The plea was urgent, and I’m so glad you helped.
Papua New Guinea, an island nation north of Australia, is in the midst of a long drought. People are hungry, and NTM missionaries there want to help. They contacted our team, and sent us some specifics.
Some of the aid could go in by road. Other relief would have to be delivered by airplane, at a cost of $350 per flight hour. And for a few locations, a helicopter would be required, at a cost per hour of $800. A plane-load of rice would cost $520.
I had two pieces of the puzzle. $13 was an amount people could see as “doable,” and everyone knows what rice is. But I needed two more things.
First, I needed to make the impact of a $13 gift clear. I couldn’t picture how much rice is in 10kg, let alone how many that could feed. So I had to do some math. (Yuck.)
Ten kilograms is about 22 pounds. Cooked, 22 pounds of rice provides 36,000 calories. I looked up how many calories people need in a day in order to survive: 1,200. So assuming that people could pick up 200 calories from other sources, I calculated that 10kg of rice was enough to feed 36 people for a day.
But 36 is an odd figure. I needed something people could relate to. Back to math: that’s enough food for a dozen people for three days.
I still needed something people could compare that cost to. I looked around the Internet, and found an estimate that the average meal out costs $12.75. Or, since we’re rounding, $13.
Now, I have to tell you, I hate doing math. But I love giving people opportunities to take part in reaching the world’s neglected people groups – men and women for whom Christ died so they could have abundant life … but nobody’s brought them that message yet.
In this case alone, showing people the impact of a relatively small gift has already raised enough money to feed thousands of people.
The reason I said you fed thousands of people, and that I’m glad you helped, is that I can’t carry out this ministry without people like you, and your participation in our ministry. We value and appreciate your prayers, gifts and encouragement.