tyronehster - I have thought you duplicitous, but until today, never naive. In political circles, the statement you've made here is called a whitewash, it's spin and marketing. Your example may be true, but it may certainly not be representative.
"They preach the Gospel, but help is not conditional on receiving the gospel" - this is such a thin cover, yet it hides the many possible agendas of charities in the developing world. Who polices it?
Ever heard of timeshare? Come for a free day out, but you have to sit through a four-hour sales presentation? At the end of which you're so mind-numbed that you'll sign anything. I know how you evangelists work - Google Cameron and Comfort on some of their techniques. You're manipulative, high-pressure salesmen, adept at catching people at their weakest. Even when they're starving. Despicable.
I decided long ago to stop contributing to this forum, because it is an utter waste of time, but for one little comment by the most virulent anti-Christian I’ve encountered on these pages. And here I include Mike Swart or Whyte, take your pick. This little response of yours has lowered my opinion of you, as a person, not a correspondent, to a new level.
I neither know you personally, nor would I ever want to.
Without knowing anything about me, you resort to constant insults, labelling me a liar, and that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’m used to being called a liar: But I’m going to provide you with some information which just might, though I doubt it, help you see things in a different light.
Why do I doubt it? Because when I try engage in debate with you, you constantly shift the goalposts or respond with ad hominem attacks.
The opening paragraph was your response to a short piece I wrote about Gospel for Asia and the work they do. I’m going to give you some ugly facts, sourced from the United Nations, The Times, ABC News and Wikipedia.
According to a Government census of 2001, there were 12.6 million children between the ages of five and fourteen employed as virtual slaves, their parents, being illiterate, having signed them over to their new masters for a few Rupees. UNICEF is of the opinion that the Government figures are way off target and the numbers far higher, as most children are not registered at birth.
Many young girls are sold off to Hindu temples as child prostitutes and, although it is against the law, police do very little to intervene. Child trafficking is also rife throughout the entire southern Asian region. Gap were recently called upon to defend their use of child labour.
‘On October 28, 2007, BBC footage showed child labor in Indian Gap factories. The company denied knowledge of the happenings; it subsequently removed and destroyed the single piece of clothing in question, a smock blouse, from a British store. Gap promised to investigate breaches in its ethical policy.’ Wikipedia.
These companies treat their child-employees well when compared to Indian companies such as match and fireworks factories, where children work excessively long hours for no pay and are locked into the factories so that, when there is an accident, many of them die.
In Mumbai and Kolkata, the number of people living in slums, mostly Dalits or Untouchables, as we know them, number somewhere between 10.5 million and 12 million. These slums are known to be the largest and most hopeless in the world, as these people deserve to be there, according to the caste system.
Children play in raw sewage, people sleep on the streets and on railway lines, as there is very little shelter of any kind.
According to the Hindustan Times: The population of Mumbai has gone up considerably and the worrying fact is that the number of people staying in the slums has increased by an alarming 50 per cent in a decade.
According to the provisional figures of the census that is underway, Mumbai's population is projected to be 1.43 crore, which was 1.19 crore in 2001. The number of people living in slums and slum-like areas has gone up by a staggering 30 lakh.
The projections showed that about 90 lakh Mumbai residents now live in slums as against 60 lakh recorded in 2001 census - a 50 per cent increase in a decade that also saw an unprecedented real estate boom in the city.
This means that about 60 per cent of Mumbai is staying in slums-shanties and even brick and cement houses built in unplanned manner with limited access to civic amenities.
"The provisional figures show a large Mumbai population manages to live and cope under the huge infrastructure deficit," said urban planner V K Phatak.
Pankaj Joshi, Executive Director, Urban Design Research Institute said the whole issue boils down to affordability.
"Since the state cannot provide houses to this section, they have taken care of their own needs."
This number would vary, depending on the outcome of second phase of census under which a detailed survey would be conducted. The projections are based on first phase, which was listing of houses and individual staying in them.
"The exact and definitive number will be available after the population enumeration is conducted in February" said Joint Director (Census Operations) Dr S S Hiremath.
The figure Crore is 10 million, while Lakh is 100 thousand.
In May 2013, Cyclone Mahasen struck South-east Asia, spending its force on Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Southern India and Myanmar. 950 000 homes were destroyed and 1.4 million people displaced. In addition to this, forty-nine people died, with the damage was estimated at $14 million. Many young women committed suicide when their husbands were lost, and took their children with them. This is reportedly fairly common practice.
In India water related diseases are the most common cause of deaths. The paucity of clean water for domestic use has led to the increase in the number of deaths in both the urban and rural parts of developing economies. Deaths due to water related diseases in India are in the range of nearly 80 percent. Here is a list of the 3 most deadly water related diseases that occur in India
- Diarrhoea remains the most prevalent water related disease in India. It mostly affects children under the age of 5and often leads to death.
- Diarrhoeal infection is spread through food and drinking water that has been contaminated.
- A diarrhoeal attack can last up to 2 weeks and leave the person completely dehydrated.
- Symptoms of diarrhoea include, severe dizziness, loss of consciousness, dehydration and pale skin, little or no urination and in some case bloody stool.
- Diarrhoea can spread through multiple viruses that is found in contaminated water. The poorer sections of the society come in daily contact with this water and that is the why the rate of diarrhoea is highest amongst them.
- Thousands of people fall prey to cholera every year in India.
- Cholera is a water related disease, and is diarrhoeal in nature.
- It can kill in hours if left unattended.
- Cholera strikes when one ingests water that is infested with the Vibrio Cholerae bacterium.
- Symptoms of cholera include watery bowels and fever in certain cases.
- Cholera can happen to both children and adults.
- In India cholera related deaths are most common in places with shortage of good quality water. In 2010, nearly 140 people died of cholera in Odisha (formerly known as Orissa).
- Filariasis is a parasitic disease and affects people who live near unsanitary water bodies or sewages.
- Filariasis is spread by mosquitoes that breed in fresh and stagnant water bodies and is the host of the filarial nematode worm. This worm affects humans and leads to elephantitis.
- Filariasis can lead to blindness, and rapid skin pigmentation and the filarial worms can affects various parts of the body.
- Filariasis is a concern for the rural population in India whose major occupation is agriculture.
One of the main water sources for Indians, the Ganges, is so polluted that drinking from it leads to dysentery and other diseases. The river is considered holy and referred to as the Goddess Ganges.
Literacy in India is key for socio-economic progress, and the Indian literacy rate grew to 74.04% in 2011 from 12% at the end of British rule in 1947.Although this was a greater than sixfold improvement, the level is well below the world average literacy rate of 84%, and of all nations, India currently has the largest illiterate population. Despite government programmes, India's literacy rate increased only "sluggishly," and a 1990 study estimated that it would take until 2060 for India to achieve universal literacy at then-current rate of progress. The 2011 census, however, indicated a 2001–2011 decadal literacy growth of 9.2%, which is the slower than the growth seen during the previous decade.
There is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India: effective literacy rates (age 7 and above) in 2011 were 82.14% for men and 65.46% for women.  The low female literacy rate has had a dramatically negative impact on family planning and population stabillisation efforts in India. Studies have indicated that female literacy is a strong predictor of the use of contraception among married Indian couples, even when women do not otherwise have economic independence. The census provided a positive indication that growth in female literacy rates (11.8%) was substantially faster than in male literacy rates (6.9%) in the 2001–2011 decadal period, which means the gender gap appears to be narrowing. Wikipedia.
Illiteracy rates are highest amongst the Dalits, as is to be expected, as they are Untouchables and therefore not worthy of being taught anything.
Against this background, we have Gospel for Asia who, at great personal cost to themselves and no cost to the beneficiaries:
· Dig Jesus Wells where water is freely available to anyone who comes to get water. Someone stands at the well and preaches the Gospel and they hear it and accept it or ignore it and carry on. There is no compulsion to hear the Gospel. It is being preached when they go there.
· Rescue thousands of children from a life of bondage and slavery, through reading the contracts their parents signed for as little as 80 Rupees, and showing the parents the worthlessness of the contracts.
· Building Bridge of Hope Schools, where they educate both adults and children, free of charge, teaching them the Gospel at the same time.
· Providing them with water buffalo, pigs, sheep and chickens, free of charge, as a way of showing them Jesus loves them. These are all native missionaries, by the way.
· Rebuilding homes destroyed by the cyclone, supplying food and medicine to the people displaced by the cyclone. Helping them rebuild their lives and giving them hope through the message of the Gospel.
You sit behind your keyboard, handing out judgments on people of whom you know nothing, from the comfort of your middle-class existence in a first-world city, where hardship is probably unknown to you. The hardship these people endure daily is almost certainly unknown to you.
For the first time in their lives, the majority of these people are experiencing love: not from each other, but from people who can, and want to, help them for no gain at all. They hear of a God who loves them, rather than the Hindu gods who’ve consigned them to this life of misery, where a cow is of more value than they are.
Tell me now that this is duplicitous, when the president of Gospel for Asia drives a VW Beetle; where every cent donated is accounted for and goes to the mission field. Not even staff salaries come out of these donations. There is a separate account for salaries, and they also come from donations.
Tell me what you do for those around you, the homeless, the hopeless, the helpless. Tell me what you do for those you can’t even see. Some people on this forum, atheists, actually go out and spend their time doing good, because they feel good doing it, and because there is a need.
Tell me, if you will, why it is wicked to take people out of the slums, proved them with fresh drinking water, provide them with clean clothes, release them from slavery, rebuild their houses and educate them.
I’ll be interested in your reply.