• Let's finish what we started

    Posted by John

    13 November, 2012

    All of us have jobs that we leave unfinished that are the source of much frustration. All of us have to-do lists that never seem to get done.

    But some things just shouldn’t be left unfinished.


     

    In the year 2000 we committed to achieving eight Millennium Development Goals in order to halve poverty by 2015. These goals included reducing the number of kids dying before their fifth birthday by 2/3, reducing the number of mothers dying in childbirth by ¾, and halving the number of people without access to a toilet. We committed to ‘spare no effort’ to free people from extreme poverty.

    Some things are worth finishing. 

    Micah Challenge’s Finish the Race campaign is an invitation to all Christians in this country to make sure that we don’t leave the job of halving global poverty by 2015 unfinished. There is too much at stake to let this slip down the to-do list.

    Finish the Race is an opportunity to work together as the body of Christ to address poverty and injustice because we believe poverty is contrary to God’s desire and intention for the world and its people.

    Most people don’t realise that significant progress towards these goals has already been made.

    Since 1990, we have:

    Halved the number of people living below the extreme poverty line of US $1.25/day

    • Halved the proportion of people living without access to clean drinking water. On current rates of progress 92% of the world’s population will have access to clean drinking water by 2015.

    • Reduced the number of children dying before their fifth birthday from 12 million a year down to approximately 7 million a year

    • Reduced the number of women dying in pregnancy/childbirth worldwide from 543,000 women to 287,000 women – almost half.

    This is phenomenal progress, but there is still much to be done. Every child or mother who dies needlessly is motivation for us to finish well.

    With three years to go until the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) we have an amazing opportunity to call on our nation’s leaders to make sure Australia is known for its commitment to justice for the world’s poorest people.

    As a nation, finishing well means urgent action to accelerate progress toward the international target of 0.7% GNI going to aid. Our current contribution is just half of that target at 0.35%GNI. It also means working to remove the brake on progress that is caused by multinational tax evasion. Poor countries are losing billions of dollars in revenue that is rightfully theirs due to the unjust practices of western companies who are operating within their borders. Australia can help shine a light on this situation by requiring companies that are registered in Australia to report all payments they make and receive on a country by country basis.

    For Christians finishing well means pressing on towards the goal – pressing on towards God’s promised new creation, where God and God’s people are reconciled, where righteousness, peace and justice are established and where there is no more mourning, no more pain, no more death. 

    When Jesus cried out on the cross “IT IS FINISHED” he ushered in the assurance of his kingdom and this new creation. Because of this assurance, we live hope into a broken world. We live like we know our citizenship is of a different place.

    In practical terms, we invite you to run with us into the 2015 deadline for the MDGs. From March – July 2013, in the lead up to the next Federal Election, everyday prophets in communities from every corner of the country will take action to raise our collective voice to our leaders with the clear message ‘Let’s finish what we started’.

    This is an invitation to every Christian in this country to join us and take action.

    P.S. Please join us now in praying for the campaign as we recruit eight Road Runners to take on a five month 'race to the finish' road trip, engage 150 community leaders who will coordinate events & actions in their electorate and share the vision with many denominations, churches, schools and individuals who will mobilise their networks for action. It's a big task, but we have a great God!

    _____

    John Beckett (known to most of us as JB) works as the National Coordinator of Micah Challenge.

    Micah Challenge is currently recruiting eight passionate young adult (18-30 yrs old) Road Runners to take on a four-month roadtrip of community mobilisation in 2013.  If you would like to apply, or know someone suitable, please visit/share this link: www.micahchallenge.org.au/race-to-the-finish