Live58 is a movement to end extreme poverty in our generation. This is a helpful connection from the latest email newsletter by the team:
When we think of justice, the environment isn’t normally the first thing that comes to mind. Perhaps we think of human rights, or all those crime shows. But when Paul said in Colossians 1:20 that Jesus came “to reconcile all things to Himself,” you’ll notice that he doesn’t say some, and he doesn’t say people. He says all things. This means all of God’s creation.
Earth Month (with Earth Day earlier this week and Arbor Day today) is a reminder for us as Christians to take care of the creation God has made us stewards over. One of our solutions to extreme poverty is Environmental Stewardship, as most of the world’s poor are completely dependent on their environment for survival. Unfortunately, up to half the trees being cut down in developing countries are used for fuel wood, creating rampant deforestation and adding to the devastating effects of rural poverty. This fuel wood is then used for traditional cook stoves, which are causing indoor smoke pollution and killing almost 2 million people, mostly women and children, each year.
Our Environmental Stewardship partner, Plant With Purpose, works with communities to build improved cookstoves. These stoves require 50 to 60 percent less wood and also burn cleaner, which decreases the need for cutting wood and the risk of smoke-related illness or death.
While we shouldn’t make the environment an idol or fall into the notion that nature is equal in importance to people (it’s not: Matthew 10:31), we shouldn’t look down on good environment stewardship, either. In fact, as Live58 shows, there is often a relationship between better stewardship of the environment and not just improved human lives in general, but helping the poor specifically.
You can read more about the work Plant With Purpose is doing to improve wood burning stoves in the developing world. Also, for a good example of thinking wisely and Christianly about environmental issues, especially through the lens of climate change, see Glenn Brooke’s helpful post Thinking Wisely About Climate Change.