Eugene Cho

Africa is beautiful: The danger of how we frame the story of other nations and people.

Thank you for your prayers.

After about two weeks in Kenya and Tanzania, I’m back in Seattle. I spent most of my time in Kenya to assess ODW’s partnerships and projects in response to the worst drought the Horn of Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) has encountered in the past 60 years. I have some both encouraging stories and difficult stories to share – as well as images – some of which I’ll share and some that’s best not to share.

But before I share some upcoming posts about things that discouraged me, encouraged me, and the rise of skepticism and cynicism in development, I wanted to share a post detailing how much I’ve enjoyed my two weeks in Africa, my first trip to East Africa, and my third visit to this beautiful continent.

In fact, this post may be the most important of the ones I share about my trip – even if it doesn’t directly engage the main purpose of my trip: to assess ODW’s Horn of Africa response.

The responsibility in story-telling.

It’s important because the last thing I want to do is perpetuate a false picture of how Africans or for that matter, people of all “developing” countries are perceived as helpless, hungry, needy, incapable, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

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We can’t do everything but we have to do something. Why I’m in the Horn of Africa.

Dear Friends, Supporters, Readers, and Encouragers:

I hope you’re doing well.

I’m writing to you from Kenya. Yes, you read that correctly. Kenya as in Kenya, Africa.

I just recently arrived and depending on circumstances, may also visit Somalia and South Sudan. Over the next week or so, I’m privileged to be a guest of World Concern (one of our main partners). We’re also joined by a representative from  ONE. Together, we’ll have the opportunity to personally assess the progress and the arduous work ahead. Just this week, I read reports that the current situation in Somalia – while it improved last year – may be entering into another dire situation.

The Context

In 2011, the Horn of Africa experienced the worst drought in its region in 60 years. This drought in combination with rising food prices, extreme insecurity, and violence led to famine conditions that affected over 13 million people in the Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa is the “horn” shaped portion of northeastern Africa that includes the countries of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

In fact, the UN declared famine in six regions in Somalia. Tragically, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes in search of food, water, and safety. Many of them walked for weeks, trying to reach refugee camps in Kenya. And sadly, many died along the way, including more than 30,000 children.

When tragedy strikes – whether it be in Aurora, Colorado or through a famine or drought in the Horn of Africa (and another current one in the Sahel region of Africa)…we are reminded of our finitude.  Read the rest of this entry »

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dear world: please wake up!

Numerous sources have stated that over 12 13 million people are being impacted by the worst drought & famine in the region of the Horn of Africa in 60 years. Most tragically the number of people on the very brink of death has soared to 750,000 (read ODW’s latest update & Nick Kristof’s update in the NY Times).

While it’s clear that the situation is complex (isn’t it always?) with political overtones and the Muslim militia called Shababs unwilling to let aid enter into regions of Somalia where people are dying, we are left with an epic humanitarian crisis impacting 13 million people.

12 13 million people.

How do you wrap your head around such a number?

13,000,000

You begin with one.

The World Food Programme, for example, has shared that they can provide a nutritious meal for one person for .17…

as in seventeen cents.

These statistics are overwhelming but while we may not be able to remedy, fix, or respond to the entire situation, we must respond. I’m often reminded of Mother Teresa’s wisdom and quote:

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”

Over the years, I’ve grown very uncomfortable (and at times, angry) at what I consider to be borderline exploitation of images (and people) used by non-profit organizations to Read the rest of this entry »

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stuff, connect, info

one day’s wages | video

My Instagram

Quintessential Seattle summer night... Exciting news! While I can't share the specifics yet, Jeremy Lin (@jlin7) and @onedayswages will be partnering together. 
About a year ago, Jeremy reached out after he read my book, Overrated. We talked about, faith, gospel, justice, tenacity, influence, breaking ankles with our crossovers. Eventually, one thing led to another and then dreaming about collaboration for the greater Kingdom.

I appreciate his heart, his humility, and his commitment to use his platform for Christ. And of course, I'm thrilled for his new chapter as the starting point guard for the Brooklyn Nets. He's gonna have a great season. #jeremylin #linsanity #onedayswages #nba #brooklynnets // photo credit: @lovitylove I was trying to have a tender father-daughter grown up talk moment before she heads off to college next month. As in like, "Hey, you're a grown up now, floss regularly,  know who you are, what you're about, study hard, don't succumb to peer pressure, your relationship with God is the first priority, don't take too many selfies, know the difference between "their', 'there', and they're', watch out for boys and their cooties"... but...I'm having a difficult...time...focusing. This fall, I'm marking 25 years of serving as a pastor in the local church. Served in Sacramento, CA, Flushing NY, Princeton, NJ, Seoul, Korea, Lynnwood, WA, and now about 17 years in the city of Seattle. Minhee has been on this journey with me for almost 20 years. 
So many ups and downs. Lots of tears and restless nights. Lots of personal doubts and insecurities. But ultimately, we've experienced that God's grace is sufficient in our weakness. 
And along the way, so many incredible and indelible memories. 
Especially grateful to be invited into the joyous celebrations and also the deep moments of vulnerability and pain. Through it all, what an amazing joy and privilege to bear witness to the grace and love of Christ. Palm trees make everything feel better. Thank you to the kind folks of Mount Hermon for hosting us. Thank you, Santa Cruz for being Santa Cruz. We all have fears because we're human. Name your fears. Have courage. Work through them.

Super proud of the kids for working through their fear of heights and making it through the ropes course challenge and the ziplines.

my tweets

  • Quintessential Seattle summer night... instagram.com/p/BJW_aJuhVtf/ || 3 days ago
  • It's been so beautiful & encouraging to watch countless Olympic athletes from around the world profess their faith in Christ. #GlobalChurch || 3 days ago
  • Commit to a church family that believes that "church" is so much more than a worship service, an event, or its charismatic leader. || 3 days ago
  • Dear Christian: Your neighbors don't want you to see them as a "target group." Who does? They want you to be a good neighbor. Start there. || 4 days ago
  • RT @EugeneCho: YES! Upcoming partnership w/ Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) + @OneDaysWages! Love his heart & passion: goo.gl/qxhvgq https://… || 5 days ago
  • In a culture obsessed with quick results, we must learn the importance of prayer, patience, and perseverance. Be faithful. Be steadfast. || 5 days ago

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