- Philippines- The biggest news story on the planet this week has been the typhoon hammering southeast Asia. This storm, thought to be the largest in human history, has seriously been flogging the Philippines. There have been over 130 confirmed deaths so far, and officials are speculating that that number may rise to over 1,200. Compassion sponsors who have kids in the Philippines have been receiving messages over the past few days urging them to pray for the kids and families there. I personally haven't heard any updates on specific areas affected, but you can check in with Compassion's website, as I have been doing frequently. Pray for the safety of the people there- it would be amazing if the death toll is smaller than the Red Cross and other groups are estimating. Pray for the rebuilding and recovery. Pray for the families who have been evacuated, that their displacement will end soon. Pray for the government there and the organizations that are going to help with rebuilding efforts. And pray for the other countries that will be affected by the storm.
- Tanzania- Albinism isn't something we often encounter. Sometimes we'll see a movie featuring an albino character- but have you ever thought about the fact that albinism occurs all around the world- not just in white Americans and Europeans? In Tanzania, albinism is looked on with disgust and superstition. Some people believe that taking a body part from an albino person- a finger or an arm- and brewing it into a potion will make a person rich. I think other people are just freaked out about it. Parents with albino children are terrified because armed people will show up in the middle of the night to try to take their kids. The violence in these rural areas of the country has resulted in 71 deaths in Tanzania alone (attacks occur in other parts of Africa, but Tanzania seems to really be struggling with it.) Pray for the people of Tanzania. Pray that the people in these areas will open their eyes and realize that hurting people is wrong, that magic potions don't exist, and that looking different isn't really a big deal. Pray for protection for the people whose lives are endangered by these beliefs, and pray for the families of those who have been lost.
- Mexico- If someone asked you what nation has the highest obesity rate, you'd probably guess the United States. Yet Mexico recently surpassed the US in this area. The average Mexican citizen consumes 40% more soda than the average resident of the United States- and we already drink a lot of soda! The Mexican government is considering a lot of different ways to deal with this problem, one of which is a proposed tax on high calorie foods. One part of the debate regarding obesity that we have in the US is the affordability of high-calorie foods. Fresh vegetables by themselves can be kind of cheap, but when most families have parents that are working a collective 80+ hours a week to make ends meet, a lot of people aren't inclined to make a home-cooked meal. I think that some of these ideas may apply to Mexico, as well. They have a struggling economy and folks just want their families to eat. If sugary cereal is cheaper and faster than all the ingredients to cook a healthy breakfast, then obviously most people are going to go for the cereal. Pray for the health of the people of Mexico, especially the kids. Pray for wisdom for the government officials, that they will make good choices while trying to find ways to help their people get healthy. Our public school system is definitely far from perfect, but we have a lot more resources available to us, and those resources can be used to provide healthy lunches and other programs to help our kids.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
News of the World
Here's your weekly update on what's happening around the world!