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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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. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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