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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One Day’s Wages

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It. Still. Hurts.
#TamirRice Incredible news: @onedayswages is projecting to have our most impactful year as we grant out $1.3 million dollars! Thank you so much for your prayers and support...please read on to learn how you can join in our work.

As you gather with family, friends, and loved ones for Thanksgiving and the holidays, I wanted to share an opportunity. Often times, when I speak to people about the privilege of generosity, I remind them, "You don't have to but you get to." It's so true.

My wife and I (and our three kids) started ODW in 2009. We felt the Holy Spirit convicting us to give up our year's salary. It wasn't an easy thing to say "Yes" or "Amen" to but we made the decision to obey. As a result, it took us about three years to save, simplify, and sell off things we didn't need.

It's been an incredible journey as we've learned so much about the heart of God and God's love for the hurting and vulnerable around the world - particularly those living in extreme poverty. ODW is a small, scrappy, grassroots organization (with just 3 full-time employees) but since our launch, we've raised nearly $6 million dollars to help those living in extreme poverty: clean water and sanitation, education, maternal health, human trafficking, refugee crisis, hunger, and the list goes on and on.

So, here's my humble ask: As we do this work, would you consider making a pledge to support our work...so that we can keep doing this work with integrity and excellence?
You can make a one time gift or make monthly pledge of just $25 (or more). Thanks so much for considering this: http://onedayswages.org/give (link in bio, too) Don't just count your blessings. Bless others with your blessings. Here, there, everywhere. Be a blessing for this blesses our Father in Heaven and builds the Kingdom of God.

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@onedayswages Grateful. Still reflecting on the letters that I've received from classmates and students that have come before me and after me. Never imagined all that God would have in store for me. Lots of humbling things but in the midst of them, there were literally thousands upon thousands of daily decisions and choices to be faithful. That's what matters. Seen or unseen. Noticed or unnoticed. You do your best and sometimes you stumble and fumble along but nevertheless, seeking to be faithful.

Also, you know you're getting old when your school honors you with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Lol. 47 is the new 27. Or something like that. Here's to the next 47. In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

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