I met Eugene Cho about 2 years ago at lunch at the Mustard Seed House. What struck me about Eugene was his open and honest approach to ministry and how that tend to affect family life. Recently Eugene and his wife Minhee, began a non-profit/non-religious grassroots humanitarian organization with the vision of joining others to fight extreme global poverty.
I’ve always been drawn to the underdogs, the raggamuffins, the workers and the unassuming simple people. Perhaps because of my own family history. I grew up in a working barrio in Puerto Rico. My family life was simple, but not the voluntary simplicity option of the middle class, but the un-voluntary simplicity of the poor. The rituals of prayers and faith were not a trendy ancient-future expression of neo-Christianity, but the strong faith of the poor whom believe on God preferential option for them. This understanding of God’s option for the poor did not come from seminary taught lessons, but from their identification with key stories from their reading of Scriptures.
While spending time with my parents this last month I’ve been able to video record my parents telling of both of their families lives stories. My family story is full faith, struggle, resistance, creativity and survival.
Here is a brief list of my proletariat heritage:
shoe polish boy
Itinerant worker at a port
heavy concrete construction worker
campesinos – land worker (not owning the land, but working the land for the latifundistas)
sugar cane factory worker
shoe factory worker
security guard (wachiman as it was called in the old days in Puerto Rico)
tuna cannery worker
immigrant agricultural worker
taking care of the elderly
mattress factory worker
What’s your proletariat heritage? Or if you dare to admit it, what is your bourgeoisie heritage?
Salvador Allende, was born in June 26, 1908. He was the first Marxist leader of a nation (Chile) to gain power through democratic process. Allende was murder on September 11, 1973 by the Pinochet lead coup d’teat supported by the CIA.
“¡Viva Chile! ¡Viva el pueblo! ¡Vivan los trabajadores!”
(“Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!”) — last known words (in a radio broadcast on the morning of September 11, 1973)