Thursday, January 12, 2012

1 out of 6.8 billion

         I have to be honest....although in my honesty, its important to know - YWAM is one of those places that has a way of taking you by surprise and flips all your plans up-side-down.
        Knowing I was going to be celebrating my 21st birthday away from home wasn't exactly the highlight of my going away gifts, which was why I was nearly brought to tears at the way the Lord provided so abundantly on January 11, 2012.
         I woke up to two of my (already) good friends climbing into bed with me and singing "happy birthday" at the obnoxious hour of 7am. Once they finished their (lovely, I might add) version of the classic American birthday song, they announced that it had snowed all night and the weather was continuing to blanket our campus into a beautiful winter wonderland. The Lord knows us so well :)
Snow is one of my favorite creations. The day continued on, receiving unexpected gifts....(including one from the amazing Laura Pickard...thank you!!) and other over the top blessings. Just SOME of the ways our Heavenly Father chose to dote upon me on my special day. It was really a humbling day when looking back....a simple reminder that our God sees even the little things...and takes those into account when creating the day before us.

SO far school has been about facts and figures. What to expect and just what exactly we've gotten ourselves into. The basic outline, for all those who have been asking: 

 The Community Development For Missions School is designed to equip students with the mind set and skills to bring deep and lasting transformation to hurting communities.  The foundation of the school is a biblical understanding of the root causes of poverty and our response as followers of Christ.  
During the school experienced practitioners will teach key concepts in community development and common pitfalls to avoid.  Students will be introduced to the challenges faced by people in developing countries and explore how we can best help.  A graduate of the school will be equipped with practical tools, resources and contacts to pursue their specific area of interest.

Today we talked about what exactly "Poverty" is. Why and how it happens.
We came up with several conclusions, most of which (we all agreed) is the result of a spiritual bind the enemy has over these countries. Slavery of the mind. Lack of natural resources. Lack of education. Sickness. Lack of sanitation. Greed. Laziness (expecting hand outs). Hopelessness. Slavery of a corrupt government. etc.
Some crazy statistics 

World Population

  • 6.8 billion1

World Hunger

  • 925 million people do not have enough to eat — more than the populations of USA, Canada and the European Union combined.2
  • 98% of the world's undernourished people live in developing countries.2
  • Two-thirds of the world's hungry live in just 7 countries: Bangladesh, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Pakistan.2
  • Where is hunger the worst?
    • Asia and the Pacific: 578 million3
    • Sub-Saharan Africa: 239 million3
    • Latin America and the Caribbean: 53 million3
    • Near East and North Africa: 37 million3
    • Developed countries: 19 million3
    • Women and Children

      • 60 percent of the world's hungry are women.4
      • 50 percent of pregnant women in developing countries lack proper maternal care, resulting in over 300,000 maternal deaths annually from childbirth.4
      • 1 out of 6 infants are born with a low birth weight in developing countries.5
      • A third of all childhood death in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by hunger.6
      • Every five seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases.6

      Basically....this ^ is my calling for this season in my life....
      I'll be training, researching and praying - to equip myself to get to the root of these problems. 
      I can't wait to see where God takes me with all this...I'll be praying dillegently this semester for answers on where the Lord plans to put me after school. There are a lot of options, and part of my heart feels that the Lord may be asking me to lay Haiti down for a bit and walk in a new path....Its a scarry.... and exciting feeling at the same time. I'm reminded more often lately of the verse in Proverbs:

      "In his heart a man plans his course, but the            LORD determines his steps."

      Be in prayer with me about God's heart for the world...and His heart for this season in my life.

      Lots of love <3

      Thank you all so much again for all the support you've given and continue to give.