When you hear about poverty statistics, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed.
“80% of the population living in poverty…” “More than 1 billion without access to clean water…” “22,000 children die every day due to poverty…”
Many get discouraged by the sheer scope of such massive problems and quickly turn their attention toward something else.
I think another thing that feeds this feeling of discouragement when you look at a page like this full of stats and numbers is that there are no individual faces. It’s hard to empathize with a number. But seeing and committing to memory the faces of the children, mothers, brothers, fathers, sisters and grandparents who make up these statistics can help us remember that the lives of real people are at stake. This is the best way to avoid falling into the trap of “compassion discouragement.”
With that in mind, here’s a picture of a young fellow we met this year named Daniel. He’s 5 and lives in El Salvador.
His family would be part of the “more than 1 billion people without access to clean water” statistic. The water behind him may look nice, but it is not safe for consumption. Unfortunately that is the water they rely upon every day for survival. He’s just one little boy who would be very grateful for your prayers.
Here at FFP we appreciate the great wisdom behind the Mother Teresa quote: “If you can’t feed 100 people, feed just one.” While it is possible to pray for all who suffer from poverty, it’s very fulfilling to pray for one whose name you know and whose face is familiar to you.
So the next time you want to pray for the poor, but you’re not sure where to start, remember Daniel’s face and go from there. One at a time!