Eugene Cho

the power and privilege of opportunities

Please read this and watch the video below.  It’s about 7 minutes long but this excellent video [from my recent trip to South Africa w/ Peter Ahn] will give you a glimpse of what I’m talking about when I’m speaking of Privilege and Opportunities:

Over the years, I’ve been developing a deeper understanding of ‘privilege.’  God loves us such that He gave us free will and the amazing privilege to make choices and decisions.  Hopefully, choices to Love God and Love People.

You and I are privileged because we have the capacity to dream, create, and pursue opportunities.  While we have the tendency to wallow on occassions in our lackings, we are truly privileged.

But sadly, there are many without that human dignity – that capacity for decisions and opportunities; Or their circumstances are so dire that they have to choose one human essential for another.  An example would be a young child or teenager forsaking the privilege and necessity of education to be able to watch her young siblings because his or her parents have died or because they have to walk hours in order to fetch water for their families.

Our dream for the global poverty initiative is to work with people that are not giving handouts but creating opportunities. Opportunities for jobs, education, health, families, and on and on and on.  Hand outs can be dangerous as it creates a cycle of dependency but opportunities creates capacity for dignity, sustainability, and empowerment.

And that leads me to this question I am humbled by:

How are you and I – locally and globally – creating opportunities for others?

One of my friends, Peter Ahn, is one example of a broken misift and visionary who gets it.  He understands the power and impact of creating opportunities for others who don’t have those opportunities.  He was the one – knowing my personal vision for extreme global poverty – that  connected me with an anonymous donor in New York and then personally hosted me in South Africa.  He took a couple other folks to visit and experience his deep partnership with a smaller NGO called Zimele Community in South Africa.  Do me a favor and check out both Peter’s blog and Zimele.  I was so impressed with Zimele that our poverty initiative have asked them to apply for a grant to fund one of their projects.

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And if you’re reading this via a feeder, you can watch the video HERE.

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12 Responses

  1. ali says:

    Dear Eugene,

    Your words, piety and actions are inspiring🙂

    Best regards

    Ali

  2. Tracy says:

    I am so happy to share in this inspiring journey of love, care and prayers for the poor. Now, I finally know this is one of my calling, to give and support ministries in such efforts.

  3. Tom says:

    Nice run.

    We all get the point.

    Move on.

  4. eugenecho says:

    @tom: i’m glad you’re smart and enlightened.

    but it’s still my blog. and so, i’ll keep sharing.
    peace.

  5. Brad Halverson says:

    Not giving handouts, but opportunities is the essence of living out missions. It’s showing true love for others. Yes, there’s showing love with the cold cup of water for those in immediate need. But helping a brother or sister create, define and sustain on their own terms, is where it’s at. Thanks, Eugene!

  6. Helen says:

    Thank you for sharing Zimele on your blog. The organization’s vision to give hand-ups rather than hand-outs proves to me that the cycle of poverty/dependence is broken from within, when the very persons affected get strong and cause change. We need more of this kind of change here and everywhere.

  7. Derek Sciba says:

    It’s remarkable how consistent everybody was about the concept of transformational mission. That’s the key – and I’m glad there are pastors like you (and your friends from the trip) who are signed onto the idea. For most Americans, the most easy thing to do with this kind of poverty – is to look away. Thanks for not doing that!

  8. Andy M says:

    As for your question, “How are you and I – locally and globally – creating opportunities for others?”, I would just simply say that we aren’t, in general. It is too often simplified down to either a “Get a job!” mentality, or creating dependancy by just endlessly giving people what they need. People look at the two extremes and don’t know what to do, so they don’t do anything.

    Initiatives like these are something that we all need to get behind, finding creative ways of creating opportunities for people to work and take care of their families, and hopefully build some relationships while doing it. The possibilities and the benefits are endless.

  9. larryboatright says:

    Praise God for your heart, Eugene. (My middle name is Eugene, you’ve made it awesome!)

    God has really hammered on me since The Idea Camp. He’s compelling me to consider a world I have ignored far too long. Scared but my heart is open. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  10. JRhine says:

    Hey,
    Cool video and sounds like a great project/organization/community/etc.

    Also just wanted to say, way to rep the FBR shirt in one scene, my college roommate works with them and I have a shirt just like it in my room right now.

    Peace.

  11. […] of my former pastors, Eugene Cho, has been very intentional about solving the problem of world hunger.  If you haven’t seen the rally cry on Facebook (or on his blog), I ask that you check it […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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