According to the latest statistics from stopthehunger.com, more than one billion people are starving right now. Some other sobering stats:
- more than 25,000 people will die from hunger today
- nearly 1 in 6 of the world’s population is undernourished
- the amount spent in the U.S. on obesity-related diseases is nearly 50 times more than the global amount spent on food aid
- Americans will waste more than 100,000 tons of food today — more than enough to feed every single hungry person in the world and still have plenty left over
Now this is not an "America sucks, do more!" thing. It is intended as a reality check for us. Many if not most of us live lives of relative comfort compared to others. My kids eat three (or more) times a day and those meals have huge amounts of calories. Orphans in Haiti eat twice a day hopefully and their meals are mostly rice. We had a nice dinner last night and probably ingested more calories than several families in Africa consumed all day. On and on.
Well so what. What can we do about it? Actually a lot. Not in the sense of you personally curing hunger worldwide but in terms of what each person who names Christ as Savior can do. We are so caught up in the big, flashy stuff that we miss how the little stuff helps. If each Christian refocused themselves on what we have actually been called to do, the impact worldwide would be enormous. The men I meet with at the pregnancy resource center are hopefully learning to be better fathers for their children but also earning items to meet the material needs of their baby. A small donation to the Haiti Orphan Project helps to fund shelter and education for a multitude of Haitian orphans in a country with enormous needs and not even a semblance of a social safety net. Virtually every decent sized town will have a church group that sponsors a food pantry. Most urban areas of any size have multiple worthy organizations that are engaged in feeding and caring for the poor and all of them would welcome your time or a check for $25.
The point I guess is that all of us, me especially, need to be a lot more intentional when we view how we spend our money. The message and culture of American affluence clouds our perception of how the rest of the world lives, whether that means someone in Africa or someone who lives in the city nearby. As followers of Christ it is incumbent on us to break through the apathy we have that surrounds the plight of people in need.