The Water Crisis – What do we do!?

By Jon Hirst with Randy Rosso

CBS 60 Minutes “Depleting the Water” aired last night on how the earth’s groundwater is being pumped out and used much faster than it can be replenished.

The facts are pretty frightening, and the projections are even more unsettling. In the video they said, “Water is the new oil.” That means that water rights and usage will be highly competitive, expensive, and will cause conflict.

Last March for World Water Day, we released a Missiographic about water usage, our poor stewardship of it globally, and a call to action. Check it out below.

Some facts that stand out in our infographic include:

  • 1.1 billion people have NO access to clean water…
  • Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water borne illness…
  • 2 million tons of industrial and agricultural wastes are poured into the earth’s water sources every day…
  • It takes 15 thousand Liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef

When looking at the map, almost half of the world is going to be under some sort of stress by 2050. And some parts of the world are going to be in really big trouble at the current rate of water usage.

So what do we do about it?

We all must start preparing and planning for when water resources get to dangerously low levels. That means preparing the Global Church as well.

As the body of Christ, we have an amazing opportunity in the midst of this situation to really shine the light of Jesus. Instead of being selfish with our resources, we should be sharing and finding ways to give to people who need it. Because there are going to be a lot more people who are going to need it soon.

Another thing the Global Church has the opportunity to do is model the way in the water conservation effort. From raising awareness to donating to organizations that provide clean water to doing our best to save water. Even if it may seem small, it really can have a HUGE impact, especially as the crisis gets worse.

However, should the church stop at just the small things? Absolutely not. By modeling the way of generosity with resources, especially water, imagine what could happen. Even if no one else joined in and it was just the Global Church being the leading giver of resources across the world, so many people would be impacted physically and hopefully spiritually as well! But we all know how society works, and if the church were to be the role model for giving internationally, we could start a movement that would literally change the course of the projected future.

Isn’t that what God is all about, anyway? Changing what should be our futures and giving us hope for a future that is beyond comprehension. Let’s allow God to work through the Global Church to change the future.

How will you choose to respond?

 

For more information and applications of our infographic, visit http://www.gmi.org/services/missiographics/library/water-not-natural-resource/.

ECPA CEO Summit: Media Consumption

By Jon Hirst with Randy Rosso

I’m excited to be speaking at the ECPA CEO Summit in Orlando today. ECPA, The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, holds several different leadership events throughout the year. The CEO Summit “presents the only opportunity within Christian publishing where C-suite executives — from large to small houses — can engage at a meaningful level with the information and data relevant to their unique roles in leading the industry.”

Today, I will speaking about understanding the global church and the implications for Christian publishers as they try and engage with readers around the world. I will also be focusing on some research studies on media consumption around the world and how that can be used to our advantage as believers.

One way to get a gauge on the media consumption is to study how much time people from various countries spend using different avenues of media. To be more specific, how much time are people watching TV, listening to the radio, reading books, or going online?

The answer can be found from the World Culture Score Index, which details the average number of hours a week people in different countries spend using different types of media. The graph below visualizes the results of key countries and then the Global average as well for each category.

This is fascinating and powerful insight into how different cultures consume content. It is key as believers that we understand these types of trends so that we can effectively reach people in different countries with the Gospel.

Are you using the right media to reach your audience?

 

For the full statistics, visit PR Newswire.

The Fatherless: Orphans

By Jon Hirst with Randy Rosso

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

This past Sunday was not only the first day of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, but also Orphan Sunday.  As we pray for the parentless and reflect on ways to help, a great resource can be found in GMI’s Seeing Your World. Written by Andy Butcher, this book is a collection of research and information by experts on “10 key global shifts that will change the way you serve.” Chapter 2, “Women and Children,” sheds light on orphans around the world with impactful research by Pushpa Waghmare.

As stated above, we as Christians are instructed to care for orphans and widows, yet this is not always carried out.

Orphans are extremely vulnerable and at great risk to child labor, sex trafficking, lack of education, malnourishment, disease, and even death itself. What’s more, these children never receive the love that we all so desperately need. Not having an adult, family, or community to look after a young one can end up disastrous. “The global number of street children has been estimated at more than 100 million,” says Waghmare (16).[1]

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:40

Jesus told us that when we help those in need, like orphans, we are truly doing it for Him. In that spirit, shouldn’t helping and praying for the fatherless be one of the top priorities for the Global Church? Yes, it should; we need to pray that families stay together, that children are kept off the street, that they go to bed with a full stomach, that they feel loved, that fellow believers and community members will open their homes to children in need.

These prayers should be the bare minimum in response to the huge number of orphans worldwide, estimated to be around 153 million today.[2]

The goal of Orphan Sunday is, “that God’s great love for the orphan will find echo in our lives as well,”[3] and that we can answer God’s call to care for these children.

What is your response going to be?

There are so many ways to help, whether it be prayer, financial support of a ministry, or even just learning more so you can help raise awareness. We encourage you to pray about how you might respond to the call.

For more information, please visit http://orphansunday.org/, or to purchase our book Seeing Your World click here.


[1] Butcher, Andy. Seeing Your World. Colorado Springs: GMI, 2014. Print.

[2] “Facts and Statistics.” CCAI. Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

[3] “About.” Orphan Sunday. Christian Alliance for Orphans, 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.