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

My Instagram

People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. 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.

my tweets

  • People often ask, "How do stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much.… instagram.com/p/BF2giXwyWTY/ || 17 hours ago
  • Don't obsess about your platform.Just do your thing with passion, humility, integrity. We do what we do for God's glory, not human applause. || 1 day ago
  • Someone tell Steph Curry that he's the MVP because he's playing a lot like me in my rec league. || 1 day ago
  • .@SeattleQuest recently hosted Kenneth Bae (Prisoner 103). He was detained in DPRK for 735days. WATCH his testimony: vimeo.com/167680426 || 2 days ago
  • RT @seattlequest: Suffering is a short cut to God's heart. Even if your circumstances don't change, God is always w/ you. - KennethBae http… || 3 days ago
  • Oh Lord, You love North Korea, Syria, Iraq, Congo, Nigeria, Turkey and ______. You love the nations. Give us Your heart for the world. Amen. || 4 days ago

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