Just How Rich are We? (Poverty Week)

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Mother Teresa

I’d like to share a few things with you this week on poverty. If you are anything like me, I find myself ignoring the fact that there are hungry people in this world because it seems much easier than feeling guilty about it. I often times wonder … “Can I make a difference?”  What I do know is that poverty in many parts of the world is far worse than most Americans (including me) understand. Here are a few statistics …

  • Only 10% of the people in the world can afford a car … (so I shouldn’t be griping about gas prices).
  • Over 3 billion people, about half the world’s population, live on less than $2.50 a day.  1 billion people live on less than $1 a day. The average American (.3 billion) lives on $105 a day.
  • According to UNICEF, 24,000 children die each day due to poverty.
  • My 8 year-old son, Cooper, never goes to bed hungry unless he refuses to eat something he doesn’t like. In developing countries, approximately 850 million people go to bed hungry every night and search for creative ways to ignore their discomfort, like the little boy who grew up in India who remembered his mother telling him to sleep on his stomach because it helped quell the hunger pains.
  • Twenty percent of the world has no access to clean water. Millions more walk long distances to carry every drop of water to their homes.

Here are some things to think about …

  • You and I spent 15 billion dollars on bottled water last year, despite the clean water we have that flows from the faucet in our sinks.
  • You and I spent 12 billion dollars on storage facilities last year to store our extra worldly possessions that we don’t have room for in our homes.
  • Economists said last year’s Christmas season was a downer. Yet we somehow still spent 470.4 billion dollars. Now understand that is 11 million dollars a minute that we spent between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I’m not trying to make you feel guilty … but compared to everyone else, we’re rich! Chan was right when he said in his book Crazy Love, “It’s ridiculous that on any given day we might flippantly call ourselves “broke” or “poor”?  We are neither of those things. We are filthy rich.”

Here are a few things the Bible says about money …

  • “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:15-16
  • “He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” Proverbs 22:9
  • “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18,
  • “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” Luke 3:11

So what can we do?  What’s being done? What’s the church’s responsibility?  Glad you asked …

Tuesday & Wednesday, I’m going to share with you two inspirational stories of what kids are doing to feed and help hungry people. They are inspirations to me.

Thursday, I’m going to suggest some things you might do to help, and you can share with me some ways you know to help.

You’re going to love tomorrow’s story. And if you are interested, here’s my sermon from yesterday on the same topic.  :)

A Home in Honduras

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
26 Comments Post a Comment
  1. jasonS says:

    Thank you for what you’ve presented here in such clear terms. It’s not about guilt if we will seek God and do something. That doesn’t mean ‘seek God’ for a few minutes, forget all about it, and move on to something else. There are thousands of ways and various means to get involved right at this moment.

    Thanks Trey–great encouragement and challenge here.

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Jason, my friend … thanks for your words. Some of the verses I mentioned above have really been gnawing on me. I don’t want to just seek God for a moment, like you said, I want to live it. Thanks for your encouragement.

  2. Paige says:

    Trey, this is terrific! Thank you! But I wanted to point out that 1 in 8 children are going hungry right here in America. In fact, here in Texas, 1 in 4 children don’t know where their next meal is coming from and we’re the 4th worst in the country for senior citizen hunger.

    Domestic hunger is literally in all of our backyards and it’s not who you think it is…for instance here at the North Texas Food Bank, 35% of our clients either have or have had a professional or managerial job and only 9% of our clients are actually homeless.

    We started an initiative called Full On Faith, to activate our faith-based community to get involved and make domestic hunger a priority. Check it out and keep on blogging! Your voice matters to us!

    Thanks!
    Paige
    http://www.ntfb.org/full-on-faith.cfm

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Paige …

      You are 100% correct. Just last night we discovered a family living in a home without electricity and food. They came seeking milk for their 3 very small children. When I followed up a bit more, the kids hadn’t eaten much this last week. Needless to say, we got them food and electricity should be on today.

      We don’t want to over look anyone. I love what North Texas Food Banks does to serve so many. Keep up the great ministry.

  3. Debbie says:

    I’m pretty sure that the money I used to buy my son Transformer toy for his birthday would be enough money for a couple of months of dinners for someone in poverty. I had to budget my money this month for school clothes, we could only get one outfit and one pair of shoes for the boys. After reading your blog I don’t feel bad anymore! We’re doing just fine!

  4. Katherine says:

    I am one of those who have added to the billion dollar storage industry…for the last 3 years and still counting…

    Even as a “struggling” missionary I am blessed beyond belief and never go without…while I have a car waiting for me back in Texas.

    What is the quote? “To whom much has been given…much is expected”.

    I hope I never take for granted God’s blessings (though I know I often do), and always look for ways to give back…not just once in awhile, but as a lifestyle.

    Thanks for constantly challenging and encouraging!! Can’t wait to read more inspiring stories…

    • Trey Morgan says:

      I love hearing from my struggling missionary friend. Tucker and I had breakfast this morning and we talked about you. :) It was all good.

      Loved your comment.

      • Katherine says:

        I knew my nose was itching…or ears were burning…something like that! 😉 I would’ve LOVED to have been at breakfast with the two of you!! Hope it was a blessed time!

  5. Kandys says:

    Hey Trey,
    I always enjoy being able to read what you have to say. Your life is a ministry in itself; I’m not from Childress (obviously) so when I don’t get to see/hear one of your sermons while visiting family up there, it is always uplifting & an awesome reminder for me when I get to read your blog.
    Thanks :)

  6. Julie says:

    Trey, someone asked and I guess I hadn’t considered it, how do the families in Honduras, those we built houses for in rural areas, get water?
    I can’t make the build or Jesus feast events in Honduras, but would like to do something locally. I’m going to adopt an elderly couple or two individuals (with pets!). We have a Thanksgiving day meal served to the entire community. I’ll volunteer to donate food and time for that event. I’ll ring the bell for the Salvation Army. Any other thoughts, suggestions? Will your sermons suggest something? Will the book Crazy Love suggest something?
    Thanks Trey!

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Julie … many of them carry all their water in to their home. There are others I’ve seen that are able to run a low flow pvc pipe to their home when there is water close by. BUT it’s still water that’s not clean.

      I love your ideas for serving and doing ministry. I’m going to give you a few ideas on Wednesday or Thursday. If you get a chance listen to my sermon at the bottom of the post. If anything it’ll give you a nice 30 minute nap. :)

  7. Greg England says:

    Of the many things I admire about you, Trey, is that you don’t just throw out the stats … you live out solutions. Just how wealthy we are is a reminder we need often. And if I suddenly lost my income, I’d still be far wealthier than much of the world.

  8. Carolyn says:

    I’m so glad you’re blogging about poverty this week. I will be tuning in. A few weeks ago I noticed a homeless man and his little dog in the park by my work. Something turned on in my heart while I watched him and couldn’t stop thinking about him. I packed extra sack lunches a few times and took them to him and he was incredibly grateful, but what I realized is that doing this blessed me beyond belief…maybe more than it blessed him. He’s not staying in the park anymore, I’ve wondered a lot about where he is now. He opened my eyes and heart during the short time I knew him. Since then I can’t let an opportunity pass me by to help someone, and God has been providing me at least one person a week who needs something that I can give them. Whether it’s some gas money, or a cup of coffee and some breakfast, or just someone who needs to talk…I can hardly wait to see who he sends my way next.

    I look forward to hearing about ways we can serve in our community, I’ve been thinking I’d like to volunteer somewhere and help in a less random fashion. It’s such a gift to be merciful…I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure that out.

    • Trey Morgan says:

      Carolyn – That’s great that you acted on what you were feeling in your heart. Too many people drive on by. What’s amazing is that when we help it blesses others AND us as well. It’s a win/win situation. Blessings to you in your ministry to others and thanks for dropping by.

  9. John Zeller says:

    Trey,
    When I see such overwhelming needs in places like Honduras, what most of us (churches included) in the USA spend our money on seems quite frivolous or extravagant. How do we balance between severe foreign needs and less critical domestic needs? Seems like our budgets are upside down and a majority of our riches should go to the most desperate needs but then our local programs shrivel from lack of funding. I’m torn! Any thoughts on this dilemma?

    • Trey Morgan says:

      John, you bring up a great point. One which is easy to diagnose, but hard to cure. Churches do have their budgets and giving upside down. 70% of their budgets is spent on building, staff, electricity, etc. That’s not good and I’m part of the problem. In Acts 2 and the end of Acts 5, people were bringing money to the elders (their contribution) and it was being redistributed to the poor… to the point that no one had any needs. The church was a redistribution center for the poor and needy. It doesn’t look that way today.

      Thankfully, many churches have seen their mistakes and are in the process of trying to correct them. I know I currently am.

      • John Zeller says:

        Trey, you are doing an awesome job and you are part of the solution! Thanks for your encouragement. This is something we can all work on, as churches and more importantly as individuals since we have more control over ourselves than larger institutions.

  10. Terry says:

    This is a sobering verse about poverty:

    “Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
    will himself call out and not be answered” (Proverbs 21:13, ESV).

    Keep up the good work, Trey.

  11. Robin says:

    Thanks for this dose of reality, Trey. I needed it more than I realized. I love your heart!

  12. […] Just How Rich Are We? by Trey Morgan (TreyMorgan.net). Trey is shining a light on poverty week, some sad and shocking statistics, and what we can do to help (go check out the posts for all week). […]

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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