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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One Day’s Wages

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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 Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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