Did you see the dancing bear? A reflection on the conclusion of Micah Challenge Australia


A few years back a brilliant tv ad was created which showed 2 teams of people passing a ball. You the viewer were asked to count how many times the white team passed the ball. And so you count…1,2,3,4,5. The ad ends, the correct answer is given and just as you are basking in the glory of getting it right the narrator asks “but did you see the dancing bear?” Dancing bear? The ad is replayed and...

Why I’ve Signed Up to Micah Challenge’s Finish the Race Campaign


It’s official. There are now more overweight people in the world than undernourished. According to the World Health Organisation, in 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. I am one of them. Ok, I prefer to think of it as pleasantly plump, but however I describe it, I find it disturbing that in a world with such plenty 868 million people don’t have enough to...

Myths About Poverty. Myth #2 – ‘The poor are always with you.’ Jesus said there’s not much we can do to end poverty


Do you think it possible that we could see a world where extreme poverty is the rare exception and sufficiency for all the rule? Many people say no. They imagine the world today is much the same as the world of fifty years ago – a wealthy, industrialised group of countries with growing prosperity and a group of desperately poor countries stuck in poverty. Only the communist bloc has...

Myths About Poverty. Myth #1 – People are Poor Because They’re Lazy


Over the years I have heard many myths about poverty spoken as if they were truth. One of of the most common is that people are poor because they’re lazy. A few years back the World Bank conducted a study of the experiences of people in developing countries who had escaped extreme poverty.It found two common factors – opportunity and initiative. The ‘poor are lazy’...

“Blessed are the hungry. Woe to you who are rich” The Key to Understanding Poverty & Wealth in the Bible


For many years I puzzled over the bible’s teaching on poverty and wealth. Why were Jesus and the prophets so down on wealthy people? Why was poverty so commonly framed as a justice issue? Why the singling out of widows and orphans? It all came together when I learned the significance of land. The biblical world was marked by wide scale peasant agriculture. This meant that the majority of...

The End of Poverty in Ethiopia


When I think of Ethiopia I think of the terrible famines and emaciated human beings of the 1980s. The Ethiopia of 2012 is still desperately poor but making great strides in improving the well-being of its people. Since the turn of the millennium per capita economic growth has averaged just on 6%, double that of Australia. In the last five years the average has been 7.2%, the highest in sub...

The End of Poverty In Bangladesh


By any measure Bangladesh is one of the poorest nations on earth. Sixty four million Bangladeshi’s live on less than $1.25 a day; forty three percent of children are under-nourished; five percent of children die before their fifth birthday; almost half the population lack access to decent sanitation. The human stories behind these statistics are heart-breaking. But there is good news...

The Best Kept Secret of the 21st Century


I recently discovered one of the best kept secrets of the 21st century: There is no longer a “third world”. We are accustomed to dividing the world into rich and poor, with the poor nations, the “third world”, ruled by corrupt dictators, going nowhere and trapped in poverty. This may have been the case in 1960 but today nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, a group...


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