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.

  • The division that drives us

    Posted by Steve

    31 March, 2011

    There is an age old debate within the Christian faith; one that will not ever be permanently resolved this side of the second coming. It's the contentious "battle" between social justice and evangelism - global justice verses personal salvation; social worker verses street preacher. As someone who pours the majority of their energy into the field of international development and advocacy for the poor, I obviously have a propensity towards social justice a significant expression of my Christian faith. And to be honest it took me a very long time come to terms with those who couldn't see my side of the coin as clearly as I could. I recall conversations in years gone by where I've debated Christians who I know are more focused on the evangelism "side" of things than I am; but nothing I said was particularly effective in changing their minds, and nothing they said ever convinced me of the need to advance the gospel more overtly than I already was. My conviction was that God's Spirit would work through my life, deeds, love and (yes) words to draw people to himself,… read more

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  • Floods devastate millions of lives - and not just in Queensland.

    Posted by Gershon

    1 February, 2011

    As 75% of Queensland is declared a national disaster zone due to the flooding that is now inundating the state, other regions across the globe are being wracked by similar catastrophes. Queensland is in the midst of the most severe floods it has experienced since 1974, with 18 lives already lost and dozens more missing. Roads have been closed, businesses shut down, rail lines cut and homes destroyed by the rising waters. As Australians our heart naturally goes out to our fellow countrymen whose lives are being thrown into turmoil by this disaster. Indeed many, like myself, have a particular and personal concern for family and friends that are being directly affected by the flood waters (some reading this may even be victims of the flood themselves). It is always heart wrenching to see those close to home face such tragedy. As Christians concerned about global justice, it's worth taking a moment to expand our net of empathy to also consider others across the world that are undergoing similar trials. Colombia Colombia is still trying to recover from what… read more

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  • What is Advocacy?

    Posted by Micah

    13 January, 2011

    Advocay is something that happens at a grassroots level all over the world. Here's a story from Cambodia. In the book Daughter of the Killing Fields, Theary Seng tells the horrifying story of herfamily's flight from Pol Pot's Cambodia. The book includes an account of her great Aunt and Uncle's unsuccessful attempt to enter Thailand. Having reached the Thai-Cambodiaborder, Aunt Nan and Uncle An are part of a group of refugees met by Thai soldierswho are determined to force them back. At gunpoint group is herded to the top of amountain and told to start heading down into Cambodian territory. The valley floor isriddled with landmines. From atop the mountain An and Nan hear the thunder ofexploding landmines when refugees sent back before them step on the burieddeathtraps. One family refuse to move. The father is shot through the head, and whenthe rest of the family start to run, they too are mown down by bullets. With the stenchof death and fear around them, An and Nan reluctantly accept their fate. They headtoward the valley floor, treading over the corpses of… read more

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  • Better Aid

    Posted by Micah

    10 January, 2011

    There are, of course, many ways aid can continue to be improved. But these achievements are outstanding changes to the way Australian aid is focused. Catalyst believes the overriding reasons Australia should give aid is to reduce poverty. Historically, this has not always been the case. During the Cold War, for example, much aid was given for political purposes. In recent years the Australia aid program has seen many improvements. • Reducing poverty is now identified as the primary purpose of the aid program; • Australian aid is no longer 'tied'. This means that recipient countries are no longer required to spend aid dollars on goods and services provided by Australian companies; • An Office of Aid Effectiveness has been created. This Government unit examines the effectiveness of Australian aid and recommends ways to increase effectiveness. The first report was produced in 2008 and identified some key areas to address; • The Millennium Development Goals have been adopted by the Australian Government as a key framework for directing aid. This means that as aid… read more

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