Eugene Cho

the haiti jump rope champion

One of the highlights of my time in Haiti was meeting many kids during our brief trip. There’s something about kids that are so very inspiring, uplifting, and even heartbreaking. We heard some painful stories about the suffering of kids – as a result of the earthquake but even before the quake – but one of the things that most encouraged me was the sense of “hope” I saw in the faces of the kids.

I had the joy of getting into a jump rope competition and yes, I should have let the kids win but being the competitive guy that I am, I sucked in the pain of my both of my Achilles tendons and was declared the Haiti jump rope champion. Check out the jump rope video below and sadly, the stark statistics impacting the current and future generations of Haiti.

Let’s do our small part to work a  more beautiful, just, kind, and compassionate world. Still doing some research about how we can participate in the “next steps” in helping Haitians rebuild their country.

Consider some of the these statistics impacting the children of Haiti:

  • Gross national income per capita is US$520, about half the total for Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Americas
  • 78% of Haitians are poor (less than US$2 a day), and more than half (54%) live in extreme poverty (less than US$1 a day).
  • In rural areas, poverty and extreme poverty rates are estimated to be 84% and 69% respectively.
  • Over two-thirds of the labor force do not have formal jobs.
  • Half of children under 5 are malnourished.
  • Over 7% of children die at birth.
  • For every 100,000 births, 523 women died in Haiti, compared to eight maternal deaths for every 100,000 births in Europe.
  • 80 out of 1,000 Haitian children never see their first birthday.
  • 50% of primary school age children are not enrolled in school.
  • One-third of girls over six never go to school.
  • Approximately 30% of children attending primary school will not make it to third grade; 60% will abandon school before sixth grade.

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8 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    It is amazing how resilient children are. Your post is a timely reminder of the need to pray for Haiti and to continue to look for ways to help.

  2. Derek Sciba says:

    You have got some mad skills, Eugene. Even turning along with your jump rope partner. A good reminder of the people we’re trying to look out for in Haiti.

  3. danderson says:

    I’ve been down to Guatemala twice in the last four years. We took down jump ropes both times. It’s a great ice breaker and community building activity and a way to cross cultures.

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One Day’s Wages

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These are crazy, turbulent times. Fight the good fight. Run the race set before us.

But we also need you for the long haul. Don't burn out. Discipleship and justice work is a marathon. Learn to take care of yourself. Don't play the victim. It's far too tempting to blame others. Be rooted in prayer, Scripture, and community. It's okay to pause, critical to rest and retreat, and godly to practice Sabbath.

#NoteToSelf Everyone loves the idea of  reconciliation...until it involves truthtelling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, forgiving, and peacemaking. Charlottesville. So heartbreaking and infuriating. We weep and mourn over the hatred in the hearts of these white nationalists. We weep and mourn but we can't be defeated.

As I stare at this photo that's making its round on the internet, I'm reminded of the utter importance of showing up. I'm grateful for the news media, law enforcement, clergy, and peaceful protesters that are currently there to report, protect, pray, and protest.

And this is an invitation to us. May we not be mere bystanders. May we keep pressing forward. Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly. Commit to truth-telling, justice, reconciliation, peacemaking. Follow the ways of Christ. Every day. And it's important to note that we don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. In fact, it's more important that we do this exactly where we're at. May we live out the call to reconciliation in our churches, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and around our dining tables. Lord, may it be so... We don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. We have to do this wherever were called to be.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. /// Thanks to those who let me know that the photo wasn't actually from today but rather from last month in Charlottesville. - https://www.facebook.com/FrankSomervilleKTVU/posts/1551137301616258:0 Grateful for a spontaneous, last minute trip with Minhee to my old stomping grounds - San Francisco. 48 hours of visiting this special city that I called home for so many years.

Pic 1: Went to the Cliff House restaurant where we got engaged about 21 years ago to make out. Oops, sorry, I meant...to reflect on God's faithfulness over these many years.

Pic 2: Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge because it's such an iconic place - with some of the most incredible views.

Pic 3: Enjoyed a glass of some Cabernet Sauvignon and pretended to be wine connoisseurs at a vineyard.

Pic 4: Had lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Sam Tung, which boasts some of the best chicken in the country. And of course, we ate at In-n-out.

Pic 5: And finally, celebrated with the good folks at @thefreedomstory where @onedayswages received their annual Freedom Award. What an honor.

Grateful. Thankful for this sabbatical. Breathe.

Show yourself some grace.

We can't do everything for everyone in every situation. Do what you can and do it with a joyful heart.

Amen A family that eats sushi together stays together.

Seriously, I don't ever remember eating so much as a teenager but these kids eat and eat and eat. Perhaps, the reason why this kid is pushing 6 feet tall. Grateful for a special treat with the family at @JaponessaSeattle.

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