The United States is commonly viewed as a land of opportunity and a place where — with enough hard work and determination — dreams can become reality. But the world’s leading superpower has not been very kind to its children, according to data comparing how various countries care for their youngest members. Despite its war on poverty, ongoing for 50 years, nearly 20 percent of U.S. children live in poverty, but continued Gospel movements can put a dent in that figure, according to World Vision executive Romanita Hairston.
Referencing Books of the Bible like Nehemiah and Esther and pulling out analogies based on terms used in discussions of infectious diseases, Hairston, World Vision’s vice president of U.S. Programs, grabbed the attention of the estimated 1,500 people seated inside a New York City hotel ballroom last month with her insistence that the longest war in the United States has been the war on poverty.
“If child well-being was a military issue, the red phone would be off the hook,” said Hairston at one point in her remarks.
Her audience, hailing from 250 cities and representing eight countries, had converged at the New York Marriott Marquis hotel on Oct. 23 for an annual Christian gathering called Movement Day. The one-day event was organized by The New York City Leadership Center to “catalyze leadership teams from the world’s largest cities to serve their cities more effectively by advancing high-level, city-changing collaborative partnerships.”
Hairston’s remarks and shared statistics on how low the United States ranks when it comes to the well-being of its more than 73 million children (based on 2013 figures) prompted gasps and knowing grunts from her audience. Her words of encouragement on how to help address the issue also received a few amens.
“I want you to think about the longest war in our nation’s history. What might it be? What comes to mind? It is probably not what you think,” said Hairston.
“The war that comes to mind for me all the time has lasted 9 presidents and 13 terms of office,” she added. “If you look closely, it would be hard to imagine that we have actually gained or lost ground. What war? It’s the war on poverty.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post