Saturday, October 31, 2009

Big Problems, Small Solutions

Sometimes very big problems need only small solutions. I learned of a case in Vietnam, where the horrendous problem of child malnutrition can be substantially solved by encouraging families to add tiny shrimps, small fish and crabs found in the rice fields and ponds to their meals. See Recipes for Success Improve children's nutrition in Vietnam.

Another great example could be the 'ridge blade', a turbine electricity generator which sits on the ridge of a building, and collects the wind using the slope of the roof. The prize-winning ridge blade can generate the electricity requirements of a residence, and works 24 hours, even in light wind conditions.
It is also visually unobtrusive. Surely this clever idea could revolutionize the way green power is generated across our cities.

Spiritually it seems true too, that seemingly insurmountable problems can find profound but 'small' solutions. A good example was the heart-rending persecution of Christians under Communist China, and confiscation of church properties and institutions by the state. The solution? Humble house churches: people meeting to worship, learn and pray in each others' homes. The church in the end didn't need its hospitals, schools, universities and so on to survive. It just needed people meeting together in the presence of God, living Christian lives.

Often we cannot see just what wonderful resources God has placed in our own hands, because our ways of thinking have become tangled with other priorities, or we have just become accustomed to fear and defeat.

Be on the look out for that small solution to your next big problem.