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I was blessed to be able to attend Catalyst in Atlanta last week. One of the speakers was Dr. Scott Todd one of the leaders of 58 and the author of “Fast Living: How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty.” The data he shared was eye opening. People living in extreme poverty dropped from 52% in 1981 to 26% in 2005. In just a 30 year period there was a 50% decrease. But that is not all. In the past 20 years child mortality rates have been cut in half as well.
Todd showed a video where people from a number of different countries were asked the question, “Do you think that extreme poverty can be eliminated in our generation?” People from country after country responded with a resounding yes! But when Americans were ask the same question they did not believe it was possible. Todd said that low expectations and a wrong interpretation of Jesus’ statement, “For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.” (Matthew 26:11), have led to low expectations and in turn has fed apathy toward the possibility.
Here are some more compelling figures. There are 138 million committed Christians in America who have a total income of $2.5 trillion per year. But that group only gives away 3% of their income.
Todd challenged us with the words of Isa. 58:6, 7, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Todd then said, “God has given us everything we need to end extreme poverty. No question. And it’s clear what He wants. The question is, what do we want?”
At Hope Springs International we have seen the change that Todd speaks about first hand. We have seen funerals for children under the age of five go from one a day to seldom just by providing potable water from deep wells that have be drilled. We have seen sick children get well because of the availability of drugs from our dispensary. We have seen scores of people come to Christ because they have experienced firsthand the no strings attached love of Christ as they were taught about the salvation that is only available through Him.
We believe that God has given us a mission that has only just begun that will spread from our work in Dono-Manga to all of southern Chad. Will you join us in making this a reality? Your sacrificial gifts will continue to save lives and enable ministers on the ground to share the Good News that Jesus Christ is Lord. You can make donation on line at: www.hopespringsint.com or mail your gifts to Hope Springs International, 118 Wessington Place, Hendersonville, TN 37075.