Eugene Cho

Would you consider giving up a latte and donating $4.30 to help celebrate my birthday?

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Hey friends, blog readers, supporters, critics, stalkers, and everyone in between:

This week (October 20), I’ll be turning…43-years-old.
Yes, that’s not a typo. I am indeed turning 43 years old.
Wow, I am turning 43 years old. Someone pinch me. Someone punch me. But not hard.

As I reflect on the 43 years of my life thus far, I am mindful of how blessed I am. So very blessed. I can’t help but give God praise, glory, and honor.  As I reflect upon God’s blessings, my hope is to be a blessing to others – to my family, to my church, to my neighborhood, to my city, and to the larger world.

As I ‘celebrate’ my birthday this upcoming week, I am again asking friends and supporters – near and far – to help me continue the passion I have for coming alongside the poorest of the poor in the global community.  As most of you know, Minhee and I birthed One Day’s Wages about four years ago and during that time, we have raised over $1.7 million dollars and have funded 51 projects. We’ll be launching several more in the upcoming months. And by projects, we’re not talking about handout but thoroughly vetted projects that involved local leaders, community engagement, and transparency. These projects aren’t about investing in money but rather, investing in people.

But, did you know that 100% of all donations (minus credit card fees) go directly to these projects? My job as the executive director is to help raise resources to help fund our small grassroots operations.

So, here’s my birthday request:

If I’ve been of any encouragement to you or perhaps this blog or perhaps my words of encouragement on Facebook or Twitter, this is a chance to “give back” in a small way. In lieu of any gifts, drinks, cars, flowers, coffee beans, socks, ties, iPhone 5s, or whatever you were planning on getting me,  I’d like to humbly ask you to give to my ODW birthday campaign causeYour donation – whatever amount – will help ODW continue to grow its movement. And I really mean this. Any amount will help.

Because one of my life philosophies is to never ask people to do something I’m not willing to do, my wife and I are donating $4,300 towards this campaign. There’s a lot of toys and stuff we’d like to have but honestly, we don’t really need them. Instead, we’re trying to live a lifestyle of enough.

So would you consider giving up:

  • a latte and donating $4.30,
  • a movie ticket and donating $10
  • $43 in honor of my 43rd birthday
  • $1000 because I will kiss you
  • or any amount

Thanks for even considering this. If you want to give, you can donate here.  If anything, thanks for sharing the campaign with others so that they might be inspired to start their own birthday for a cause.

Thanks for considering a small gift.
Thanks for your support and friendship.
Thanks for journeying along with me.
Thanks for your prayers and for believing in me and more specifically, believing the work that God is doing through me.

Here’s some proof of the amazing work that’s going on right NOW.

[Photo above] We just funded a maternity ward in Mali and got reports that it recently opened. We saw pictures of the first baby born which we’ll show at the upcoming ODW Gala on 10/25. Amazing.

This is from a partnership with an organization called Roots of Development. They worked with the community to assess the need, hire local workers, and helped bring clean water for the first time to a community in La Gonave, Haiti.

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We funded a matching grant to enable life saving heart surgeries for 10 Iraqi children and provide about 5000 hours of training for local Iraqi medical professionals…so that they’ll be able to perform these surgeries in the future.

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And another example of one of our project partnerships of this past year. This is a perfect example of what we mean by empowering local leaders:

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One Response

  1. SHARAT BABU says:

    Dear Eugene, pleased for your blog, have you been to India? Evangelist Babu.

    ________________________________

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One Day’s Wages

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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 Happy Birthday, Minhee! I'm so grateful for you. You radiate faith, hope, and love.  No...you don't complete me. That would be silly and simply humanly impossible but you keep pointing me and our family to Christ who informs and transforms our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. Thanks for being so faithful. I love you so much. (* And what a gift to be in Korea together.)

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