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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"He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:30 We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant.

Be faithful.

PS: Also, it helps to get some Vitamin D especially if you live in the rainy Northwest Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on.

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