Thank you for sharing and praying with the worldwide Micah Challenge community. We hope this email is challenging, inspiring and spurs us on!
“ ‘Desire for strength in order to do good’ has led many leaders into becoming a strongman. All dictators begin with the noble impulse to enlist power on the side of the good.”
Based on the JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Dr Melba Maggay from the Philippines reflects on the seductive nature of power as symbolized by the Ring.
‘To choose weakness, to refuse the tempting power of the Ring and be on the side of an apparently losing good, takes a great deal of courage.’
Jesus showed us how to do it. We read in Matthew 4: 1-11 of Jesus resisting Satan’s temptation in the wilderness and Jesus’ triumph to save the world by accepting the cross.
Again drawing on the ‘Lord of the Rings’: ‘This is the sort of heroism that garden variety hobbits like Sam are shown to be capable of. Faint and weary from the travails of what looks like an impossible journey, Sam realizes how early on, he and Frodo have had many opportunities of turning back, and comes to understand that heroism consists of making repeatedly and freely the choice of good.
Today, there are those of us who are being asked to make repeatedly and freely the choice of good.’
Let us pray:
· That this year's discussions will not only lead to good plans but committed actions!
· For the establishment of a system of monitoring the progress of delivering commitments that reports into each future G8 summit.
At the meeting in Japan, the following topics are likely to be discussed: aid, climate change, food crisis, African development including gender, health, HIV/AIDS and water and sanitation.
Aid: that the G8 countries will commit to the Gleneagles pledges from 2005. This includes increasing Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) levels by an extra $50 billion by 2010, with $25 billion of this for Africa. Each G8 nation also should provide a detailed timetable for their budget increases to achieve this in the next two years.
Climate Change: It is critical that global leaders continue commitment to the binding emissions cuts and green technology agreed in the UN Climate talks.
Pray for a commitment to emissions cuts of 25-40 per cent by developed countries by 2020 and a peak and decline in emissions in 10-15 years.
Food crisis: The G8 must respond to the growing food crisis with decisive and effective measures.
Pray for immediate emergency action to ensure there is the necessary mobilisation of funding to prevent the immediate starvation of millions of people. This aid must come in the form of grants and not loans that will only deepen the debt burdens these countries carry already.
Pray that the G8 will double their efforts to meet and exceed the Millennium Development Goals to ensue the food crisis does not lead to a deterioration in the limited progress towards meeting the MDGs.
Africa and development: The G8 should take leadership to further widen an African development agenda.
Women are disproportionately impacted by poverty, please pray that the G8 will take concrete steps in the provision of adequate and long-term financial resources for the implementation of key gender equality frameworks.
HIV/AIDS: pray that G8 nations will help African countries to design and implement clear and long-term plans for assisting, expanding and strengthening public health systems to ensure the 2010 HIV/AIDS targets are met.
Public Health: pray that countries will deliver their share of promises made in 2007 which was to provide $60bn for further action on HIV/ AIDS, TB and malaria.
Water and Sanitation is the most off-track MDG sector which undermines wider development efforts. Please pray that the G8 will endorse a Global Water and Sanitation Action Plan recognizing the integral role of water and sanitation in the achievement of the MDGs.
For more information on policy asks of the G8 please see a comprehensive summary here.
Meditate on the Statistics
As you spend time in prayer and reflection, you may like to take a moment to silently understand with your heart the focus statistic we include each week (see below). Our hope is that you will find this series of statistics a useful resource in preparing presentations.
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Target 10: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
‘A billion people lack reasonable access to safe drinking water and 2.6 billion people (40 percent of the world population) do not have access to basic sanitation. Meeting the water and sanitation targets will require doubling the current annual investment to about $30 billion.’
Source: Global Monitoring Report 2008; IMF and World Bank, 2008
Yours in Christ,
Regine and MC team
Please view all the Friday Prayer statistics we’ve used to date at Index of Millennium Development Goal Statistics.xls
Please see Index of Reflections on Integral Mission.xls
This email is also available in French and Spanish. Please contact Regine if you, or someone you know, would like to receive one of these versions ([email protected]).