Eugene Cho

falling in love with nebraska

As I shared earlier, I spent about 8 days in the middle of nowhere recently to cap my sabbatical.  Where did I go?  Because of some connections with friends, I retreated in a small town you’ve never heard of in Central Nebraska.  Yes, you read that correctly…Nebraska.  And after my visit, I think I fell in love with Nebraska [check out the pics below].

The population of the town was 302 people according to some townspeople.  According to their census, Asians comprise .24% of town’s 302 people.  The closest market is 25 miles away.  And because my cellphone wasn’t working in that part of the country, I found myself completely disconnected: no TV, radio, internet, and personal phone access.  The first few days were incredibly difficult but after the 3rd day, it felt so refreshing to be disconnected – even while financial institutions were crumbling last week.  Perhaps, it was good that I had no idea what was going on in the “real” world.

What did I do?

  • I read.
  • I prayed.
  • I worked on the poverty organization.
  • I fished and fished; I have never caught so many fish in my life.  Must have caught and released over 150 bass [mostly largemouth].  On couple occasions, I hooked two fishes on 1 lure. 
  • I learned about farming, cornhuskers, millets, etc.
  • I helped cut some trees that were attacked my beavers.  I have a new found respect for loggers.
  • I hiked.
  • I captured some snakes.
  • And I fished some more.

Where’s the most obscure place you visited or vacationed? 

Filed under: family, travel

13 Responses

  1. goldfearsnofire says:

    hey eugene, i just want to let you know that i think you are cool. and that you challenge me to consider how to live rightly, healthily, and honorably. thanks for your example. wish you all of the best as you transition out of sabbatical. best, drew

  2. Tyler says:

    that is awesome eugene. i have family in nebraska. it makes for one boring drive though, i will admit that.

    most obscure place i’ve been is wildhorse canyon, oregon. it is a young life camp. 30 minutes away from anything.

  3. matt says:

    catch and release? no cooking up some fish for dinner?
    Although not obscure, I’ve taken a couple of Korean bus tours that decide that a random train museum is a great place to stop at on a tour of eastern Canada.

  4. Sue says:

    I was going to say the same thing. Long boring hours of senseless driving and it doesn’t help to have gas prices so high. Great pics.

  5. eugenecho says:

    @matt: ok ok. we did eat a couple of those fish. delicious. also caught crappie, smallmouth, northern pike, and catfish. but just ate couple big and smallmouth. pretty good.

  6. Nina Seong says:

    wow, i never knew nebraska was so beautiful & picturesque.

    the water looks crystal clear.

    and capturing snakes & catching fish.

    very symbolic & analogous to ministry.

    🙂

  7. Sara says:

    I never knew Nebraska could be so appealing. Thanks for the photos and the beautiful descriptions.

    Most obscure place visited… hard to remember… We’ve visited lots of out of the way places here in the Northwest (or at least, as out of the way as you can get with two small children). One of our favorite things, which we haven’t done for a long time, was to pick a place in the Waterfall Lover’s Guide Pacific Northwest, pack our boys on our backs and go find some gorgeous waterfall in the middle of the woods or in some odd roadside spot just outside of Shelton or some other podunk place. 🙂 We’ve found some really beautiful places and spent some really fun moments together as a family by doing that.

    Maybe most obscure locations I can think of out of the country usually involve getting lost. There was the time that we got lost driving through Normandy in France trying to find a little town called Ville Dieu Les Poelles, where they sell fabulous copper pots. We saw some lovely farming villages and lots of lovely tumbledown, roadside, stone cottages on the way because we chose to take some back roads to get there. Once, as a whole family, we got lost in the jungle in Panama in a tiny Toyota rental car. That is too long a story for this comment space, but it involved, a scary spider, a large snake, unintelligible attempts at speaking Spanish, and a little bit of crying. It’s a funny story (at least NOW it’s funny).

  8. chad m says:

    being a Cornhusker myself i am pleased to see my people treated you well. it’s not washington, but i love my home state!

    you should consider working in travel and tourism for Nebraska on the side…go big red!

  9. eugenecho says:

    @chad: i wrote this post in honor of you cuz i knew you were a cornhusker.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I think the most remote place I have been is Haines Alaska. One local told us that the only industy there was the breeding and raising of children.

  11. gregwheeler says:

    Hmm, 0.24% of 302 is less than one person. 🙂

  12. Kim says:

    Remote = Unalakleet, Alaska – According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.1 square miles, of which, 2.9 square miles of it is land and 2.3 square miles of it (44.25%) is water. Local overland travel is mainly by ATV’s, snowmachines and dogsleds in winter. It is an amazing place!
    http://www.kawerak.org/tribalHomePages/unalakleet/index.html

  13. queltica says:

    I grew up in Ecuador, so nothing there for me feels remote or obscure – but to me the most remote place I’ve visited was the Isle of Harris in the northern Hebrides. It was in October, and everything was gray rocks and gray skies and moors and cold beaches. It was beautiful. The standing stones at Callanais on neighboring Lewis was one of the most awesome wild old places I’ve ever been …however, the place that felt the most “obscure” was probably some hot sticky stanky pond/lake in southern Illinois one summer when I was a teenager at a church camp. Mosquitos and flatness and humidity and not much else.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

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

JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK

advertisements

Blog Stats

  • 3,442,360 hits