What is the last thing that you spent $1.50 on this week. Was it the purchase of a cold soda? A download of the latest App? Or perhaps a frappuccino at the drive-thru. In America, it is very easy to spend $1.50 on small items of content or refreshment and not even think twice of such an insignificant amount, but to many in the world it is not so.
The statistics are quite shocking when you think about it: 1.4 Billion, that’s roughly 4x the population of the US, people in the world live in what is considered extreme poverty (Below the Line). Well what defines extreme poverty? It is defined as an individual that lives on less than $1.50 a day, in some countries $1.25 a day. This includes everything in that individuals daily walk such as, meals, healthcare, clothing, and housing. It is difficult for us to even wrap our mind around. When is the last time we had to decide whether we were going to eat a meal or visit the doctors to get a prescription. You can’t do both—so which is it? I can’t even fathom that. You? See when you live on $1.50 a day—there is no room for error. You simply can’t afford to get sick. You may have to put up with unfair trade practices and corruption, hope an illness will pass, skip a vaccination, or result to living on scraps from others just to make it until tomorrow. To further complicate the issue, many people in this situation lack one of life’s most basic needs—clean water. In fact, globally, 1 in 9 people don’t have access to clean drinking water. They may hike for hours to get a water source that is riddled with disease, and this is their only option. Statistics show that nearly 2 million children die annually from drinking unclean water, which equals roughly 6,000 children a day (UNICEF).
The Village of Korah—Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
For the 130,00 residents of the urban slum of Korah in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia this is a daily reality. What began as a leper community many years ago, is now a third-generation community that has many other struggles including starvation, HIV/Aids, TB, and many other preventable diseases. Residents of Korah live in shelters built from recycled trash including items like scrap metal and blankets. Because they are considered outcast from their community, many people live on less than $1.00 a day and are forced to secure food from the local landfill as their only means of food. Below is a brief documentary based on this area and some of the struggles that they endure.
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12: 33,34
So what can be done for these people?
Step one must be prayer. I would ask that you would join Heidi and I as we pray this coming week for the residents of Korah and all of those who suffer from extreme poverty globally.
Step two is awareness. Poverty has existed forever, but often gets placed on a shelf and forgotten about in our busy lives. How easy it is for each of us to be comfortable in our lives and dismiss the billions of people that we share this planet with who are struggling daily, dying by the minute, often from preventable diseases and things that already have a solution, but require support and action. We recently watched a documentary from World Vision from the people of Rwanda. Did you know that for $50.00 you can provide a child clean drinking water for an entire year. A year! Clean water alone can reduce water-related deaths by 21%. If you look at that number I provided earlier of 6,000 children a day. That’s 1,260 children a day that would be living. I can’t begin to wrap my head around this.
Lastly, we can offer support, and that’s where Below the Line comes in.
During the week of June 24th — June 28th Heidi and I will be participating in an effort called Below the Line, and were asking for your help.
During these 5-days we will limit ourselves to $1.50 worth of food per day, equaling $7.50 for the week. As I mentioned above, 1.4 billion people in the world must limit themselves to $1.50 to cover much more than just their food. Below the Line created this challenge as an awareness campaign that anyone can participate in throughout the year. Through the website a number of organizations are available for support, each one offering different groups of people all over the world a variety of relief from global poverty, sex trafficking, education, to micro-loans.
We have chosen an organization outside of the website that we feel called to support that will directly provide relief to the people from Korah that I have mentioned above. We will be partnering with A Heart for Korah. This organization offers assistance in the form of medical supplies, housing relief, and family sponsorship. They have a blog where you can find out more information about their day-to-day efforts, or if you feel called partner with them for sponsorship of a family in need. They are currently holding a fundraiser that will provide hygiene and medical supplies to the area through a mission trip that will be traveling in August and will be adding as many as 15 additional sponsor families soon.
So how do you help?
We would ask first for your prayers during next week for the people of Korah and globally that suffer from extreme poverty. We would also request prayers for Heidi and I as we break from our traditional routine and seek to align our diet with what so many people have as their only option. I’m sure that it will be a challenge and a learning experience that will test our commitment and patience. Each day starting Sunday we will be praying at 1:50 pm. Would you join us?
To help support the people of Korah, we are also seeking to raise donations next week to provide to the organization of A Heart for Korah to use for their upcoming mission efforts and continued relief efforts. Would you prayerfully consider a donation? Even a donation as little as $10.00 could have a huge impact for the people of Korah. There are a number of ways to make a donation, the first would be by clicking on the donate button below. Make sure that you make a note that it is for the Below the Line fundraiser. You can also visit A Heart for Korah blog and donate directly through their website. I would ask that you would make the same notation that it is for the Below the Line fundraiser. If you do not have a PayPal account, please feel free to email us and we will provide you our address to send a check. We thank you in advance for any prayers or donations you feel called to offer.
Donate directly through A Heart for Korah Blog - http://aheartforkorah.blogspot.com/
Lastly, check back throughout the week on our blog as we will providing updates and details of how we are progressing through the week as well as offering some additional information on global poverty and what people are doing to help advocate for others and find simple solutions to offer relief to the billions of people around the world.
If you have made it this far down to the blog post—I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We look forward to seeing what amazing things God has planned for us and the people of Korah next week.