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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"He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:30 We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant.

Be faithful.

PS: Also, it helps to get some Vitamin D especially if you live in the rainy Northwest Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on.

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