Thursday, November 18, 2010

Helping with High Heels pt 1 (Ignorance Is Bliss)

I was walking through the mall yesterday and decided to stop with a friend and get Starbucks. While waiting I noticed a big box where Starbucks is collecting shoes for people around the world that do not have shoes. My friend looked also and noticed that in the box, which was nearly empty, there were a pair of what I would call flip flop heels. They had the straps like a flip flop but they also had heels. I began to laugh because I am imagining some lady in Africa or in South America that has to walk 5 miles to get water for her village and someone handed her these shoes.

How very impractical.

I think, from my limited perspective, there are a few lessons here. The first one I will mention is our limited world view. We, as Americans, are very sheltered in our understanding of this world. We have missed the boat with understanding what necessity is and what a spoiled desire is. Here are just a few stats from some of my recent travels…

-There are over 1,000,000,000 people in this world that don’t have drinking water…that’s a billion people. It is just water, and they have to walk 10-20 miles a day to get what they can get. What water they can get is stagnant, bacteria filled, shared with animals (and all that comes from them), and even then there isn’t very much water. This causes villages not to have school for their children because the kids job is to go and get the water, which is an all day job. No schooling, the cycle continues, no hope, no growth, just sickness.

-Sex trafficking is a huge industry in this world. In fact it is a $32,000,000,000 industry, yes that is in billions again. 27,000,000 people stuck as slaves in this industry around the world. Girls in many countries are asked to service between 40-50 men a day. The average age of these girls? 14 yrs old. If you think, yes, but we have so many issues to deal with here in the U.S., you are right because sex trafficking is HERE. In Ohio alone there are over 1,800 people trafficked a year. In Ohio. It isn’t just Ohio; it is all over the U.S.

-There are people without shoes, people starving, people who have ailments but no ability to get medical help. I heard a story recently of a man who went on a medical trip to Africa to help the many people that needed various medical attention. They went into the biggest soccer stadium they could find, began treating people and filled up very rapidly. They had to turn people away, they had helped over 5,000 people, but hadn’t scratched the surface. As the man continued to talk, he mentioned that one family that he had to turn away had walked for over a month…A MONTH!

I don’t think we get it. I don’t think I get it.

I don’t want to overwhelm anyone with all of this, that isn’t my intention. I just want us to think as we close in on this season that we sit and gorge on all sorts of goodies, which I am not condemning, that we also maybe take this time that we sit down with friends and family to think of ways we can make things a little better somewhere. Just a thought, I have gone on long enough.

Tomorrow: Helping with High Heels pt 2 (The Art of Missing the Point)

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