Field Notes

The End of Poverty

June 12, 2011

Poverty: zero. That’s the radical vision of a brand-new initiative called 58:, a global alliance of ten leading Christian anti-poverty organizations working together with Christians, churches, and other faith-based poverty-fighting organizations working together to end extreme poverty by 2035. To achieve this ambitious goal, 58: aspires to become the largest, most unified effort ever by the global Church to help the 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day – an active response to the revolutionary call of Isaiah 58: “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”
A generation ago, 52% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. Today, that number is 26%. 58: believes that this momentum, together with the Church’s renewed sense of engagement with issues of poverty and injustice, is creating a historic moment for the Church to lead the way in ending extreme poverty in our lifetime.
Dr. Scott Todd, Senior Advisor at Compassion International and one of the architects of 58:, is seeing the momentum: “The question now is not, ‘Can we end extreme poverty?’ The question is, ‘How fast?’ We are halfway there. We believe 58: will unleash the Church’s massive potential for action.”
To that end, 58: and its Council members are introducing new platforms and content to equip churches and individuals for action. These include:
LIVE58.ORG, an online action-based global portal that invites individuals and groups to directly impact those living in extreme poverty.
FAST LIVING—HOW THE CHURCH WILL END EXTREME POVERTY, a new book by Dr. Todd, coming out on September 1.
THE POOR WILL NOT ALWAYS BE WITH US, a compelling 10 minute film
58:, a feature-length documentary film slated to be released on television, iTunes, DVD and direct to churches this October.
Living Water International has long depended on this “massive potential for action” from the Church to bring water to the world’s thirsty, and we are excited to be part of this historic alliance. For more on Living Water International’s partnership with 58:, please visit You can also follow the entire movement on Twitter, @live58now.