Here are some statistics from Baptist World Aid that few are aware of that will put a feel-good into the cockerels of our heart: For example – I found this stat – there are in 2018 – 17,000 fewer children die per day than in 1990 – and when you consider the population growth, that is an astonishing figure.
There is another one: more people than ever have access to clean water. India for example has had numbers of huge clean water projects functioning and even national walks with famous cricketers to urge further effort in this direction.
Here is another: 700 million fewer lived in extreme poverty in 2018 than in 1990. That 28 year period has seen a phenomenal exchange.
And one more to taste your buds: Numbers of undernourished people decreased from 23% in 1990/92 to 15% in 2017-2018. This has been largely due to the NGOs mostly Christian organisations who have worked tirelessly around the world.
We don't often hear such good news abounding as the focus is on bad news that will gather a media audience.
But as 2019 draws upon us, so we too can refocus not only the good progressive things in such matters, rather we can push for further developments and be thankful that such efforts over so many years are bearing fruit.
2019 a year of better results
What all this says is that 2019 will inevitably be a year of even better results. Certainly we will be shown on the television and social media the disastrous outcomes from great famines, destructive floods and horrific droughts, but at the same time, things are actually improving.
The dedication to see this happen is forever strong regardless of the difficulties and at times danger to both the various projects to political dramas. And herein lies the actual threats of both life and protocol, as many such political considerations have no respect for protocols.
Horror and dismay may well, in their view, bring advantage to their causes, whatever they might be, and all that is left is heartache, despair and total frustration by those in true spirit are trying their utmost to bring benefit and goodness to those to whom they are serving.
So 2019 will have these two parameters, one is that increasing the aid and support to those who need it most, and at the same time, anguish and conflict by those whose aim is to bring notoriety to their cause by destruction.
What can we do?
2019 will bring many opportunities to bring succour and generosity to those who are in need. That may be overseas, it may be in Australia. Both are needy.
Everyone of us knows of local and national and international agencies including missions such as Baptist World Aid who engage in such services. The list of helps is endless. Yes, consider these: hunger, eyesight, medical, transport, cooking fuels, housing, dentistry, disease, HIV, Ebola, micro-businesses, sport equipment … it goes on and on.
It is not just money. Major NGO aid agencies are in constant need of people to pack and parcel, correspondences, marketing, phone answering, the end is again almost endless.
Local churches have been doing these things for years upon years. Some craft groups in churches make teddy bears, other produce Christmas toy boxes, dollies, boys toys, craft items and the again the list goes on.
2019 will be a great year
When we consider all the contingencies raised in this article, 2019 indeed will be a great year. We have seen how far we have all come in these past 28 years and yet, we know the task is yet to be complete and this new year is one fresh component of that bigger picture.
It's a very exciting view we have. For those in the evangelical church it carries with an additional dimension, that souls will be rejoicing as they come to a fresh faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to Salvation, born again and experiencing something beyond this world.
Now that is 2019 good news!
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html