Eugene Cho

the beauty of south africa

While there were some painful images of poverty and human suffering, I also saw the beauty of South Africa.  During my short stay there, I saw both its beauty and depravity.  One of the folks I met in South Africa asked me to make sure I shared with people how beautiful South Africa was in light of the distorted perceptions that some folks have that Africa is only corruption and poverty.

I made that promise.  And so, I am sharing these pics [taken my myself and another fella from Boston] to show a glimpse of the beauty of South Africa.  Mr. Leo: I hope I made you proud with these photos.  Thanks for letting me use your Canon G9. 

If you’ve got any questions about any pics, let me know. Enjoy:

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4 Responses

  1. neu says:

    Oh my! Those pics are wonderful! I’ve never been to SA (but my dad has), but as a Nigerian-American, I share your sentiment that the dark side of Africa shouldn’t always be portrayed. Over the past two years, I’ve become more convicted about bad-mouthing the place of my ethnic heritage. So, the next time I go (probably this Christmas), I will show its beauty both in writing and photography.

    I remember being on an online forum, and someone once said, “Well, the oil we use comes from countries full of nothing but terrorists and scammers”. And that hit me so hard, as Nigeria’s cash crop is oil. And I cringe at the Nigerian scammer remarks I hear almost every day. Gee, can anything good come out from Nigeria anymore? 😦

    Thanks Eugene. 🙂

  2. Tom says:

    Beautiful continent. Beautiful country. Nice pics, Eugene.

    @neu–always good to see for ourselves. Sounds like you’re in a position to do so. Cool.

  3. Greg says:

    Very nice indeed. I very much enjoy Capetown.

  4. swainlife says:

    Great shots Eugene!

    Did you ever watch the film “In My Country” that came out a few years ago. It dealt with SA and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings? It’s worth watching.

    Cheers,
    Matt

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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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