Third Day Dreams of a World Without Extreme Poverty
By Rebecca Harper and Jule EckertOn Saturday, May 31, ONE teamed up with Third Day in Atlanta to celebrate ONE’s 10th anniversary, and share the “new good news” that since 1990, extreme poverty has been cut in half.Back in 2003, ONE’s co-founder Bono called on the Christian community to lead the fight against HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty. Third Day answered that call and have been tirelessly lending their voice and platform to the cause ever since.In a blog post on ONE.org and subsequent interview on Patheos, the band’s bassist Tai Anderson shared his personal motivation and excitement at the prospect of living to see a world without extreme poverty. “I think a lot of people are now realizing that living out the mission Jesus lived out in his ministry is very much an act of worship and in line with the correct faith perspective...Yes, there will always be poor people, but this is a world where it's possible for everyone who is born to have health care, education, water, food, and shelter. And I think that is possible in our lifetime.”At their first ever Third Day and Friends Festival with Royal Tailor, Jaime Grace and a surprise set by NEEDTOBREATHE, Third Day turned over the mic to the ONE Campaign to reflect on the past and share their vision of a better future with 13,000 adoring fans. From a 10th anniversary video by illustrator Oliver Jeffers and narrated by Bono, to a surprise appearance by Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia who shared his reasons for supporting ONE and the impact of advocacy, it was truly a memorable night.The good news is that amazing progress has been made. There are over 9 million more people on life-saving HIV/AIDS medications than there were in 2002. We have seen a 25 percent drop in malaria deaths over that same period. If poverty rates continue dropping as they have in the last 20 years, we could live in a world without extreme poverty by 2030.Onstage, ONE reps including Mike Hogan from the David Crowder band, encouraged fans to raise their voices in support of new legislation that would funnel investment into power infrastructure projects estimated to bring electricity access to 50 million people across Africa while returning cash to the US budget. Affordable, reliable energy access means that vaccines can be properly refrigerated, moms don’t have to give birth in the dark, and kids can study in the safety of their homes at night, instead of under street lamps. It also means that small businesses can literally keep the lights on, creating jobs andThree weeks after the concert, the bipartisan Energize Africa Act was introduced in the Senate, bringing us one step closer.