Eugene Cho

double tall vanilla latte and a goat?

Q Cafe

Let’s first get the coffee espresso snob question out of the way:

What’s “your” espresso drink? Or are you a tea person?

In the face of some incredibly shocking statistics about extreme global poverty, it’s easy and understandable to feel paralyzed. I’ve often felt this way but instead of feeling the burden to change the world, just think about making an impact on one person, or one family, or one small village.

As some of you know, I also serve as the executive director of a non-profit community cafe called Q Cafe. I’m joined on the Advisory Board by several folks – Alan, Roy, Amy, our cafe manager, Jake, and live music director, Melissa. Each month, we select one local (usually) based non-profit organization to donate 10% of our monthly sales. For the month of June, we selected World Concern (a humanitarian non-profit doing community development and disaster response in Africa, Asia, and the Americas) and contacted Derek Sciba, communications officer at World Concern (and also a Quester). He recently traveled to 6 countries over 40 days. Anyways, our board informed him of our decision and asked what impact we’d be able to make for about $350 bucks and he sent me the following amazing email that elucidates the impact of our few dollars. Don’t believe the lie…we can all do our part to change the world.

If you’re in the Seattle area, come out and enjoy the Q Cafe and join us in supporting other local non-profits. And while you’re here, make sure you check out Derek’s humanitarian blog.

Wow, Eugene! That’s very kind. I appreciate you and the rest of the folks at the Q Cafe thinking of World Concern – and it’s a pleasure to figure out how to spend the money!

When I was in Haiti, I saw the value of goats, which provide incomes through the sale of kids. Some people also sell goat milk. Often, having a goat means children in a family can attend school.

After a series of hurricanes last year, people were left with nothing of value. The storm killed their livestock. I met grandmothers and children who were positively ecstatic to receive goats, to begin to build their herd once again.

So let’s buy a goat, with vaccinations and a pen, for $70.

When I was in Bangladesh, I met several fish farmers. One stands out in my mind. He went from being a pedal-taxi driver to a small businessman, once he began a business to farm-raise fish in a pond. It has allowed him to buy land, build a home, and send his little girls to school. He rises early each morning and works hard – and with an opportunity from World Concern – it has paid off.

Let’s buy some fish fingerlings. A set of 2,000 fingerlings costs about $40. We can purchase 4 sets for $160.

Also in Bangladesh, and in many other countries, I was particularly saddened by the plight of women. It’s a tough place to live on a good day. But many men in Bangladesh (and elsewhere) treat women as second-class citizens. Women have so many responsibilities, from raising children, to farming and raising livestock, to keeping a home. Many also have to earn any income her family may need, because the husband doesn’t feel like working, or because she has been divorced. (And it’s easy to do in that culture. Say “I divorce you” three times.) On top of that, if a woman wants to start a small business, she is often at the mercy of loan sharks. She didn’t have an opportunity to get an education when she was young, so she may fall prey to someone who can see her vulnerabilities.

Let’s provide training and business equipment for one woman, so she can start her own business. It’s $125.

All of this adds up to $355. We can adjust it once we figure out how much was raised.

I am getting all of these prices from World Concern’s Global Gift Guide. Flipping through it, I recognize many of the items for sale as real programs that really do make an enormous difference in the life of the poor.

Let’s pray for good coffee sales this June!

Derek

goat

Filed under: justice, non-profit, Q Cafe, , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. Andy M says:

    I particularly enjoy having, a pepsi. Sorry, not a coffee or tea person.

    It can be daunting to consider how much needs to be done in the world, but it is encouraging to be shown that every dollar does indeed count, and can really help people.

  2. What a great idea. We give goats and such at Christmas time through Heifer.

    Like Andy, I prefer my caffeine cold — Dr. Pepper being my beverage of choice.

  3. Derek Sciba says:

    Thanks for the plug for World Concern, Eugene. This gives me another good reason to visit the Q Cafe! (And have a cup of black tea.)

    I’ve seen the projects in many countries, from Bangladesh to Haiti, and the smiles and sincere gratitude from people looking for any way to climb out of poverty. The ability to regularly eat and find shelter is often a big step up!

    If anyone is interested in checking out World Concern’s Global Gift Guide, for father’s day or any occasion, here is the address: http://www.worldconcern.org/ggg

  4. kensie says:

    hi p. eugene! congrats on things getting moving and the 501c3! love this post. it’s only $4 a month (one latte) for a child in rural cambodia to go to school. http://www.worldonfire.ca/

  5. […] This month, a Seattle coffee shop called the Q Cafe is donating 10% of all proceeds to World Concern. The chief barista, a pastor and friend of mine, estimates it will bring in about $350 that we can put toward humanitarian work. (Eugene Cho wrote about this today in his blog.) […]

  6. […] This month, a Seattle coffee shop called the Q Cafe is donating 10% of all proceeds to World Concern. The chief barista, a pastor and friend of mine, estimates it will bring in about $350 that we can put toward humanitarian work. (Eugene Cho wrote about this today in his blog.) […]

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One Day’s Wages

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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) May our hearts break for injustice and exploitation - whether abroad or in our own backyard. Spending a few days for @onedayswages in Thailand. Along with one of our board members, I'm traveling with a group of 10 others to learn, listen and visit a few NGOs including one of our partners, @thefreedomstory. Couple days ago, we spent an evening walking through Soi Cowboy. On a given night, about 10,000 people are in the ring of prostitution in Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, and Patpong. Much of this is driven by the consumer demand. Approximately 70% of male tourists go to Thailand for the sex industry.

Human trafficking is complex. Anyone that says otherwise is lying or selling you something. 
To reduce it to simple terms, or simple problems, or simple solutions…cause harmful consequences. While we can all agree that it is sinful, egregious, evil, and wrong…there are many nuances and complexities. It would serve all of us to grow deep in the awareness not just of the larger issue but the nuances and complexities.

When people speak of human trafficking, they tend to be ‘attracted’ to the issue of sexual exploitation. Dare I say it, human trafficking has become trendy as a justice issue.

Clearly, it’s evil and egregious. But to reduce the entire issue of human trafficking into one form is not helpful. Because the mission is to fight the entire injustice of slavery. And if that’s the commitment, we have to not only combat sexual exploitation but engage in issues of poverty, forced labor, commercial exploitation in tourism, land rights and power abuses, organized crime networks, cultural and economic realities, etc.

Oh, it's so complex but we have to be engaged whether in Thailand or in our own backyards. May our hearts break for the things that break the heart of God... More thoughts to come.

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