Eugene Cho

stories of haiti: collective grief and hope

I was intending to blog more during my time here in Haiti but to be honest, I’m having information and emotional overload. I’m just taking everything in as I listen to people, drive around, meet relief workers, spending the nights on the roof and soaking in the sounds of the neighborhood, and hear the numerous stories of the Haitians we’re meeting.

There are so many stories from Haiti – a collective grief and hope.

Here’s one story from a gentleman named James who is working as a translator for World Concern. I’ve really enjoyed meeting him and hearing a glimpse of his story.

James is fortunate to be alive. On the day of the earthquake, he was late for his university classes and thus, he was not in his university when the building collapsed during the quake. Unfortunately, many including his teachers, classmates, and his mother did not survive the quake.

Hear his story and consider his words:

“The real work starts now…”

We can’t do that work for Haiti or for James. They have to do that work but the question is, “How can we come alongside our Haitian brothers and sisters?”

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7 Responses

  1. goldfearsnofire says:

    thanks for the update eugene. it is a good thing to hear personal stories. the people of haiti remain in our thoughts and prayers. i see you fulfilling the words of james 1:26-27, and know that you are bringing hope, inspiration, and encouragement to many in haiti and back at home. thank you eugene!

  2. Becky says:

    Wow, what a compelling video. It’s so hard to imagine how many others there have stories like James… losing friends and family members. Though it becomes easy for us to forget this tragedy happened and move on, it’s videos like this that remind us how the real work is yet to come. Thanks for sharing PE!

  3. […] EVERYONE was impacted by the earthquake. You can sense that there is a collective grief and a desire for a collective hope. Over couple days, we interviewed 8 random women and 5 of them had lost at least one of their […]

  4. […] EVERYONE was impacted by the earthquake. You can sense that there is a collective grief and a desire for a collective hope. Over couple days, we interviewed 8 random women and 5 of them had lost at least one of their […]

  5. […] Humanitarian:  I like my friend’s take on what’s going on in Haiti.  What are your […]

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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.

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

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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. I have to remind myself of this every day...because I can forget every day:

Don't be lazy and make assumptions about people. Ask about their story. Then listen. Be humble. Be teachable. Be human. Be a good neighbor. It's a sad reality but our society runs on the currency of fear. Don't feed into this frenzy.

Rather, invest in faith, hope, and love.

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