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!



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:

  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.

  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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Whoa. Beautiful. Mesmerizing. Also reminded that while buildings are nice and have their place, the building isn't the church Let's fully welcome refugees. Remember, refugees aren't terrorists...they're the ones fleeing away from violence, war, and terrorism. 
Afraid? Me too. It's ok to acknowledge we're afraid since it confirms we're all...just...human. We're all afraid on some level especially when our culture seems to run on the currency of fear but as we live out our faith in Christ and more deeply embody compassion and love, fear begins to dissipate. It's also incredibly critical to know that agencies are implementing some of the most rigorous and thorough vetting ever. 
My family hosted a Somalian Muslim family from a refugee camp years ago through @WorldRelief. It was eye opening, challenging (especially with language realities), and yet, encouraging...and we hope to host families again in the future as they resettle in a completely new and foreign city and country. It's a terrifying experience. And while not a refugee, I remember the first few months as an immigrant when I was six years old. To this day, I remember the kindness of folks that helped us through that transition. Lift a prayer for me as I'm privileged to collaborate in ministry here in Melbourne, Australia. Meeting with local pastors, teaching at the Justice Conference (10/21-22). Then, preaching at the Bridge Church on Sunday  Pray that in preaching the whole Gospel from the Scriptures, I may honor God, point people to Jesus, and be sensitive to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Interesting. The holy bench. Wow. And in a blink of an eye, this happened. The nights might be long but the years go by fast. #ParentProverbs #WhatHappenedToMy13YearOldSon This past week, @seattlequest celebrated its 15th Anniversary. In many ways, it feels like forever and in other ways, it just seemed like we just started yesterday.

Around May 2000, Minhee and I found out we were expecting a 2nd child. Then, we got another surprise. We felt a calling and stirring to plant a church. We told God, "This is horrible timing!" We left a thriving ministry that we started in the Seattle surburbs and felt compelled to move into the city to plant a new multiethnic church called Quest. To be honest, we were so scared. Minhee was pregnant. Our insurance was about to run out. But we ventured forth. Once I resigned from this church, I had plans, goals, strategies...and none of them materialized. Only bills and payments. I quickly found out that a Masters of Divinity degree - as cool as it may sound - is actually useless in society. No one wanted to hire me. I was unemployed for months. We were eventually on food stamps and DSHS insurance.

In December 2000, we welcomed our 2nd child to the world. When "T" was born, we cried more than the baby. Couple days later, I finally landed a job as the janitor at a Barnes & Noble store. It wasn't quite what I was envisioning but God really worked through this "valley season." And we finally felt peace about starting Quest. Seven people gathered in our living room and several months later on October 2001, Quest Church was officially launched. 
It has not been easy. We've been hurt and worse, we learned we hurt people. More accurately, I hurt people. We've heard our share of criticisms and sometimes, even worse. I've been called my share of names. Too many to list. I've been too liberal, too conservative, too edgy, too rigid, too blunt, too passive. We spent many nights crying out to the Lord...for direction, for peace, for answers. We usually never got the answers we were wanting...but we always felt His presence - even during our valleys. To be honest, we still have many restless nights. In fact, I think we have had more restless nights these past two years than we did in the first two years. 
But through it all. God has been so faithful and gracious. Thank you, Lord.

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