21,000

2 Oct

 

21,000 people.

Can you picture that many?

That is slightly less than the population of the town I live in today.
The town I grew up in had only a few hundred.
How about the town you live in?

What if tomorrow, you were all….gone.

Poof.

Dead.

And your neighboring town was going to be next unless people stepped in to stop the devastation.
What would you do if the rest of the world felt bad, but not bad enough to really DO something.
I mean REALLY do something.

They’re busy! And they have kids to cart around and feed and clothe and spoil.
Birthday’s and Christmases to shop for.
There are so many activities that take priority over your town’s demise.
“It’s terrible,” they might say.  “I feel terrible for them, but what can I do?”

Photo Credit: Africa

Do you know what’s awesome? YOU…WE…I *can* do something.

No, it’s not our neighboring town per say (though, it is here, too) but our fellow brothers and sisters around the world.

What are you doing?
No “you” as a country.
YOU as a person.

I’m not judging you, I’m simply asking.
I’m asking you and I’m asking me.

How’s this for a better question: What are you NOT doing.
What am I not doing.

Currently in our family we sponsor a child in Uganda, a child in Haiti and a family in Liberia.
Those are the three things we do regularly on top of giving to our church.

We could do so much more.

A few years ago, I heard about a population of families in my own town of less than 30,000 who were struggling financially and didn’t have the means to provide their kids with warm winter coats/boots/etc…
I decided that I would do a small coat drive. Perhaps I could get 10 coats together and make a difference for 10 kids.
I was so excited to find 10 coats, so I sent an email out to our neighborhood asking if they had a child-size coat their child has grown out of, could they consider dropping it off.

The email spread. To the entire community.
We wound up with more than 500 coats. And snow pants, gloves, boots, scarfs, mittens, etc..
It wasn’t me…I gave one coat! It was the community!

The reason I share this is because I fully *FULLY* feel that the average person wants to help those in need.
It’s so much easier to get someone to donate a coat or a pair of gloves than it is to have them donate money.
I feel it’s because they see the good their donation gives.
Sometimes it’s hard to see that with a $20 bill, though the $20 is needed.

And the bigger question is, why aren’t we as a people mad…IRATE that 21,000 people are dying each day. Children.
Moms? Dads? Where’s your anger?

Parents…what if your baby was one of these babies who died of diarrhea? DIARRHEA!

I’ll tell you what – I am *hopping* mad. Furious.
Are you?
I bet so, if you let yourself think about it for a minute.

DYING CHILDREN.

Do you know how rare it is to actually survive to your 5th birthday?

  • 1 in every 14 babies in Haiti dies before they reach age 1
  • In Afghanistan, more than 120 babies die per 1,000 births
  • In Niger, Mali and Somalia, more than 100 out of 1,000 babies die

There are so many disturbing facts.

  • 1 in 4 children in America doesn’t have consistent healthy food available to them daily.
  • Worldwide, 1 in 7 people are hungry. (Look in your pantry. How many times have you thrown away past-date food? Guilty.)
  • 1.5 million people die of diarrhea each year.
  • 1 in 6 people don’t have safe drinking water. (which causes that death from diarrhea)

If you are reading this blog. If you have internet. If you have a computer….you are blessed. In fact, you are rich.

Yes, I know that it’s taboo to talk about income, but let me just say, if you are a family of 5 and your annual income is $20,000, you are in the top 23% of the world’s riches people.

What if your families income is $30,000?  $50,000?  $70,000?

Rich.

We can all make a difference. Here are 20 ways you can.

There are so many ways that you and I can fight this staggering statistic.

Money, time, tangible goods…they are all needed. NOW. And you have all of the above.

Get mad. Get FURIOUS.

Let’s do something!
I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

 

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3 Responses to “21,000”

  1. R.D. McClenagan October 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Jen,
    This is a fantastic and passionate post! Thank you for getting posting and sharing! My wife and I are extremely passionate about these things and using our lives to fight injustice & pursue justice.
    My wife, Emily, helped create a non-profit in Dallas for refugee women from Burma, Nepal, and Bhutan to make purses and bags out of coffee bags.
    We sponsor several beautiful kids through Compassion International, we have made the homeless kits before as well, those actually work extremely well.

    I might only add a couple of ideas to your 20 ideas (which are awesome).
    1) Pray through the book “Operation World”. A book which has every country on earth listed with nearly every social issue covered in several pages that can help you learn more about people groups, poverty in countries, and the religious makeup of countries. Emily and I have prayed through it and continue to do so. (You guys should get together–I think you would hit off BIG TIME!)

    2) Support church planting efforts around the world and especially among the urban poor through Pioneers or the Navigators or Redeemer City to City. A healthy, gospel-centered, multiplying church is the greatest force for hope and healing in the darkest areas of the world, especially biblical churches that are fighting injustice and oppression through word and deed.

    Have you ever read the book “Seven” by Jen Hatmaker? Emily and I are going through it now–reassessing how we consume a lot of things and how we are truly spending our time, resources, and lives.

    in the world as it is in heaven,
    R.D.

  2. stephanie October 3, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    I LOVE this….LOVE! I LOVE all the practical ways you listed we could get involved. I often feel like I don’t know what to do or how to help, but with this post you gave a whole host of ways we could get involved!!
    Can we feature this post on “We Are Grafted In”? (The Christian adoption website I find posts for.) I think it would be great for even a larger audience to have access to this list. Let me know.

    • Jen October 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

      Yes, of course, Stephanie! Any time!

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