Life, Love, & Giving

Finally posting my final post for #itsaboutgiving for Compassion International.

I only recently started blogging with Compassion, the #itsaboutgiving was my first assignment.  The goal of this campaign was to raise $20,000 for children in need around the world.  As of December 17, we (all Compassion bloggers) had only raised $532.

Our final assignment is to raise $100 for children in poverty.

That’s really not a lot.  10 people giving $10.  5 people giving $20.  1 person giving $100.  100 people giving $1.  There’s a lot of ways to break it down, but it’s really not a lot of money for one person.

If you are like me, you probably have a lot of different ministries, charities, and other groups on your radar.  This time of the year, my Facebook feed looks like a giant list of needs that need to met, money needing to be raised, and a reminder of how much need exists in our world today.  Simply overwhelms me at times.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year to give back.  It’s on pretty much everyone’s mind.  But the need for some remains throughout the year.

Compassion serves children — many of whom do not have parents or they have parents who are unable to provide their most basic of needs — water, food, shelter, and schooling. Compassion steps in, through amazing, generous people who give, to stand in the gap for these beautiful children.

They live in places where Christmas is another day to scavenge for food, not feast.  A day to walk miles and miles to find water, often times contaminated and dirty.  There is no tree.  There is no rushing to open presents, because there are no presents.

When you give through the Gift Catalog, local partner churches in these countries are able to personally hand these children a gift, one that will meet their needs and to share the love of Jesus with these children.

It’s not too late to give.  Can you give just $10 today to help these children?  Be a part of the solution, stand in the gap for these children and help meet a desperate need.

You are the solution.  Each of us has a part to play in this bigger picture of the world.  What is your part?

God bless you, dear readers, as we finish 2012 and look forward to beginning 2013.

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Death.

Death is not my favorite topic, nor is it one I really like to dwell on.  Especially the death of a child.

I have never experienced the pain of losing a child, I am among the most fortunate for that.  I have had the experience of losing my six month old nephew.  To watch my sister grieve.  To watch my parents grieve.  My daughter, at only six, experiencing pain unlike our family had ever experienced before.  Agonizing.  Raw.  Not a time that I ever want to relive.  To even speak of memories of my nephew can cause tears to sting my eyes, my throat to catch, and my heart to hurt.  It’s real pain, that has not diminished over time.

So, these statistics grieve my heart.  They are the ones that I cannot get over, the ones that I can’t wrap my brain around why this hasn’t been stopped.  These are the statistics that drive me to action.

There are a few unconditional truths about orphans and poverty that I believe.  They are:

1.  Every single child on this planet deserves a family.  Period.  No ifs, ands, or buts.

2.  Every single life has value, my life is not more valuable because I live in the US.

3.  Preventable deaths in third world countries should move us to the same action they did when they were happening here in our homes.

4.  A lot of small actions add up to a big difference.

5.  We all have something that we can do today.

The source:  [http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats]

According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day to due to poverty.  And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world.  An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in 2004. Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide.

Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhea.

10.6 million children died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (same as children population in France, Germany, Greece and Italy).

1.4 million children die each year from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized.

These are children whose death is preventable.  They are not just numbers, these are babies — whose lives are cut short when they don’t have to be.

For the surviving children and families, they are likely to be enduring extreme poverty.

Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. The two regions that account for the bulk of the deficit are South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

1.6 billion people — a quarter of humanity — live without electricity.

Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

1.8 billion people who have access to a water source within 1 kilometer  but not in their house or yard, consume around 20 liters per day. In the United Kingdom the average person uses about 150 liters a day. The highest average water use in the world is in the US, at 600 liters day.

Close to half of all people in developing countries suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits.

Millions of women spend several hours a day collecting water.

In developing countries some 2.5 billion people are forced to rely on biomass—fuel wood, charcoal and animal dung—to meet their energy needs for cooking. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 80 percent of the population depends on traditional biomass for cooking, as do over half of the populations of India and China.

Indoor air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels [by poorer segments of society] is a major killer. It claims the lives of 1.5 million people each year, more than half of them below the age of five: that is 4000 deaths a day.

Based on enrollment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimistic numbers.

The loss of 443 million school days each year from water-related illness.

So many needs, so many lives that could be changed by so little help.  What part can you play?  What is God calling you to do?