Category: Hunger and Poverty

Too much hunger

(Originally posted on Facebook.)

The USDA report reveals that almost one in five Texas households (18.8 percent, or 1.7 million households) were food insecure between 2008 and 2010, compared to 14.6 percent of households nationwide. Over one-third of these households (6.9 percent) are classified as having very low food security—the more severe condition associated with food insecurity—compared to 5.6 percent of U.S. households. Texas ranks second in the nation for the highest percentage of food insecure households, and is tied

www.ers.usda.gov

In 2010, 14.5 percent of U.S. households were food insecure. The percentage of U.S. households that were food insecure had increased sharply in 2008 and remained at that high level in 2009 and 2010the highest recorded percentage since national monitoring of food security began in 1995.

‘Such as these’ 8 – Ngwela Paul Msiza

When Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa in 1994, one of the first things he did was a feeding program for school children. Many opposed because of financial strains, but Mandela pushed it anyway, said Ngwela Paul Msiza during the recent “… such as these” conference in Dallas.

Msiza, of the Baptist Convention of South Africa, spoke on the topic,”Responding to Childhood Hunger, African Church Perspective.” Here are my paraphrased notes:

The church in Africa … The mainline churches have been overtaken by the pentacostal movement. … The prosperity churches are a big thing. … All privatized Christianity; its all about me, and that weakens the church’s action on social justice. … The more you speak of prosperty and about me and my good living, we are making the gospel weaker and weaker in places where it is supposed to be strong. … Christianity is growing in South Africa. … Then why are we having so many of these ills still growing. …

There are other poroblems that go alongside childhood hunger. … Funds sometimes do not reach the intended beneficiary. … Problem of corruption. …

I believe that in order for us as a church in Africa to respond effectivedly to childhood poverty. … First, the church must begin to see children as Jesus sees them. If we use the eyes of Christ, then our attitudes and motives will change. … In some churches, children are not part of the worship. Children are not to be pushed to the side. … Christ who says anyone who welcomes children welcomes Christ himself. … We do ourselves a favor when we help children. … The church must help the world to understand. We cannot let children roam the streets and pretend that all is well. …

We need to welcome children in our midst. we need to hold them in our hearts. We need to bless them. … It helps us to think about them all the time. …

Msiza spoke during a May 24-25, 2011, conference titled, “…such as these…”: An Evangelical Advocacy Response to Global Childhood Hunger. The event was held at Dallas Baptist University and sponsored by Bread for the World, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, National Association of Evangelicals, Micah Challenge, Baptist World Alliance, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, and DBU.

‘Such as these’ 7 – Joel Hunter

Joel Hunter

We’ve got this universal, evocative cause that is biblically mandated. YOU give them something to eat. This “you” is plural in Mark 6.

Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland: A Church Distributed in Longwood, Florida, spoke suring the “… such as these” conference. The message was great, but I only took a few notes, paraphrased here:

My heart is for the spiritual maturity of my congregation. … Many of us have come to think of church as therapy, as self-actuallization exercsies, as a place where we are gratified and affirmed in our own path. … 

I have great fears for my church, for my country. … “How much of my money can I keep.” … 

The church needs the weight of the weak. The weight of the weak will save the strong.

Hunter spoke during a May 24-25, 2011, conference titled, “…such as these…”: An Evangelical Advocacy Response to Global Childhood Hunger. The event was held at Dallas Baptist University and sponsored by Bread for the World, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, National Association of Evangelicals, Micah Challenge, Baptist World Alliance, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, and DBU.

‘Such as these’ 6 – David Beckman

David Beckmann

This is really a hopeful time, and God is doing great things, said David Beckmann, during last month’s “… such as these” conference in Dallas.

The Baptist Standard did a story on this speech and one by Scott Todd of Compassion International. Here are some of my paraphrased  notes from Beckman’s speech:

Over the last three or four decades the world has made tremendous progress against poverty and disease. … I think this is God. … We should say thanks to God for what He has done in the lives of the poorest people in the world. … It’s like a great exodus in our own history. God is moving to liberate people from poverty and disease. God is calling us to get with the program and be part of this great exodus.

One reason a lot of Americans don’t get it is because we haven’t made much progress in the United States. The percentage under the poverty line is now higher than in 1974. … We made a difference when we tried. … A thousand points of light is not enough. … The most dramatic reacent period when we really reduced hunger was the 1960s and ’70s. … We had economic growth, which is the best way to reduce poverty. … Violence in the streets shook the government. … We had a government-led effort. … Now we have more food insecurity in the country than we did in 1974. … This has not been that important to us. … We haven’t had a president since Lyndon Johnson who made reducing poverty one of his top five priorities. … It’s just not that important to us.

Ninety-five percent of Americans say they believe in God. … Churches have a pretty good record.

Also, on advocacy we have a halfway decent record. … Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice. … Bread for the World has brought all Christians together. … We are a bipartisan Chrsitian anti-hunger organization. … We push for change, and we win. … In the 1970s and ’80s some of biggest successes were the child survival programs. … There are three or four thousand kids who will not die today because of those programs.

Things really took a turn for the better in 2000 with the Jubilee Campaign. … It triggered a massive increase in education in Africa. …

In the churches we have a lot of people who really care …

foreignassistance.gov

Why government? For pracical reasons and biblical reasons Christians need to be involved in the politics of hunger. … An effort to use best practices to reduce child malnutrition. … It’s not just the U.S. doing it, but the U.S. can get the world to move. …

Beckmann spoke during a May 24-25, 2011, conference titled, “…such as these…”: An Evangelical Advocacy Response to Global Childhood Hunger. The event was held at Dallas Baptist University and sponsored by Bread for the World, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, National Association of Evangelicals, Micah Challenge, Baptist World Alliance, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, and DBU.

‘Such as these’ 5 – Carol Adelman

Carol Adelman

The more religious a people are, the greater their philantrophy,” said Carol Adelman at last month’s “.. such as these” conference in Dallas. And with “religiosity going up and those correlations so strong,” the prospects of having a huge paradym shift are possible.

Adelman is the director of the Center for Global Prosperity at Hudson Institute. Here are a few other tidbits from her speech:

Private aid is now roughtly 80 percent and government 20 percent of the funds going to developing nations.

We see more money going to the causes of poverty than to the symptoms.

How the devloping world has changed:

— Increase in open markets and open societies

— Growth in private philanthropy, remittances, and local charities

 — Expanded knowledge and demand through technology

Adelman spoke during a May 24-25, 2011, conference titled, “…such as these…”: An Evangelical Advocacy Response to Global Childhood Hunger. The event was held at Dallas Baptist University and sponsored by Bread for the World, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, National Association of Evangelicals, Micah Challenge, Baptist World Alliance, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, and DBU.

‘Such as these’ 4 – Scott Todd

NOTES (These are paraphrases, not direct quotes from Scott’s address at the “… such as these” gathering in Dallas, May 24.)

“Fast Living: How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty”

By Scott Todd, Compassion International

It’s possible to end extreme hunger in our generation.

In college I saw a sign, “Change the Life of a Child.” I was skeptical, thought it was a scam. I’m arguing with a poster. Asked God, “Do you want me to do this?” When I said this, I felt compelled, pulled off reply card. … Received information on a kid in the Dominican Republic. That’s where I began in my journey.

Twenty percent of babies die … the US just 100 years ago. … We’ve come a long way, but sometimes we forget how fast that’s happened. Unfortunately that progress has not reached all o f us. … Tanzania…

21,000 children die everyday from preventable diseases. …

What are your expectations for the future of the poor?

“the poor will always be with you…”  Jesus was not speaking to us, He was speaking to Judas (because of what he said in the rest of the verse. Judas was bursting into an act of worship. The fatalistic expectations we have are connected to our interpretation of that verse.

Others believe we can end extreme poverty, but pastors have doubts. … These are the guys who believe all things are possible. … It’s clear what God is capable of…. we are in a battle with our own low expectations … of the church and of ourselves.

Isaiah 58: …God wants our generation to hear again the voice of the prophet. … God says I’ve seen the show, I’m not impressed. … The prophet of God is warning the people of God they are in the presence of an unlistening God. … You cannot fast as you do today. … The true prophet never stops at a criticism, … he always turns and articulates a vision of the future. … next section of Isaiah … is this not the fast I have chosen…. a lot of verbs …. a faith expressed in love for others. … verse 10… KJV “if you pour out your soul for the hungry”. … then you will be restorers and repairers. …

incredible promises flow out of Isaiah 58. … you will be called… this will be your reputation… this is how people will see you… repairers of broken walls…

It’s time for us to remember who we are … time to join with people like Martin Luther King Jr., people willing to be co-workers with God…

52% in 1981 lived in extreme poverty, today 26%… we have cut it in half in one generation…

We have the opportunity to do something unprecedented in history. … We have the opportunity to push extreme economic poverty into the history books. … Right now poverty makes us sad… It will someday make us indignant. …

Our low expectations are not God’s … I’m looking for other fools for God. …

What will it take? … leadership… multiple segments of society… includes government…

It will take $73 billion over 10 years to end extreme unhunger…. Christians make $1.5 trillion every year in income. … God has entrusted us with all of this wealth….

I’m looking for leaders who can reflect on this and rally the troops in your sphere of influence. …

truefast@live58.org

notalways.live58.org

Some of the plastic junk we buy is breaking the back of poverty overseas. …

You do not have to always be too late.

Todd spoke during a May 24-25, 2011, conference titled, “…such as these…”: An Evangelical Advocacy Response to Global Childhood Hunger. The event was held at Dallas Baptist University and sponsored by Bread for the World, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, National Association of Evangelicals, Micah Challenge, Baptist World Alliance, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, and DBU.

‘Such as these’ 3 – Abraham Sarker

NOTES (are not direct quotes but are paraphrases)

“Innovative, Sustainable Solutions for Childhood Hunger in Bangladesh”

By Abraham Sarker

I have never experienced hunger in life the way, but I have seen people around me who are hungry.

In Bangladesh… 60 million people in Bangladesh do nat have sufficient food.

Nearly 8 million children under 5 years old are underweight (37%)

Threats to food security in Bangladesh:

1) Poverty – chronic deprivation of the socially vulnerable

2) Natural disasters – thphoons and floods every year

3) Poor health and hygiene

Village Community Transformation using our NGO model … micro-loans, church planting, discipleship training, humanitarian aid, healthcare, and schools…

Gospel for Muslims’ NGO serves 8,000 families in May 2011. … in 52 villages

Micro-loans… average loan size $50-$75…

Pillars of HARD Micro-Finance

1) Standardized loan product

2) Basic voluntary deposit services

3) Standard Operating Procedures that are simple, firm, and effective.

4) Zero tolerance on late payments

Cost efficiency achieved throug

1) Organizational architecture

2) Standardized operating system… maximum delegation with limited discretion… detailed operating manual… franchise-type approach to branch expansion….

3) Institutional culture… servant leadership through attitude and action… accountqability and integrity among ourselves and our partners…

www.gospelformuslims.com

Sarker spoke during a May 24-25, 2011, conference titled, “…such as these…”: An Evangelical Advocacy Response to Global Childhood Hunger. The event was held at Dallas Baptist University and sponsored by Bread for the World, Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, National Association of Evangelicals, Micah Challenge, Baptist World Alliance, Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, and DBU.