Thursday, October 20, 2011


So last week we went to the premier of the 58: The Film.
For those of you who don't know what 58 is, it's a global initiative to end extreme poverty through acts of true fasting (Isaiah 58).

Isaiah 58

1Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

2Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

3Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

4Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

5Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

6Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

7Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

8Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.

9Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

10And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

11And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

The movie featured different stories of families from Ethiopia, Brazil, India, and Kenya. Each one telling of the daily struggles they face to survive.

One lady with four children lived in a part of the world that hasn't had rain in five years. She lives in a hut that is so bad that her husband left because he couldn't live there anymore. She collects sticks along with her oldest daughter to sell to have money for water and food. But as they collect more and more wood she has to travel farther and farther away from home, all while being 7 months pregnant.

Another story told of a man who works in a stone quarry. He works there to pay off a loan he took from the quarry owner. He is paid very little and when he is ill and cannot come to work his wife and children have to take his place. The physical work is making him sick, but to rest and heal he would get into more debt. He knows that he will die paying off his debt and so will his children and his children's children, all for the $600 that he owes.

Another story of a women who brings home discarded produce from a dumpster that she cleans and sells for money and what is not fit to sell she feeds to her own family. And another of children that are so far from hope that they have even given up on expressing their dreams because they know they will never come true.

Story after story of heartache and extreme poverty, but in the midst of all of these stories there is some good news.

Some 58 Facts

Think ending extreme poverty is impossible? Think again. Consider the following facts:
  • Over the past eight years, the number of kids dying from measles has declined by 78 percent.
  • Twenty-two countries have cut their malaria rate in half in only six years.
  • In the 1990’s the number of children dying from preventable causes dropped from 40,000 to 33,000 per day. In 2008, that number decreased to 24,000. Today, it is 21,000. In one generation, we’ve cut the number of children dying from preventable diseases almost in half!
  • The number of children dying before their fifth birthday has also decreased even while the number of overall births is increasing.
  • In less than ten years, a third of children who couldn’t afford to go to school now can. And literacy rates are rising worldwide.
  • The spread of HIV has been curbed. New HIV infections have been cut 16 percent globally.
  • Two hundred years ago, the average life expectancy was about 30 years. Today, many of us have a life expectancy of 75 to 80 years.
  • In the same 200 years, we’ve gone from over 90 percent of the world’s population living in extreme poverty to about 1.4 billion people there as of 2005 (the latest census numbers). That’s still way too many people. But here’s the good news: In 1981 52 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. By 2005, that number was cut in half down to 26 percent: All in one generation!

How can you help? What is 58 doing?
You can give yourself. Fast one thing. Make a change in your life to make a change in the life of someone else. Live Isaiah 58...

1) Pray. Align your heart with God’s over the suffering of the poor and seek His vision for the unique possibilities of our time.
2) Choose your fast. Commit to go hungry. You might simply forgo a meal, commit to a regular fast, or choose to give up something other than food. There are countless ideas and options.
3) Invite friends to join you or join an existing group to fast together. Grow your church, your fellowship group or other group of friends by fasting together. Sharing this experience with others will be valuable on many levels.
4) Offer whatever you have fasted for the benefit of the poor. If you saved $10 by not eating a meal, give it to help end extreme poverty. If you fasted from television, give that time to advance the cause or learn more.

What 58 does is they partner with organizations like Living Water, Compassion, Hope International, and many more. They ask you to pick your fast, pick your cause, and make a difference.

Here is the preview for the movie that we saw. Please visit the 58 website and read more about what they are doing. Global poverty is curable and it can happen now.

58: THE FILM Trailer from LIVE58NOW on Vimeo.

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