The Least Of These


40,000 children die every day worldwide to starvation and pestilence. India and Africa combined are burdened with ninety percent of this sad figure. The rest are spread over Latin American countries. Fifteen million children die every year worldwide.

Do you cry?

In Afghanistan, children as young as 8 years old are being given away in marriage for the bride price to keep families from starving. According to, someone dies on our planet every other second to AIDs, starvation or waterborne diseases—eighty-five percent are children. 20% of children in Niger, Africa will die before they reach the age of five.

Am I paying attention?

One out of six members of the human race lives on less than a dollar a day while the average American consumer has to dig around in their wallets and purses for a measly $88. Oh, this is our hardship each and every day. The average American family has 16 credit cards that carry a debt load of $8000. Our average yearly income puts us in the ‘richest in the world’ category. Even those at the poverty line in the United States with cars, cable and air conditioning are among the elite class of the world.

Is this easy to swallow?

How hard it is to say that we are the gluttons at the world’s dinner table, hoarding the food on our end and giving only one-hundreth of a single percent ($33 per day YEAR per American household) of our bounty and toss it to the starving masses like crumbs. Those kind of crumbs are hard to divide up and spread around. No wonder so many in the world hate us.

Can we blame them?

While we do not even remotely resemble a third world country here on our end of the globe, it’s still awfully risky for children to make it past the age of five in these here United States. Abortion takes care of that with almost 1.5 million murders of our children every year. Fortunately, 4 million others make the cut.

Should we celebrate?

How ironic that we choose to kill our young while scores across this globe wish their children had one more day.



40 thoughts on “The Least Of These

  1. J.Thomas says:

    The truth hurts, indeed!

    This reminds me of a long conversation that a dear brother and sister of ours had a couple years ago.

    He insisted that we, the church in America, needed to extend herself out to the most needy areas of the world.

    Although sympathetic with the “least of” humanity,the young ladies contention was that if we took care of those in our own “back yard”, so to speak, that this would have a ripple effect which could change the world.

    Both perspectives are honorable and virtuous,and to be sure, either way, when walked in faith, can be a beautiful testimony of the Lord, but, PERSONALLY, I think I agree with her more so than him.

    America, for the most part, is just as needy as anyone else, it’s just a different kind of “hunger”.

    The problem is that our hunger is often met with “bread alone”, thus never truly satisfying the needs of the soul.

    When our souls are delivered from the power of darkness, and the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, we find ourselves functioning from the nature and NURTURING of the LIVING God (who is also a GIVING God).

    maybe there is more to loving our neighbor than we realize.

    I’m of the conviction that unconditional love is extremely contagious, even so much as to infect those who are on the other side of the planet.
    Moves of God are broad and far reaching…

    May we all allow the Spirit to move us as He will.

    Brother Scott, Brothers and Sisters,
    Have a truly blessed day in the Lord!


  2. marie says:

    OK, I’m done for. This picture literally makes me sick to my stomach. I have printed it off and will hang it somewhere that I will see it frequently.

    So, what do we DO about it? Will we continue to live in our nice houses with our nice furniture, driving our nice cars, eating whatever, whenever we want, spending our money on worldly things, while children are being eaten for supper by vultures?

    God, pierce us with Your Spirit! While vultures are literally eating children in other lands, they are also feasting on us! They are eating away our very souls by grabbing Your truths as soon as they enter our spirit. They are robbing us of abundant life. They peck and peck until we are useless to this lost generation.

    Protect us, Oh Father, from the vulturous world. Give us discerning spirits that desire the Truth of Your Word over anything else. Destroy the strongholds that strangle us and keep us bound. Write Your truth on our hearts that we are free indeed and enable us to fight off the scavengers that would eat us for breakfast. And enable our prayers for those who are literally starving to death to reach them, to feed them, to nurture them to lift them up in Your glorious Name! Do it LORD, and use us to accomplish Your heart’s desire!


  3. KaKa says:

    AMEN, Marie


  4. J.Thomas says:



  5. J.Thomas says:

    Wherever you lead Lord!


  6. Krislinatin says:

    i keep coming back to this statement
    ”In Afghanistan, children as young as 8 years old are being given away in marriage for the bride price to keep families from starving. According to, someone dies on our planet every other second to AIDs, starvation or waterborne diseases—eighty-five percent are children. 20% of children in Niger, Africa will die before they reach the age of five.”
    the fact that people would take a child for a bride is appalling to me, as all the other stuff you posted about.
    its all so sad, my mind gets so overwhelmed with all of it and what can i do to change things.
    we went to the ‘all you can eat’ buffet type restuarnt the other night and watching people eat and waste food, ewww, saddens me.
    I amen the above comments.
    That picture needs to get into more hands and hearts.


  7. J.Thomas says:

    Scott…., brothers and sisters…,

    Are you sensing what I am sensing?

    Do you see the harmony above the dissonance?

    I can see, now, that the conversation that I was speaking of above, was never really an “either/or” type issue.

    It’s not local verses universal…(I’m speaking primarily to myself here), it’s all one.

    What I’m getting a taste of here, in these comments, is a picture of local community, exchanging prayers and concerns, admonitions and even corrections (thanks, by the way), responding as a sort of body (with more connections yet to be made) to the Lord Himself.

    At the moment, in this virtual room, we are in one another’s “backyards” sharing Manna from above!

    As the Truth, every word which proceeds from the mouth of the Father, is shared among us, we learn that “we ARE what we eat”.
    Thus we are transformed by the re-newing of our minds.

    Let’s not drop this ball of unction, Saints.
    May we be led!!!!

    I’m certain there are many organizations out there who are working on this….
    I’m sure there are missionaries who could help disperse our charity…

    Who knows the “cleanest” route?
    Who has the revelation we need on this matter?
    Certainly the answer is right under our noses!


  8. Jerald says:

    Here’s something we can do….

    Here’s an interesting resolution that will be presented at the upcoming SBC annual meeting.

    I wonder what we really could do if we started eating for our body’s sake instead of our pleasure’s sake? I wonder how many lives we could save if we only would . . . pass up that slice of pie and send the cost of it (about $2.00) to feed the hungry? What would it teach us to live on beans and rice for a week – a month – for a lifetime?

    You know, I probably spend enough on dietary supplements alone to feed a family in a third world country where they don’t even have a word for vitamin.

    Good post Scott. Very convicting.


  9. pasturescott says:

    JT, when I first read your comment this a.m. I was ready to respond with the “either/or” standpoint, but you nailed it! Out of the park with all your words (as is so often the case, except when we disagree 🙂 )

    I hear the same things you hear in it. This is a galvanizing place and near to the heart of God. I for one am changed in it.

    Love you, man!


  10. pasturescott says:

    Marie, your insightful prayer and comments get closer to the heart of the Father and help us see what He is seeing. With you, I to am “done for”

    I join my AMEN with KaKa’s.


  11. pasturescott says:

    Kris,love having you in this community. Thank you for your comments; it is clear from your site and the words you share here that there is a holy passion in you as well as a holy disagreement with the status quo religion that plagues us. Carry on, my sister!


  12. pasturescott says:

    I encourage all to visit the sites Jerald offered. And to DO something for His Name’s sake. It occurs to me that we are rich enough to give a dollar a day for BOTH needs: worldwide and local…forget this $33 per year stuff…

    And (I hesitate to offer this as it will be construed as a political statement) I understand that what is given every day to fund the war in Iraq, the hungry could be fed 4 times over? I also understand the Church in the west has enough in their coffers to do this as well…so…

    …whose job is it?


  13. J.Thomas says:

    I’m learning to, more and more (believe it or not), gravitate towards the harmony rather than the dissonance.

    For me, this usually lies more in the “concrete” (relational/social sphere)than it does in the “ethereal” (theological/theoretical sphere).

    Thanks for forbearing my “me”.

    Your Favorite TroubleMaker 😉 ,


  14. J.Thomas says:

    Thanks for the links.
    “compassion” seems pretty legit.
    There a re a couple of others that I want to check out too…
    If I think they’re worth a mention, I’ll post them up here.

    Bless you!


  15. marie says:

    $33 per YEAR?!!!!!???!


  16. pasturescott says:

    Yep…had to go back and correct that. Less than 100th of one percent. Per household. Per year.



  17. J.Thomas says:

    Love you too, Scott!


  18. Jerald says:

    When people ask what can be done about the scene in the picture above, I can only say that I really don’t believe that the starving peoples of the world are being totally ignored by the Church or the world. It’s just that, people being the people they are, getting help to those who are the most needy is sometimes difficult if not impossible due to politics and remotness of that area of the world. The situation in Dafur Sudan is a good example of this. War has become a way of life in Dafur along with starvation, disease, rape, and a myriad of other evils. Just Google Dafur Sudan to see many things going on in that one place. Go to and you will find a lot of information about Dafur and other places as well.
    Here are some of the other sites that have information about how to get relief to some of the starving and needy people of the world:
    and for those who would like to find out about what else is going on in the world go to and you will discover how the Church is fairing. I especially like the idea of VOM’s Action Packs program. It’s something that any church or small group could get involved with.

    We really do need to weep over all the starving children in the world. But, more than that, we need to weep over the ones who are dying in their sin without Christ around the world and we need to especially need to weep over the conflict within the Church in the world that, if resolved, would show the world Christ. Jesus didn’t suggest that we love one another, He commanded that we love one another. And by loving one another without any strings attached, we are promised by His own words that the world will see it and will come to Him.
    So, how do we really banish poverty, war and death? Start by praying for all of our brothers and sisters in Christ to come together in love for one another. The world will see it and will be astonished! So, before you write that check to Feed The Children In Dafur, or any other such organization, take a moment to pray for your neighbors who are Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist, Lutheran – what ever. If it doesn’t change their heart, it might change yours.


  19. J.Thomas says:

    Paul nailed it when he addressed the division issue that was so troublesome in Corinth.

    What we need to see is that THERE IS NO DIVISION in the body of Christ (“Is Christ divided…?”), but in the body of Adam, there is NOTHING BUT DIVISION, because it a complete and utter breakdown.

    Which brings me to my point (brothers and sisters, please bear with me hear and listen closely for my heart):

    In Christ, there are no Catholics.

    Nor are there any Pentecostals, Baptists, Lutherans, NOR ANY OTHER “DENOMINATIONALISTS” (including the “non-dom-denoms”).



    Divisions within the body are of the old nature and have no place in the New.

    When this truth first grabbed hold of me it pulled me outside of everything.

    Unfortunatley, within a short period of time I was faced with the conundrum of being One with my brothers and sisters on one hand but being divided from them because of their allegences to their denominations on the other.

    Over the last three years I’ve found the solutiion.


    HE is our unity!

    He has “leveled the field”!

    Now when I fellowship with saints who are in those things, I look beyond the churchy vocabulary,and regurgitated messages and honestly, quite often use some of those same things in order to relate and communicate more clearly.

    By the way, they have plenty to “look through” in me, too!

    I’m above NO-ONE, but I see what I see, and I know what I know, and Like our Lord, I am what I am.

    The truth is IRRESISTABLE to us, folks.

    As I mentioned earlier, I’m learning to gravitate towards the harmony rather than the dissonance, and MAN, WHAT A JOY!!!!

    Jerald, thank you so much for your words here, and the links.

    What you said about politics being a factor to the starvation entire countries is something I was thinking about.

    Granted, I am geologically challenged, and my knowledge and understanding of world affairs is next to zero, so I ask in ignorance:

    Practically speaking, what are the root causes of starvation in these places?

    I should probably just click the links and find out for my self, and will do just that….


    This is bigtime stuff here…
    All of it…



    I love your blog, Brother Scott,….and I apologize for using it as a “forum”…but…hey….
    There’s an idea.

    Who knows how to start a forum?
    We could use it as a way to touch base…a “common meeting ground” for whoever wanted to be involved in whatever we are led to do.
    What do y’all think?


  20. marie says:

    I’m with you J! Good stuff you are saying. Christ, our ALL in all. YES! YES! YES!


  21. J.Thomas says:

    (geologically challenged!? I don’t know my rocks!? 😀 Ha ha…
    I MEANT to say GEOGRAPHICALLY challenged!! I don’t know where anything is save Georgia, Florida, Texas and California!!!
    Man, what a fool am I?!)


  22. J.Thomas says:

    YES, Sister! YES!!!


  23. Jerald says:

    Geography has little to do with how politics has a tendency to roll over and squash all the little people. Politicians are generally only seeking what will enhance themselves – power, prestige, and wealth. This premise goes for the US, Darfur, Russia, and, sadly, the Church.
    You are right when you say that Christ should be all. The fact that He isn’t is evident by what the Church is doing and, in the case of all the starving children in the world, NOT DOING.
    It’s a sad fact that there enough wealth in the Church to banish poverty in the whole world. There’s enough wealth in the Church to fund every assistance program there is and have so much left over that you would be astonished.
    BUT, we pray wonderful prayers for God to provide sustenance for the starving in the world when we’ve got the means in our own pocket. Just where in the world do you think God get’s all that money anyway? He doesn’t have a printing press in heaven that He just turns on occasionally when needed. What do you think?
    God’s bank is US. WE are the ones who He blesses so that we’ll have the necessary means to provide for the sick and starving world.
    But we’d better start with our own fellow believers if we know what’s good for us. He said, “When you do it unto one of the least of these BROTHERS OF MINE, you do it unto Me.”
    Who do you think BROTHERS OF MINE are?
    Sorry, Scott and J. and all the rest out there. I’m just a little excitable when it comes to this issue. I just want so much for the Church to be the Church He designed her to be.


  24. J.Thomas says:

    Starting with our fellow believer is a fine place to start, but I wouldn’t place any restrictions on the leading of the Lord either.
    This is what I was saying about “our own back yard”.

    “Brother” is a pretty broad term when you actually look it up in the Strongs.
    Let’s not forget our “Neighbor” while we are at it.

    I think when we want the church to be what we think it should be, we need to start with ourselves doing that exact same thing.

    It’s wonderful to encourage and exhort, but we, ourselves, must also follow that encouragement.

    Personally, I’ve found that It is very difficult to have a “good” community (or church) experience without having a solid individual experience, and it’s very difficult to have a good individual experience without being involved in community.

    The Lord sees the church for who she really is (thank God)!

    Holy, blameless, with no spot or wrinkle.

    When we begin to see the same thing as He does, we begin to WALK in that truth, and find ourselves living accordingly.

    I agree with what you are saying, and appreciate your encouragement.

    You have a voice, dear brother, that is DESIGNED to be heard. just as we all do. I believe we all share your passion for the Lord and His people.

    Our stuff is His stuff.
    That includes our resources, money, etc…

    That’s why the early church operated the way they did…
    They realised that it ALL belongs to God, so therefore no one should have too much while others have too little.

    I’m glad to hear your voice, brother. You are MEANT to function in Gods purpose, as are we all.

    We are all learning THE WAY of our Lord.
    This involves “programs” and “agendas” and it involves spontaneous living in the Spirit of God….
    He works it all together.

    Let’s do something today for the Lord.
    Let’s yield a little more when we feel His nudging…



  25. J.Thomas says:

    By the way, Jerald, I STILL wasn’t very clear about the “geogrphic” thing.

    I’m thinking more in terms of agriculture.
    What can they grow there?

    I’m sure that politics has it’s greedy hands on that as well, but from a natural standpoint, I was wondering what foods are indigenous to their lands.

    I’m all about the “teach a man to fish” school of thought.


  26. pasturescott says:

    “Personally, I’ve found that It is very difficult to have a “good” community (or church) experience without having a solid individual experience, and it’s very difficult to have a good individual experience without being involved in community.”

    Great words, JT! Really the essence of this discussion and I am with you.

    I have been wonderfully blessed to read here yours and Jerald’s thoughts, the encouragement that while it is not I but Christ, there is the I of me (not old man) that He is after to use and it is mine to lay down, lay aside, yield and walk in.

    Hallelujah to the Lamb, our Passover Lamb!

    JT, thanks for letting the Lord use you to forge some community among some of us brothers and sisters here…


  27. J.Thomas says:

    The Lord is alive and well, and He is working in marvelous ways!!!

    I believe that when Jesus told the disciples to “pray in this manner” and then part of the prayer was “…Your will be done…”
    …I think that it was just as much of an AFFIRMATION as it was a heart DESIRE!!!

    The WIll of the Father “…WILL be done”.

    Hallelujah to the Lamb!!!!!!!


    Scott, I’m just as grateful as you are.


  28. […] 2007 bible study , word studies , Musings , Thoughts , faith , Christianity On the tail of this post which saddens my heart tremendously and this post I wrote Get Off Your […]


  29. Jenny says:

    Awesome blog… this picture has haunted me since the first time I saw it. It is the convicting “beacon” that drives me headlong into helping missions… it reminds me of the importance of being grateful… at all times… for all things, because this young Sudanese woman no longer has the chance to be thankful… for she is not with us anymore. Nor is the photographer who took the picture.

    Thanks for writing this. A picture is worth a thousand words. A picture can pull a thousand heart strings to get involved in the fight against poverty, dis-ease, and ignorance…

    I too, wrote on this picture, and have a link to the entire story – where this young woman was from, and the after effects on the photographer… it is a sad story, but hopefully, not without some redemption too.

    See post on 7/3/2006: My Secret to being Thankful:

    Blessings: Jenny


  30. pasturescott says:

    Blessed to have your encouragement and the added info. I am also enjoying your blog, Jenny. Your writing is so inspired! And to think we’re Atlanta neighbors!

    I will certainly send a link to your post about the picture in the very near future. I cannot thank you enough as we all need to know the rest of the story.

    God bless!


  31. carol says:

    I am most certainly am very passionate about the crisis situation of our worlds Starving and abused children..and your picture of the dying starving child just choked me up with emotion..I do believe that a few spare dollars from our pay packets would go a long way to help save some..In our own countries we have kids starving living on the streets abandoned from their families, living off soup kitchens and sleeping in alleys being exposed to drugs and sexual abuse. For a few years I fostered children in these situations,abused battered abandoned kids and maybe I only really helped one, most were too damaged, and hated the world..I think if each one of us could maybe help one child, what an achievement this would be.There are so many ways to help our children, so many organizations, that are crying out for volunteers.. My youngest daughter sponsors a child in Chile.. I have friends who are missionaries in South America..

    Thank you for this post… I hope more people come across your blog and read it…


  32. pasturescott says:

    Carol, may I bless you today?

    You are one of the great host of unsung heroes out there, outside the public eye perhaps, but never out of the sight lines of the One who gives Life! The Lord bless you, Carol, for your tireless work for the kingdom, for investing in those the world would just as soon toss aside but those whom Christ’s heart bleeds for. May His strength pull you onward and upward!

    Thank you for your kind comment here. And for the advice and passion that is dead on!


  33. Karla says:

    I have heard that the story pertaining to this picture is that this little boy was searching for food in some camp far way from his home. The boy was injured and almost dragging him self to finding some food. This is where he was last seen, the bird in the back of the picture is waiting for him to die so he can eat him!! The guy who took this picture was the last person to see the little boy, and as fast as he took the piture he left! three months he commited suicide from depression! I wonder why? how can someone be so cruel to just leave a human beign in this situation? this really sadens me.!!!


  34. pasturescott says:

    Whew boy, Karla. I never heard that side of the story. I couldn’t agree with you more. This is an extreme situation here, but I find myself remembering the many I have passed by through my years: people in need, while I had plenty. I’ve never been to Africa, but should I start in my town?

    Thanks for writing!


  35. the Lieutenant says:

    Well, I might have read to fast, but missed specific guidance and organizations that would allow me to apply my angst to help others. Also, whereas the ranting about our greedy evils is always called for, the problem is greater than anything produced by our greed. Even if we averaged $100,000 in giving it would not help because the real killer is fascist and other iron fisted rulers who use starvation as a weapon. Too often tons upon tons of aid sits at ports while dictators withold it from their people. This is why we should have a less narrow view of our military as it has more potential to end poverty than any other economic or legal force in the world. Also, these nations need to be “taught to fish” with new agricultural techniques and the very best in genetically engineered seeds that can prosper in harsher environments. Of course, until the roving bands of thugs are under control, nobody is going to agriculture 101.


  36. Jasmine says:

    wow, everytime i see this picture i just want to scoop up that child in my arms and care for it, along wth all of the others. incase u havent herd the story behind this picture, ill tell it to u:

    when this photot was taken by a young man, they knew that they couldn’t feed the child. giving it just a simple grape would kill it, for it would b to much neutrition for it. about a month later, the photographer killed himself because he was so depressed from the picture!! som ppl look at it and say o, giv it a pill itl be fine. THIS IS NOT OK!!!!! this child is now dead because we are using all of our money to buy stupid gifts for people who already have a home, a car,a family, friends, food, water, and MORE money!! if somone… just ONE person… donaited… just one mor helping hand… this child would b healthy happy and loved. but since all of america is selfish and wants mor and mor and mor, this child, along with many othrs, has pased without a life to live. look at the picture carefully and imagine if that child was yours, and u wr powerless to stop the starvation. u couldnt nerse, you couldnt feed it, just watch ur own son/daughter die right infront of you. id kill myself if i had to go threw that…… wat would YOU do? WWJD??


  37. Dr NAT says:


    Dr. NAT


  38. Bianca says:

    I’m not sure you realize how pathetic this is. you just found another reason to praise the lord, virtually. why exactly would you hang our this picture on the wall?so you can feel compassion cos the lord sais you should have compassion? or maybe so you can thank the lord for your fluffy life? if you find 5 minutes in which you are not praising the lord, maybe you would like to think of the following:

    1. how much does the photographer made for this picture? is your feeling of compassion that pay him high price. how is it possible that a person gains reputation money and success on the misery of others? pictures like this don’t change anything essentially, but only “brand” Africa as poor. people are made to relate to particularities, these kinds have no stories and no face for us. so we resign to feel compassion, than we have dinner and forget about it. is it possible that their situation didn’t change, even if aparently help is sent there? is it possible that Africa’s resources are valued more than its people?that the associations that go there rather gain capital for the association ? that hunger is not ment to be stopped because it’s comfortable? many of you would leave the lives they have now, to change something not for everyone there, but at least for some?


  39. pasturescott says:

    Thank you, Bianca. Your thoughts and hard-hitting questions are greatly appreciated. Consider this post not an exploitation of this little one’s plight (or a woman as I read in another publication about this picture, if you can believe it), but an indictment against we who are the richest in the world—even those below the poverty line, mind you—for our selfish ways. That is an “editorial” we, for there are MANY who mourn and long for justice in the earth (Isaiah 58:6,7) and go to amazing lengths to stand in the shoes of the least of these. If you have time, why not share with us how you deal with these things and what proactivity against oppression you engage in?

    Thanks for commenting.


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