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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First day of our daughter's college years at this great school. We love you. We're so proud of you.We believe in you. Go Huskies. Go Dawgs. And also, beat Stanford this Friday. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. 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.

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