Friday, May 11, 2012

The End? Period.

Have you heard of 58:? I don't remember how it first came across my computer screen, but anything claiming to do what it thinks we can do is worth a few minutes of my time. First, the tag line - 58: Fast. Forward. The end of poverty.

The end? I didn't think they could mean the end. It must be one of those fine print kind of things, like, perhaps they meant end poverty in a specific region? I quickly saw this statement, as if they were reading my mind:
End extreme poverty? Are you serious?At 58:, we believe God is calling us today to live out Isaiah 58 in an effort to end extreme poverty. And here’s the good news: not only is it possible, it’s already starting to happen:

In the past thirty years, extreme poverty has been cut in half. In 1981, 52% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (defined by the U.N. as living on less than $1.25 per day). But by 2006, that number was 26%.

I know, I need to back up. What is 58:? According to their website,
58: is an unprecedented global alliance of Christians, churches and world-class poverty-fighting organizations working together to end extreme poverty in our lifetime by living the True Fast of Isaiah 58.

We are a movement of Christians who are willing to make personal sacrifices (or “fast”) to free up resources to help the poor… who give to effective projects led by world-class poverty fighting organizations (the 58: Alliance), and who pray to align our hearts with God’s will as expressed in Isaiah 58:

"to loose the chains of injustice… to set the oppressed free… to share your food with the hungry…to provide the poor wanderer with shelter… when you see the naked, to clothe them”

When you've seen severe poverty and the toll it takes on the people living among it, it's beyond heartbreaking. Poverty breaks you and changes you; it's overwhelming. I had learned that instead of allowing myself to feel so overwhelmed, if I felt I could affect just one person, it was worth it. Impacting even more people was great, too, but even one was worth the effort. I still believe that, but taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, I realize that one really does make a difference. Each one of us, impacting another, creates this momentum of fighting, and beating, poverty.

At 58:, they believe there is power in numbers. There is also power in strategically working together. How cool is this: 58: has created an alliance of some of the most experienced and biggest powerhouses in poverty-fighting and unified them for this important cause. What happens when you join forces of Food for the Hungry, Compassion International, Living Water, World Relief, Hope International, Plant with Purpose, Micah Challenge, International Justice Mission, CRWRC and ECHO? (for the list of partners, click here) Something pretty powerful.

58: released a full length movie that Nick and I had the opportunity to screen. It's the kind of film that exposes you to things of the world you can't imagine exist, but leaves you hopeful for the future and believing we can make a difference.

They also have this pretty sweet thing going on in 2012 called 58: Global Impact Tour. Each month, they focus on a different country, poverty issue and a project working towards changing that issue. I love this.

There are plenty of ways to make a difference in the world. The thing I love so much about 58: is that it's about uniting our efforts to make a difference bigger than the one we could imagine individually. That's one of the reasons I love Give1 so much, too. Together, our $1 makes a difference. How about we pull together this week and allow our dollar to help bring home another little child? Go donate to the family of the week and let's see how strong our forces are.

1 comment:

  1. Crazy to think we could see the end of poverty in our lifetime.