Small Sacrifices

1 07 2008

As I stood in the grocery checkout line today, I perused the magazine headlines.  “Lose 10 pounds in a week.”  “The new squid diet.”  “Eat all you want, and still lose weight.” I was interested!  After all, who can’t rely on tabloids to keep us accurately informed on the latest health news?  But alas, no dieting for me today I tell ya.  No sir!  Not this gal.  Tomorrow though, I’m ready to make the “sacrifice.”

I plan to eat well tonight because I’m scheduled to fast all day tomorrow.  That means that I will go the entire day without food.  A WHOLE DAY!  Of course I will have all the clean, fresh, cold water and caffeine free diet coke I can handle while going without this food.  If I’m lucky, I might even shed just one of the 60 or so extra pounds of body weight I currently possess.  I will also get to consume all this water and diet coke while sitting comfortably in my air conditioned suburban home; watching TV or reading a book.

I will go without food for one day so that one child may be able to eat one meal tomorrow.  That one meal will most likely consist of rice or beans and maybe some vegetables, but, will be prepared with clean water.  That one meal will also most likely be given only to that one family member.  There’s simply not enough to feed an entire family one meal a day.  Some of these families have several children.  Tough choices have to be made.  Which child do we enroll in the Compassion International Project in our village?  How do we decide which child gets enough?  What about our other children?

Have you had to ask these same questions about any of your children lately?

According to the latest statistics from the UN, 30,000 children under the age of 5 die EVERY DAY from preventable diseases.

30,000!  That’s 2/3’s the population of the city I live in!

Most of these children die because they lack clean drinking water, basic immunizations, and enough food to adequately nourish their frail little bodies.  They die because their parents, or other care providers had to make a tough choice.  A choice that most Americans can’t even imagine.

Why can’t we imagine?

Nearly 2/3’s of Americans over age 20 are overweight or obese.  Nearly 1/3 are clinically obese (BMI>30).

Less than 1/3 are considered to be at a healthy weight.

Approximately 17% of US children and adolescents are overweight.

The number one vegetable served to American toddlers over the age of 15 months is french fries.  French fries?  I’m betting not many toddlers have to be tricked into eating those veggies.

Unfortunately, the second set of statistics get a lot more press and attention here in the U.S. In the “West” in general actually.  They’re important to be sure.  The health crisis in America is largely due to poor eating habits (too much fat and sugar) and lack of exercise.  Some say that our life style will soon cripple the health care system because there will simply be too many morbidly obese, out of shape people to adequately care for.  Of course, these people will obviously be alive and well over the age of 5 when we’re attempting to provide this care.  We won’t be relying on help from others either.  The others, the first group of statistics, will not be here to care for us.  They died today.  30,000 more will die tomorrow.  And yet another 30,000 the next day.  That’s 10,980,000 (almost 11 million) this year alone.

While I realize my opening paragraph is dripping with sarcasm (or my poor attempt at it anyway), my intent is not sarcasm at all.  Don’t let my poor attempts keep you from action.

Please, please rescue a child today.  Spare just one family from the tragedy of choosing which child gets to live.  Chisel away at the number of children who die each day by making a small sacrifice.

I will “sacrifice” one day of meals tomorrow.  Believe me when I tell you that’s it’s truly NO sacrifice; not even a little one.  It’s a place to start.  It’s a small step that has the potential to change the world.

What will you sacrifice?

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14 responses

2 07 2008
thomas

Great Post, Beth!!!

Praying for you, your family, and Compassion.

Thomas

2 07 2008
Texas in Africa

Great post, Beth! I’m praying for you today.

2 07 2008
euphrony

I’ll be praying for you today, Beth.

2 07 2008
Chris S.

Thanks Beth! My youth ministry recently did the 30 Hour Famine, for part of it we collected groceries at a local supermarket. There were actually people that yelled at my volunteer leader that was hanging with the kids, they were saying that we were putting the kids in danger by them not eating for 30 hours. I wonder if they ever stopped to think about the kids they were putting in danger by not donating or ever giving to a great cause like Compassion.

2 07 2008
Charley

Great post! I’m praying for you today!

Charley

2 07 2008
thisiskristin

Beth those statistics are so overwhelming. It’s good to see them and realize the magnitude of these situations, and hopefully helps me to not be as frivilous with the food and money I do have.

Thanks for being a part of the 40 day fast!

2 07 2008
Cristy

Praying for you today Beth. Great post!

2 07 2008
maryann

thanks for the reminder…

the statistics are appalling.
in this country where we seem to have 1500 choices in boxed dry cereals alone…that ANYONE could be hungry tonite is outrageous.

for a mother to have to choose which of her children will eat tonite…unthinkable.

it would do me ALOT of GOOD to fast from food for MORE THAN 30 hours…

2 07 2008
Davida

Excellent post!!

2 07 2008
Amy

You’re such a great writer! Great post!

6 07 2008
The Secret Life of Kat

You clearly shared from your heart on this post, Beth…very inspiring. Thanks so much for being a part of The 40 Day Fast.

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