Merry Christmas

 

“Merry” is not a word that most people in the world would use to describe this season.

 

50% of the world’s population live on less than $2.50/day

21,000 children die of preventable causes every day (98% in developing countries)

-equivalent to 23 Haitian earthquakes per year, every year…

-equivalent to 33 Asian Tsunamis per year, every year…

-equivalent to every five days everyone in the OSU Horseshoe dying…

 

In developing countries some 2.5 billion people (1 of 3 world-wide) are forced to rely on biomass—fuelwood, charcoal and animal dung—to meet their energy needs for cooking. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 80% of the population depends on traditional biomass for cooking, as do over half of the populations of India and China.

1/4 people world-wide (1.6 billion people) have no electricity

1/3 of all deaths world-wide are due to poverty

100 million street children worldwide have no nuclear family

1/5 adults are completely illiterate.  Many more are functionally illiterate

1/3 of all city-dwellers worldwide live in slums

More people (2.5 million – mostly kids) die yearly of diarrhea (from lack of clean drinking water) than malaria, AIDS, TB…

The world now produces enough food annually to adequately nourish more than twice the existing world population…

 

And yet……………………………………..

Church-goers gave about 2.38% of their income to the church in 2009.

An estimated $239 a year per evangelical Christian could potentially stop global deaths of children under five.  $17/day per evangelical christian could eliminate world hunger.

The church gives 2% of their total offering to missions today, compared to 10% in 1920.

85% of all church activity and funds is directed toward the internal operations of the congregation

“Relatively little donated money actually moves much of a distance away from the contributors,” Smith, Emerson, and Snell write. The money given by the people in the pews, it turns out, is largely spent on the people in the pews. Only about 3% of money donated to churches and ministries went to aiding or ministering to non-Christians.”

4% of Church-goers give away 10% or more of their income

Less than 2% of all church revenue is spent on foreign missions outreach and 0.5% of all income is spent on missions to people who have no gospel access.

95% of missions money and resources in the western world go to areas of the world where there is already an established or emerging church and 5% goes to areas where there is no church presence

 

____

From Acts through Revelation, you won’t find a single example where money was given, or asked for, to meet anything besides basic needs, such as food, shelter, and health.  How much of our donated money goes to helping those truly lacking in food, shelter, or health?

Is it “missions” to plant a church where a church exists?  Is it “charity” to give food to a group that has plenty of food?

There are so many places in the world with abject poverty, where lack of food, shelter, and basic health care cause premature death.  There are so many people who have never heard.  As we celebrate Jesus’ birth this year, let us remember how He wept for hurting sheep, how He met desperate needs, how He left home to touch, to love, to guide, to teach, and to give His life… because He loved.

Why were you born here?  What can you give?  What can you take to those without?

Go this year to touch people who haven’t heard or people who need what God has given you to give.  Love the unloved.  If you can’t go, give so that someone else might go in your place…

Let us give sacrificially this Christmas, following the One who’s birth we celebrate.  This will birth in us a truly “merry” Christmas.

We pray you have a sacrificial, love-filled, Jesus-focused Christmas Season.

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