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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Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother. I love all the free amazing views in our Evergreen State. #RattlesnakeLedge

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