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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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

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