As many of you know who read my blog I have a passion that was placed on my heart by God. It is for children who are suffering in extreme poverty. About a month ago I submitted my blog to a website called Compassionbloggers.com. They are partnering with bloggers around the world to help get the word out about extreme poverty and to help release children from its grip. They have accepted me to be one of their bloggers and each month they will be sending me a topic to blog about. Today’s blog is my first assignment.
So today I would like to tell you about “58” and ask you, Can you survive on $1.25 a day?
“58” is a global alliance of Christians, churches and world-class poverty-fighting organizations working together to end extreme poverty in our lifetime by living out Isaiah 58.
I decided to copy this next part from the 58 website so as to make sure it is correct-
we are a movement of Christians who are willing to make personal sacrifices (or “fast”) to free up resources to help the poor… who give to effective projects led by world-class poverty fighting organizations (the 58: Alliance), and who pray to align our hearts with God’s will as expressed in Isaiah 58: to loose the chains of injustice… to set the oppressed free… to share your food with the hungry…to provide the poor wanderer with shelter… when you see the naked, to clothe them”
Next is Isaiah 58 from the NIV version of the bible
1“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
and to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
only a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter —
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.
That’s a lot to think about isn’t it? Did you ever notice how we just expect the poor to be here? Everywhere you go there is always a slum area of town. Most of the time we just go on with our lives and never think too much about it because we just expect poverty to be here. Did you ever think about there not being any poverty in the world? What if we did not expect poverty to be in our world? What if we decided to do something about it? What if we were to allow ourselves to hope the world would be different? To expect that poverty would be gone? Think about that.
Did you know that 1,400,000,000 people in the world live in extreme poverty? By extreme poverty I mean they live on less than $1.25 a day. That’s not very much money. I can not even by a coffee for that much money. Did you know that poverty is a killer? Each year thousands of children in poverty die from preventable diseases, hunger and natural disasters. But those things are not the killers it is the poverty that is the killer. People in poverty have no money for vaccinations, doctors or food. When an Earthquake hit Los Angeles 63 people died but when the same magnitude of Earthquake hit Haiti 220,000 people died! That information astounded me when I heard it!
In preparing for this assignment I played a game called Survive 125. The object of the game is to survive on $1.25 a day. I played it several times each time picking a different path hoping for a different outcome. Each time I played I found myself feeling more hopeless. No matter how I played or which scenario I chose I became more and more frustrated. It left me feeling like there was no way out. I can not imagine how someone who is living this in real life must feel. Each and every day people in our world have to live this and it is NOT a game.
Parents have to make hard decisions every single day such as –
Do I by medicine for my sick child or save the money for food?
Do I send my child to school or send her to work?
If I send her to work is it a scam or a prostitution ring?
Do I vaccinate my child or eat?
If I vaccinate my child we go hungry, but if I don’t vaccinate him he may get sick and then we go hungry to buy the medicine to make him well or if I chose not to buy medicine for his sickness so we can eat and then he dies.
The more times I played the game I began to see how desperate and hopeless someone living this type of life could become.
Here are some statistics for you and proof that ending poverty is possible:
In 1981 52% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty.
Today that number is 26%.
That means it was cut in half in only one generation.
Wow can we hope to end poverty it in ours? Yes! It is possible!
In America alone there are $138,000,000 Christians.
We make an average of 2.5 trillion dollars per year. God has given us extreme wealth!
We can choose to keep that wealth for us alone or we can use it to set the oppressed free. God does not want his people to suffer or die of preventable diseases. He has clearly told us what to do. In Isaiah 58 we were not asked to take care of the poor we were commanded to take care of them and he also gave us the tools to end their suffering. So we must do as commanded by living the life we were called to live.
We need to stop waiting for someone else to do it. Stop saying the government needs to do this or that. It is our job, all of ours, God gave us the job. He wrote it down in Isaiah 58:6-7 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter —
when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? – Its all right there, God, said those words.
Children should not be dying from preventable diseases when we have the resources to make a difference. The solution is us. When we follow God’s command something that we want for us because it is really good such as a latte’ or a donut could be given up to save a life. We can make that sacrifice and we should. If each one of us makes the commitment to step up it can turn into something huge… you and I can be a part of something really great 🙂
I challenge you today to make a difference. You will not be sorry.
Click here to Play “Survive 125” then take what you learn and release a child from poverty.
If you would like more information about 58 you can click here http://www.live58.org/
For more information about Compassion or how you can sponsor a child click here http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm?referer=121431
What will you do with what you read today? Do you have any thoughts on this or stories you would like to share? Comment by clicking the comment icon at the top right of this blog.
Thank you for reading and God bless you 🙂