Micah Challenge, a Christian movement which is aiming to take millions out of extreme poverty, has a new Chairperson. Marnix Niemeijer this month takes the reins of the Micah Challenge International Board as the campaign to halve world poverty is stepped up. Marnix is currently the Managing Director of Tear, a Christian charity in the Netherlands.
The appointment comes at a crucial stage for Micah Challenge with just three years to go before the 2015 deadline for world governments to hit the Millennium Development Goals on poverty that were set in 2000. Marnix paid tribute to his predecessor Steve Bradbury and explained how he believes Micah Challenge can help end extreme poverty by deepening and accelerating Christian advocacy.
He said: "It is a privilege to be the newly appointed chair of Micah Challenge International in these important days. The global agenda in coming years will be filled with tackling all sorts of crises the world is facing now and Micah Challenge is well placed to help. Our aim is to deepen and accelerate Christian advocacy to end extreme poverty.
"In the coming years, prayer remains a critical issue for Micah with its broad global connections between churches and Christian civil organisations. The Lord listens to those who cry to Him. Repentance, forgiveness and celebration are also essential activities in a global Christian network like Micah Challenge. Our national campaigns and international tools like The Jesus Agenda means that Micah Challenge will continue to equip the Churches as transformational communities and change agents within their communities and towards their governments."
Marnix added that Micah Challenge gives Christians an outlet for a tangible, concrete faith where doing justice, being faithful and walking humbly with God are strongly connected. He added: "Micah also invites and summons churches worldwide to preach, to live and to advocate shalom in their own societal contexts – a life of justice, peace and joy for all, in particular for the marginalized and powerless people."
Geoff Tunnicliffe of the World Evangelical Alliance said: "We welcome Marnix's appointment which comes at a strategic time for our work at Micah Challenge. He will bring important insight and invaluable experience to the chair."
Sheryl Haw, Director of the Micah Network, said: "We warmly welcome Marnix to this role as Chair of the Micah Challenge International Board. He takes over the baton at a strategic time in this vital campaign and has a proven track record of deep commitment to alleviating poverty, demonstrated in his international work with Tear Netherlands as well as in the national work of Micha Netherlands."
Micah Challenge International Director Joel Edwards said: "Marnix is a real strategic thinker with a wealth of experience, and will be a real asset over the next three years."
Micah Challenge, an initiative of the World Evangelical Alliance, is a global movement active in over 40 countries whose aim is to encourage Christians to be committed to the poor, and hold governments accountable to the Millennium Development Goals, signed by 189 countries in the year 2000 which committed to halving world poverty by the year 2015. For more information, go to www.micahchallenge.org.