Take a look at the child above. Smiling. Healthy. Thriving. Not the typical picture of extreme poverty, because extreme poverty is being overcome. You’ve seen the pictures of starving children. You’ve heard the horror stories of poor people dying due to lack of clean water and medicine. You’ve probably wished you could do something about it, but you’ve most likely felt like extreme poverty is an insurmountable problem and “little old you” couldn’t possibly make a difference.
I’ve felt the same. I’ve lived in my ignorance and even felt justified in it. Ask most Christians about whether they think extreme poverty can be eradicated, and most would likely say, “Not on this side of eternity.” After all, Jesus said in Matthew 26:11, “The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.” So, if Jesus said that it must be true, right? (What Jesus says is always true, but only in the correct context.) It’s also great (and Biblical) to help the poor, but helping a few people won’t eliminate extreme poverty worldwide, right?
If you talk to the leaders of Compassion International you’ll get a totally different perspective than any you have probably ever heard on the subject. Last week I was at a dinner hosted by Visioneering Studios’ sister company Stadia, a church planting group, as part of the Exponential church planting conference in Orlando. I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Scott Todd give his personal testimony about his work with Compassion and the successes they are having in combatting mortality rates by bringing communities around the world out of extreme poverty one child at a time. These staggering results have been one of the world’s best kept secrets and made me realize that there is great reason for optimism that this current generation could see the elimination of extreme poverty from this planet. Watch this video and see for yourself.
Check out 58:, a global initiative to end extreme poverty by living out Isaiah 58, to see how you can get involved. You can make a difference one act at a time…one person at a time. You can also sponsor a child through Compassion International and help end extreme poverty worldwide in this generation. If you choose (or have already chosen) to sponsor a child I’d love to hear about it by leaving a note about your child in the comments.