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.

  • Finding meaning on a cruise ship

    Posted by Matt

    25 January, 2012

    My good mate Morgan has spent half of last year aboard five-star cruise ships plying the well-worn route between some of Europe and America's most glitzy and touristy coastal destinations, entertaining giddy and sun-stroked passengers with his music. Sounds tough, doesn’t it?! Morgan is quite a character and the experience has given him some fantastic material—his emails regale those of us at home with a litany of hilarious anecdotes and analysis of the situations and people he encounters. His recent update began with the usual banter but shifted tone when he began, in his words, to “go on a rant” about tourists and their never-ending travel stories. “I'll tell you what really drives me crazy: listening to every man and his dog tell you how 'ah-ma-zing' everywhere they have been is. It doesn’t matter what country they are from, they all use the word “amazing”! People say tourism is good because it brings money to the country, but it can also turn places into tacky tourist dumps. That kind of travel… read more

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  • Jesus' approach to poverty

    Posted by Nils

    17 January, 2012

    Towards the end of last year I discussed on this blog how we keep the poor in their place. As I think about this, I immediately think of the contrast between this attitude and that of how Jesus treated people, and how, in doing so, he turned the social order completely upside down. Let’s look at some examples from the Gospels. Firstly, there is the story of the woman at the well in John 4. When the disciples return to the well after having gone into town, they are astonished that Jesus had even been speaking to the woman. And what's more, he even asked her for something. The Son of God expressed neediness to a “nobody”, and in doing so, affirmed her dignity as a person of worth. Another story to consider in this context is that of the woman with the flow of blood, told in all three synoptic gospels. This is another situation in which Jesus affirms a “nobody”, and he does so in front of everyone. Think of what that would have meant to the woman. Having a constant flow of blood, she would likely not have been able to have children.… read more

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  • We can live as 'ordinary radicals'

    Posted by Matt

    8 December, 2011

    Every one of us has a choice each day when we wake up. The option most commonly taken, often unconsciously, is to continue with the status quo, grinding it out in the way our family friends and colleagues expect us to. Work hard, sleep, enjoy the weekend, press stop and then repeat. Now don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with hard work, routine and the kind of steadiness that provides for a family. But do you ever get the feeling you were made for more than going through the motions on autopilot? Like there’s a layer missing from your life? There IS another way: the way of the ordinary radical. Ordinary radicals surround us every day, even if we don’t realise it. They tend to go under the radar and that’s the way they like it! But ordinary radicals seize each day as an opportunity to—as Mother Teresa best puts it—“Do small things with great love.” Their actions don’t necessarily involve huge amounts of money, time, resources or energy. They still work full time jobs, raise kids and pay taxes.… read more

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  • Keeping the poor in their place

    Posted by Nils

    5 December, 2011

    India is a land like no other; both ancient and modern, with depths of poverty alongside the most extreme of riches. I recently returned from this fascinating nation where I was fortunate enough to see some of the work that World Vision is doing with street children and injecting drug users. My experience of this land of contrasts had a profound impact on me, particularly on my thoughts about the Gospel and poverty. The place where we were staying was in a satellite city about 20km outside of New Delhi, and driving into New Delhi itself required everyone to go through toll gates. Because of the nature of traffic in India, all the cars approaching the toll gates very quickly formed into a bottle-neck. And while we were sitting there in the car, beggars came up and knocked on the windows asking for anything to improve their meagre daily existence. Most of the beggars seemed to be women who were holding young babies. We were told later that some women “rent” babies in order to gain more sympathy. At the toll gates, many people ignore them and avoid… read more

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