Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quitcherbitchen: At Least You've Got Food, a Place to Sleep, and an Internet Connection

[We'll leave ecclesiology behind for now in order to look at another topic of interest.]

Here's a site that provides comparative statistics about the world's demographics (it's more interesting than the way I just worded the description!): www.miniature-earth.com. The Flash presentation is maybe 5 minutes long.

In a similar vein, globalrichlist.com will show you where you rank among the world's richest people. You may be surprised, especially when you see your percentile. Of course, we have a high cost of living here in the "first world," but still . . .


  1. Thanks for sharing the flash presentation. I remember reading about this at Urbana a few years ago. Third World development was a strong interest of mine in college. I had some good talks with grad students who were originally from third world countries about why their home countries struggled so much.

    They usually blamed their governments. Not neccessarily politics, but that a starved, uneducated nation was an "easier" nation to govern. Financial aid from the wealthier first world for the poor and to build infrastructure was often squandered, because there was no accountability. Then the problem of war and civil war.

    That was almost twenty-three years ago and it blew my mind. I realized that throwing money at the problem was not the answer, but it came down to Christ. That it required helping people physically and spiritually. It sounds simplistic, but actually, it is quite complex.

    One of the reasons Dennis and I are involved with international student ministries is because the students who come here belong to the most influential families of their countries, and when (sometimes, if) they go home, they will most likely be major decisionmakers. We hope that they would make decisions based on what would please the Lord.

    It is a small way of being involved from the inside out.

  2. And even in missions/Christian/relief work, there's often a lack of accountability on the part of the recipents. Well-intentioned giving doesn't guarantee well-intentioned receipt.

  3. Hmmm...does that mean that we stop giving?

    Dennis and I have heard of micro-lending. We heard of a secular organization that posts potential small businessmen and women with their business plans from developing countries. You can invest a few hundred dollars to help them get started. If they pay you back, you can re-invest in another business and if they don't, then you can call it a gift. Most of the loans are paid back within a short time.

    We like the idea because it is personal and we can build a relationship with partners in another country.

  4. And if it's a one-time loan, it's not building a culture of dependency.