Eugene Cho

i left my heart in guatemala

As most of you know, Minhee and I spent several days in Guatemala last week to do some research and networking for our personal growth and for ODW. Even despite my brief time and limited exposure, I think I left my heart in Guatemala.

Guatemala is a beautiful country but like every place, it has both examples of beauty and depravity. During our few days there, we spent the majority of our daytime with an NGO called Lemonade International and our evening with a host family who treated us to some amazing Gautemalan food and company. For a few hours on one day, we had a chance to visit Antigua.

Here are some pictures:

Bullet holes in so many places in the “urban ghetto slum” we were visiting called La Limonada. Zones 4, 5, and 6 has the 4th highest murder rate in the world. Here’s an example of one bullet hole in someone’s door.

This picture is from a photographer from Lemonade International as I didn’t take a good shot of the barrios that give a perspective of  La Limonada.

Beautiful children. Seriously…they had so much joy. [Notice another bullet hole in the background]. Lemonade International was running two after school programs in 2 barrios. Minhee and I enjoyed our time in the classes. Keep the kids off the streets – away from harm, violence, and drugs.

Okay, I was trying to get my photographer thing going on since I’ve mentioned that I want to enjoy photography as a new hobby. With the exception of the first picture, the rest were taken in Antigua.

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10 Responses

  1. YEAH! I got to read this whole post in my RSS Reader! WOot WOot!

    And such beautiful pictures to boot!

  2. koo says:

    you’ve definitely got an eye for it! nice stuff PE!

  3. danderson says:

    I understand that 80 percent of Guatemala’s rural indigenous population lives in severe poverty. It’s an incredibly beautiful land with great people who are industrious and work very hard. Lake Atitlan has been a very large tourist destination, including many “hippy” types from the Europe and the U.S. There are pockets of wealth, but the overwhelming majority live out their lives in quiet desperation.

  4. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by lemonadeintl: RT @EugeneCho: I ain’t no @EstherHavens @jeremycowart @coreyhage or @chenleo but here are my pics from Guatemala: http://bit.ly/dthLS2

  5. Jeff says:

    Tita is an amazing women and her team of teachers is awesome. The work they are doing there is a true witness to the the grace and love of God. My wife has been there 3 times and I have been there 1. We support Tita and her schools by sponsoring 2 girls through Lemonade International.

  6. Doug "dad" Holderman says:

    Eugene, I enjoyed being in the Quest 9:15 service with my son Nick. Thanks for greeting us! Quest is a great church and God is present and at work in a big way. We celebrate His grace with you, Doug

  7. Eugene, thanks so much to you and Minhee for investing your “vacation” in a community we love so much! Our team was honored to host you and we look forward to the possibility of a partnership with ODW. Regardless we are very excited about the work you are doing and look forward to supporting ODW and spreading the word about the grassroots movement. Great news on reaching the $100K goal!!

  8. […] i left my heart in guatemala Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Craig S. Keener on the Historical Jesus and the GospelsSailhamer’s Magnum OpusCraig Blomberg In Search of the Historical JesusThe End of the Road for the Historical Jesus Quest […]

  9. […] 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 amount of […]

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One Day’s Wages

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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. Seattle. 7:00pm. Desperately holding on to summer. #goldengardenpark #nofilter

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