Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • Faith, Prayer, Justice

    Posted by David

    6 July, 2012

    In this post-budget context, it is time to pause from the daily discussion around aid and the poor and reconnect with our God. In a world that does not know God; we must constantly return and be filled with faith in order to constantly renew our minds, our motivations, and our will in Christ. We are players in a battle contending for God’s just will to be done here. We must pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we must let God invade this world through us because God has chosen in Christ to make His will known through us. Prayer is a matter of urgency. Jesus says we are to pray like a widow pleading to a judge; like a woman wanting bread who knocks on a neighbour’s door incessantly. I once heard a pastor involved in justice work express distaste for these passages inferring that God was a prayer merchant holding us to an impossible standard. The truth is that prayer is a gift, not an obligation. We need prayer to abide in God. The extraordinary reality is that we receive faith in prayer to continue, to believe, to receive nourishment for our… read more

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  • Follow the Leaders

    Posted by John

    21 June, 2012

    I regularly have conversations with people who are passionate about the cause of poverty reduction, yet feel disheartened that their friends, or even their churches, don’t seem to care enough (or in some cases don’t seem to care at all) about addressing the issue. This kind of apathy is undoubtedly one of the biggest obstacles we face in the fight to overcome poverty. It can make the strongest of us feel disheartened at times. But every now and then we’re encouraged by breakthroughs. Every now and then something pulls us out of the miry clay caused by apathy and inspires us to express our hope through action. This week’s open letters, sent from Australia’s church leaders to the leaders of both the government and the opposition, provide us with one of those moments of inspiration. The letters, signed by leaders of most of Australia’s Christian denominations, express deep disappointment at the broken promise from the government as it pushed out its timetable to increase aid to 0.5% of GNI beyond 2015. The leaders… read more

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  • A Response to Mr Downer

    Posted by John

    31 May, 2012

    In an article entitled ‘Aid means quality, not quantity’ published on May 20 in the Adelaide Advertiser, Alexander Downer claims that the NGO community says ‘barely a word’ about aid effectiveness and is only interested in the size of the aid budget ‘even if much of it is wasted.’ As someone who is actively involved in the NGO sector, this is my response to Mr Downer’s article. Alongside thousands of everyday Australians and NGOs, Micah Challenge has repeatedly called for more effective aid. We have called for a greater focus on inclusive development for disabled persons, more effective spending on health, water, sanitation and governance programs, as well as greater transparency and accountability. Certainly the quantity of aid becomes a focus for both the NGO sector, and the general public around budget time. This is basically because the government often seems to be looking for ways to defer increases to the aid budget. That was the case when Mr Downer was Foreign Minister and, sadly, is still the case now. That said,… read more

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  • Looking Forward With Passion

    Posted by Sarita

    23 May, 2012

    I'd like to take you through the story of how I initially got involved with advocacy, why I do it now and what motivates me to keep going when it gets hard. My advocacy journey started when I was in year 8, when I went to a Micah Challenge training day. I knew that poverty was wrong, and I wanted to do something about it. I had explored ideas, but didn't really come to something that I could do. I was too young for many of the volunteering-type activities, and I was at school during the week! Anyway, I found out about Micah Challenge and went to their training day. There were workshops to choose from, and somehow I found myself at the one on how to visit a politician. I am not sure how. Maybe the other workshops were mostly for adults, or I had already been to them... I am not sure. So I sat in the room, listening to two ladies talking about how visiting politicians really is quite easy and not scary. I didn't believe them. I hated (and still do!) public speaking. I listened, I took notes, I took the papers that I was given. But in my mind I was… read more

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