• Our crucial task

    Posted by Joel

    23 May, 2011

    I have just returned from three days meetings in Malaysia with some of our Micah Challenge National Coordinators from across the world. It's been both moving and encouraging to hear the stories of commitment and determination which flow so easily in settings like these. One National Coodinator told us how important it was for them to spend limited resources to travel to Malaysia, simply because their recent involvement with the campaign was crucial to their nation. Another Coordinator spends alternate weeks between his home and his office hundreds of miles away in order to stay involved in the campaign without uprooting his family and derailing his wife's profession...

    And we also heard about the struggles of campaigns: limited cash and capacity to do a big job; the potential for feeling alone; the uphill climb to convince churches that God takes advocacy for the poor really seriously; and the challenges of reminding governments of their promises.

    

But I will particularly remember the creative icebreaker that happened on the first morning we met. The activity compared the nations represented by population and geographic size. But it also measured where our nations stood on the anti-corruption scale. It made us all laugh but we all knew it wasn't funny. It turned out that the nations with the best track record for good governance and low corruption all looked embarrassed. Basically they all said they were sure that they didn't really deserve to be so high on the scale of political virtues. And they were all more secular and northern.

    The nations who had high levels of national corruption were also uneasy about it and they apologised too. It wasn't so much the fact that they were largely from developing communities; it was more to do with the fact that they were less secular and had a higher reputation for lively church attendances.



    Which tells us an awful lot about our task. More than anything else it has demonstrated how Micah Challenge collectively has such an important job in reaching out to Christian believers to be salt and light like never before. And as our Bible reflection at the beginning of day two reminded us, we don't do this because it's easy or fashionable. We do it because it's right and because God expects us to. And we do it because every inch of ground towards a better and just society changes the life and livelihood of the real people who stand behind the policies we talk about.
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    Joel Edwards is the Director of Micah Challenge International.