Faith and relevance in the 21st century

Category: Poverty (Page 3 of 3)

A wave of sorrow in West Africa

One song that is very haunting that I listen every now and then is U2’s Wave of Sorrow. It is a song that didn’t make it on to The Joshua Tree album back in the late 80s. The song is about Bono’s experience of visiting Africa during the 1984 famine, and the desperate situation that he experienced.

The same is happening now in West Africa. Famine is decimating that part of the world, and the media needs to wake up to it before too many more lives are lost. Here is a strong article from Rich Stearns, President of World Vision US and author of The Hole in Our Gospel. Stearns urges the world’s media to report about this before thousands of lives are lost ad it becomes ‘newsworthy.’

Please do what you can to give to organisations like World Vision to provide relief for those who are starving as you read this (you can click on the banner to the right to go to the World Vision Australia website). I am sitting on a comfortable sofa bed at home with the heater on as I write this. We are so comfortable, and in many ways so far removed from suffering like this. It can so easily be a case of out of sight, out of mind. Giving some money might mean giving up a cup of coffee a day for a few weeks. It’s really not a lot to give up in our cosy world.

In the meantime, let yourself be moved by some of the words of Wave of Sorrow, then have a look at the clip below.

Oh, oh this cruel sun

it’s daylight never done

cruelty just begun

beneath the shadow of everyone

 

And if the rains came

and if the rains came now

would they wash us all away

on a wave of sorrow?

India article 4 – In the Delhi of night

This fourth and final article on my time in India last year is a reflection of what were some memories that will be embedded in my being forever. As I have mentioned, India is a land like no other. It is a combination of ancient and modern, it is in danger of being overrun by Western consumerist madness, and it has produced some of the most wonderful people to have ever walked this good earth.

Read the post here.

India article 3 – India and the gospels

This third post on my time in India last year looks at some of the similarities between current Indian society and what we see portrayed in the gospels. Such similarities make the Gospel come alive in a place like India, moreso than in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia.

Another issue that was highlighted to me in India was the plain falsity of the idea that our Western version of Christianity is what the world needs to hear. Most of the Bible was written by people who were under oppression. When we view it in that context, it is simply incomparable to our own interpretation. This is where a book like Robert McAfee Brown’s Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes is so helpful. We need to read the Bible through the eyes of the poor, but more importantly, through the eyes of those who wrote it, because they were mainly poor, but also because they knew their own culture better than we ever will thousands of years later.

Read the post here.

India article 2 – Jesus’ approach to poverty

In this second post on my reflections on India, I discuss how being in India reminded me of some stories from the gospels which came more alive to me after being there. What really struck me was how Jesus treated everyone with such complete dignity, and the transformation he gave was in every way – social, emotional, spiritual and personal. Read the post here.

India article 1 – Keeping the poor in their place

In May last year my wife and I were fortunate enough to visit India. My brother and his family are currently living there, and we thought it would be a good chance to see some World Vision projects as well. We spent 10 days there, which included a day in Chennai and the rest of the time in New Delhi. India had quite a profound effect on us, and I wrote some articles to share our thoughts about what is a fascinating place. The articles are being posted onto the Micah Challenge blog. The first one, called ‘Keeping the poor in their place’ can be read here.

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