Eugene Cho

an alternative to ‘the apprentice’

i managed to find a few minutes to watch ‘the apprentice: los angeles’ for the first time last night.  asides from my enjoyment of espn and dvds, i really don’t catch too much TV – even if jack bauer is everyone’s hero.  i had been wanting to catch the apprentice because of james sun, who was a member of the church i pastored in lynnwood (north suburb of seattle) from 1997-2000.  he was a college student back then and i’m very pleased for him.  i hear that james has done an exceptional job on the show and has a good possibility of being revealed as the ‘winner.’  as of last night, he’s still in the running. but…

while i understand the premise of the show and why it would be so appealing, i have another idea for a show.  seriously, who wouldn’t want to fly around on private jets, wheel and deal million dollar deals, sell gold las vegas condos, and other perks of the high life.  anyway, here’s the idea:  i’d love to see a network host a show with bill and melinda gates entitled, ‘the philanthrophist.’  as the title may allude, the premise of the show would be giving a group of folks (25 every year?) an opportunity to pitch an idea to better the world, love the hurting, feed the hungry, seek justice for the marginalized, seeking refuge for the IDPs, protecting at risk children or children of war, advocate for the ‘have nots,’ etc. – all while demonstrating a model for viability and sustainability.  every year, the first place receipient receives $1 million, 2nd place – $500,000, and 3rd place – $250,000 – to implement their dream organization.

can you imagine what fresh vision and ideas could come out of something like this?  if you know the gates or any network executive, please forward this post to them.  i seem to have misplaced the gates’ phone number.  i certainly would love to be on a show like that.  minhee and i have been wrestling a little more intensely the past couple months about starting a non-profit that would seek to make a difference – however small – in the larger world.  it’s been on our hearts for some time but for the time being, we’re asking God to expel the fear in our hearts.

if you had a million dollars, asides from buying lots of bowls of pho, how would you use it to ‘better’ the world?  what kind of non-profit org would you start?  what kind of humanitarian aid org?  where in the world would you invest?  what purpose? what are some of the organizations you love or support?

one that absolutely blows my mind is this.

Filed under: leadership

6 Responses

  1. JT says:

    I don’t have an idea but I love your reality show idea.

  2. Blake says:

    Great idea, PE!😀

    If I had $1 million and all the training necessary, I think I’d want to start a non-profit to share the joys of flight with inner city kids. The goal would be to show them what’s out there above the clouds and potentially inspire them to become pilots themselves–potentially for airlines. Expanding their horizons (pun intended ;-)).

  3. Wayne Park says:

    I would pursue results that are measurable and not just theoretical; I would favor preventative approaches rather that costly band-aid approaches. I would work to provide clean water – which is the root of most health problems and work to eradicate at least one disease.. I like what the carter center has done.. http://cartercenter.org/

  4. Jennifer says:

    If I had a million dollars, I would set up an organization so that anyone who needed spiritual direction (or counseling in more extreme cases) could get it – people who are in the vast majority of churches have no access to that kind of help unless they can pay for it, and there are plenty of people who cant pay, or if they can, they have no way of locating someone to help them in the first place. Most people don’t need counseling, they need a spiritual-friendship with another human being where they can work out the relationship with Christ. People look to the church for that kind of help, but it’s usually only available on a very limited scale, or is not available at all.

  5. dennis says:

    education for women and children.

  6. Andy says:

    I’d love to create a for-profit business that is self-sustaining but seeks to develop people who come from developing countries and/or challenging backgrounds to create content that is monetizable by the likes of Google, Yahoo, etc. It’s amazing what difference making $10/day vs. $1/day is in the poorest of the poor. And, with globalization and technology the opportunities now exist for the poor and marginalized to participate. It’s not that many pageviews to get there. It’s never easy, but the possibilities are there! Perhaps, teaching PE’s blogging skills is the next small business revolution.

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One Day’s Wages

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People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

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  • Remember the fallen. Honor our soldiers. Pray for leaders. And remember that we serve the Kingdom of God rather than the Empire of Nations. || 17 hours ago
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