A few months back Megan and I had our bank account hacked.
You waste about an episode of The Walking Dead, sans commercial, waiting on hold to cancel your card and going through all your “til death” accounts (electric, cellular, cable, auto insurance, etc.) to ensure you don’t miss an auto bill pay.
But more frustrating is life without your plastic pal. In today’s world where we remote bank, I have a hard time functioning without a debit card. I am transported like John Conner’s father in The Terminator to my elementary school days in order to remember basic mathematics.
See, I have to count money now instead of an efficient plastic swipe to ensure the cashier isn’t jipping me for my un-sweet tea (which happened twice so old world cash carrier do the math, literally).
So, what happens when we get annoyed? We share it with people of course. I re-told our recent security breach to a co-worker. I told them that the cyber thief must feel pretty stupid because they only stole $36.22.
The reply was provoking, “Depends on where you live.”
I never thought to check the purchase origin. My only concern was the invasive charge which surprisingly did not take place in the United States. The culprit? India. A Bangalore grocery store to be precise.
The question became, what is $36.22 worth in India?
I knew India had a large percentage of poor and low number of Christ followers but research was due to find the answer.
First, I looked at the worth of a dollar versus a rupee, rs, (India’s currency). Our friends at Google have a currency converter which promptly gives us the ratio of $1 equaling 60.29 rs.
So, $36.22 is worth 2183.70 rs. But that is just a number. I wanted to know the realistic day-to-day value by seeing what that number meant to average human in India.
A few dozen searches gave way to the answer. The per capita income for India shows the average person earned about 38,149 rs in 12 months which wouldn’t make your stomach hurt so much if it had a pre “$” instead of a post “rs”.
Do the math. Or just trust me. That is $649 per year. And according to the World Food Programme an “estimated 32.7 percent of the Indian population lives on less than US$ 1.25 per day.”
They took 28 days worth of food. Suddenly I didn’t feel so mad. I felt grief.
As a Christ follower my heart weeps for people in need and statistically speaking India is only second behind China in population (and need) with about 1.2 billion. India is a country filled with great physical need but even greater spiritual need.
Operation World estimates less than 6% of the population is Christian in contrast to the dominate Hinduism at a bulging 74%.
I have never been to India. I won’t pretend to have seen their need with my own eyes. But now because of some stolen pocket change I have felt their need with my own heart.
The question now becomes, how can we help?
There are over 500 villages that have never heard the name of Jesus in India.
You can pray. Missionaries are being beaten while a country who claims religious freedom looks the other way. They are called to a country to provide physical and spiritual relief. The shepherds are few but the sheep are many. How few? The ratio of non-Jesus follower to Jesus follower is 50 : 3.
You can send money. There many missionary groups and non-profits that are helping to provide food and medicine. I won’t include direct links or names here because I believe you should start with your local church. See if your community supports any organizations or missionaries in India. If not, then Google for an entity that does.
You can go. I am not saying everyone should sell their stuff and move to India; or, that everyone should take a mission trip to India. But not everyone is reading this article either. You are. And if you have a call to help connect the people of India to God then do it. Again, start at your local church and expand outward to find the right outreach for you.
Our God isn’t a god. He is the God.
Here’s the thing, I know the numbers don’t look good when it comes to sharing Jesus with all of India. So don’t look at them. Matt Chandler has said, “don’t be a math addict, no body likes a math head.”
His point about our human doubt is relevant. Don’t confine the creator of the universe by what our finite logic can process.
The time is now for us to get serious about not just our community or country but rather the globe.
Pray big. Pray bold.