Compassion International, a long-term Christian child development ministry, has joined the Micah Challenge to support their efforts to mobilize Christians to fight poverty worldwide. Since 1952, Compassion has been an advocate for children, releasing them from spiritual, social, economic and physical poverty. The Micah Challenge encourages Christians to engage with the poor and work to influence world leaders to meet a set of United Nations' millennium development goals by 2015.
"Over the years, Compassion has provided an opportunity for individuals to change the life of a child living in poverty through sponsorship. Poverty can seem overwhelming but when people are given a tangible way to make a difference, we have seen a tremendous spirit of giving from around the world," says Dr. Wess Stafford, CEO and President of Compassion International. "This challenge is the heart of Compassion's ministry and one that we fully support."
The eight millennium development goals are aggressive yet necessary. "With over a billion people living on less than one dollar a day, we must start somewhere," says Stafford. "Today, 30,000 children under the age of five will die because of poverty- related causes and tomorrow there will be 30,000 more."
The millennium goals include reducing hunger, lowering child mortality, improving maternal health, universal primary education, combating HIV/AIDS and malaria, giving access to clean water and developing a global partnership for development.
Over the decades, Compassion has pioneered a child development program that works toward achieving each of these goals one child at a time. Working with more than 3,200 local churches in 24 countries around the world, Compassion's grass-roots approach equips local leaders to make a difference in the lives of children in their community. Together, as a Christian community, we can rally around and challenge governments to achieve the millennium goals.
"Taking care of the poor is not an option, according to the Bible. This is a great time for the church to be the church and individuals to speak up for our neighbors around the world who are living in poverty," says Stafford. "Together, globally, Christians can fight poverty in a tangible way that makes a difference to billions of people. Speaking up today will save lives tomorrow."
To find out more about the Micah Challenge, visit www.micahchallenge.org.
Compassion International is one of the nation's largest Christian child development organizations, working with more than 65 denominations and thousands of indigenous church partners in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Since 1952, Compassion has touched the lives of more than a million children and has been recognized for its financial integrity with top ratings and recommendations by several of the nation's leading not-for-profit "watchdog" organizations. For information about sponsoring a child, click on the Sponsor a Child link above or call (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., MT.