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We tend to be “internally focused” both as individuals and as a country. Although America and other countries are very benevolent when a world-wide disaster strikes, we also tend to think poverty is someone else’s problem. The Barna Research Group conducted a survey that found the following:

  • Americans spend nearly fifty times as much money on fast food as they do helping children in poverty.
  • A typical household spends only $5 a year on assistance to poor children.
  • Nearly 60 percent aren’t sure that addressing poverty is really their responsibility.
  • Half of households had donated nothing to causes or organizations that assist the poor in the preceding year.

The “not-so-good news” regarding the lack versus the plenty is this.

  • If you are reading this website, you are among the world’s “haves,” not the “have nots.”
  • If you earn > $34,000 annually you are in the richest 1% in the world1.
  • Twenty percent of the people in the world live on $1 per day.
  • Another 20 percent live on $2 per day.
  • Americans make up 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 50 percent of the world’s resources.
  • More than two billion children live in our world, half of them in poverty.
  • One of every four children in the world has to work instead of going to school.
  • Eight percent of the people in the world own a car.
  • Thirty thousand people will die today from preventable diseases.
  • A child dies of hunger every 16 seconds.
  • Americans use about a hundred gallons of water at home each day, whereas 46 percent of the world does not even have water piped into their homes.
  • Forty percent of the world lacks basic sanitation facilities.
  • More than a billion people have unsafe drinking water.
  • One in 3,700 American women die in childbirth; 1 in 16 women in sub-Saharan Africa die in childbirth.
  • Forty percent of the world’s population is under 15, whereas 20 percent of Americans are under 15.

These statistics bring perspective.  We are so blessed in America.   We need to redirect how we are spending our time, talents, and money and where we are giving, and give more thought to a world-wide lasting legacy.

Of the world’s seven billion people:

  • 20 percent live in China
  • 20 percent in India
  • 5 percent in the US
  • 55 percent in other nations

The growth of Christianity outside of the Western world has been staggering:

  • In 1800, only 1 percent of Christians lived outside of North America and Western Europe
  • In 1900, increased to 10 percent of Christians lived outside North America and Western Europe
  • In 2000, more than 67 percent of Christians live outside North America and Western Europe

Here are some mind-blowing reasons to get excited.  Revival might not be occurring in the West, but check this out:

  • There were 50,000 believers in Latin America in 1900; now there are more than 480 million!
  • There are 28,000 conversions daily in China, mostly through the underground church.
  • There were one million Christians in China in 1950; today there are about 100 million!
  • In Indonesia, the largest Islamic country, more than one million people convert to Christianity each  year.
  • India has more than 85 million believers.
  • In 1900, Korea was impenetrable; today, South Korea is more than 40 percent Christian.
  • In Iran, more people have come to know the Lord in the past ten years than the last thousand years.
  • There are 20,000 conversions daily in Africa; 40 percent of Africa is Christian now.
  • From 1900 to the present, Pentecostals, Charismatics, and Neo-Charismatics have grown from 1 million to more than 600 million.
  • None of the fifty largest churches in the world are in North America.
    • Seoul, Korea—253,000 in Yoido Full Gospel Church
    • Abidjan, Ivory Coast—150,000 members
    • Santiago, Chile—150,000 in Yotabeche Methodist Church
    • Lagos, Nigeria—120,000 in Deeper Life Bible Church

Many tools to help you are available in A Lasting Legacy.

1 According to World Bank economist, Branko Milanovic



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