Eugene Cho

change the world

One of the greatest gifts that we have as human beings is the ability to dream.  So, I ask you this simple question: 

However small or large, simple or complex, organic or organizational, local or global, how are you dreaming to change the world?

Don’t be afraid or timid.  Please share your thoughts so that we can inspire one another to keep dreaming…and personally be compelled from dreaming to doing.

In addition to living out my calling as a pastor of this glocal church, leading this neighborhood cafe and music venue, loving my wife, and nurturing my three children, Fighting Global Poverty is what my wife and I are dreaming about.  3 billion people live on less than $3/day and about 27,000 children die every day due to the complexities of global poverty.  That = a child every 3 seconds = 20 children every minute.  1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water.200,000-300,000 are forced into “labor” as child soldiers.  Nearly 2 million children are in the commerical sex trade.

Staggering.

If you’re anywhere close to the Seattle area, I’d like to invite you to join my wife and me this Saturday, June 21 as we dream about changing the world.  We are hosting the first “Info Meeting” for the birth of our grassroots global humanitarian organization. The meeting will be held at Q Cafe from 10am-11.30am.  We’ll have some light snacks prepared for you.  We’re excited to reveal the name and vision of the organization. 

Please join us and invite anyone who might be interested.  Questers:  Because of different reasons, we’re unable to “advertise” this at church or the church website so please forward this to those who’d like to learn more or come to the info meeting.

Whenever I get discouraged, I love to crank up this song, Change, by Sean Kingson.  Check it out.

Here’s the lyrics:

Change Change Change
Change Change Change
Oh I wish I had the power, the power to change the world
But im just one man trying to do it on my own
Oh I wish I had the power, the power to change the world
But im just one man trying to do it on my own
Can someone help me change the world
Can somebody help me change the world
Everyday I saw you there chillen on the corner
Puffin on crack and marijauna
Because I know how your life is
Nobody just be guidin, no
Hope to see black people living longer
Also less kids without fathers
We should all come together
Please stop fighting and killing eachother
Its what happens when your living in the street life
Its so dark and you dont get sunlight
People seeing why you dont get treated right
But im uh try to change it
Oh I wish I had the power, the power to change the world
But im just one man trying to do it on my own
Oh I wish I had the power, the power to change the world
But im just one man trying to do it on my own
Can someone help me? change the world
Can somebody help me? change the world
Many people living off welfare
Hoping things get better next year
But I’m covered in tears
So many sick without health care
Too many innocent people dyin
And I dont know why
You gotta keep your eyes open even when your rollin’
As days go by
Its what happens when your living in the street life
Its so dark and you dont get sunlight
People seeing why you dont get treated right
But ima try to change it
Oh I wish I had the power, the power to change the world
But im just one man trying to do it on my own
Oh I wish I had the power, the power to change the world
But im just one man trying to do it on my own
Somebody change the world
We’ve got little boys and little girls
Growing up on this sinful earth
Oh whats happening
I dont know, but please tell me
We’ve got all these criminals and discretes
Killin people for no reason
I dont know why
Oh I wish I had the power, the power to change the world
But im just one man trying to do it on my own
Oh I wish I had the power, the power to change the world
But im just one man trying to do it on my own
Can someone help me? change,change, change
Can somebody help me? change,change, change

Filed under: family, religion

28 Responses

  1. Sue says:

    My dream is to write books that will help shape influence people’s worldview. Words are so powerful. The books may be long coming so I may want to start with starting a blog soon.

  2. anonymous says:

    I dream to change the world by being loving and kind to everyone I meet. (It’s not easy.)

  3. johnmccollum says:

    Great stuff.

    I’m not a Quest-er, but I wholeheartedly endorse your efforts.

    May God bless you, your community and the world through your efforts.

    — John McCollum

  4. Kacie says:

    It’s my dream to change the lives of the refugees that arrive in Dallas. I want to provide them with the encouragement AND resources to adjust to American life, become financially self-sufficient, and find a community to grow in.

    If I can do that… that would be awesome….
    first step… (which I’m working on) find a refugee organization that will actually hire me….

  5. Eugene,

    Big question. Got me thinking. Your questions often do.

    Here’s my answer.

    Grace and Peace,
    Raffi Shahinian
    Parables of a Prodigal World

  6. radf says:

    Very nice post, I guess my dream would be for people to put aside their differences and try to fill in the gap that exists between many of us. I think that the only way that we can start changing is if we stop judging each other and start helping each other out. It hurts me so much when I see innocent kids paying for the problems that we created, children deserve peace- “We’ve got little boys and little girls, Growing up on this sinful earth”
    That was a bit long but anyway very nice post, a question that we should all sit down and think about it
    Take care.
    -radf

  7. dmowen says:

    @Kacie- My sister’s mother-in-law Alyssa Marx runs a group called refugee resources in Dallas. You might be interested in checking them out: http://www.refugeeresources.org/
    I don’t think they have any paid positions but I’m sure they could use some volunteers.

  8. gaius says:

    I dream of starting a school in the middle of nowhere where inner-city kids can attend and escape the brutality of the streets.

  9. gar says:

    Good song choice… best of luck to the launch this Saturday!

  10. Mark Shaw says:

    I want more people to learn about Thomas Merton, the famous spiritual writer who believed in the inclusiveness of all religions and spiritualities. Only by bringing people together with the common denominator being love is there a chance for the world to survive. More about Merton at my weblog – http://www.mertonandfriends.wordpress.com.

  11. Great post! Simply writing down your dreams can make them suddenly seem more attainable and real.

    I dream of marrying a great man, writing a few books, adopting kids, and doing something to improve opportunities for women around the world.

    One down (my husband), one on the way (book in progress), two more to go!

  12. eugenecho says:

    @rachel: thanks for sharing some of your dreams.

    @everyone – i have two concerns:

    1. we’re afraid to dream because we’re fearful
    2. we’re afraid to dream becuase we’re afraid to be judged if don’t attain them

    as i engage with many in the 18-40 age group, i’m surprised how idealist this group is [we’re dreamers] and yet so cynical and skeptical that we fall into 1 & 2.

  13. Teresa says:

    I’m with Kate on the “little by little…” working with many small groups to address huge needs…sometimes afraid to dream ’cause the needs are too big and what we can do seems like so little, but going to the familiar story of the girl throwing starfish back into the water who were stranded on the beach….it makes a difference to that one you help even if you can’t help them all…Working and dreaming with the rest of the network at http://www.worldaidinc.org

  14. Mike says:

    My dream is that those of us who take on the name of Jesus would take on his actions too.

  15. BC says:

    I’m not a Q-ster…but I really appreciate the vibe of what you’re doing…our dream here in Eugene, Oregon is called ECHO “a church for people who don’t like church”
    Join the discussion if you like http://www.echo-of-hope.blogspot.com

    God’s best to you & through you to others!

  16. Donna says:

    Working to help build families through adoption, both domestically and internationally. Donating a regular amount monthly to help give grants to families that can’t afford the often astronomical costs associated with adoption.

  17. Aaron says:

    Currently going to Paramedic school… so I guess out there on the street with people in moments of desperation!

    I hope to continue my education in the medical field… not really sure what it will bring (RN, PA, MD?) in the future, but I would like at some time to work in the medical field in a lesser developed country.

  18. Randall says:

    Shh…I have a secret. I want to change the world. How? I’m not exactly sure yet but I know it has something to do with the arts. So not only am I naive enough to believe that it’s possible for this world to change (for the better), I’m crazy enough to believe that it can happen through artists and creativity.

    Please don’t ask for specifics because I don’t have them yet. I gots ideas and they’re getting clearer but not clear enough to share yet in any specific way.

    And here’s another secret…don’t tell anybody. I and a couple others might be starting up a writer’s group soon. But the first rule of Write Club is, don’t write about Write Club.

  19. […] changing the world with peanut butter If each person does their part, if each person pursues their convictions, if each person lives with kindness and generosity, if each Christian not only believes in Jesus but follows the Way of Christ, can you imagine the difference we can make?   We can do our part to change the world. […]

  20. Kacie says:

    @dmowen, thanks for that info, I have been to their site and become familiar with their resources, it is a fantastic help! I currently volunteer with world relief, and love it… I am hoping to invest myself full-time in refugee work now.

    @ Eugene, I agree with you that we’re afraid to dream. So many people I know care deeply about the world but in the end say that while they’re willing to help, things will never change. Problems will only shift from one place to another. And… I think that may be true, but I don’t know. How to we respond to that?

  21. tim says:

    first, thanks eugene for your thoughts. i always enjoy your posts.

    in considering the question, frederick buechner’s quote comes to mind: “the place God calls you to is the place where the world’s deep hunger and your own deep gladness meet.” something along those lines.

    so as far as i can tell, that place for me will involve some marginalized/forgotten people in some corner of the world, the church being the hands and feet of Jesus right where they are, and me being some sort of a connector/raconteur/provocateur in the whole thing, helping western and nonwestern christians bridge the gap. of course, my plans don’t mean much.

  22. Rachael says:

    i want to change the world by never being a Christian stuck inside the walls of the church. Never being inward and always others focused. i never want to be comfortable-always want to be used and stretched. I don’t care how He does it-if it means cleaning toliets for Jesus-I don’t care…..!

  23. By inspiring Christians to take responsibility for the stopping the injustices around them, rather than leaving it to the government, to see themselves as part of the change process, taking direct action on the key issues of our day, whether environmental, economic, militaristic or human rights issues.

    So right now my dream is to see over 50 Christians providing a cafe at the Climate Camp in Kent, UK this year, serving other activists and seeing what this kind of direct action camp is all about and how their faith can inform their involvement in it. But I wouldn’t be able to do it if I hadn’t got people together and created prayer-i58 3 years ago (www.i58.org.uk), so its starting to feel like a pretty long term thing.

  24. eugenecho says:

    @randall,

    your secret is safe on this blog.

  25. […] crazy ideas do you have to change the world? Posted under Uncategorized […]

  26. […] Cho on Changing the World – I like this […]

  27. Michelle says:

    My dream was to follow the Lord and he gave me the dream to be a missionary in Ukraine so I came here and then he gave me the dream to help street children and help them change their world and now I am doing that with a wonderful church and organization and now my dream is to help people understand the global problem of street children and how they can help them. I don’t know that we can truly “change the world” or abolish poverty completely. The bible teaches us that this world is on a specific path and Jesus said we will have the poor with us always. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have this dream or try or help less fortunate people. We all have to start with ourselves. It is risky to be idealistic but I think if we as Christians are submitted to God he will give us very amazing dreams to follow and help us carry them out for his glory! Thanks for your great blog!

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stuff, connect, info

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)

my tweets

  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but we're not alone. May we press on. || 15 minutes ago
  • Going to the Women's March in Seattle bc as a Christian, I believe women are fearfully and wonderfully made and are to be heard & respected. || 3 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 3 hours ago
  • God bless America...so that we may be a blessing to the hurting, poor, vulnerable, immigrants, oppressed, marginalized. God bless America. || 1 day ago
  • Hope arrived. Not in a politician, system or "great" nation. Rather, hope arrived in the person of Jesus Christ. Place your hope in Christ. || 1 day ago
  • Whatever our political inclinations, may we have courage to both genuinely pray for our leaders and to speak prophetic truth to their power. || 1 day ago

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