Eugene Cho

world aids day – who cares?

world-aids-day

Today is World AIDS Day. We must care. Every one of us…we need to take a step closer to learning, growing, giving, shouting, singing…each of us playing a part.

You can learn more via the ODW blog about World AIDS Day: Turning Grief into Action.

Do you have any good resources to share with others? Words of encouragement, advice, etc? How are you taking a step closer towards caring & acting?

One of the best resources to learn more about the HIV/AIDS crisis is UNAIDS. And from that site:

  • Approximately 33.4 people living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2008.
  • 2.7 new people infected with HIV in 2008.
  • More than 25 million people have died of AIDS since 1981.
  • Africa has over 14 million AIDS orphans.
  • At the end of 2008, women accounted for 50% of all adults living with HIV worldwide
  • In developing and transitional countries, 9.5 million people are in immediate need of life-saving AIDS drugs; of these, only 4 million (42%) are receiving the drugs.
  • Around 95% of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.

And of course, we need to be reminded that this isn’t just a global issue but a local and national issue as well:

Since the beginning of the HIV and AIDS epidemic well over half a million people have died of AIDS in America1 – the equivalent of the entire population of Las Vegas. There are currently more than one million people living with HIV and AIDS in America and around a fifth of these are unaware of their infection,2 posing a high risk of onward transmission.

America’s response to the AIDS epidemic has produced mixed results. HIV prevention efforts have not always been successful and every year approximately 56,000 Americans are infected with HIV.

Couple other resources to check out: World Vision AIDS Experience | Creatify Interactive Global Map.

One Day’s Wages also cares and is doing its part ot act. While none of our current partnerships at ODW are solely focused on the issue of HIV/AIDS, each of their work impacts the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS, or those at high risk of contracting it.

  • Charity: Water‘s clean water well benefit many families and individuals affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • HEAL Africa cares for women who’ve contracted HIV/AIDS through rape.
  • Not for Sale aims to prevent HIV/AIDS through rescuing girls who are in danger of being trafficked into brohtels.

A prayer for today and the days ahead:

God our loving Father, your son Jesus chose to be vulnerable in order to understand and identify himself with us. We are wounded in many ways and we implore you to heal us and make us healers with you, to help heal our broken world.

All: Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the leaders of the nations and for all faith leaders. Given them courage and strength to take a lead in working to prevent the further spread of HIV and to care for those affected.
(Especially we pray for….)

All: Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for young people, in their vitality and idealism. Bless them with good friends to help them accept themselves in all their vulnerability and challenge them with high ideals.
(Especially we pray for….)

All: Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who are sick and in pain, especially those affected by HIV/AIDS; may they experience your love through each one of us; may they find meaning and purpose in their lives and inspire others who suffer. (Especially we pray for ….)

All: Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for all those who work for development and justice; may they not be discouraged as they struggle to create a healthier world.
(Especially we pray for ….)

All: Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, we thank you that you have made all of us in your own image and likeness. Help us to be sensitive to one another and to build healthy and caring communities in your world. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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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