As I sit down at my computer, I Google “World Hunger Facts.” I scroll through the countless number of lists that pop onto my screen and all I can do is sit in sorrow as the numbers flash past me — my heart heavy with sadness for all the children going without food.
If you were to search for these statistics, you’d find that:
About 5.6 million deaths of children worldwide are related to under-nutrition. This accounts for 53 percent of the total deaths for children under 5.
870 million people do not have enough to eat — more than the populations of the USA and the European Union combined.
And the statistics go on and on. Each one more horrifying than the last.
There are millions of little children going without food while I can easily go to my pantry to get a snack. I know at least for me, being in high school, I can be easily caught up in the drama, stress of homework, or even just being at school. But this is not how God has called me to live. He has called me to live a life of giving and a life of love.
I am to give to those who have nothing and love those who have no one to love them.
“For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’” — Deuteronomy 15:11 (ESV)
Jesus has called us to help those in poverty, to be His hands and feet to this broken world! I truly believe that we ALL are called, regardless of age.
The world may tell us that we are too young to care, that we cannot do anything; but, this goes against everything God has said and done.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. — 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)
There are countless numbers of stories where God uses youth in His greater plan.
Take Joseph for example; he was sold by his brothers and forced into slavery but he helped preserve the Hebrew nation. God used a 17-year-old to affect thousands (Genesis 37:2 and 45:5).
God used little David to defeat the giant, Goliath. In addition, God used Mary to bring the Savior into the world and she was only in her early teens!
There are many more stories of youth being used for His plan. It is time to stop listening to the world and its lies and start listening to God’s truth. It is time to stand up for the millions without food, for those who have no voice. It is time to be God’s light and share the hope He brings.
Reading about how God has used so many young people gives me the courage to make a difference!
One of Compassion’s campaigns is called One Meal One Day*. On November 6, 2013, there will be people all over the nation skipping one meal to help a child in poverty. The money each person would have spent goes to help feed a child in extreme poverty.
I encourage you . . . no, I challenge you, to step into the life of a starving child with me and see how God works in you.
*Although Compassion has since retired the One Meal One Day initiative mentioned in this article, we are SO thankful for everyone who participated in the life-changing movement!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alena Christopherson is a high school senior living in Illinois. She is a creative with a contagious passion for loving others.