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.

  • Who are the 'Joneses'?

    Posted by Micah Challenge

    29 November, 2011

    Like so many of our friends and neighbours, we sometimes find ourselves comparing our lives to those of others. And most often, we look at those who make more and have more than we do. As the old adage says, we look to “the Joneses.” But who are the Joneses really? Consider this: If you make $43,500 a year, you’re in the top 12% of earners in the world.That’s right. The world. So maybe we should turn this whole Jones thing around. 88% of the world is comparing itself to you … and me. WE are “the Joneses” to 88% of people on this planet. And yet, where do we most often look for comparison? The other 11%! I’m not saying we should compare at all. We shouldn’t. Life is about much more than material things. But, just for a moment, let’s entertain this thought of keeping up with the proverbial family. •If you make more than $2 a day, you are the Joneses to 1.2 billion people. •If you have a warm bed to sleep in at night, you are the Joneses to the billions who are sleeping on cold,… read more

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  • The trouble with politics

    Posted by Amanda

    24 November, 2011

    The trouble is that politicians are always looking to the next poll, the next election, the next emergency solution rather than making brave long-term and sustainable decisions. It’s often called the 'Eisenhower Principle' after his saying: "What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important." So earlier this month in Cannes, when leaders of all the major economies in the world gathered for the G20, short-term interventions to fix the urgent Eurozone crisis sucked the air and media attention from innovative important ideas. Greece, a nation of 11 million people, has managed to distract and frustrate G20 leaders. I wonder if other nations of 11 million outside Europe would have the same ability to attract bailout money of €200 billion / AU$275 billion (this is the total promised by the 2010 bailout and the latest package). Chad, Guinea and Tunisia all have a similar population but their poverty, their debt and their challenges go largely ignored. Haiti, a country with a population about the same as that of… read more

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  • Glimmers of Hope

    Posted by Micah Challenge

    15 November, 2011

    On a recent trip to Cambodia, I ventured an hour outside Phnom Penh to visit a project of the National Centre for Disabled Persons (NCDP). The trip itself told a story. Leaving from the centre of Phnom Penh we drove on well surfaced roads past well constructed and large buildings – offices, government ministries, restaurants and homes. The further we got from the city the more run down the roads and housing became, until we were on dirt roads pockmarked with deep holes and bordered by small, shoddy timber and iron houses on stilts. The contrast between the wealth and poverty in this country was vividly displayed. Arriving at an obviously poor, rural community we drove through the gates of a local school. Alighting the van we were shown into a classroom where a dozen or so severely disabled children sat at desks. A 15 year old girl with a twisted body and intellectual difficulties grinned mischievously as she wheeled it into the teacher; a curly headed girl with a broad grin concentrated on a puzzle; three boys with intellectual difficulties and twisted… read more

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  • Biblical politics

    Posted by Nils

    8 November, 2011

    Sojourners recently posted a great blog on biblical politics by American theologian, Jim Wallis. The comment that stood out to me was: “If you work with and for the poor, you inevitably run into injustice. In other words, poverty isn’t caused by accident. There are unjust systems and structures that create and perpetuate poverty and human suffering. And service alone is never enough; working to change both the attitudes and institutional arrangements that cause poverty is required.” I remember a story a former colleague told once about when his small group watched the movie Bruce Almighty in which the main character gets to play God for a day. The small group discussed what they would do if they had the opportunity to be God for a day, and the main response was that they would redistribute all the wealth in the world so that everyone had the same. But then came the comment that the next day things would be unequal again because of systems that are in place that perpetuate inequality. Thus the need for justice and changing structures, and not… read more

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