Recently I came across a article about a local homeless shelter in the Tri State in need. They are in need of food supplies, money towards a new grill. That of course was bad enough but it was also stated that 12 kids live at the shelter and in the midst of all those needs I wonder about those kids and how they are spending their holidays? What are they waking up to Christmas morning? Obviously I know this goes on by the thousands in bigger cities. But to me in a small community it just seems like this should be "taken care of" from a few dollars from individuals to the churches throughout the area this Rescue Mission should never be in need. I know of 4 churches in the area that have built "gyms" for outreach opportunities. If loans and checks can be written out for such surely this Need can be taken care of as well. This also goes on a personal level in how I spend my money and many times think nothing of it. Although I have read the stats, figures several times its still hard for me to realize I am a rich, very rich according to the majority of the world. According to the World Bank low income people in the world, percentage of people in the world that make $825.00 or less, 37 percent, a year. $825.00 a year or less, 37 percent. Next, lower middle income, up to $3,000.00 plus, 38 percent. So that’s about 5 billion people right there living on less than $3,000.00 a year. Now, you’re in the upper middle class of the world, up to about $10,000.00, that’s 9 percent, and then the highest incomes in the world, $10,000.00 or more, 16 percent. It’s interesting, if you just kind of get in your mind maybe your salary. If you keep taking the salary higher, you make $25,000.00 a year, you’re in the top 10 percent of the world’s wealthiest people. You make $50,000.00 a year, you’re in the top 1 percent of the world’s wealthiest people, $50,000.00 a year. Average annual American Christian household income, $42,409.00, $42,409.00. That is in the top 2 and a half percent of the richest people in the world.
Today, over a billion people live and die in desperate poverty and live on less than a dollar a day. Just to give you a little glimpse, that’s 700 million in slums, 500 million on the verge of starvation, 93 million beggars, 200 million children exploited for labor. We say poverty, desperate poverty, what is poverty? What does that represent? Lack of food and water. Over a billion people on the planet today who do not have access to safe drinking water. Illiteracy, huge illiteracy rates in places like India and Africa. Inadequate medical care, disease. You’ve got a disease like AIDS, there are 6,000 people who die every day in Africa of AIDS alone. And then you’ve got easily curable disease and sickness. There are millions of people this year who will die of diarrhea. They will die from it. Brain damage. It’s one of the most devastating pictures of poverty in the world, permanent brain damage. Most of your brain development, 80 percent of it happens in the first two years of your life, and if that is not provided for, enough protein and nutrients, then your brain is deformed for the rest of your life.
Over a billion people in desperate poverty, close to two billion others living on less than $2.00 a day. That’s close to half the world living on what you and I would pay for French fries for lunch. It gets worse. According to UNICEF, 26,000 children will die today due to either starvation or preventable disease, a disease like diarrhea or pneumonia or malaria, 26,000…And those numbers unfortunately just stay numbers for most of us. If you are reading this do indeed enjoy the holiday season and if you love to buy gifts for others, then by all means go for it but may season by season our excessiveness lead to blessing others and even or should I say especially those who have little or nothing and simply could not give back in return. And may your joy be found that its truly better to give then to receive, Merry Christmas.