The Scripture tells us that our safety does not come from military power. The Old Testament is full of the prophets telling the people not to trust the weapons of war to protect them. There’s a clear message that hoping to find security through the military is a dangerous and false hope.
The Bible tells the people of faith that “our hope is in the name of our Lord, who made both heaven and earth.” It’s a message we desperately need to hear and to heed today.
We have the largest military budget the world has ever seen. No other country, no other 12 countries, spend as much on national defense as the United States. This is not just wrong. In a world where we have 20,000 of our human family dying daily from hunger and malnutrition, spending this amount on military defense is both abhorrent and morally repugnant.
We can end hunger in the next 15 years according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. But we will never do it wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on wasteful, unnecessary, and sinful military spending. It’s time to trust in the Lord.
The numbers of extremely poor continue to drop around the globe. Working together, we are changing the world.
The chart pictured above illustrates the good news. The Millennium Development Goals (from 2000 -2015), and now the Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2030), are working, and working well.
We are on track to end hunger by 2030. Let’s continue striving to make it happen. Working together we can achieve a world without hunger, and we can do it in our lifetime.
This past Wednesday I was privileged to join together with Stop Hunger Now international affiliate directors and over 1,000 HP employees in Kuala Lumpur as we packaged over 300,000 meals for the hungry. I left the event to catch my plane to China and on to Fort St. John, Canada to attend the Rotary District 5370 Conference here in Dawson Creek where I addressed the conference Friday morning.
Beginning Friday afternoon, the conference participants and the Dawson Creek community worked together to package over 286,000 Stop Hunger Now meals. What an honor it was to be a small part of such powerful events.
The packaging event with HP was a powerful demonstration of corporate social responsibility while the the Rotary packaging event illustrates the power of our partnerships with civic groups. Rotary District Governor Tim Schilds has a goal of District 5370 packaging a million meals this year. The district is off to a great start, and I am sure the goal will be reached.
During these two events participants worked together to provide over a half a million meals for hungry children around the world. As one couple from Poland attending the event here in Dawson Creek said to me, ‘This is very good. We need to do it more.”
I agree. Working together we are demonstrating that we can end hunger in our lifetime.
Yesterday I had to leave Kuala Lumpur to continue my trip. I arrived here at my hotel in Guangzhou about midnight, on my way to Dawson’s Creek, Canada.
I wasn’t ready to leave Malaysia. Before I had to leave for the airport I had the opportunity to join my Stop Hunger Now colleagues from around the world in helping at a 300,000 meal packaging event hosted by HP. What a powerful testimony that almost a thousand HP employees joined together to help end the scourge of hunger.
It’s yet another sign pointing toward the growing global movement that will create a hunger-free world in our lifetime. What a true joy it was to be a part of the excitement and sense of accomplishment that was present during the event.
But, even though I wasn’t ready to leave Kuala Lumpur and all my friends and colleagues at our International Summit, I am pleased to be headed toward Canada. I will be addressing a Rotary District Conference that has already committed to packaging 1,000,000 Stop Hunger Now meals before next August. That’s no small thing.
During my time at the conference in Dawson’s Creek, we are scheduled to package a full 40 foot container which is 285,000 meals. It will be much cooler there, but we will be taking part in changing the world just as the employees have done in Kuala Lumpur.
Every day I see us drawing closer to ending hunger in our lifetime. You are a leader in that effort. Thanks for all you do to turn that vision into a reality.
A little later this morning I will leave home to travel to Birmingham, Alabama to take part in a special celebration and milestone event at Canterbury United Methodist Church. They are hosting their fourth meal packaging event. And while that is cause for celebration, an even bigger reason to celebrate is that they are achieving a wonderful distinction. More about that in tomorrow’s post.
Below are some more exciting facts taken from the latest Stop Hunger Now weekly staff update.
Did you know?
The Stop Hunger Now team DOUBLED our international meal packaging to 6.4 million in 2014, thanks to an awesome team effort!
Check out some of the highlights…maybe you were there!
Hewlett-Packard engaged 5,000 employee volunteers in packaging 1.4 million meals in 10 countries!
Rotarians packaged 30,000 meals at the 2014 Rotary International Conference in Sydney, Australia, sponsored by Zambrero
More than 5,000 volunteers (including Graca Machel) packaged 848,681 meals for Mandela Day in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
HSBC Bank packaged more than 192,000 meals with Stop Hunger Now Philippines
SanDisk volunteers packaged more than 300,000 meals in our first event in Shanghai, China facilitated by Stop Hunger Now Malaysia
Stay tuned, we are opening two new Affiliate offices in India and Peru. Through the establishment of Affiliate offices, Stop Hunger Now has a distinctive ability to have a sustainable impact, harnessing the collective energies of populations around the world in the fight against hunger.
The first Millennium Development Goal is to half between 1990 and 2015 the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.00 a day. This MDG target has already been met, but there is still 1.2 billion of our family living in extreme poverty.
Extreme poverty rates continue to fall in every developing region of the world. China leads the way with the extreme poverty rates there dropping from 60 per cent in 1990 to 16 per cent in 2005 and down to 12 per cent in 2010.
Poverty remains widespread in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, although real progress can be seen in Southeast Asia. The drop in extreme poverty rates in Southern Asia has fallen by an average of a percentage point every year. The extreme poverty rate was 51 per cent in 1990. Now, 20 years later it has dropped to 30 per cent.
The extreme poverty rates in sub-Saharan Africa by contrast has fallen only 8 percentage points during the past two decades. In fact, sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world that had a steady rise in the number of people living in extreme poverty. In 1990 the number of people in sub-Saharan Africa living in extreme poverty was 290 million. In 2010 that number had increased to 414 million. This number accounts for more than a third of all the destitute people in the world.
Abject poverty is found in areas where poor health and the lack of education keep people from productive work. These are areas where there is bad governance, corruption and depleted natural resources. Conflict and corruption discourage private investment.
We can continue reducing the proportion of our family living in extreme poverty. But for this to happen the international community must take the next steps in combating poverty at every level.