In the past month or so, I’ve started to realize how our upbringing affects the way that we look at the world. This is partly due to the “Perspectives in World Missions” class that I am taking, and a few other books I’m reading. Having lived my whole life in America, I’m realizing that I’m relatively “blind” about the lifestyle and situations taking place in other countries. Although it’s easy to think that America is on top of the world, that’s not necessarily a good thing when you look at global wealth and what we are spending our money on. God has been teaching me that the world we live in really is a lot bigger than I thought. And as I prepare to leave in July for the World Race, I am excited that not only am I be learning about these things intellectually, I will be experiencing the diversity present in our world firsthand.
For example, if all the people in the world represented a single “global village” of 100 people,
- 60 would be asian
- 14 african
- 12 European
- 8 Latin American
- 5 American/Canadian
- 1 South Pacific
- 51 male
- 49 female
- 82 non-white
- 18 white
- 67 non-Christian
- 33 Christian
Here’s a video displaying this “Global Village”:
I guess I tend to assume that everyone is like me, so it surprises me that if the whole world were 100 people, there would only be only 18 white, and 5 Americans in the bunch.
Here are some other striking statistics about the world that I’ve discovered- just stop and think…
-1 in 7 worldwide do not have enough food to sustain them. The world can and does produce enough food to feed all of its 6.7 billion inhabitants – the problem is that both the food and the capacity to produce it are unequally distributed
-The top 20% of the world’s population consumes 80% of the world’s goods
-In 1820, the gap between the richest and poorest countries was 4 to 1
in 1913, the gap was 11 to 1
in 1950, the gap was 35 to 1
in 2002, the gap was 95 to 1
-The governments of the world are spending 1.2 trillion – 12 hundred billion – on militaries. The US accounts for almost half of this figure, spending more than 46 nations combined. Just $65 billion/year would be enough to lift one billion people living less than $1/day out of extreme poverty – only 5% of global military spending.
-No wonder why Gahndi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
(Statistics above from Richard Stearns’ book The Hole in Our Gospel, a great read)
Jesus told us to pray by saying,”Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Yes, Jesus. May you bring forth Your kingdom on this earth. Show me, teach me, use me in this world, that I might better reflect your love and glory. Teach us how to be stewards of this planet and the resources you have given us to live on. Give us eyes to see one another as you see us, and give us a heart of compassion, in order that we might alleviate the injustices in the world. May the whole earth be filled with your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.