"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
As the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami moves over 150,000, it's important to remember what else that number represents.
*the number of women who die in childbirth every four months worldwide, most of whom are in the developing world (Source: World Health Organization)
*the number of children under five who die every five days worldwide, most of whom live in the developing world, most of whom die of treatable or preventable causes (like malaria) (Source: World Health Organization)
*half the number of youth and girls serving as child soldiers around the world. Many are less than 10 years old. Many girl soldiers are forced into different forms of sexual slavery. (Source: UNHCR)
*the number of people who die of malaria worldwide every seven weeks (Source: World Health Organization)
*the number of people who die of HIV/AIDS worldwide every 18 days(Source: DATA)
None of this is to criticize giving to tsunami relief. I've done it ... I hope you do it. It's important.
But there's a weird psychology of giving that makes people give to big, headline-catching, crisis events (like this and 9/11) and not to long-term crises and developmental need (like global AIDS relief). In fact, because people budget their charitable giving, an ancillary cost to events like the tsunami is that other important aid gets taken from incredibly important work.
As we give and as we encourage others to give to tsunami relief, we need to make sure we're giving and talking about giving new money that wouldn't already have been given away. Otherwise, we're just shifting money from one hungry child to another and not really responding to tragedy at all.
EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.
Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."