There is so much happening in our own country that it’s hard to stay informed about what’s going on around the world. Sometimes big stories from other countries don’t even break through the U.S. news cycle. And that lack of attention can do serious damage — it can limit the care available for those who need it urgently.
We believe that every person matters, no matter where they live or how desperate their situation. So we asked our staff — a group of highly intelligent, empathetic and globally-concerned people– why they believe people should care about what is happening around the globe. Here is what we found.
1) We All Have Similar Needs
Did you get to choose where you were born? Did you choose what family you were born into? When you were in your mother’s womb, before you saw the light of day and breathed in your first breath of fresh air—did you get a say what your life would be like when you were born? All people share the same answer: No.
But if you had been given a choice…
Would you choose a war zone?
Would you choose a place where natural disasters strike and destroy?
Would you choose somewhere without access to medical care?
No matter who you are, no matter where you live, we all share a need for the basics of survival. Water to quench your thirst and give your body the ability to function. Food to give you nourishment and energy to work and move throughout the day. Shelter to protect you from the heat of the sun and the cold of the rain. Medicine to heal your illnesses.
People are people. Humans are humans. We were all created by God and placed on this Earth with similar needs, similar wants and desires. Yet, we all have different circumstances and challenges that get in the way of those innate longings within us.
For millions, the place they were born prevents them from having their basic needs met. Some are pushed to the margins and forgotten. For others, disasters strip them of the basics – including medical care. In places with weak health systems, illness and death are a constant threat. Disease can become rampant. Children die from preventable causes. Mothers don’t survive childbirth. A lack of basic medical care can lead to immense suffering.
We could have easily been born in their place.
We should care what happens globally. Because every person deserves the chance for a better life. Because every person — no matter where they are or how desperate their situation — matters. To God and to us.
2) Restoring Hope in Humanity
When you turn on your TV to watch the news, or go online to read about current events, how does it make you feel? Are you happy with what you hear? The media has never been so gut wrenching. Negativity saturates our minds and infects our attitudes towards humanity and the world we live in.
But what if our attention was fixed on more than just the problems in our own country? What if we saw others’ suffering and found that there are actions we can take to produce change? What if through that change we found hope?
When I asked a couple of teammates here at the Medical Teams Headquarters why they care about what happens globally, it was hard for them to come up with an answer. Not because they don’t know why they care, but because they couldn’t imagine not caring. They care because a desire to do so was placed in their hearts long ago.
They care because they can see practical and tangible changes happening in the lives of people suffering around the world.
“Health is easy. We know it’s helpful and it’s something we can do. We can’t change people’s thoughts or reform law. You can see the change. These people didn’t have access to health care and now they do,” says one of our program officers, Kelly Kirk.
We work to restore health as the first step to restoring hope.
3) We are Called to Care
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
We are called to live by the example of one man, who came to this earth with no discrimination — he loved all people and he did it perfectly. We are called to love like Jesus.
There are many ways to love like Jesus, but I believe one of those ways is to see the people he created on this earth who exist thousands of miles away from me. To see their suffering and to act. For myself and the rest of us at Medical Teams, we have compassion in our hearts for those suffering around the world. It started with our founder, Ron Post. He was watching the news at home and saw suffering people in Cambodia and was compelled to act, so he did. Ron loves Jesus and his courageous act of compassion lives on 40 years later.
While we don’t have control over what the media reports, we hope that more people will take the time to be informed about what’s happening around the world. Each of us should hold ourselves accountable to consider how we can help others. When we think of other people and imagine ourselves in their shoes, it draws us toward compassion.
Please consider donating to help meet urgent medical needs around the world.