Eugene Cho

south korean president sets example

Impressive and encouraging news about the new South Korean president, Lee Myung Bak, and his decision to donate the entirety of his salary from his five year term to the poor and underprivileged.  He donated his salary during his term of mayor of Seoul from 2002-2004 to the children of streetcleaners and firefighters.

Skeptics, cynics, and critics may call his decision manipulative or simply a ploy for media attention but there’s more to the story.  He has gone on record during his recent presidential campaign that he would donate his entire personal fortunate of 30 billion million dollars to the poor.  President Lee has made his fortunes as a former CEO of a construction and engineering company.

This is an example of the redistribution of wealth that needs to take place around the world and I applaud President Lee for the example he is setting not only for Koreans but for the global community.  Here’s the article from CNN:

South Korea’s new president has pledged to donate his salary to the underprivileged.

South Korean leader Lee Myung-Bak says he would donate his salary to help the underprivileged.

Lee Myung-Bak made the pledge during an unscheduled meeting with reporters Sunday in the press room of his presidential office, the state news agency reported.

The president said he would donate his salary during his entire five-year term.

Lee is a former CEO of an engineering and construction company with a vast personal fortune. As mayor of Seoul from 2002 to 2004, Lee donated his salary to the children of street cleaners and firefighters.

“I promised to spend my whole salary earned as a public official on public welfare,” Lee told reporters. “My plan to donate the presidential salary to the underprivileged is an extension of that promise.”

The news agency did not say how much the president earns in a year.

During the election campaign, Lee, 66, vowed to donate his entire personal fortune of more than 30 billion won ($30.2 million) to the poor. He said at the time he would keep only a retirement house in Seoul.

Filed under: politics, ,

4 Responses

  1. Ben C says:

    It’s $30.2 million which is still fantastic at 100%

  2. me says:

    right. i read the 30 billion won.

  3. secondlady says:

    God bless your heart.

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One Day’s Wages

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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