Could We End Poverty in Our Lifetime?

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Entrapped in Slavery—for Life

Sanjiv, his wife, and their children are slave workers in a quarry in India—all because of a $680 loan.

Sanjiv borrowed the money from a private lender in order to provide the needed dowry so his 17-year-old daughter Amuda could marry. When Sanjiv was unable to repay this loan, he borrowed money from the owner of a quarry. This unscrupulous owner paid off Sanjiv’s first loan with a high-interest second loan—and put him to work in the quarry until he could pay off his new debt.

That was a few years ago. Today, Sanjiv and his family still work in that quarry, cutting stone with heavy sledgehammers and sleeping in a rickety hut. His loan is not paid off—and there seems to be no hope in sight.

“I have to carry on with this work,” he says. “There is no way out.” Sanjiv and his family are slaves, entrapped in extreme poverty.

Capturing God’s Heart

In 2008, a small group of Christians in Oxford, England prayed, asking God for guidance for the next generation of Christ followers. God’s answer was short and clear: 58—as in Isaiah 58, a passage of Scripture that captures God’s heart around issues of poverty and oppression.

This small group of Christians took action and formed 58. And they are on a mission to engage the global church to end extreme poverty by 2035.

Free Pre-Release Movie Screening of 58

On May 4, Willow Creek airs a free pre-release screening of 58, a film that dares to envision a world where people have sufficiency. A world where the local church becomes the transformative agent that can wipe out extreme poverty. You are that agent.

It’s possible. The stronghold of poverty has already been loosened. In 1981, 52 percent of the world lived in extreme poverty. Today that number has been cut in half—to 26 percent. In only six years, 40 thousand children a day died of preventable illnesses caused by extreme poverty—malaria, lack of clean water, lack of food, or lack of health care. Today, that number is 21,000. But 21,000 children who will never see their fifth birthday is still too many.

In America, more than 138 million Christians attend church regularly and claim to follow Jesus Christ. These 138 million earn a staggering $2.5 trillion annually. Live58 challenges believers to embrace the Gospel with new integrity—to be like Jesus because they love Him. To embrace the God’s heartbeat for those in poverty as seen in Isaiah and to redefine Christian action.

What Else Can I Do?

In recent weeks, Celebration of Hope showed you the face of poverty, and you did something about it. More than 16,000 of you packed seeds into 500,000 garden packs that will provide food and sustainable income to families in Zimbabwe. And many have asked, “What else can I do?” Attend the screening of the film 58—and walk away with greater understanding of how you can be part of the solution. Participating in Celebration of Hope was only a step in an amazing journey that can eradicate extreme poverty—in our lifetime. But the journey isn’t over.

Extreme poverty is more than a cause. It’s personal.

Following worship on May 4, view 58 in the Lakeside Auditorium at Willow Creek—South Barrington.

Category : Current Events

Comments

I want to attend the class I signed up for (Leadership Lab) but feel it is important to see this 58 movie tonight.
I have decided to attend even though I don’t want to miss the first class. I am hoping there will be a video taken of the lab class at willow.org. This is not even considering the desire to attend Dallas Willard’s class. Please make them all available through the Classes video opportunity. Thank you for your consideration.

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