It seems nearly impossible these days to open an internet browser, social media or television and not hear or read some panic-stricken newscast or article about the latest Ebola victim, school-shooting, imminent terrorist attack, or political snafu.
Social media is the main way I stay connected to the world outside of the small village I call my home. Facebook is one of my main news providers, and unfortunately, that is the most biased and dramatic medium of all.
I've lost count of how many Ebola posts I see on a now nearly daily basis. In my desire to check up on friends and connect with loved ones, I have to weed through a cascade of statuses and article shares that quite honestly, just cause me to shake my head, and consider "un-friending" a few individuals...
When did we become such weak minded citizens?
When did we start looking to CNN and Fox News to be the sole providers of our safety and protection?
Why do we only care about conflict and disease when they have the potential of threatening our lives?
You see... contrary to popular belief, neither Ebola, nor ISIS are the largest killers in the world, or the greatest threats.
Diarrhea alone claims over 1 million lives a year, 760,000 of those being children under the age of five. It is the leading cause of malnutrition, and yet the most preventable and treatable of all death-causing illness.
Mosquitoes kill more humans in five minutes, than sharks do in a year.
But what about Ebola?
While I do not discount the severity of this growing epidemic, I cannot help but ask a question.
Would we as North Americans, truly be considered with matters regarding Ebola, if we were not in anyway threatened by it?
People die every second.
And majority of those deaths are not your 98-year-old great-grandparents, who went to be with Jesus in their sleep.
For years, people have been dying around the world from epidemics, disease and illnesses due to contaminated drinking water, and yet, those stories rarely make headlines.
But, when all of a sudden, a seemingly new and unheard of disease surfaces and begins to claim victims at a rapid rate, by golly, we're paying attention.
ESPECIALLY, if it in any way, could possibly come and mess up our lives.
I've been living in Haiti for nearly a year. In this one year, I have attended three funerals, and have watched as multiple mothers mourned the loss of their children.
About two weeks ago, in a matter of a week, the village of Baie D'Orange lost two children due to severe dehydration and malnutrition.
And those are just two that we know of...
Living in Haiti has opened my eyes to the way the world actually functions. Death and disease don't seem to matter that much when they aren't in front of your face.
It's easy to skip over the ads, or change the channel when the tear-jerking infomercials of starving children with flies in their eyes, pop up onto our screens.
It's easy to forget about the 10.5 million refugees worldwide, many whom fled war-torn regions in a desperate attempt to save their life and the lives of their family, only to be unable to return home or ineligible for resettlement. And refugee women are some of the most at-risk individuals in the world.
Developing countries often have a level of violence that makes life unbearable for women. Richer ones may burden them with repressive laws, or sweep the problems of the least advantaged under the carpet. In any country, refugee women are among the most vulnerable.
When we live in a world filled with endless distractions, a world controlled by mass media, we are literally blinded to everything around us.
We believe everything news anchors and compelling articles tell us, without doing any further research of our own.
We immediately react and gravitate towards panic and fear, rather than faith and prayer.
Why does it have to take a threat on our own soil for us to care about the pain and suffering in this world?
Why do we have to feel our comfort zone closing in, before we feel compelled to take action?
Just because certain types of poverty and suffering, aren't evident in our own backyard, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
We are altogether missing it.
Jesus warned us that all of these things would take place.
He specifically told us, of all that has and will come to pass. And none of it is very pretty or deeply comforting.
Yet, He leaves us with this hope.
This world is filled with plagues, disease, famine and death. We have been warned, but not to sit idly by in our doomsday dungeons, fully prepared for an apocalypse. We have been called to take action and bring the hope so many desperately need.
In this world, we WILL have trouble.
There will be climate changes, earthquakes, tornadoes, cancer, AIDS, human trafficking, starvation, Ebola and ISIS, to name a few...
Some of us may even die as martyrs for Christ, or from one of the aforementioned, unfortunate illnesses. But the LAST thing we should ever do, is sit in our homes, barricading ourselves from any potential threat, and posting up on the couch, fear mongering on Facebook.
There will always be people in need. People who desperately need to know that despite all the horrors of this sinful and fallen world, there is a God in heaven, who loves them with a furious love and offers them a hope and salvation from the treacheries of life on earth.
Take heart. He's already overcome this world.