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

As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 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.

my tweets

  • The Gospel, not social justice, is our identity as believers but the Gospel compels us to love God/love people incl. work 4 the common good. || 1 day ago
  • Folks often ask me, "What is social justice?" "Social justice" are fancier words for "Give a Damn". || 1 day ago
  • RT @EugeneCho: Just met Edna, a sister-in-Christ. She's 90 years old. She met Jesus when she was 85. You're never too young or too old to f… || 1 day ago
  • Thank you @fullerfyi @KPowellFYI for this important resource about listening, engaging, and discipling young people: churchesgrowingyoung.com || 1 day ago
  • Just met Edna, a sister-in-Christ. She's 90 years old. She met Jesus when she was 85. You're never too young or too old to follow Christ. || 2 days ago
  • RT @jennysimmons: Hard to convey the profound impact @EugeneCho has had on me. His endorsement of #MadeWellBook means a great deal. https:/… || 2 days ago

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