Places like South Sudan and Syria are where the poorest of the poor cling to survival. But with God on our side, "We can bring the light of the Gospel into the world’s darkest places."
See how you can answer God's call in the fight against extreme poverty.
Today’s headlines can feel overwhelming. Racial conflict, famine, poverty, war, and violence seem to shout from our mobile screens and news feeds. These threats loom like Goliaths in front of us, taunting the notion that God’s people could ever conquer them.
Just take a look at the conflict in Syria, which has uprooted over 12 million people, creating more refugees today than ever reported. Millions have flocked to nearby countries seeking shelter and work, living in dilapidated tents or abandoned buildings. They are without homes or jobs, and are seemingly without hope.
Or in South Sudan, where recent conflict has led to an increasing rate of malnutrition in children. During my recent trip to South Sudan, I visited a nutrition program where about one in every five children was in the danger zone of malnutrition. Mothers can’t produce milk to feed their infants because they themselves lack the bare essentials to survive.
Places like South Sudan and Syria are home to the world’s most vulnerable people. And while these states represent only 19 percent of the world’s population, they are now home to 50 percent of the world’s extreme poor, 70 percent of all child mortality, and 60 percent of the world’s hungry. These places are where the poorest of the poor cling to survival.
So how do we approach combating the worst of extreme poverty? How do we Christians face the Goliaths of poverty, war, and human rights abuses in an effective way?
It all goes back to what God asks of us. We are called to trust in him, to be “the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27). The church’s call to love our neighbors may lead us to the world’s most difficult places, and despite the looming threat these contexts pose, together we can positively impact the world. Through our obedience to follow God’s will, we can share His abounding hope with the hopeless. We can bring the light of the Gospel into the world’s darkest places.
Acting through faith like David’s, we can see reality through God’s eyes and know that when we come against these Goliaths in the name of the Lord, he will deliver these enemies into our hands. David had one small stone when he faced Goliath. But his real weapon was his great faith that God was on his side and would not forsake him.
Whether you scroll through your Facebook feed, skim the newspapers, or watch the evening news, the many problems our world faces can feel overwhelming. We may be tempted to ignore them, shutting them out and turning to happier stories. We may be tempted to despair that things are hopeless. But I believe that God calls us to something different. As Christ’s ambassadors in our world, we must be the ones carrying the light of faith when times seem dark.
I believe that every one of us has this responsibility. One step to becoming a bearer of hope is learning about these countries and the conditions consuming them. World Vision, actively serving in 12 of the world’s 15 most vulnerable countries, has created a mobile interactive exhibit that virtually transports viewers to three of the harshest places on earth.
Housed in an expandable semi-trailer truck and traveling around the country, this exhibit offers viewers a 20-minute virtual journey to witness brothels in Bangladesh, the conditions surrounding the Syrian Refugee Crisis, and poverty in Uganda. This truck serves as a resource for those who wish to learn more about World Vision’s work in vulnerable contexts and what they can do to get involved.
Sign up for the World Vision Experience truck today and take on one of the Goliaths in our world. Learn more about these hurting places and how you can make a difference.
Read more about our response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
Learn more about our relief work for those displaced by conflict in South Sudan.