Thursday, May 7, 2009

100 Crashing Jetliners

I am reading a book called "The Hole In Our Gospel" for the second time. It is written by the President of World Vision and if you click on this post's title it will take you to the website for the book. This book has helped turn my world upside down - or right side up depending on how you look at it. I'd like to share an excerpt from his book with you and get your thoughts. Rich says:

"Whenever a major jetliner crashes anywhere in the world, it inevitably sets off a worldwide media frenzy covering every aspect of the tragedy. I want you to imagine for a moment that you woke up this morning to the following headline: 'One Hundred Jetliners Crash, Killing 26,500'. Think of the pandemonium this would create across the world as heads of state, parliaments, and congresses convened to grapple with the nature and causes of this tragedy. Think about the avalanche of media coverage that it would ignite around the globe as reporters shared the shocking news and tried to communicate its implications for the world. Air travel would no doubt grind to a halt as governments shut down the airlines and panicked air travelers canceled their trips. The National Transportation Safety Board and perhaps the FBI, CIA, and local law enforcement agencies and their international equivalents would mobilize investigations and dedicate whatever manpower was required to understand what happened and to prevent it from happening again.

Now imagine that the very next day, one hundred more planes crashed - and one hundred more the next, and the next, and the next. It is unimaginable that something this terrible could ever happen.

But it did - and it does.

It happened today, and it happened yesterday. It will happen again tomorrow. But there was no media coverage. No heads of state, parliaments or congresses stopped what they were doing to address the crisis, and no investigations were launched. Yet more than 26,500 children died yesterday of preventable causes related to their poverty, and it will happen again today, tomorrow and the day after that. Almost 10 million children will be dead in the course of a year. So why does the crash of a single plane dominate the front pages of newspapers across the world while the equivalent of one hundred planes filled with children crashing daily never reaches our ears? And even though we now have the awareness, the access, and the ability to stop it, why have we chosen not to? Perhaps one reason is that these kids who are dying are not our kids; they're somebody else's."

I don't know how you feel after reading that, but the first time I read it I wept and when I was done I wept some more. I wept over the staggering statistic that there are more than 26,000 precious little children dying every day from preventable causes. But I also wept over the reason we allow it to happen. I think Rich is right - it's not happening to us, so we don't care enough to do anything about it. What if my own children or the children of people I love were dying of something that I could prevent? I would prevent it. It's that simple. Of course I wouldn't stand by and watch them die when I could do something that would save their life. I'm sure you would do the same.

But why aren't we doing the same thing for the 26,000+ children who are dying every day? Why aren't we preventing their deaths? Because they are not our children or children we know? Here's the rub - they are God's children. They may not be children that we know personally and love but they are children that God created and loves. He knows their names and sees their faces even though we may not. I know the statistic of 26,000+ has the potential to make any of us feel inadequate to address the need. But if everyone would just do something we have the potential to put a huge dent in that number. Did you know that for around $34/month you can provide a child with clothes, education, clean water, food and medicine? This is the equivalent of taking a family of four out to dinner once here in the States or the cost of 4 movie tickets. Gulp. Surely we can give up our entertainment so that another human being might live and thrive! If any of this resonates with you and you are ready to do something please let me know. Or if you're not ready to sponsor a child, check out the link at the top left of my blog which will take you to a page where you can donate money to provide formula for malnourished babies in Ethiopia - there is an urgent need for this and any amount helps.

Proverbs 24:12 says "Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act".


  1. Did you type this whole thing out? I really think this is one of the most powerful illustrations in the book. Thanks again for the introduction.

  2. Yeah, I typed the whole thing out. But it's worth it because I agree - the illustration is powerful.

  3. Amy, you are a mover and shaker! I can't WAIT to see which community of orphans God is going to lead you to and watch as you passionately inspire others to love them!

    Love it and love your heart!

  4. Reading "Hole" for first time. Now at "100 Jetliners." Googled the term for info to post on my FB page. Found your blog--excellent and direct. Good stuff. Been to Ethiopia (Butajira/Yetebon) on short-term mission. Neither my wife or I can get the ringing in our hearts to quiet down, so we're praying and taking steps that it's God's plan for us to go there for the long haul. Will be following your blog. Grace, mercy, and peace to all who love the Lord. Try:

  5. Hi Amy, The Hole in Our Gospel has changed my life and I share it with every one of our starfish throwers in our mission to make an impact on World Starvation. God Bless you for sharing and helping to make this book known to fellow Christians and the entire World!