“America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions
of starving people.” ~ Gloria Steinem
Here is some disturbing statistics;
•925 million people do not have enough to eat
— more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union combined.
of the world's undernourished people live in developing countries.
•Two-thirds of the world's
hungry live in just 7 countries: Bangladesh, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Pakistan.
•Where is hunger the worst?
and the Pacific: 578 million
Africa: 239 million
◦Latin America and the
Caribbean: 53 million
East and North Africa: 37 million
countries: 19 million
So, we ask, how does this apply
to me and what can I do?
Firstly as a Christian, I want to know what
Jesus and the bible said about the poor...
In the old testament of the bible we read
Work hard to feed hungry people. Satisfy the needs of those who
are crushed. Then my blessing will light up your darkness. And the night of your suffering will become as bright as the noonday
And Jesus said...
"Then the King will speak to those on his right. He will say, 'My Father has blessed you. Come and take
what is yours. It is the kingdom prepared for you since the world was created. 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 gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me.'
"Then the people who have done what is right will answer him. 'Lord,'
they will ask, 'when did we see you hungry and feed you? When did we see you thirsty and give you something
to drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? When did we see you needing clothes and give them to you?
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
King will reply, 'What I'm about to tell you is true. Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers of
mine, you did for me.'
Jesus was encouraging those of us who have to
help those who haven’t got enough!
Now this gets me to the part where we ask ourselves are we overweight?
can we know what is overweight?
What is a good test without getting onto a scale?
It’s a relatively easy thing to find out...here is Ken’s test number 1.
make a fist (we should know how to do this). Now, take that fist and place it thumb side against your breastbone. That’s
the boney part in the center of our chest (between our breasts if we are women). Now we simply stand up straight, relax,
and look over the edge of our fist to the tips of our toes. (It’s easier to do this naked when we have just come
out of the shower or bath).
Can we easily see our toes without our stomach
getting in the way?
(I did say completely relaxed, let those stomach
muscles relax folk! )
sure hope we can! If we can’t, we are overweight!
Now there are
some starving people who can’t do this because their stomach extend at a certain point in starvation, so there is a
double check. Let’s encircle our fingers about three inches above our wrist on our forearm. If our fingers touch, then
we are not overweight even if you failed the last test.
Probably if you
are like me that’s not something we can do too easily!
we are overweight, we want to understand just how bad it is don’t we?
Are we obese? Here is Ken’s test number two.
this is the Ken test...no scientific rigor here, but I think you will intuitively know I’m right ).
put our fist in the center of our relaxed belly and now try to peer over our fist by straining our neck forward as far as
we cannot see the tips of our toes without falling forward or straining our neck to the point we feel like a giraffe, we are
Okay so these are the non-scientific tests! The scientists say
if we have a body mass index over 30kg/m2 (weight in kilograms divided by the square of our height in meters) then we are
overweight. [That’s far too complex for those of us without scales and mathematics to do, so that’s why I have
these other tests.
Now for a sad fact!
Two out of three Americans over 20 years of age are overweight (they fail test 1) and one out of
three are obese (they fail my second test).
This means that most of us in 1st world countries reading this blog are probably either overweight or obese!
Sorry, but that’s the likelihood of this being true!
should we do? How can
we do something with all these facts?
I have been praying about this and I think
maybe I have an idea that will help us get into better shape and ALSO at the same time redistribute some of that food to those
that are starving.
Did you know the earth has enough
food to feed everyone if it’s distributed evenly to everyone?
Here is how we can help ourselves and the world at the same
If we are overweight (we fail the Ken’s test number 1) we need to make up
a jar at home and label it “World hunger fund”.
Now, we make sure
to have breakfast, but one of the other meals each day, we simply skip and instead we fast and pray. It’s easy to remember
to pray because we will get hungry around that time. Each time we get hungry we pray for those in the world that are hungry,
for a redistribution of the food to feed them, and for God to help us find ways to help.
also put our hands into our pocket and take out the money we would have spent on that meal and separate it from the rest of
our money (e.g. put it in different pocket, into a plastic bag we carry for the purpose etc.) until we get home, then we deposit
it into the “world hunger fund” jar.
If we give in
and eat anyhow, we still deposit that amount of money in the jar!
Then, we look
for an organization that feeds the hungry in an underprivileged country and at the end of the month we send them that money.
We do this at least until we pass test one!
are obese (we fails
Ken’s test two) we work out how much money we spend on food weekly and we then half that amount. We take that half of
the money and put it in the jar! We use only the remainder to feed ourselves for the week and again every time we are hungry
We do this for a month and retake the test and do this again and again until we hit
the overweight status. Then we follow that “overweight” procedure until we hit the “okay”
If we use more money that the half we planned to use we
still put the planned half into the jar! We don’t use it to feed ourselves!
This is one way we can help feed the world and also improve our situation!
way of reducing weight has a number of things I think that help!
- Firstly, there is no specific diet rules to break!
- Secondly, it is a way of easily measuring if I am living up to what I believe
God would expect of me.
- Thirdly it actually redistributes
food from my privileged first world country to another underprivileged needy country.
- Fourthly, I can clearly see how much money I waste of
bad eating habits and this helps me change.
- Fifthly and most importantly, it gets me praying for
those who desperately need these prayers.
I might throw in the odd prayer for God to help me stick to this as
well since anything like this is difficult. But I know as much as I struggle to not eat too much, there is a person who is
totally incapable of helping themselves who is suffering far worse than I am, but in a similar way to myself.
I realise that I actually have it easy in my suffering, and it gives me compassion
for the hungry and poor. It also enables me to see how wonderfully blessed I am with all
That’s my challenge for today! Let’s check our weight and if it’s
not healthy, let’s take our unhealthy situation, make it more healthy and at the same time change the world! Isn’t
that a wonderful thought for today?