a humble walk with God – Part 3 (stats)

Design-fetish-putting-life-in-perspective-posterA true walk with God rids us of ignorant arrogance and forces us to walk smack into the reality of injustice in this world:

Here’s just a
glimpse:

Did you know
that 2.4 billion people live in Lower-Middle Income countrieswhere the average
income for a typical person is between $2 and $8 a day?[1]
(The typical person in America earns $103 a day.)[2]

Did you know
that 2.5 billion people live in Low-Income countries where the average income
for a typical person is under $2 a day?[3]
(Cows in Europe, before the recession, were subsidized at $2.20 a day- they ate
like kings compared to 2.5 billion people in our world.)[4]

The combined
wealth of the world’s poorest 2.5 billion people is $1 trillion. The combined
wealth of the world’s 225 richest people is $1 trillion.[5] The United States government is $16 trillion in debt.

In these
lowest countries, infant mortality rates can run as high as 165 out of every
1000 births. In a country like Burkina Faso illiteracy can be over 80%. In
India, a country of over 1 billion people, nearly half the population cannot
read.[6]

In these
lowest countries, for many people the entirety of any earned income has to be
spent on food and then upon shelter only if possible.

Did you know, ½
million children become infected with HIV/AIDS every year? Those in the lower
income countries do not have access to inexpensive anti-retroviral drugs. In
Lesotho, with a population of 2 million, 13% of children have been orphaned by
the disease. 23% of all people there have HIV/AIDS.[7]
Anti-retroviral drugs cost about $140 per year per person, money that the
average person does not have.[8]
The average American family, by comparison, spends an average of over $140 a
week on food. The average American individual, spends $140 on entertainment in
just three weeks alone. The United Nations has estimated that $20 billion is
necessary to fight AIDS with anti-retroviral drugs each year around the globe
but has not been able to secure that amount of dedicated money. Europe and the
U.S., $20 billion was spent on pet food and over $30 billion was spent on golf.[9]

Did you know 5,760
more children become orphans every day around the world? Every 15 seconds
another child in Africa becomes an orphan due to AIDS. In South Africa, there
are 885,000 children with no parents. There are an estimated 50,000 child-led
households. But because of a wide-range of scenarios, according to a South
African study called the Child Gauge, only 378 children were registered as
available for adoption and only 287 had prospective parents.[10]
This hits close to my home, because my middle son, Benjamin, was one of these
children.

Every 40 seconds
a child in Sub-Saharan Africa dies from a mosquito bite. Nearly 1 million
people die each year from Malaria, mostly children under five. 90% of malaria
deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Symptoms appear 10-16 days after an
infectious mosquito bite and include flu-like symptoms (chills, fever,
headache, vomiting). Death usually occurs because of severe anemia (destruction
of red blood cells). Survivors can often be left to struggle with epilepsy,
blindness, weakness, speech and brain damage. The simple treatment is a
prescriptive medicine that costs only $6. Providing $10 insecticide-treated
nets and improving local water sources could also address the problem.[11]

In 1968,
American Christians gave to church and charity at an average level of about 3.1%
of their per capita income. This, unfortunately, is the highest rate recorded
for tax-deductible donations. In recent years it is estimated that Christians
have been giving at an average of about 2.66% of their income to church and
charity. The percentage of this money that is given directly to assist the
impoverished or towards benevolence is estimated at 0.4% of the donations
received. In other words, if I earned $100, I would give $2.66 to church, and
the church would direct just over 1 cent of that directly to a person in need.[12]

Oh, dear Jesus, help us to serve and
praise you, in justice and mercy.

—part 4 tomorrow—

[1] Sider, Ronald J. Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving
from affluence to Generosity
, (Thomas Nelson: Nashville, 2005), p.4

[2] Sider, p.5 (U.S. per capital GNI is $37,610 annually,
or $103 per day)

[3] Sider, p.5

[6] UNICEF, Information by
Country, http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/index.html

[12] Sider, p.199 (quoted source:
http://www.emptytomb.org/PressRelSCG01.php
)

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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