Saturday, December 3, 2011

What to do with $10

Happy Saturday!

So this morning I woke up thinking about my blog posts yesterday, and another great year of blogging!  I never knew I would fall so madly in love with writing!

I thought about the terminology I used yesterday: "yo" and "epic" and how my eventual future children will read that post some day and endlessly terrorize me for how un-cool I am!  They will run around the house screaming "YO, YO!  How EPIC is that!?" in a sing-song, sarcastic way!  So for the must know (and my future children) that Yo is not in my everyday vocabulary...and neither is Epic.  It just makes for fun writing! 

Last night I hosted Live 58: The Film at my church.  We had a good crowd of people come out to watch it and I was amazed at how shocking the film was to watch, even the second time through.  It is the devastating tales of 5 or 6 families living in extreme poverty.  However, what sets this film and this initiative apart from so many other poverty-fighting agencies is how they demonstrate hope and a positive message amidst the stories. 

Many times when you hear a message about poverty it is one of sadness and despair.  We hear how many more people are living in poverty than last year, or staggering statistics of children without food.  But did you know that those living in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 a day) has been slashed in half in the last 25 years?  Did you know that we as North American Christians have the means to fight and end extreme poverty in the next 10 years?

Perhaps our statistics about poverty are climbing, because we have less and less living in extreme poverty.  And also realize that it is not a stagnant statistic, but a live and flowing population that moves in and out of poverty.  This is not to discourage you from giving, but to offer hope into what can sometimes seem as a grim circumstance. 

What I learned through studying Live 58 and the message in the film and book is that we as a people live with low expectations.  Before reading the book Fast Living and seeing this film, I truly did not think it was possible to end extreme poverty.  I believed that we would always fight it.  Now I see the truth, and I have been convicted to change my expectations.  I can see hope and a future.  But you know what...that future will never come if we don't act now! 

This morning Forbes and I were talking about ways to give a little more.  What can we fast to change the world.  We would toss out ideas and so many of them seemed meager and not enough and we cast those ideas to the side.  But then we realized...if everyone thought my $10 is not enough to make a difference, or all I have to give is just one hour...then there would never be a change!  But if we can all give a little, and if we all carry this burden together, then it does not rest on the shoulders of a few.  And we will see that future in our lifetime.  We will see a world where people are not dying from preventable illnesses, children have food to eat and access to clean water.  Even $10 can make a difference.

One of the lines in the film that really stuck with me is when the children in India were asked what they would request if they could have anything at all.  One little one responded with "Sweets."  But an older child said that he would ask God to take away his dreams, he knew they would never come true so what is the point in dreaming. 

How devastating.  But here's the reality, many children in similar conditions can have dreams.  The church is sending them to school, feeding them and showing them the love of Jesus.  In the same village another little girl is dreaming of becoming a software engineer and spends her time studying and...dreaming! 

There is hope, and we can reach them all.  Even $10 helps!

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