The question is, “Why Bangladesh?” For the answer, let’s begin in Iowa.
Iowa ranks as the 26th state in land area, measuring 310 miles by 200 miles. Its population is about 3.1 million people. I drove through Iowa once, but I don’t remember seeing any people. I do remember seeing a lot of corn. Iowa is the United States’ leading producer of the crop.
A great many people, other than presidential primary candidates, might not be able to point to Iowa on a map of the United States.
Likewise, many people can’t point to Bangladesh on a world map. Maybe that’s because it is roughly the same size as Iowa.
But here’s the thing: Bangladesh, the same size as Iowa, is home to more than 161 million people. To put that into perspective, 161 million is almost half the population of the entire United States.
Imagine if half of all the people in the U.S. moved to Iowa. The population density would change from 50 people per square mile to nearly 2,600. There would hardly be any land available to grow corn!
Now, think of all that would need to be done to sustain those people. Life would change dramatically. There wouldn’t be enough schools, hospitals, infrastructure, places to live, jobs or groceries. Where would people go when they “have to go?” The distress this population shift would create in Iowa is almost incomprehensible.
This scenario is just the tip of the iceberg to answer, “Why Bangladesh?” It only begins to describe life in this South Asian nation.
Real Situations, Real Solutions for Bangladesh’s People
The answer to why GFA cares about the people of Bangladesh is that they are caught in the clutches of a “tragic battle against extreme poverty.” They face huge and varied obstacles, including annual monsoons that result in waist-deep flooding. Migration to cities gives rise to expanding shantytowns and slums. Children are forced to scavenge in garbage dumps or to work in unsafe conditions in factories.
Literacy rates are low; mortality rates are high. Women and children are susceptible to human trafficking and other acts of violence. Men who can’t support their families may lose their self-respect and, as a result, turn to alcohol and drugs to distract themselves from the difficult realities of their lives.
Why Bangladesh? Gospel for Asia answers: Christ’s love. Some of the most underserved people—many of whom have lost hope—live in that nation. Fewer than one percent of people there know Jesus. They need someone to help them find a way out of hopelessness. They need to experience the love of Jesus as GFA-supported workers minister to them as His hands and feet.
Why Bangladesh? Because Gospel for Asia cares about these people whom Jesus loves. Because national workers long to help people find a life of hope and also equip them to earn a living.
Why Bangladesh? Because Jesus cares. And, so do we.
We encourage you to pray for GFA-supported workers in Bangladesh and to ask the Lord to enable them to bring hope to many.
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