Thank you for sharing and praying with the worldwide Micah Challenge community. We hope this email is challenging, inspiring and spurs us on!
Our reflection today is a brief introduction to the life of the St. Benedict, the founder of Christian monastic movements in the 4th century, by Dave Andrews.
When Benedict started to live in community his understanding of spirituality was radically transformed.
‘He was convinced that preaching “good news to the poor” demanded grass-roots, hands-on solidarity with them.’
Benedict’s ‘little rule for beginners’ encouraged people to ‘take care of things’. Everything was to be done in a way that would care for others.
Please reflect on Colossians 3:18-25 where, in the context of our home and work relationships, we are encouraged to do everything with a sincere heart as our service for God.
‘Benedict believed that the dynamics at the heart of a healthy, holy, communal way of life were work and prayer. He said people could not “take care of things” unless they were prepared to work hard; and they were unlikely to be prepared to work hard unless their work was suffused with prayer.’
Let us pray:
Lord, please help us to take care of the things that you have put before us. Help us to be responsible and accountable to others in our service for you and others.
Our prayer focus this week is Micah Challenge (Défi Michée) France: Thierry Seewald, the French coordinator, writes:
‘At the beginning of 2008, we are encouraging people to participate in the action ‘0.7% or more’. This is our response to the fall in the level of Official Development Aid (ODA) internationally and in France. ODA in France has dropped from 0.47% in 2006 to 0.42% in 2007. In addition, France had envisaged to reach the pledged 0.7% by 2012 but this date was pushed back by Nicholas Sarkozy, the new French president. Financial assistance through ODA is crucial so that countries in the Global South can achieve the MDGs.
We are also asking churches to pledge 0.7% of their annual budget to commit to projects that are aiming to reduce world poverty.
Please pray for our churches in France to take the challenge! And that the French government and President Sarkozy will react to our lobbying activities and increase their ODA to at least 0.7% by the original date set, 2012.
Please take a moment to use the MDG monitoring tool introduced below, find your country and look at its statistics. You may want to pray for your country’s policy makers or for campaigns and organisations that seek to lobby policy makers and political leaders to keep their promise to achieve the MDGs by 2015.
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.
MDG 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Progress indicator 33: Net ODA, total and to LDCs, as percentage of OECD/Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors' gross national income (GNI)(OECD)
Instead of a statistic, we would like to introduce you to a new MDG monitoring tool! If you click on the following link, it will show you a world map indicating the ‘Net ODA as percentage of OECD/DAC donors GNI’:
The MDG Monitor shows how countries are progressing in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With the 2015 target date fast approaching, it is more important than ever to understand where the goals are on track, and where additional efforts and support are needed, both globally and at the country level.
The MDG Monitor is designed as a tool for policymakers, development practitioners, journalists, students and others to:
TRACK progress through interactive maps and country-specific profiles
LEARN about countries' challenges and achievements and get the latest news
SUPPORT organizations working on the MDGs around the world
Yours in Christ,
Regine and MC team
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]).