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.

  • Harsh aid cuts and an unhappy new year

    Posted by Ben

    20 January, 2014

    On Saturday, the Government confirmed that it is cutting $625 million from the 2013-14 aid program, making the 2013-14 aid budget $107 million smaller than in 2012-13 – marking the first time aid has gone backwards since the year 2000. It also finally (after almost 5 months in office) confirmed which countries, regions and programs will be affected. In short: all of them. All regions of the world and all program areas (governance, infrastructure and rural development, disability, education, health, water, sanitation and hygiene, environmental sustainability) will be cut. Some deeply. Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa, where the world's poorest people are to be found, is being cut by almost half from a budgeted level of $224.9 million to just $133 million (vastly less than the $211.2 million that was invested there in 2012-13). Our contribution towards dealing with humanitarian and other emergencies as well as global refugee support has been cut by $75 million (from $339.6 million in the May budget to just $264.2 million). Cross regional and global… read more

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  • The Cross & Climate Change Part 7: Trust

    Posted by The Hope For Creation Team

    23 December, 2013

    Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46) Jesus’ final words in the Gospel of Luke are words of trust and faith in the one he knew as Abba, Father. Trusting in God, it is clear, did not mean that Jesus would not face trials, torture and death. It did not mean that he would be spared uncertainty, anguish, or anger – all of which the gospels clearly portray him experiencing. It did mean that he could trust in God’s fundamental goodness and commitment to His world and His people. He could rely on God’s saving, life-giving and resurrecting grace, even if he could not have known at that moment how God would act to vindicate him and begin renewing the people of God and all of creation through his death and resurrection. Paul, too, was crystal clear on this. As his list of perils in Romans 8:35 indicates, having faith in God does not mean that the faithful ones will not experience immense and perhaps deadly individual and corporate distress – “hardship, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril,… read more

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  • The Cross & Climate Change Part 6: Finished

    Posted by The Hope For Creation Team

    17 December, 2013

    It is finished (John 19:30) Jesus said, “It is finished”. Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. It is perhaps the most remarkable feature of our faith that Christians regard a crushing defeat and painful death at the hands of the most powerful Empire the world had seen at the time as the victory of God over all human arrogance and over the powers of sin and death. Far from being merely an execution post, the cross is a throne on which the crucified Lord of all is elevated and from which he has triumphed over all rulers and authorities (Colossians 2:14-15). It is the site at which the forgiveness and reconciliation of sinners – indeed the restoration to life of those who are dead in their sins – has been achieved. This reversal of expectations – from death to victory, from cross to throne – is so powerful that we understand Jesus’ words from the cross not simply as the exhausted words of a dying man, but as a statement of triumph, the conclusion of his journey to Jerusalem and the cross. The powers of the… read more

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  • The Cross & Climate Change Part 5: Water

    Posted by The Hope For Creation Team

    12 December, 2013

    I thirst (John 19:28) Jesus’ physical thirst, part of the agonies of dying, is a reminder of his humanity and his vulnerability. Like all of us, he was dependent on God’s good gifts in creation – water, air, and soil. And, just as God did not conjure up a legion of angels to defend him from arrest and crucifixion, so too God did not rescue Jesus from this vulnerability, but rather allowed His beloved Son to pass through extreme deprivation and into death. Dependence and vulnerability are two key markers of what it means to be human that God-With-Us, Emmanuel,Jesus came to know intimately, painfully and tragically. Water is a powerful symbol of this dependence and vulnerability. Without water, we perish and die within a matter of hours. Water is, also, a powerful symbol in Scripture for renewed life and the gospel’s message of hope. So exploring the connections between climate change and water open up ways for us to reflect on both our common humanity and also on our Christian hope and our obligation to bear and share “living… read more

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