Eugene Cho

strategically fighting poverty

Please take a few minutes to read this.  We can’t save the world but we can make a difference. 

It’s in the news all around us:  the situation in Darfur; the cyclone catastrophe in Burma/Myanmar; unfathomable hunger in North Korea; the food crisis in numerous places around the world, and the list can and do go on.  Over 3 billion people live on less than $2/day; About 1 billion live on less than $1/day; Nearly 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water; About 27,000-30,000 children die daily due to poverty.  Staggering and numbing statistics.

While it’s awkward to make a public appeal and broadcast of our vision, that is the decision that we’ve made – for better or worse.  We do care what others think which is why we didn’t want to be in this situation but we also realized that in order for us to pursue what we feel called to do, we simply can’t do it alone.

As some of you already know, we are birthing a non-profit & non-religious Humanitarian organization to fight global poverty.  It has begun and we’ll be using the next several months to ramp up to our offical launch.  While we’re not ready to yet reveal the name of our organization, this is our goal:

Our hope is to create a grassroots, global, and viral movement by integrating three key elements: human relationships, compassion & justice, and technology & creativity.

Our goal for the organization and website is to create a global community for the purposes of: 1) information and education, 2) collection and distribution, and 3) collaboration and innovation. Our goal is to give away 100% of all donations to small organizations and partners around the world that are already fighting extreme poverty. While not exclusive, our vision is to focus on small ngos (<$100k budget) around the world and engage in larger grants of microfinance, and granting seed money for future ventures. Our goal is to raise $1 million by 2010, $5 million in 5 years and $25 million+ in the next 20 years. Ideally, our goal is to raise as much money as possible and redistribute 100% of those funds around the world to the fight of global poverty.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

  1. We are set to receive tax-deductible donations. If you are interested in making a donation, contact me to receive the support letter. Our goal is to raise a minimum of $66,000 to help with the operation expenses. We’re asking for folks to consider giving $250, $500, $1000, $5000, and what the heck, anything helps. As you know, we’ve personally committed $100,000 to get this started. You can click here to read more.
  2. Join this FACEBOOK GROUP and help spread the word.
  3. Join us for the upcoming INTRO MEETING. Date forthcoming.
  4. If this is your vibe, please keep us in PRAYER.

UPCOMING GOALS:

  1. Finish up the last leg of paperwork.  Thanks to one of our lawyer friends, this seems to be in good hands.
  2. Set up office in the next 2-3 weeks and get the beta website up by the end of this month.  We’ll need to go through multiple versions.
  3. Organize an INTRO MEETING for anyone interested in learning more and meet up with potential advisors, volunteer and paid staff, and board of directors.
  4. To work our asses off during our sabbatical which begins in about 5 weeks [3 months].  Before we head off to Asia, Minhee and I [likely myself] will be off to Haiti to make some connections and learn first hand about the global food crisis.

Our vision cannot eradicate poverty.  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…  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.

Relevant Links:

Filed under: health, religion, , , ,

18 Responses

  1. Grace says:

    Go Eugene. Go Minhee. Go! Received the letter and honored to support this endeavor.

  2. dreamxchaser says:

    i wanna help too. this is a great cause. i had never really understood what was going on around the world, when i was living in the states. Now that i’ve seen more of the world, i see things need done.
    good luck.

  3. subra1221 says:

    Like Nike says “Just Do It”..Here is my prayer for a great start and a successful launch. You might like to visit some sites like http://www.akshayapatra.org which is an organization
    in the process of filling up stomachs for scholars in primary class. It is the single largest non government poor feeding done for 8.5 million (yes 8.5 million) kids EVERYDAY.

    May all the prayers of all the children join you in your efforts.

  4. emjay says:

    This is a magnificent vision, and I hope it is fulfilled beyond your wildest dreams for it.

    But there’s one fairly obvious question to ask here: namely, why isn’t anything explicit about the Gospel of Jesus and his Kingdom among the “key elements” of this plan? Why is it a good thing that this is a “non-religious” project? This seems like an odd selling point from the perspective of an ECC pastor.

  5. Brad says:

    Greetings from St. Louis! PLEASE let me know when this website kicks off, I’d love to help spread the news over the web-waves. And thanks for helping answer the question of “Who is your neighbor?” I’m flat broke myself, but would be happy to help in ways non-financial. Godspeed!

    (P.S. My favorite line: “To work our asses off during our sabbatical…” Ironic and incredibly biblical at the same time… love it)

  6. […] I really really feel for people in other countries who can’t afford to feed themselves, who have been devastated by Natural Disasters, military action or famine, we need to […]

  7. kay says:

    i can’t speak for PE, but i will say this in response to emjay’s question about not being a religious organization. the corporation i work for likes for its employees to participate in community building, non-profit work, etc… but will only participate in employer matching type programs for non-religious organizations. there are a lot of companies that have similar requirements/restrictions.

    anyway, i certainly don’t really have any answers, but it kinda reminds me of this passage in the old testament (hehehe, time to do some studying) somewhere that the people of Israel were all coming to their one leader for help to settle their disputes. his father in law who was not of the people of Israel advised him very wisely to delegate the responsibilities to other wise elders amongst the people. and in this way, the people were cared for.

    i guess i just don’t think things have to have the word Christian stamped on it to be doing God’s work. just my opinion, though…🙂

    PE, i’m REALLY excited to read about this…. looking forward to hearing more as more details get ironed out.

  8. eugenecho says:

    @emjay: this is what i wrote in an earlier entry…

    “This organization is a non-profit and non-religious organization. Couple pastors I’ve spoken to have pushed back and shared honestly [which I appreciate] that they couldn’t support our endeavor because it is not a Christian organization. Minhee and I love Christ. I am a pastor. But this will not be a Christian organization per se. While we know we’ll partner and support many Christian organizations, the fight against global poverty is not just a Christian issue – it is a humanity issue. We care about preaching the gospel but we care equally if not more about demonstrating the gospel. We don’t care who you are. If you care about human suffering and are involved in the fight against global poverty, we want to collaborate with you.”

  9. Danny says:

    Eugene, This is very encouraging and inspiring. I look forward to helping spread the word and sent you an email asking for more info.

  10. Teresa says:

    I love your comments that “it’s a humanity” issue….and about “demonstrating the gospel.” Really look forward to hearing more and seeing how to support what you and Minhee are doing….love that it’s doing, not just talking about doing! Good news to the poor….sounds like something Jesus was into?

  11. […] Cho continues to blog about the upcoming launch of their organization to fight global poverty – Strategically. While I think it’s a great undertaking and very needed, I also enjoy reading about how […]

  12. […] I admire people like Eugene and Minhee Cho who are doing more than just writing a check. They’re dedicating their lives to tackle global poverty. […]

  13. […] sabbatical this summer to put our ideas into motion and we are scared and excited about starting a grassroots organization to help fight global poverty.  Again, we share this not to be boastful or righteous but to encourage folks to think, talk, […]

  14. Jon Miller says:

    I love your vision, being the hands and feet of the body of Christ……hearing the cry of the oppressed. We are blessed beyond measure and it’s time to bless others. I will put the word out and do what ever I can to help. peace be with you!

  15. […] I just assumed that with my vision and passion, a few letters, some of our connections, write a few local papers, send out a few emails and BAM – instant momentum and birth to a world class global grassroots organization that fights global poverty. […]

  16. […] to affect family life. Recently Eugene and his wife Minhee, began a non-profit/non-religious grassroots humanitarian organization with the vision of joining others to fight extreme global […]

  17. […] I admire people like Eugene and Minhee Cho who are doing more than just writing a check. They’re dedicating their lives to tackle global poverty. […]

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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