and son. Welcome home,  Kenneth Bae. It's all grace. Grateful for the opportunity to share at  #TEDxHanriver in Seoul, Korea and talk about our family, faith, and @OneDaysWages. Praying that many were fascinated by my Master. The epic view from up high at Nakuru National Park,  Kenya. #latergram

my tweets

  • Religion is a sad substitute for a genuine relationship with God. We need intimacy and not just information. Know God, not just about God. || 6 hours ago
  • Following Christ was not meant to be done alone. Join a community of believers. Love one another. Do life together. Be on mission together. || 20 hours ago
  • Don't miss @SeattleQuest tomorrow. Excited to pass the teaching baton to @RevDocBrenda. - seattlequest.org http://t.co/6ltQgnaWqO || 21 hours ago
  • If you've read or are reading #OverratedBook, would appreciate you posting a photo of the book on Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc. Thank you! || 1 day ago
  • Unscientific research says that if you show a picture of a puppy next to your book, 78% more people want the book. :) http://t.co/RjCsx42Imf || 1 day ago
  • Justice, redemption and reconciliation come not from us, but Jesus. We can't just follow Jesus' example, we have to follow Jesus. || 1 day ago
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