Eugene Cho

prayerfully fighting poverty

Thanks for the feedback on last week’s entry on [Wisely] Fighting Poverty.  After reading the responses, I wanted to share a few more details of what we’re envisioning.  Details are still to be worked through but here are some more random thoughts:

  • Our vision cannot eradicate poverty.  If I am honest, poverty – locally and globally – will likely persist on some level but extreme poverty can be eradicated.  But our simple hope is to be moved and move others into action because while we can’t save the world, we can help one child, one family, one village, one area, etc.  We can make a difference.
  • And yes, as I shared before, we are simply joining in what is already going on around the world.  We are not the first and thankfully, we will not be the last.  Nevertheless, our hope and prayer is that our Foundation and NPO can provide a unique opportunity for many around the world to engage this fight.
  • We aspire to be an international non-profit Foundation that seeks to a] educate and inspire, b] receive financial donations, and c] wisely redistribute those funds.
  • Our hope is to create a newer model of integrating the following elements:  Human Suffering & Compassion, Global Community, and Web 2.0.  Our goal is to see the convergence of the Web & Philanthropy to create a simple global community and movement.  Clearly, easier said than done.
  • Our hope is to primarily support smaller organizations and NGOs because our conviction is that they have a deeper idea how to help their villages, people, and contexts more than we ever can. They may lack the resources or tools but from my limited experience, they are sharp people who are able to care for their own with some assistance and resources. 
  • We want to make sure that folks know that we’re not directly or indirectly stating that global poverty is more important that local poverty since they do exist and cannot be forgotten.  It’s simply an encouragement for folks – whether locally or globally – to pursue their convictions.  We must care.
  • We’re not ready to release the name of the organization because once we do, it’ll all make sense.

HOW CAN YOU PRAY:

1  Pray for all the necessary documents to be completed in the coming months.  We’ve received our official articles of incorporation with the State of Washington and we can proceed forward with the next steps.

2  Pray for our 3 month sabbatical this summer.  It will be a very critical time for our family and for the organization.  The Elder Board of our church has graciously granted us the sabbatical to rest and devote our time to the work of this Foundation. 

3  Pray for a team of volunteers and eventually staff that can help with web design and developing, accounting, non-profit legal support, marketing, networking and connections, fundraising, etc.  We are planning on hosting at least one INFO meeting in the local Seattle area for those who want to learn more about the vision and how to volunteer before we head off near the end of June.

4  Pray for some very big financial decisions.  We are blessed and owe mortgages to 1.5 homes.  We will need to sell our home by the end of August and are getting concerned with the housing market.  Lots of work to do to get the home ready as well. We’re hoping to find a real estate agent who might list our home pro bono.  We need to sublet our current home for this summer and possibly through the Fall.

5  Pray for strategic relationships with women and men that can possibly serve as Advisors or potential Board of Directors. 

6  Pray for wisdom.

7  Pray for generous donations as we’ll be raising funds in the coming weeks for the Operations Fund.  As I shared before:

While huge organizations such as World Vision, Mercy Corps, Catholic Relief Services and others are doing wonderful work, our hope is to create a different model – not necessarily a better model. We will establish two funds in our organization. The MAIN fund will give away 100% of every donation to the cause of fighting global poverty. We will give our year’s salary [$66k] to this fund to help jumpstart the collaboration. We are scouting and reviewing organizations to support – right now. It is through this Fund that we hope to eventually raise $20+ million dollars [while simultaneously giving it away] to fight global poverty. 

The second FUND is called the OPERATION Fund. We will raise funds separately via fundraisers and donations so that we have modest funds to cover our operations to run the organization. While numerous have already offered to volunteer their time, we hope to hire two employees in the next several months to assume certain vital roles to carry out our implementation plan. Minhee and I will volunteer our time as members of the Advisory Board/Board of Directors and I will lead the organization as the Exec. Director. We will give an additional $34K to help jumpstart this Fund and will be sending out letters in the coming weeks in hopes of raising an additional [minimum] $66K and totaling at least $100K – which we believe will sustain us for at least 1.5-2 years to build the this movement. Our goal is to create this organization with minimal expenses from the OPERATION Fund.

We are starting this Foundation not only because we feel “convicted” but because we are privileged.  We are privileged because each of us have the power and capacity to exercise CHOICE.  I sincerely hope you’ll consider partnering with us in the upcoming months.  The goal of our Foundation is to making “Fighting Global Poverty” as accessible to each person and to remind people that generosity is not reserved for the rich and famous…

The world is a beautiful place but there are many things that are just not right.  But not doing anything when we clearly know something is wrong and evil might be the “best” example of our human depravity.

Relevant Links: 

Filed under: health, religion

8 Responses

  1. Jules says:

    Thanks for sharing some of your requests Eugene. Our family and I will be praying.

  2. Kace says:

    Yes we most certainly can help a child. Sadly we now have more saddened people in Burma. When is it ever going to end.

  3. DK says:

    How you set up your structure from the beginning and how clearly you’re able to share your vision will be really important. Someone’s else comment on the other entry talked about that. There are so many things out there wanting support but it’s really hard to know what makes them different from others.

  4. Jim says:

    Dude I can’t wait to hear what you have planned – rock it! We need to band our churches together to crush poverty. Who then can deny that God does miracles?!!

  5. Loba says:

    I am very moved by your vision and would really appreciate it if you could review Humanity First. While I totally respect, admire and love initiatives to further help the world, I still believe that it is quite costly to set up and reinvent the wheel everytime and being able to support an established foundation and possibly work together would ensure that more funding actually goes towards the core purpose of the program.

    Humanity First and its projects are administered by its own members – all of whom are volunteers. Fund raising and aid work is undertaken by unpaid volunteers who donate their time and money to ensure that the maximum amount of funds raised are used for direct aid work.

    I am a volunteer in this organization and am working on various projects and, God willing, will be working on orphan care soon as well. Please feel free to contact me for any further details or any information you require, and I’ll be more than happy to assist.

    http://www.humanityfirst.ca

  6. […] If this is up your alley, please keep us in PRAYER. […]

  7. […] Poverty: Loudly | Wisely | Prayerfully | Strategically | Video […]

  8. […] Poverty: Loudly | Wisely | Prayerfully | Strategically | Video […]

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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

  • 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 || 2 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 2 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. || 2 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. || 4 days ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 6 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 6 days ago