Friday, 22 June 2012

88p, less than an ice cream.

If I told you that there are people living in the world today on less than £1.28 a day, in fact half of these people live on less than 88p a day, how many people do you think there would be living on these amounts?. When someone lives on less than 88p a day they are said to be in extreme poverty.

I can take this further, did you know that every single day children die due to poverty? Did you know that there are people living today who don't have access to 'adequate sanitation'? There are also people who don't have access to clean water. There are children dying each and every day from diarrhoea. Every day people are dying from HIV/AUDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. There are children who do not go to school.

It is easy to assume that these people in these conditions, going through this are a small minority of people. There are 7 billion people on the earth, each one of them is living out their lives in their own way, each one of them is unique, each one is made in the image of God, each one is a son or daughter of God, each one is loved by God. Would each one of these know this from what they go through?

I want to tell you that in fact:
There are 3 billion people living on less than £1.28 a day, which is 42.8% of the world's population.
There are 1.4 billion people or 20 % of the population living on less than 88p a day.
It is estimated that every 3 seconds a child dies from something caused by poverty, 18 children a minute, 30,000 children each day.
2.6 billion people don't have access to adequate sanitation (37%).
Each day 4,100 children die from diarrhoea, this is caused by poor sanitation and hygiene.
Around 600 million children live in extreme poverty.
Nearly 11,700 people die every single day from HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.
67.5 million children are not in school. Staggeringly, this is equivalent to the amount of primary-school aged children in Europe and North-America, combined.

It is so easy to just ignore the numbers, to not take them in, to forget about them. But imagine if you were that mum who's child died from diarrhoea, imagine if you were that person struggling through each day with less than 88p to live on, imagine if you were these people. Start putting yourself in their shoes, begin to understand what millions and billions of people go through each day. These are just numbers, but behind each number is a name, a person loved and cherished by God, a person with gifts, and talents given to them. A person with hidden beauty, waiting to escape.

How are they meant to find God's love? I moan and complain when it feels like things are going wrong for me, but these are people struggling to survive, let alone live. We need to get out there and show them God's love, we need to take action against the wrong things and seek for good. We need to give these people tools so that their hidden beauty can be unleashed.

Stop looking at the numbers. Stop labelling people. Stop forgetting so that you feel better. And start showing love.

If you do away with the yoke of oppression...and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness...The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. (Isaiah 58:9-12)

(Source of statistics: One Day's Wages)