- Nearly half the world—three billion people—live on less than $2.50 a day.
- 18 children die every minute due to poverty—that’s one child every 3 seconds.
- About 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized.
- 400 million people do not have access to health services.
- More than nine million people die worldwide each year because of hunger and malnutrition.1
However, God doesn't just command us to give to the poor, but promises us blessings if we do so: "Sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven" (Matt 19:21). I believe the greatest benefit of wealth is the opportunity it gives us to help those in need -- to be an agent of God's grace to those he loves. Also, remember that when we give to the poor, we are really giving to Christ. I am thrilled by the thought and the hope that when I stand before my Saviour on the day of judgement I will experience something like the conversation in Matthew 25:
"Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."
"Lord, when did I see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did I see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did I see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
I believe that participating in Sea to Sea is one way I can share in this blessing. The money raised will be used by World Renew and Partners Worldwide for disaster relief, community development, job creation, and business training around the world. It will also be used to fund specific projects by churches and ministries that target those living in poverty both here in North America and abroad.
I encourage everyone reading this to join in by signing up as a cyclist or a volunteer (you still have one more month to do this) or by sponsoring one of the riders (me, for example).
1 These statistics were taken from the Sea to Sea website.