Eugene Cho

“vacationing” in a place with the 4th highest murder rate in the world

Hey everyone. Thanks for your love, support, and prayers.

Minhee and I (and one of my ODW volunteer staff) are currently “vacationing” in an “urban ghetto” marked with the 4th highest murder rate in the world. We’ve taken some personal vacation time to travel to Guatemala as invited guests (for a few days) to do research, learn, and network with some NGOs for some possible future partnerships. We are spending the bulk of our time with an NGO called Lemonada International.

We’ve heard and partly witnessed some painful stories of violence, drug abuse, broken families, and the ugly cycle of extreme poverty.

There is an estimate of 60-100K people living in the urban ghetto known as La Limonada. It is an urban slum community built into a rhine that runs through Guatemala City…Many of the families live with no running water or electricity. The geographic location of the community and the sub-culture of extreme poverty have produced a lack of education and job opportunities, spiritual darkness, and unsustainable living conditions.

Having said this, we’ve witnessed some amazing stories of love, courage, and hope.  We are seeing what we’ve seen in so many places that give us hope in the fight against extreme global poverty:

Never underestimate the power of love – as it’s lived out in compassion, action, and justice.

Yes, while there are very visible expressions of poverty and brokenness, La Limonada is (as the Guatemalan founder, Tita, shared with us) a beautiful place because of the beautiful people – especially the kids. There’s no guarantee that ODW will partner with Lemonade International as we’ll need to do our due diligence but I have no reservations asking you to do me ONE BIG FAVOR and visit their website to learn more about their story.

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10 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    At your suggestion, I visited the website. There is a line on the site used to desciribe La Limonada that says: “Even Santa Claus doesn’t visit La Limonada.”

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by eugenecho: Why are we in a Guatemalan “urban ghetto” marked with the 4th highest murder rate in the world? http://bit.ly/9QwcCH

  3. danderson says:

    Eugene,
    Are you familiar with Agros? It’s an organization which works in the poorest rural areas of Mexico and Central America in agricultural and community development. They work at a grassroots level and are trying to find the root causes of poverty in the area. I think they have established close to 20 working sites in Guatemala.

    Also – just talked to the wife of a Honduran pastor friend who has gone down to Honduras on a medical mission. Even though he’s from the country, he’s amazed at the poverty and lack of basic health care in the area he went to. Near riots over medical supplies. But as the wife pointed out: poor economically but rich in spirit.

    • Eugene Cho says:

      yeah, i’m familiar with them. they’re based out of seattle and are doing some great things.

      my odw staffperson that’s on the trip with minhee and i was in guatemala three years ago to do some film shooting for a project with agros.

  4. Matt EHH says:

    Thanks for the info Eugene. Life changing stuff.

  5. […] said that, I was reading an article online on the airplane en route to Seattle from Guatemala (research trip for One Day’s Wages) about a 15 year old girl who ended up getting an abortion […]

  6. Steve says:

    I missed the last few days…and look to really pay for it.

    From the street here in Guatemala, I can assure you that Tita is the real deal, and worthy of support. Limonada is one of a number of ministries, where the wounded victims have become the nurturing healers….powerful…AND a rebuke to the powerful men in churches in Guatemala.

  7. Travis says:

    Speaking of Jesus… there’s a spirited conversation about to begin here about a controversial topic. Your opinions would be welcome there!
    http://www.reliefjournal.com/2010/03/29/does-it-matter-if-the-president-believes-in-jesus/

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

my tweets

  • "They got money for wars but can't feed the poor." ~ Tupac #trumpbudget || 2 days ago
  • Heartbroken. Praying for Manchester & the UK. For those mourning loved ones. For those injured and fighting for life. Lord, in your mercy. || 3 days ago
  • Window seat. For the win. https://t.co/yG66Sm2bvu || 5 days ago
  • As leaders, we must not sacrifice our family for the sake of ministry because loving our family IS good leadership: instagram.com/p/BUVAGVwg-5z/ || 5 days ago
  • We long for a Gospel that comforts but resist the Gospel that disrupts. Having the former without the latter seduces us into complacency. || 5 days ago
  • Love wins in the end but in the meanwhile,it fights for things that matter. Love isn't sentimental. It's both gentle & fierce. Love endures. || 1 week ago