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.

  • Being an advocate when 'Talk is Cheap'

    Posted by Matt

    4 May, 2011

    Ever heard the expression "talk is cheap"? I think it's an expression Jesus might have used if he was around today. You see, Jesus wasn't big into those who claimed to be something they weren't-especially when those people in question claimed to be "religious". How do we make sure we're not just speaking about injustice because it has become cool to do so amongst Christian circles, but rather are authentically committed to being advocates for and with the poor? In possibly his most heated moment, Jesus read out a list of charges he had against the Pharisees, who were the religious elite of the day. While they were meticulous in their tithing, prayer and knowledge of the law, Jesus identifies that they continued to "neglect justice and the love of God" (Luke 11:42, NIV). He attacked them for their obsession with looking good over doing good. Mother Teresa was another, more recent prophet who also delivered a similar stinging critique. Her name is now synonymous with loving and serving the poor. However, that's not how it began and her eventual fame was never her… read more

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  • Have we lost ourselves in statistics?

    Posted by Eliza

    28 April, 2011

    Atticus Finch was on to something when he said "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." Atticus was not talking about those in poverty when he said this, but I feel it encapsulates my experience of the 'Connecting Lives' exhibition a few weeks ago. The exhibition, which officially opened in Sydney on Monday, provides the general public with an opportunity to experience the life of three children in Africa; Innocent in a Ugandan IDP (Internally Displaced Persons Camp), Kombo in AID's affected Kenya and Selamawit, enduring child labor in Ethiopia. Having already walked through the story of Kombo at St Mary's Cathedral as part of World Youth Day in 2008, I recently had the privilege of walking through the life of Innocent and Selamawit. The stories of these girls are exceptionally powerful. I found myself hanging onto every word that came through my headphones, not anticipating the emotional extremes that I was experiencing. For 40 minutes I shared their anxiety,… read more

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  • Does the cross of Jesus have anything to do with social justice?

    Posted by John

    20 April, 2011

    The story of the cross.....It's a familiar story to many. We retell it at least once each year at Easter. Jesus of Nazareth, who many believed to be the long-awaited Messiah-king of the Jewish nation, who himself claimed to be the Son of Yahweh, carries his own cross to the place they called Golgotha - the place of the skull. There they crucified him. It's the stuff of history...by that I don't just mean history books...but actual history. This real life event has defined history ever since. It has certainly defined my history and my story. There are so many things that happen in churches - so many causes that demand our attention. In the midst of all the activity, it's right that we focus on this story at this time of year. But it would be a mistake to think that focusing on this story means putting our concern for the poor and for social justice on the shelf for a week. It would be a mistake to presume that Easter is all about grace and salvation and not about action for justice and mercy. Two brief stories might help explain what I mean. Both are from one day… read more

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  • No more head-nodding observers

    Posted by Marissa

    8 April, 2011

    Last Saturday was the NSW Micah Challenge Training Day, which brought together people from all around Sydney to participate in a range of workshops and networking sessions. Topics included political engagement; key campaign focus areas such as health (MDG4+5) and environmental sustainability (MDG7); as well as advocacy and theology. It was a great day of conversations about the work of Micah Challenge, as well as the development organisations involved in our coalition. I really valued seeing people come and be informed about how as Christians we need to commit to engage more fully in the arena of poverty and social justice, even as it starts at home with the Australian Government's AusAID program. I was also really impacted by some reflections from the Chair of the Micah Challenge National Steering Committee, Paul Perini, who encouraged us to make sure we are 'participants' in the work of justice, and not just 'observers'. I was reminded that Jesus is our prime example of fully engaging with the world - and that this has significant political implications. The… read more

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