Finally, I’ve figured out what I want to do as part of The Summer of 7 for Food Week.
Some of the participating bloggers chose to limit themselves to seven random foods. Others chose the foods common to their sponsored children’s countries, or tried to live on what they’d be given if they were using WIC. I tossed a lot of ideas around, but hadn’t settled on anything yet. Which was annoying, since I wanted to start Food Week … tomorrow.
And then I received a new assignment from the folks at Compassion International.
It seems there’s this new group out there called 58: This alliance of individuals, churches and relief organizations around the world has come together to spread a resounding message: we can change the world, and we can do it in this generation.
While the numbers associated with extreme poverty are bad, the astonishing and little-known fact is that they are improving. In the past 30 years, in fact, the number of people living in extreme poverty (defined as living on under $1.25 per day–more on that later) has gone from 52% to 26%. That’s a remarkable change! This group is calling Christians to respond to the poor by figuring out their own way to embrace the fast called for in Isaiah 58:
“Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
“Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
…And if you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness
And your gloom will become like midday.”
Watch this great video for more on their initiative …
Have you ever considered what it would be like to live on $1.25 per day?
That’s reality for 1.3 billion people on the planet. If you’d like a better idea of what that means, you might want to try this online game designed to walk you through some of the choices you’d have to make as a person living in extreme poverty. The folks at 58: wanted to make poverty a bit more understandable for those of us outside its scope, and playing it was quite an eye-opener to me. (I survived 14 days before I ran out of money because I wouldn’t let my daughter work where there was sex-trafficking going on and my son needed an expensive vaccination.)
Try it yourself, here:
And then … do something, please? Sponsor a child. (There are links on my sidebar.) Contribute to OneVerse and help translate the Bible for people who’ve never had a chance to read it. Volunteer at a shelter. Send money to World Vision. Go overseas yourself. Ask the Lord … “What is it You want me to do?” And then do it!
As a small step here, I’ve decided to play our own version of Survive 125 … with food. I’m allowing $1.25 per person per day for this week’s groceries. That gives me $78.75 to spend at the grocery store, which means no ordering out and no Starbucks, McDonald’s or Chic-fil-A for my family (until next week, when we go back to being the spoiled brats we are.)
Of course, people living in extreme poverty for real have to use their $1.25 per day for clothing, health care and housing, not just food … so I’m technically cheating. For us, though, I think it will be a good lesson and a constant reminder to pray for those who live this not as a game, but reality; like some of the dear people we met in Costa Rica a few months ago.