Eugene Cho

haiti on our hearts

Minhee and I are marking our 14th anniversary and while it’s not the tropical island we had in mind, the upside is that we’re headed to a tropical island. 😉

We’re taking some “vacation time” this week and are en route to Haiti as part of our work with One Day’s Wages. We’re here to connect with some friends and partner organizations including World Concern. This past year, ODW raised over $100,000 and we’ll launch another Haiti campaign tomorrow in light of the fact that the rebuilding efforts in Haiti will not be a one year fix. Add to this the impact of the cholera epidemic…

Haiti is on our hearts.

Couple years ago, Minhee and I made a pledge that we’d try our best to go to a developing country. Together. Every year. Since we try our best to be aligned with our local expressions through our church and the traveling to a developing country helps us to keep grounded and connected with our vision for ODW.

But if I’m honest, I kind of regret that decision. As much as I enjoy exploring and traveling with Minhee:

  • I dislike leaving the kids.
  • I dislike having to update our will. It’s morbid thinking about stuff like that but we need to do it.
  • I dislike having Minhee in “unsafe” places – even if they’re not entirely all that unsafe but you know what I mean…

Yes, it doesn’t feel right…

We’re just trying to live our lives faithfully, humbly, and joyfully.

Here, there, and everywhere, may God use all of us to reflect His love for the world…

If you’re interested in giving towards ODW’s newest Haiti campaign, click the image below and/or help us spread the word tomorrow…

top photo: taken during an earlier trip to Haiti in February 2010

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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