Eugene Cho

off to south africa

Through the generosity of an anonymous person in New York, I’ll be leaving for South Africa today and returning near the end of the month. This is a great opportunity to continue my research for our global poverty organization/initiative, relationship building with NGOs and CBOs [community based organizations], and personally see and feel both the devastation of extreme global poverty and the hope of people working diligently to uplift themselves out of poverty.

For those that are inclined, I would certainly appreciate your prayers.  Here is my itinerary:

  • Depart for Frankfurt, Germany
  • 10 hours at Frankfurt and might attempt to connect with friends in Frankfurt
  • Depart for Johannesburg, South Africa and then to Durban
  • Depart to Capetown to debrief
  • Depart to Frankfurt and return to Seattle

I’ll be spending the majority of my time in an area called Kwazulu Natal [Swayimane] where over 50% of the people are stricken by the HIV disease.

I’m praying for good health, good attitude, future partnerships, and God to deepen our vision to join others in fighting extreme global poverty.  Please also keep my family in prayer.  It’s been an intense couple weeks with some wacky stuff happening

I’ve got couple stuff pre-published for the blog and I’ll also be attempting to share some reflections and photos during my brief trip.  

Thanks for your friendship and partnership…

And for those that want to contribute to our poverty initiative, just shoot me an email at seattlejediknight[at]gmail.com and I’ll send you a copy of our Vision Letter.

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7 Responses

  1. Tom says:

    Have fun and bless you, Eugene.

    Spent some time there myself and my daughter participated in a research project sponsored by the U of Capetown aimed at recalibrating the health services in the townships.

    Frankfurt airport is no place to do a long layover, though you could probably entertain yourself reading the way aggressive and very funny European health warnings on cigarette cartons in the duty free shops.

    If Mama Africa is still in business in Capetown, fun place get a beer and spend an hour. The murals on the outside of the building are worth a look.

  2. synapticlight says:

    very cool, I hope that the trip is a success as well as enjoyable 🙂
    I lived in Durbs for over 20 years, now I am in Cape Town but I still miss Durban (shh don’t tell).

    Do you know of Metro Kids Africa? Our Church is quite involved with them and we did some work with them together with NPCC, it was awesome – http://metrokidsafrica.org/

    Phill

  3. […] Germany.  After it took a few hours to rendezvous with a few folks I’m trekking with in South Africa for research and relationship building, I took several hours to attempt to soak in Frankfurt, Germany and here are some photos below for […]

  4. Ric Wild says:

    Eugene, I hope your time in SA is rewarding. I was there going on 10 years ago with a Afrikaner friend who immigrated to the States. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip. Blessings!

  5. Tumi says:

    Hi Eugene, you’re in SA!! wow! let’s hook up, would love to chat. Tumi

  6. YK Yea says:

    If you’re interested you should meet with m.nary Young Ohm a first gen korean-canadian who has an amazing network and ministry based in Capetown but all over southern Africa. unlikely, but email me if you have time.

  7. […] most of you know, I’m here in South Africa – at the grace of an anonymous benefactor in New York who also cares about global poverty and […]

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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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