Eugene Cho

5 reasons why i’m in haiti right now

As you know, I’m now in Port-au-Prince Haiti. You might be wondering, “Why are you in Haiti right now?” – especially since nearly two months have passed since the devastating Haiti quake on January 12, 2010.

There are 5 main reasons why I’m here:

Personal Learning. I don’t ever want to be someone that learns through just books, blogs, and newspapers. We have so much self-acclaimed experts. Through my travels to developing nations and speaking with local leaders about their communities and countries they love, I have learned so much. And whatever you do, don’t forget that it’s never going to feel “right.” It’s messy.

Partnership. Quest Church is partnered with World Concern and they are the org that’s hosting me during my short time here. I’m here to develop that relationship. Recently, the folks at Quest also helped put together over 270 Healing Kits for some of the children and families of Haiti. It’s good to meet some of these families.

Q Cafe also donated 10%o of their February sales to the relief efforts in Haiti and also hosted a great benefit show to raise additional funds and awareness.

One Day’s Wages. In response to the devastating Haiti earthquake, our team at ODW set up a “Haiti Relief Fund” and gave $5K from the org’s “Giving Fund” in hopes that donors would match it. And to be honest, I wasn’t even sure if people would give that much.

Wow, we were really surprised and humbled. Thus far, we’ve raised $94,523.91 and we’ll likely hit our “current” goal of $100,000 this weekend or the next. I’m here to see how some of those funds were used through our partners in Haiti – which includes World Concern.

What’ next? The dire importance and necessity of the initial relief work is done. And while there’s still need for the distribution of food, water, shelter/tents, medicine…the slow and more difficult work of rebuilding is here.

Don’t forget Haiti. Nearly two months have passed. While we’ve driven around Port-au-Prince, I’ve heard from numerous Haitians that have commented this sentiment:

“The media is gone. Even the military presence is smaller. But we’re still here. Don’t forget us…”

Without creating dependency, how do you create opportunities for people; maintain or restore their human dignity?  Relief work in the developing world is always complex but we should all agree with this:

Don’t forget Haiti.

I shot this video the day I arrived in PaP. I felt so disrespectful shooting this video and another person shot the photo above…because I was standing on top of corpses.

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6 Responses

  1. Thanks for a great post, PE and the reminder.

    By “standing on corpses” do you mean that there are known to be bodies beneath the rubble you’re standing on that folks can’t get to?

  2. […] there with World Concern and is staying right in the mess of it all. He has been updating us on his blog and the bottom 2 pictures below are recent ones from his twitter, the car being right next door to […]

  3. Eugene Cho says:

    blake: yes, there are known to be bodies. in fact, there are still thousands of bodies under the rubble.

    when we arrived at this site (which is where world concern started some work), they had just discovered one of the bodies.

  4. jmylander says:

    hey pastor eugene,
    what are your thoughts on “disaster tourism”, and have you seen much of that in Haiti? working out of the DR, this has been a hot topic as groups pass through on their way across the border. everyone wants to help, but outside the development/relief circles, is one’s money better spent as a donation than on a $1,000 plane ticket? i’ve wanted to go check it out myself (and being so close it wouldn’t be too hard), but reconsidered when i realized i’d probably just be in the way.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      jmylander:

      good question. i wrestled with it as well.

      i’m not sure if i saw much of it there. meaning, i saw tons of westerners but i have no idea in what context they were there. of those that i briefly spoke with, they were all directly involved in the aid work in some capacity or had direct relationships with NGOs, CBOs, or churches there.

      the money better spent WILL always be a HOT topic. i don’t have any easy answers but as you know, there’s a great amount of need in Haiti (and even in DR) but hopefully as the relief work transitions into development work, everyone is really carefully considering HOW we do our development work. creating a culture of dependency – in the long run – can create damage that will impact generations.

  5. […] been an eventful couple months already with a trip to Haiti and Guatemala but each year, my church’s Elder Board graciously allows me to travel a certain […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

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