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 […]

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One Day’s Wages

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To support both the equality of women and the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but I know we're not alone. May we press on. And may we lead with hope.

I'm at the Women's March in Seattle to show my solidarity with my wife, my mothers, my daughters, and the female congregants of my church. I'm also here to model for my son what we believe in our home. Many people have already expressed their disappointment, dismay, and disgust with my decision. Such is life. We will always disappoint someone. And that's also a lot of words that begin with "d." I'm here not because I agree or disagree with every single statement or sign at this march (although I really liked this one) but because as a Christian, I believe in the fundamental truth that women are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. They are to be valued, heard, and respected.

And because I believe we can't be a flourishing society without the flourishing of women. And because the Church cannot be the Church without the gifts and voices of women. All the gifts of women.

And in doing so, may we together honor the sanctity of life - from womb to tomb. Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards

my tweets

  • Really loved this sign from the women's march from one of our church congregants. Counter cultural. Subversive. L… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… || 4 hours ago
  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn can be lonely but we're not alone. Lead with hope: instagram.com/p/BPjMGTOhMjL/ || 5 hours ago
  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but we're not alone. May we press on. || 8 hours ago
  • Going to the Women's March in Seattle bc as a Christian, I believe women are fearfully and wonderfully made and are to be heard & respected. || 11 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." || 12 hours ago
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