Eugene Cho

fight poverty 1 – an introduction

I’m writing a short series entitled, Fight Poverty, this week.  Here’s  Part II:  A Broken World and Part III: A Vision for Compassion and Redistribution.

These past couple years and especially recent months, my wife, Minhee and I have been challenged and convicted to do our part to stand against the injustices of poverty around the world.  As I share this short series, we’ll reveal a small glimpse of our conviction and the vision that we have to work with fellow humans to eradicate extreme poverty around the world.  We aspire to do a beta-launch of the non-profit in Spring 2008 and utilize our sabbatical during Summer 2008 to engage more deeply in this vision.  

It’s a crazy vision and idea.  Crazy enough that couple of the folks that I’ve shared this vision to expressed temptation to let go of everything in order to join in.  

Some of you may laugh and be tempted to unsubscribe to this blog. 

But no one should be laughing at what takes place every day around the world.  You want to know what’s crazy?  This is crazy:

Around the world, 27–30,000 children die every day.

That is equivalent to:

  • 1 child dying every 3 seconds
  • 20 children dying every minute
  • A 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring almost every week
  • 10–11 million children dying every year
  • Over 50 million children dying between 2000 and 2005

I’ll be sharing more statistics in the coming days that depict the broken, depraved, and painful world that we live in.  Sadly, I am part of the problem if I’m not willing to be part of the solution.  Check out the song and video below entitled, World on Fire, by Sarah McLachlan.  I first saw this several years ago and it still both inspires and haunts me…

Filed under: health

19 Responses

  1. Sam S says:

    Eugene,

    Thanks for this short but provocative post. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts!

  2. Randall says:

    That’s one of the smartest videos I’ve seen in a long time. Reminds me a bit of the Soul Asylum, “Runaway Train” video that highlighted missing kids.

    Can’t wait to hear your ideas because you know…I’ll be looking for something to do in a year if the band thing doesn’t take off.

  3. RyanBD says:

    Good to read this. One of my favorite experiences at ATW several years ago was preaching off this video. If you look carefully at around 2:49, there’s a woman being highlighted for working 2 jobs a week to send her kids to school, etc. The door of her home has Psalm 118:5-11 tagged on it – which blew me away when I read it as I realized how little I understand the meaning of its words:

    5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD,
    and he answered by setting me free.
    6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
    What can man do to me?
    7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
    I will look in triumph on my enemies.
    8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
    than to trust in man.
    9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
    than to trust in princes.
    10 All the nations surrounded me,
    but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
    11 They surrounded me on every side,
    but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.

    It really challenged me to understand what being set free really means and that it really is better to seek refuge from the Lord instead of “man” and “princes”. It will be exciting to watch your work unfold. BTW, check out http://defeatpoverty.com/ to read one of the sharpest / creative minds I know personally on the topic of ending extreme poverty.

  4. kate says:

    I can’t explain how excited and encouraged your and Minhee’s vision makes me….welcome to the beginnings of the insanity involved in starting a nonprofit, you’re going to love it!

  5. e cho says:

    starting a church and a non-profit cafe in the past few years have certainly had its challenges and blessings. i’m looking forward to this journey as well.

  6. JB says:

    Go Eugene Go! Go Minhee Go!

  7. rexhamilton says:

    Eugene…Not knowing how far you are in your planning but it would be great to hear some of your plans with the non-profit while posting your thoughts on poverty.

  8. chrismarlow says:

    Nice Eugene,

    it’s quite interesting but I’m doing the same thing 🙂

    It’s good to see the church responding to these issues.

    Shalom

  9. e cho says:

    Rex: kinda in the plans right now. The big picture is in place but working out the details. Will share the big picture here but can’t share the details until we wrap up our meetings with lawyers, file documentation, etc.

  10. […] fight poverty – a broken world This is part II of a short series entitled, Fight Poverty.  Read Part I – An Introduction. […]

  11. kszysiek says:

    That’s very sad that people are hungry in some parts of the world and nobody cares about it.

  12. […] the third and final part of a short series entitled, Fight Poverty.  If interested, you can read Part I [An Introduction] and Part II [A Broken […]

  13. […] and now he’s got a HUGE vision to be apart of of eradicating global poverty. So encouraging. Part I Part II & Part […]

  14. Darwin says:

    Hey PE,

    Still reading the rest of the series – just wanted to point out that the link at the top of part 1 that supposed to point to part 2 actually points back to part 1… just wanted to let you know in case you wanted other readers to have easier navigation.

    i’m not gonna lie, i cried watching this video.

    -darwin

  15. Roads says:

    Good for you – thanks for this post, and you’ve got my full support.

    I’ve been writing a series on poverty in Kenya recently. I’ve got one more post still to go, focusing on how we can do something to help. Little things, which can make a big difference.

  16. uenomurakami says:

    Great video.

    As we speak the conference of G8 nations are meeting in Japan. I think they need to see this video. Then again Bono and his crew of humanitarians have been beating down these doors for a long time, and a video like this is still being made.

    When we ever learn.

    God Speed

  17. […] the next season of my life to fight global poverty was when I read the my pastor’s first blog post on fighting poverty. The Sarah McLachlan video in that post had me in tears. 6 months ago I realized I wanted to start […]

  18. […] of Fighting Poverty | Part 1 | Part 2| Part […]

  19. […] addition, I used this blog to write a three / part / series on extreme global poverty and shared our personal commitment of donating our […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 20 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 21 hours ago
  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 3 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 3 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 3 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 6 days ago