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THE HEART OF GOD

In Deuteronomy 15:11, God tells us that "There will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, 'You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land."

Countless times in scripture we see that our God cares for the poor, the hurting, the helpless, the needy. We are made in His image and, as wholehearted followers and as the church, we can reflect His nature and character in how we care for the least of these. The way we treat the poor reveals what is in our hearts, and the heart is what matters to our King:

 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me....‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’                           - Matthew 25:34-40

THE REALITIES OF THE WORLD

While it can be difficult to comprehend the brokenness around us, we must see and know so we can respond and pray. The natural response may be one of guilt, but we must remember, our God is sovereign, and He is not unaware or surprised by global poverty or local affluence.  He has blessed some to be a blessing to others, that all may worship Him as provider. As you read the numbers and stats below, do so with a heart of prayer and a readiness to sacrifice, to give, and with an openness to the fact that God may call you to give up a standard of living that others may live.

FOOD

870 million people in the world do not have enough to eat

The vast majority of hungry people (98 percent) live in developing countries, where almost 15% of the population is undernourished

Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year

One out of six children -- roughly 100 million -- in developing countries is underweight

 


WATER

11% of the global population, or 783 million people, are still without access improved sources of drinking water

Globally, diarrhea is the leading cause of illness and death, and 88% of diarrheal deaths are due to a lack of access to sanitation facilities, inadequate availability of water for hygiene and unsafe drinking water

Today 2.5 billion people, including almost one billion children, live without even basic sanitation

Every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation


SHELTER

A conservative estimate from the United Nations in 2005 puts the number of homeless worldwide at 100 million

Most of the 100 million are women and children

Approximately 3 million are homeless in the United States 

Overall, at least 600 million people — again, most of them women and dependent children — live in shelters that are life threatening or health threatening in developing world cities

 


ECONOMY

Over 1.2 billion people live on less than $1.25 (PPP) a day

Of the poorest of the poor, more than 8 out of 10 live in the 10/40 Window

 20% of the world's population holds 75% of the world's wealth

For every $1 in aid a developing country receives, over $25 is spent on debt repayment