In his latest book, “Unfinished…Believing is only the beginning”, Richard Stearns of World Vision asks an interesting question. “What would people be like if they had been born and raised inside the Magic Kingdom park (Walt Disney World), and had never seen the outside world? Since our worldviews are shaped by our contexts, imagine what a distorted worldview they would have.” Pg. 46.
In the rest of this chapter of Stearns’ book he develops the contrast between the blessings we have here in the USA, our own “Magic Kingdom”, as compared to living in what he calls the “Tragic Kingdom” and life in one of the developing (Third World) nations. He speaks at some length describing the Magic Kingdom’s many blessings and conveniences that are available, things that we take for granted, and have come to “expect” because they have always been a part of our lives.
Stearns then turns his attention to the realities of the “Tragic Kingdom”. His list is real and tragic:
- One billion are chronically short of food.
- Two billion children under weight.
- 783 million have no access to clean water at all.
- Add to this the plight of wars, refugees, and 18 million orphaned children.
He then asked the question, “Are you feeling the heaviness yet? I am not done”.
- One third of the world lives on less than $2 per day.
- Three quarters live on less than $10 a day.
He closes this comparison of the kingdoms with this paragraph. “And, finally, the most terrible statistic of all: “nineteen thousand children under the age of five die every single day of largely preventable causes simply because they are poor. That’s almost 8 million children every year, one every four seconds. This is something God sees every moment of every day. Is this what you see”?
Most of us here in the US cannot wrap our minds around such statistics. A young man made a comment on our Hope Springs Facebook site recently. He said, “Quit sending all that money over there to help those people when we have so many that need help right here!” His comment struck a raw nerve and my first reaction was anger. But as I reflected on what he said I realized that that is the normal response of so many who have been raised all their lives in the “Magic Kingdom”. The worst conditions they have seen in the “Magic Kingdom” would be a dream come true for many who live daily in the “Tragic Kingdom.”
As 2013 draws to a close all of us at Hope Springs are so thankful for each of you who have seen what we see and made a decision to help us bring lasting change to the lives of so many people. Here is what your gifts have made possible in just this year alone.
- The Jordan Health Center addition will be under roof in the next month.
- We conservatively estimate that over 10,000 men, women and children have been treated at JHC.
- 700+ children are now enrolled in Primary Grades 1-4 in a school without a permanent building, staffed by volunteer teachers, that has just been rated “Best in the Region”.
- By the end of November over 140,000 people will have access to clean water in Gombe State, Nigeria.
God’s blessings have been so evident and we are excited about His leading into the future. We will be sharing some wonderful new challenges for 2014 and beyond in the coming weeks. We hope you will not only continue the journey with us, but will help us spread the word!