The Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Welcome to Wednesday and to our discussion of Richard Stearns’ book, The Hole in Our Gospel! My co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen and I thoroughly enjoy our discussions about this book and we welcome you to stay and discuss the topics each week, whether you’ve read the chapter or not. Each week, we provide a link widget. This week, the link widget is at Jason’s site, Connecting to Impact. We ask that if you’ve written your own post on this chapter, you link it up there. And we invite and encourage you to read each of the entries there because we have such great contributors! We hope you enjoy the discussions and we hope you keep coming back to take part!

And now, Chapter 12 – The Horsemen of the Apocalypse

One of the recurring feelings I’ve had while reading this book and taking part in this discussion is a feeling of frustration. A feeling of desperation. A need to stop talking about it and do something about it. But I have never felt the need so utterly and completely as I did while reading and preparing for this week’s discussion. And when thinking about what to write today, I decided that for the benefit of those who aren’t able to read the book, I’m going to share a handful of the facts that Stearns shared in this chapter that fed that desperation and frustration in me. I want you to be as desperate and frustrated as I am so that maybe, we will all get desperate and frustrated enough to do something.

  • In Haiti (in 2008—prior to the recent earthquake and storms) three-quarters of the population earned less than $2 day and one in five children was chronically malnourished. (p. 133) Can you imagine what it’s like there now?
  • “One out of four children in developing countries is underweight, and some 350 to 400 million children are hungry. Worse, it is estimated that a child dies every five seconds from hunger-related causes.” (p.134)
  • “Almost one in seven worldwide, 854 million people do not have enough food to sustain them. This makes hunger/malnutrition the number one risk to health globally, greater than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.” (p. 135)
  • “As many as 5 million people die each year of water-related illnesses. A child dies every fifteen seconds of a waterborne illness.” (p. 137-8)
  • “Each week AIDS takes more than ten times as many lives as the United States lost in the first five years of the war in Iraq.” (p.148)
  • “AIDS has now left 15 million children behind as orphans….Picture a chain of children holding hands and stretching out across America. This chain, starting in New York, would stretch all the way to Seattle, back to Philadelphia, back to San Francisco, then east to Washington DC, back again to Los Angeles, and finally to about Kansas City—more than five and half times across the United States!” (p. 148)

Are you as frustrated and desperate to do something as I am yet? Let me end with a message of hope from Richard Stearns”

“The battle against AIDS, like that against malaria and tuberculosis, is a winnable war—if we are willing to take up the fight.” (p.150)

I’m willing. Are you?

About Sarah Salter


  1. Definitely. I felt that desperation as I read this chapter. It seems so overwhelming, but the heart of the Father beats for these in deepest need. To have His heart is to take up this fight. We aren’t just spirits and we aren’t just bodies. We have to meet the needs of both and that’s going to take more than we sometimes think is available. Good stuff, Sarah. I’m all kinds of stirred up! 🙂

  2. Saying I am willing won’t help and yet I am.

    Now to get off my duff and do it.

  3. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason & Dusty- I know that y’all feel that desperation and frustration, too. I see it in your posts and in your lives. And I’m reminded of what Mother Teresa said: “We cannot do great things on earth. only small things with great love.” But we must each do our small things.

  4. I’m willing.

  5. Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work. – Mother Teresa


  6. Sarah Salter says:

    Jay- That’s a great quote! Thanks for sharing it.

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