The 10-40 Window

The 10-40 Window refers to the area located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator that in 1990 was purported to have the highest level of socioeconomic challenges and least access to the Christian message and Christian resources on the planet. The 10/40 Window concept highlights these three elements: an area of the world with great poverty and low quality of life, combined with lack of access to Christian resources. The Window forms a band encompassing Saharan and Northern Africa, as well as almost all of Asia (West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, East Asia and much of Southeast Asia). Roughly two-thirds of the world population lives in the 10/40 Window. The 10/40 Window is populated by people who are predominantly Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, Jewish or Atheist. Many governments in the 10/40 Window are formally or informally opposed to Christian work of any kind within their borders. (Source: Wikipedia)

Go to your closet and pull out some clothes. Now look at the tags to see where your clothes are “Made In.” Odds are that the majority of your clothes are made in a country located in the 10-40 Window. The cheapest labor in the world is located in this geographical area and thus many, if not most, of the human sweatshops with underpaid women and children are found in this geographical band.

Think about it, the clothes on your back are made by some of the poorest people in the world. They have may have no understanding that what they made with their hands will end up in an average American home (which they would call a palace). To gain a fuller understanding of this dichotomy, go to and key in your annual salary – you will probably be in the top 1% of all wage earners on the planet while the person who fabricated your clothes is in the bottom 10% of all wage earners.

Here’s my challenge to you

  • Pray for the person who made your clothes. You will never ever know who made your clothes but God does. That person needs to know God in a personal way just like you do and is probably not a Christian nor even knows who Jesus is. Chances are that no one in the world is praying for that person. That person is, more than likely, a woman or child (under age 18), with limited education and financial means living in what we would call a hovel or shack and probably eats one or two meals a day. The clothes this person makes are probably better than what they are wearing. Pray for this person – they need your prayers.
  • Pray for the Christian nationals in that country. There are Christians in every nation and almost every people group in the world. That means the person who made your clothes may, at some point in her (or his) life hear about Jesus from a Christian from their own country. However, many of the countries in the 10-40 Window actively persecute Christians so they must be very careful about where and how they tell the story of Jesus. Pray for those Christians who live and work and worship in conditions which we cannot imagine.
  • Pray for missionaries working in that country. Almost every country has missionaries from another nation who have given up their “normal” life to go far away to live out God’s love and tell the story of Jesus. The person who made your clothes will probably never meet a Christian missionary but through circles of influence the missionary’s work may impact that person or her family.

Now, go to your closet (I’m pretty sure you didn’t do it the first time I asked). Get two or three items and pray. Hold those clothes in your hands and think about the person who first held your clothes. Imagine her (or his) life and her calloused hands; think about how she provides for her family and children; picture her each morning preparing breakfast for her family and then coming home each evening to fix the evening meal and take care of her children’s needs and finally her own before going to sleep to repeat it all again, day after day.

Hold your clothes in your hands and that laborer in your prayers.

Lead On!