It’s Here! Introducing…”58:”

Written by Plant With Purpose on June 13, 2011 in General

By Kate Nare

In the past few months you may have heard us talking, Tweeting, or posting about “58:” Well, TODAY we are excited to announce the official launch of this much-anticipated campaign!

You may be wondering, “What IS ‘58:’ exactly?”

Plant With Purpose has teamed up with ten leading Christian anti-poverty organizations, including Compassion International, International Justice Mission (IJM), and Hope International, in a collaborative effort to end extreme, global poverty by 2035.

To achieve this ambitious goal, “58:” aspires to become the largest, most unified effort ever by the global Church to help the 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day – a revolutionary, worldwide response to the call of Isaiah 58.

The “58:” Initiative is founded on the Bible’s call to care for the poor and the shared conviction that the global Church has the capacity to relegate extreme poverty to the history books. Uniting under the common banner of “58:”, each non-profit involved will offer their expertise as a solution to fighting poverty.

The ten organizations that form the “58: Council” are:

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee – focused on the strategy of community development

• Compassion International – focused on the strategies of child and leadership development

ECHO – focused on the strategy of food security

Food for the Hungry – focused on the strategy of food security

• HOPE International – focused on the strategy of microenterprise development

• International Justice Mission – focused on the strategy of justice for victims of violent oppression

Living Water International – focused on the strategy of safe water

• Micah Challenge – focused on the strategy of aid and policy

Plant With Purpose – focused on the strategy of environmental stewardship

World Relief – focused on the strategy of disaster relief

Together with major churches, leaders, ministries, and committed Christians, we believe that a return to the biblical call to care for the poor, a unified vision within the Church, and compelling evidence of progress provide a historic moment for the Church to lead the way in ending extreme poverty.

The evidence includes:

The percentage of people living in extreme poverty has already dropped from 52% to 26% in a span of only 24 years

– A 50% drop in child mortality rates in the past three decades

– 600 million people gained access to clean drinking water since 1990

– Rapid and broad declines in malaria rates

– Expanded use of vaccines that are saving hundreds of thousands of children

– Significant declines in HIV infection rates and AIDS-related deaths

To build upon this momentum and finish the work of ending extreme poverty, “58:” points to the staggering resources already in the hands of Christians. Conservative estimates record 138 million church-attending Christians in America alone, with a collective annual income of $2.5 trillion dollars. Economists estimate that – with economically-sound investments – even a slight upward nudge in Christian generosity or reallocation of church budget priorities would provide sufficient resources to bring an end to extreme global poverty within 25 years.

In fact, there is a growing sense that churches and Christians are already shifting those priorities.

Dr. Scott Todd, Senior Advisor at Compassion International and one of the architects of “58:”, is seeing the momentum: “The question now is not, ‘Can we end extreme poverty?’ The question is, ‘How fast?’” We are half-way there. Generosity and new engagement by the Church can propel us to the finish line. We believe “58:” will unleash the Church’s massive potential for action.”

YOU can help us spread the word about this exciting initiative by:

Visiting and joining an action-based, online network of individuals committed to sending extreme global poverty into the history books. Join the “environmental stewardship” group and help us raise funds for watershed reforestation!

• Tweeting this message: “Plant With Purpose is proud to help launch “58:”, a new initiative to end extreme poverty in our lifetime. #live58now”.

• Sharing this blog on your Facebook page.

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