• Wrestling and Repenting

    Posted by Marty

    1 August, 2011

    Last year's church engagement intern, Marty Richardson, looks back at his time at Micah Challenge.

    During my time with Micah Challenge I really benefited from the chance to consider my place in the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that is not removed from this world of inequalities, but a Kingdom that brings great hope to all humanity as we struggle with issues of poverty and injustice.

    My internship experience greatly challenged me in my beliefs and the practice of my faith. This challenge has been healthy, as it is always healthy to process Biblical and ethical issues in the context of our lives.

    One event that particularly sticks in my memory is an evening at Voices for Justice last year when some of my questions and learning about aid and development and the part I'm called to play seemed to come together and a few answers fell my way. As the 'Service of Public Repentance' on the front lawns of Parliament House (in Canberra; In June - brrrrrrr!) commenced, I stood standing to the side of a very cold group of people feeling very tired and not highly engaged.

    However, as I listened to keynote speaker, Roshan Mendis, and then watched as the leaders of churches and Christian NGOs publicly repented of the way they have chosen to 'forget' the poor and act in ways that impoverished the already marginalised, I was struck by the dynamics of the part I play in the bigger picture of the unequal world. Even though I was already quite aware of the way my actions affected the lives of those in the developing world, to see such repentance in the context of very proactive advocacy had a considerable impact.

    The message seemed loud and clear. I had, and still do, play a significant part in the marginalisation and impoverishment of the world's poor so therefore it is crucial that I play a role of similar significance in addressing the needs of the poor. I repented. I repented for hurting my sisters and brothers I have not met. My involvement on both sides of the justice fence had been highlighted and I sought the Lord's grace and mercy. As a flawed person, saved by grace I will continue to seek to follow the Biblical call to live justly, mercifully and humbly with my Lord. I am glad God is patient and loving.

    Marty Richardson was the 2010 Micah Challenge Church Engagement Intern.