Eugene Cho

a breathtaking safari

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As 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 justice – enabling me to do some research and relationship building for the poverty organization/initiative we are hoping to launch this year.  I’ve seen some very intense and heartbreaking things – which I’ll share later once I return to the States.  Today, we took a half day to rest and relax at experience a safari.

I have one word to say:  Wow.

Such spacious land, beauty, and majesty.  The whole time, I kept thinking about the glory of God in His creation.  

And…I really wished international travel was cheaper and accessible to everyone.

Here are several pics below for your enjoyment.  Please note that most of these pics were taken from our tour van.  We were rarely permitted to be outside that van. The highlight was seeing two pride groups of lions [groups of 9 and 6] and one group feasting on their hunt – a wilderbeast.  It was frightening, amazing, and breathtaking.  Also, please continue to pray for me during the remainder of the trip.  On Sunday, I have the privilege of sharing a word of encouragement from the Scriptures to a local Zulu church…

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Filed under: travel, , ,

21 Responses

  1. gar says:

    beautiful! i hope the trip is as restful as it is productive.

  2. Becky says:

    Hey PE!

    Gorgeous pictures! Many blessings on your adventure. You are such a testament of God working in our world – God will speak through you to our brothers and sisters in Zulu!

    We’ll be praying for your journey (and the fam back home).

    Lots of Love

    Beck and the boys (and soon to be girl too)

  3. Becky says:

    Wow, this is amazing! My dream to go on a safari trip someday. I hope your time in Africa is a blessing to you and those that you will encounter. Be safe.

  4. Moi says:

    P E –
    Great to know about this wonderful opportunity to see more of God’s creations!
    We pray for your safety and may you continue to be blessed and WE, thank you for sharing your wisdom and the Glory of God with us.

  5. wow is right. so excited for you that you were able to have this experience.

  6. J. P. says:

    I think I see at least two wild animals in the last photo…

  7. david says:

    say hello to mufasa for me

  8. Kin says:

    inspirational takes Eugene. that’s an amazing shot of the cheetah. It’d be great to chat soemtime and exchange stoires, idea, and experiences in faith….
    take care.

  9. J. P. says:

    It would be really cool if you had geotagging on your camera… then we could see exactly where you were when you took those shots!!

  10. Jusified says:

    Just a fyi:

    Obama , yesteray, signed an executive order that will alow our tax dollars to go overseas to fund abortion…and here I thought he was all about lowering abortion rates and ending the recession.

    Shhh. Obama Repeals the Abortion Gag Rule, Very Quietly

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1873794,00.html

  11. cho mama says:

    did you meet simba jedi? miss you!:)

  12. Tom says:

    Cool shots.

    Gotten some time on reserves in Africa too so I know how overwhelming and exciting it is to see that wonderful stuff up close and in real time. You’re blessed.

    A word to the wise.

    Some supporters in the US may not be excited to see you on safari in the first online pics from a research tour re poverty in the developing world.

    Though all of those supporters would have jumped at the chance to see what you saw, some of them will expect you to be different and a cut above. Particularly in these hard economic times.

    You’re trying to do wonderful stuff. But sometimes bigger picture is better.

  13. Rachel says:

    It’s great that you get to see animals that aren’t caged. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  14. Jessica says:

    Great pictures. We started coming to South Africa a few years ago from Florida and have since toured Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Lesotho, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe by road – taking materials to school children – and have never really gone back to the States except for brief visits. You will find that if you learn Zulu – the most widely spoken language here in South Africa – that your communication lines and friends will instantly triple overnight. You can buy a CD and book at CNA and its an easy language to become fluent in fairly fast. Our base is near Johannesburg and we have had the most fantastic wilderness and human rights/social betterment experiences for the past few years. The Zimbabweans are particlularly great people and if you can, do go to Zimbabwe. Kind regards,
    Jessica

  15. Rachel says:

    Tom, you’ve overlooked the details. He said that a benefactor paid for his trip. If a benefactor wants to send him to S. Africa and throws in a safari–that’s their business.

  16. eugenecho says:

    for the record, the cheetah was not in the safari but in another trip to a cheetah farm. they were still wild and it was a little scary.

    @tom: i understand what you’re saying but i’m a guest of the group that’s hosting me and i’m just going w/ the flow. whether or not it’s wise to share these pics is up to the individual i guess. i choose to share my journey as much as possible.

    @ric wild: no. i was at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi.

  17. Jessica says:

    Out of 15 responses – of course you will get one harping critic! It would not be Planet Earth without the 2% trying to bring the rest of society down! Look at your Hit Stats: Over 704,000 hits – that’s incredible!!

    Just a little, harmless dig – WITH A KNIFE!! I say the big picture is respecting and tolerating the religious beliefs and actions of others.

    The mere act of interacting with new and lesser priviledged people makes the world a better place, and you definitely cannot come to Africa and not see the wild game. Promoting it is even better!

  18. My beautiful Imfolozi! We spent a wonderful time at Mpila camps last September. I am so jealous of your cheetah sighting, we did not get that close to one.

    I am sure your visit to SA opened your eyes to poverty in ways that you never imagined. I don’t believe there is a global solution, the only sure one is people helping people, one life joined to another, in relationship.

  19. eugenecho says:

    @jessica: thanks for the comment. regarding the “one harping critic”, tom is a not a critic but a friend of the blog. as far as i know, his comment wasn’t intended to be harping and wasn’t received as such. really, no biggie.

  20. […]  I was prepared to see the extreme poverty but I couldn’t picture the beauty.  And the safari was pretty dang amazing as […]

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

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 Took a train to Busan. Did not encounter any zombies but I was ready just in case.

Busan. First visit to this city (couple weeks ago) and was blown away by its beauty. Also, shocked that it has become the fifth largest containment port city in the world. That's a lot of import and export.

#MyAttemptToBeTheBestSmartphonePhotographer 
#Pusan #SouthKorea

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 || 6 hours ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 6 hours ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 6 hours 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. || 2 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… || 4 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 4 days ago