Posted by: beattieblog | June 29, 2008

Eugene & Minhee Cho: Leading Courageously With Their Hearts

Many are familiar with the quote which may or may not have come from Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.” The reliability of the source is secondary to the great truth of the statement. Chapter four of International Justice Mission founder and director Gary Haugen’s book Good News About Injustice, is entitled “Hope in a God of Justice”. In it Haugen writes:

“The Battle for justice in the world is not fought where we think it its. The struggle against injustice is not fought on the battlefield of power or truth or even righteousness. There are pitched battles waged on these ramparts, but the war is ultimately won or lost on a more forward front. In the end the battle against oppression stands or falls on the battlefield of hope (p. 67).”

Haugen then echoes the Burke quote saying that evil really depends on the inaction caused by despair:

“The oppressor knows that the primary reason we do nothing is because we have lost any hope of making a difference. It is not that we lack power, compassion, courage or knowledge. Rather, we lack a sense of hope that allows us to take what we have into the fray (p. 67).”

What then do we need to begin the battle against evil’s oppressors – in this case, the oppressor called poverty? We need hope. Hope that does not disappoint and that is courageous enough not to look away in despair. Isn’t that something? The most powerful “first line of defense”, the “tip of the spear” in the battle against an evil like poverty is hope. Hope starts with the belief that we don’t have to look away and withdraw. Evil depends on our looking away for its survival. Haugens says, “Our absence only makes the oppressor [e.g. poverty] look stronger, compounding our own despair and that of those who might otherwise be prepared to fight.”

If the looking away of some compounds the despair of those who otherwise might have engaged the fight, what gets compounded when we witness those who don’t turn away? Eugene and Minhee Cho are fighting to engender hope and enage the battle against poverty by not looking away. I think many who would like to fight, will discover a meaningful way to join the battle through their leadership. Eugene and Minhee are the founders of Quest Church in Seattle where Kristi and I have been most often since leaving our previous church and (my) pastoral position. Most recently they have embarked on launching a new non-profit to fight global poverty. I’m writing about it because I have great respect for them and believe that they are leaders worth following.

Watch the video. Go to Eugene’s blog and read more about his passion to battle the oppressor, poverty. Join their facebook group here. Donate money and stay tuned for more information coming this fall. Certainly the Cho’s organization is not the only one battling poverty – there are many good ones you can join. But if you’ve been looking for an answer beyond despair and a way to live into the hope that can overcome seemingly overwhelming evils, then join with Eugene and Minhee.



  1. Looking forward to hearing more about this.

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