Eugene Cho

how this blog community is changing the world…

Please read this as I want to take the time to properly thank all of you for your support, encouragement and prayers. If anyone has ever had doubts about the possibility of world changing impact of blogging…this is proof.

I started blogging about three years ago and eventually grew a rhythm to blogging: Why and How. I initially started blogging, amongst other reasons, to process some of my thoughts, struggles, and dreams. Most of these are just my vomitaceous thoughts but as a recovering extreme introvert, blogging was therapeutic but along the way, the blog not only drew an “audience” (ranked 28th amongst Christian blogs fwiw) but started forming a “community” of sorts.

My blog community is diverse – ranging from folks from my church, friends, curious inquirers from the larger blogosphere, other pastors and leaders, Christians, skeptics, and cynics, fellow Seattlites, and perverts with a fetish for “orientals” that search for “Korean Beauty” on search engines.

And while many of you know that the past 12-18 months were one of the most difficult times of my life, it was also a meaningful time as we heard, experienced, and felt – people encouraging us with letters, emails, prayers, scriptures, and acts of kindness.

In addition, I used this blog to dream, incubate and launch the vision of ODW. It began with this three / part / series on extreme global poverty and shared our pledge of donating our year’s salary. As we geared up for the launch of One Day’s Wages (that took a little longer than we anticipated), I invited (via this blog) people – in faith and trust – to give and help raise funds for the administrative costs of ODW and I was so humbled by the numerous that gave – especially the quiet blog lurkers and stalkers!

Do you know how much you gave and raised? Read the rest of this entry »

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we finally did it and excited for the future

We’ve received our share of criticism about our public pledge to donate our 2009 salary to fight extreme poverty. Everything ranging from “Stop boasting” to “You’re lying” and

How about Matthew 6:3 and “…when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

For the record, I have no good response to people rebuking me with that scripture.  I know some of you are sick of me mentioning it but this will be the last time I mention it (although I know that this is what most of the media and bloggers will focus on as we get started).

I need to share it because there were many (mostly anonymous Facebookers) that doubted our pledge. While we weren’t able to honor the pledge by the October 20, 2009 launch date as we had hoped, I went to the bank yesterday and walked out with a cashier’s check for $68,000.

When we made our pledge, we had a plan to make it work but the year proved to be much more difficult than we had anticipated.  But after this past year+ of saving, scrimping, subletting, saving, borrowing, and other creative things, we were finally able to make the donation.

And while it was a difficult year, we learned much; grew more in love and respect for my wife; experienced many teaching moments with our children, and are excited for all that is in store…

There are two main reasons why we did this: Read the rest of this entry »

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can you spare 3 minutes?

photo by esther havensDear Blog Readers,

Thanks for reading my blog and for your support in so many various ways. It has been a huge blessing in my life. Thank you.

As some of you know, my family and I recently started a non-profit organization called One Day’s Wages. In short, ODW aspires to be a grassroots movement dedicated to ending extreme global poverty. We want to inspire people to simply donate one day’s wages (equivalent to about 0.4% of one’s annual salary) to the fight against extreme global poverty and to renew that investment – monthly, quarterly, and at the least, yearly (on their birthdays).

The compelling aspect of ODW is that 100% of your donations (minus transaction costs) go to projects on the ground YOU CHOOSE to fight extreme global poverty. While we may not be able to fix the world, our investments can help change the life of a child, a mother, a father, a family, and even a village.

Even if you are unable to give or choose to donate later, you can help us immensely by simply taking 3 minutes and registering/creating a profile on our website. This is an encouragement to us because it shows that you support our cause and movement.

Thanks again and feel free to forward this on…

With gratitude,
Eugene & Minhee Cho (Founders of One Day’s Wages)

PS: Check out our current partnerships:

  1. Clean Sanitation & Water Well for an entire Ethiopian school (charity: water)
  2. 250 Fresh Start Kits for Congolese women
  3. Border Outpost between Nepal/India to support girls caught in human trafficking.

[photo by Esther Havens]

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launch video for one day’s wages

We spent about 40 minutes shooting this video a few Saturdays ago. Shot it in our basement in front of our green wall and wow, I was again blown away by the creative work of Mr. Justin Pae. [He really needs to make a website to show off his professional work].  The music was done Cinecue and Honorary Emmy Award Winning Joshua Myers.  Thanks guys!

If you haven’t seen it, here it is below (and also available at vimeo):

One Day’s Wages = 0.4% of our annual salary -> Impact against Extreme Poverty

* $20 can help build a well to provide clean water for one person for 20 years.
* $10 can purchase a bed net to help prevent malaria.
* $45 can pay annual school tuition for one child.

If you can, give us a lift with your support. Here’s 5 things you can do:

1. Visit the website and create an account. Just creating an account is a simple great way to support us.

2. Make a donation. Calculate your day’s wages on the website or make another donation. You can choose to invest in one of the 3 incredible organizations/projects highlighted on the website. 100% of your donations (minus transaction costs) go directly to these projects.

3. Be a FAN on Facebook. Stop by and show some love. There’s a lot of mean people out there!

4. Spread the word. Use the tools on our website (like Twitter), share the video on your FB profile, email this link, or use the SHARE button below.

5. Link this post via your stuff.

Share/Bookmark

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89 million more reasons to get involved

img_2551
I get the following question all the time:

“Why do we need another organization?”

Sometimes, I wonder if it’s the same folks that ask, “Why do we need another church?”

I’m sure most folks that ask these questions ask with good intentions and while everyone should check their motivations and vision, I am thankful for the folks that went before us [like the orgs that you really really like…] that chose to move forward even when people asked them the very same question.  Had they stopped, they wouldn’t be around and while there are no perfect organizations, they are acting. My only hope is that they’re acting without ever forgetting the same goal of “working ourselves out of a job.”

You understand what I’m saying, right?

But if you need more reasons why we should all get involved and why I feel convicted about One Day’s Wages, I’ll sadly share another 89 million reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

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ODW: we’re hiring, launch date, and iPhone app


Thanks for your support, prayers, encouragement, and patience.  Whether we’re ready or not, we’ll be launching One Day’s Wages on October 20 – which happens to be my birthday. Minhee and I are working, saving, and doing all that we can to make our 2009 salary donation on that date and we’ll be asking people to join us by donating their respective one day’s wages.  More info and video to come.

But, can you keep all this in prayer? And knowing that people’s personal finances are tight but can you take a step of faith with us and prepare to make that donation as we launch One Day’s Wages?

Here’s three simple updates:

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couch surfing is not what i envisioned

Eights years ago, I endured through one of the most difficult seasons of my life.  I left my (then) current pastorate in hopes of planting a church called Quest but everything I had envisioned didn’t immediately come to pass. Instead of planting a church, I was working as a custodian scrubbing toilets, vaccuuming and struggling to provide for my (then) one child and pregnant wife. I still remember bitterly sobbing in my room one night and saying  a few choice words to God:

I am so angry at you. I feel like I lost control of my life.
(the PG version)

I learned through that experience that (again) I don’t have ultimate control over my life and prayed I would never go through anything like that again…

Well, I guess life has its seasons of unexpected turns. Nearly two weeks ago, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life. It was a painful decision but consulted with my wife, and then informed our kids that because of some financial situations (and investment with One Day’s Wages), Dad & Mom had chosen to sublet our furnished home for couple months to some strangers and within 72 hours, we’d have to pack up some stuff and stay with some friends.

And for the past couple weeks, we’ve been “couch surfing” Read the rest of this entry »

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loudly fighting poverty

Minhee and I are bracing ourselves for the long, hard, exciting and hopefully, fruitful work ahead as we attempt to lay some groundwork for the humanitarian organization we’re envisioning and its work with global poverty.  We are awaiting word and documents [any day] from the State of Washington and will then move forward with revealing the name, raising some initial funds, and other steps.  We may be stupid idealists but there is something within us that believe we can be catalysts to a global grassroots movement to help raise funds to fight global poverty.

But before we begin sharing and working in the weeks and months ahead, I wanted to take a post to answer the questions I have received from friends, acquaintances, church community folks, blog readers, and strangers that read an earlier post regarding the public announcement of our family’s decison to give up this year’s salary and additional funds to invest in starting this organization.

In some form or another, the question I want to address has been similar in content to this from a thoughtful blog reader:

…Why are you announcing to the world that you’re giving away your salary for the next year?  Why not quietly do it Read the rest of this entry »

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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

  • Remember the fallen. Honor our soldiers. Pray for leaders. And remember that we serve the Kingdom of God rather than the Empire of Nations. || 13 hours ago
  • RT @micahchallenge: Our books Live Justly & Overrated are tools used to be moved to change the world! bit.ly/1s3DKI2 https://t.co/… || 1 day ago
  • Another challenging & life giving message by @RevDocBrenda. Such a privilege to teach with a team of women & men that love the whole Gospel. || 1 day ago
  • It's been years since Seattle Sonics "became" the OKC Thunder. Still stings. Seattle deserves a team before OKC gets a title. That is all. || 2 days ago
  • That time when nearly everyone laughed at @KlayThompson when he said he was the best shooting guard in the NBA. || 2 days ago
  • 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. || 2 days ago

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