Once you read this, you’ll never NOT know.

24 Apr
If you know me, and I mean really know me, you know that deep in my soul is this longing to help the world’s orphans.  It’s something that I’m passionate about down to the deepest part of me.  The hungry children, the motherless and fatherless of the world, those living in garbage, those dying of diarrhea from the parasites they got from the water they have to drink.  It is always on my mind.
And thinking about this sort of sadness isn’t easy to do! To think about dying toddlers, bloated bellies, child soldiers forced to kill…who wants to do that when we have our own life, country, issues at hand?  And really, we all DO have things on our plates.  We all know neighbors who are struggling.  We all have hit a rocky place in life and have felt the pains that life throws at us. 
We’ve probably all heard the statistic of the percentage of people living off of $1.00 a day, but we don’t really know what that looks like.  We’ve all seen the images on TV, but they’re all ‘selling’ something, right? How much money REALLY goes to the children.  Maybe some day we’ll do some research to see the answer to that question or look for an organization that we feel more comfortable with.
I’m reading a book right now that had a really great chapter that left me with a visual of the reality of the world’s hungry.
Imagine getting online today and reading a headline: “100 Jetliners Crash, Killing 26,500”.  First, can you imagine? The news would be streaming live, facebook would be lit up, everyone would be in a state of panic.  We’d go to sleep in a fog.
And wake up to this headline, “Again, 100 Jetliners Crash, Killing 26,500″…WHAT!? That can’t be right!
Again, the next day, “100 Jetliners Crash AGAIN, Killing 26,500!”  
And again the next day.
And the next.
And every day it happens.
But every day it DOES happen. To children.  Today, 26,500 children died of preventable causes related to their poverty.  Yesterday that many children died, too.  And tomorrow, 26,500 children will die too.
“And even though today we have the awareness, the access and the ability to stop it, why have we chosen not to?”
According to the book I’m reading, (The Hole in the Gospel, Richard Stearns) it’s because it’s easy to look at them as someone elses kids. Not our own. As the chapter pointed out, we all know that if our neighbor appeared on our doorstep, severely malnourished and on the verge of death, we’d act, fast! Sparing no expense to save his life.  
But these children, the ones actually dying, they’re just numbers, statistics, pictures we see online and in the magazines. And it’s not because we don’t care, it’s because we can’t fathom what we’re seeing. The commercial always ends, we can always change the page or the website and while we’re genuinely sad about what we see, it’s easy to see it as something far bigger than you.
But the good news is, it’s NOT bigger than you.  Well, OK, it IS bigger than you, but you are able to do something.  Don’t learn that 26,500 children died today and click away without letting that affect you. 
Another interesting part of the book – specifically for us Americans.  When I think of American and it’s power and it’s people, I think we’re much larger than we really are.  Check this out.  (Again, thank you Mr. Stearns for the following)
The world’s population is about 6.7 billion. Holding hands we could circle the globe 250 times. The population of the world is about 22 times as great as that of the United States. Americans only comprise of 4.5 % of the world. 
Out of 100 people globally:
  • 60 would be Asian
  • 14 would be African
  • 12 would be European
  • 8 would be Latin American
  • 5 would be American or Canadian
  • 1 would be from the South Pacific
  • 51 would be male – 49 would be female
  • 82 would be non-white – 18 would be white
  • 67 would be non-Christian – 33 would be Christian

In America, 4.5% of the world, remember, the average daily salary is $105/day ($38,611/year). 40% of the world lives on less than $2.00/day and 15% on less than one.

$1 verses $100.

OK, enough statistics.  That’s where it gets easy to say, “Whooa! Must.Check.Out.”

So, let’s make it easier.  Look in the eyes of one child. ONE child.

One day, I decided enough thinking about sponsoring a child, it was time.  I got the kids, got the laptop and we settled down to pick a child from Compassion .http://www.compassion.org  We wanted a child inbetween the boy’s ages – and yes, a boy.  This is who we picked.  Why him?  Why the Superman shirt, of course. 😉 His name is Silas, and here, he was 6.  Our large picture, you can see how large his head is for his body, his eyes are sunken in and he looks so very sad. Miles thought he hadn’t learned how to smile yet.

 Yet, after only 1/2 a year of sponsoring him, we got a BIG surprise when we got his new pictures.  His 7 year old pictures.  And while I wish I had the full size on here where he is wearing SHOES and SOCKS and the most adorable outfit, see Silas now.

Yep, my little Ugandan kiddo got his smile back.  And his regular shape and even lost some teeth.  Does this make it more real for you?  It sure did for me. And he turns 8 in less than a month and I can’t wait to see what a full year as done.  (You don’t even want me to tell you how giddy we get when Silas sends us a drawing or a note…) I fully believe we can all sponsor a child. Even if times are tight, there not as tight as $1/day.  In fact, sponsoring a child costs about $1 a day.  Pretty ironic, huh?

No matter what you do tomorrow when you get up — probably getting the kids off to school, getting up for work, making breakfast for your family or yourself, grabbing down that ready box of cereal and gallon of milk — just think about the 26,500 kids that won’t make it until tomorrow.  And then, once you think of them, don’t dismiss those thoughts. Do something.

Africa/Free Digitial Prints

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2 Responses to “Once you read this, you’ll never NOT know.”

  1. Mary-Ellen Kramer April 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    I will!

  2. Donna April 26, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    This is very heartwarming! Thump thump! Kudos to you guys!

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