Eugene Cho

an update on our global poverty initiative

from flickr

I hope that while this entry topic might not be as alluring as your top search engine topics like Britney Spears and Barack Obama, you’ll take a few minutes to read up the progress of our global poverty organization.  This has been one of the most humbling seasons of our life.  When we went public with our vision to give our year’s salary to start this poverty initiative, we had absolutely no idea about what was in store with the financial crisis and meltdown.  Our convictions have been tested but each time we think about how “bad” we have it, we’re reminded of the grave situation for the poorest of the poor – those affected by “extreme global poverty.”

Here’s 5 Updates on our Progress:

  • FACEBOOK.  On Friday, December 5, our Facebook Group – which can be accessed at http://fightglobalpoverty.com – surpassed 200,000 members.  It’s pretty amazing considering we started the group on May 15, 2008.  While there are no guarantees if folks will ultimately support our organization, it confirms our aspiration for our initiative in helping change the world:

Human Relationships + Technology + [Vision] = Movement Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: seattle, technology, , , , , ,

if [my daughter] had $100,000…

As Minhee and I work towards launching a humanitarian organization later this year [once the 501c3 is officially issued], we’ve been enjoying opportunities to speak to our children about why we’ve made the decision and how it will impact our family.  We share with our kids about our faith in Christ and our desire to be agents of mercy, justice, and humility – both locally and globally.   But in many ways, our children are the ones that often challenge us with their sense of compassion.

[During my current sabbatical, I’ll be reposting some old posts for your reading pleasure.]

My oldest daughter who’s in 4th grade had a homework assignment this week where she was asked to write an essay about how she would help others if she had $100,000.  What a coincidence since that’s the amount we’ve pledged.  Anyways, I read it on Sunday night and was floored.

Read her essay below and check out the “vision plan” that she drew out.  Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, religion, ,

fight poverty 3 – a vision of compassion and redistribution

This is the third and final part of a short series entitled, Fight Poverty.  If interested, you can read Part I [An Introduction] and Part II [A Broken World].  We want to do our part so Minhee and I have decided to give up our annual salary next year to join the fight against global poverty.

Global poverty is a very painful and complex situation.  But, it can also be seen in a simple angle:

  1. There are people and countries around the world that are suffering, dying, and in grave need.
  2. There are people and countries with abundant resources that can benefit the “have nots” around the world.
  3. The solution is simple:  Redistribute resources from us to them [since we are part of the same global community] and in that process, help create sustainability and build up/equip local leaders…

I know it’s too simplistic but we must see ourselves as part of the solution.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying the material goods that most of us have access to but we can easily cross the line into gluttony and overconsumption.  My family and I have everything that we can possibly need but there are times I still struggle with wanting more.  When is enough enough? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: family, health, religion, ,

stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

People often ask, "How does one stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much. I like the rain. Keeps everything "evergreen" and clean. Keeps our air fresh. What's challenging is the gray weather. Give me a few more sunny days. 99 more days to be specific. 
Regardless, still love this city. Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother.

my tweets

  • The best part of wanting to change the world...is being humbled, learning you're not the savior of the world & being changed in the process. || 10 hours ago
  • Cheer up Toronto & Canada. Great season. Also, you have free health care, toonies and your political candidates are not as crazy as America. || 22 hours ago
  • Make friendships more than transactions. There's a huge difference between "I appreciate you" and "I appreciate what you can do for me." || 1 day ago
  • There's much to ponder in this article. Much to repent. Much to grieve. "Seattle's vanishing black community." - seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-mag… || 2 days ago
  • People often ask, "How do stand all that rain in Seattle?" Actually, it doesn't rain that much.… instagram.com/p/BF2giXwyWTY/ || 3 days ago
  • Don't obsess about your platform.Just do your thing with passion, humility, integrity. We do what we do for God's glory, not human applause. || 3 days ago

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