Thank you for sharing and praying with the worldwide Micah Challenge community. We hope this email is challenging, inspiring and spurs us on!
On May 2 this year, cyclone Nargis hit Burma. The officially estimated death toll is at 84,500 people, another 53,800 people are missing. The UN estimates that 2.4 million people are affected by the disaster.
What happens in affected communities after a disaster has hit and the media interest subsided?
This week’s reflection is a moving account of how a Burmese organization was able to support the rebuilding, replanting and restoring of one community.
‘…work on the Nargis aftermath reminds us of an anthill - thousands of local people are swarming to repair damage in many small and some not-so-small places and ways. The story of this disaster response and of its successes thus far includes actors from both inside and outside the country. But the heroes continue to be the local people who, time and time again, rally to overcome the insurmountable.’
In 2. Corinthians 9 we read of the first relief project of the early church which teaches basic principles of giving and receiving.
‘Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God.
This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone.
Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they'll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough!’ (2.Cor. 9:12-15 – The Message)
Let us pray:
- Cyclone Nargis was more than 5 months ago now, but please keep Burma, its people and the difficult political situation in your thoughts and prayers.
- We thank God for many opportunities that have arisen after the ‘Pastoral letter to US Christians’ to raise awareness about global poverty in the USA.
Lawrence Temfwe, Micah Challenge Facilitator in Zambia writes:‘Bishop Mususu, the leader of Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, and myself are currently in the USA to attend meetings around the UN meeting and visit several churches and colleges to share about our work we are doing under Micah Challenge in Zambia: building a coalition among churches that they can reach out with an integral message to their communities. We are here at the invitation of One Campaign and Micah Challenge USA who requested us to add our voice to their campaign of engaging churches that they deepen their understanding of the root causes of poverty. We value your prayers:
- That in all we do we stay focused in calling people to obedience to Christ;
- For the rest of the trip that God be honored;
- For the meetings that people will be receptive.
- Unfortunately, the outcomes at the UN High-level on the MDGs last week were not good enough. Many announcements were just re-statements of previous commitments and are not enough to meet the MDGs.
- Please pray that commitments that were made will be kept and opportunities for further commitments will arise.
For a more detailed analysis of commitments made, please see Tearfund UK’s summary here.
- Reflecting on the statistic below: maternal death means husbands lose their wives, children their mother, parents their daughter in a time when new life should be celebrated.
Please pray for more trained health personnel and improved access to antennal and emergency obstetric care.
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 5: Improve maternal health
Target 6: Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the number of women who die giving birth
‘Each year, more than half a million women die from pregnancy-related causes and an estimated 10 million experience injuries, infections, disease or disability that can cause lifelong suffering.
Most of these deaths and disabilities are avoidable. Where deliveries are overseen by skilled health personnel with access to emergency obstetric care, and where women receive adequate nutrition and basic health-care services, the risk of maternal death is less.’
Source: Report: Progress for Children: A Report Card on Maternal Mortality (No. 7), UNICEF Sept 08
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]).
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