Recently I was sitting with Andrew Urquhart of Micah Challenge, a global campaign to encourage Christians to pray, act and speak against poverty injustice, and to be prophetic voices in our community and with our leaders.
We were discussing the desire to have all NZers asking “What does the Lord require of [me/us]?” in terms of a call to “…do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). This could be making an informed choice of coffee or chocolate that we know wasn’t produced by slave labour. It might be giving $45 to provide a filter to remove arsenic from the drinking water of a Bangladeshi family. Perhaps it is writing to our government to encourage them to increase their aid and development budget in line with their promises to the UN. It could mean going to Niger to help train villages in sustainable agro-forestry farming systems or to Bangladesh to help break the cycle of young girls in the sex trade. What does it mean for you in your context?
SIM is Concerned About Human Needs: We humbly acknowledge that the ultimate human need is to know God. We also believe that he has called us to compassionate, holistic service in this broken world by alleviating suffering, fostering development, and effecting change in society.
SIM NZ has a history of responding to human need through development work and responding to human need. Many of our existing members are involved in development work. Development and Justice is in our DNA along with clearly and unashamedly presenting the good news of Jesus. As people continue to be moved to action to address injustice in the world, could our role also include calling the church to advocate for the marginalized, to challenge the status quo?
Please pray with us as we seek to implement the following:
• We have an application before the IRD for our overseas development work to obtain tax rebates for donations so that we can encourage people beyond our current supporters to consider contributing to specific projects.
• In 2011 we will look to implement recommendations from the SIM International Justice workgroup report.
• In 2011 we will be looking for opportunities to promote justice issues to capture the attention of people for involvement in mission. We will hold at least one event around a development/ justice issue that invites prayer, advocacy, giving, & ministry.
As we approach Advent I am become aware that our Lord Jesus was born an outcast, a homeless person, a refugee, and that “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Mt25:40)
Nigel (SIM NZ Director)