The Canadian expression of the Micah Challenge was held earlier this week after the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) partnered with other Canadian Christian ministries in the global campaign to reduce world poverty.
At the Canadian Launch, held October 18 at the Laurentian Leadership Centre in Ottawa, Fidelis Wainaina, director of Kenya's Maseno InterChristian Children's Self Help Group (MICH) addressed the gathering, stating that the heart of the Micah Challenge consists of, "...focusing on the people – seeing the world through the eyes of individuals."
The Micah Challenge, a global Christian campaign that intends to “raise a prophetic and powerful call and commitment to reducing world poverty,” looks both inwards, to deepening Christian commitment to work for and with economically poor communities, and outwards, urging leaders of rich and poor nations to fulfill their public promise to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and so halve poverty by 2015.
"This is a unique moment for the Canadian Church to step up to the plate and join with our global community in demonstrating God's love to the world's most vulnerable and impoverished people," said Geoff Tunnicliffe, the EFC director of Global Initiatives, as he returned from the global launch to kick off the campaign in Canada.
Co-chair of the Micah Challenge Canada, Wayne deJong stated, "We are very excited about the potential of the Micah Challenge campaign to help Christians understand the complex issues related to global poverty, and unite them in speaking with one voice for and with the poor."
DeJong who is a member of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities Relief and Development Group, is also the Canadian director of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, the relief and development agency of the Christian Reformed Church.
President of World Vision Canada Dave Toycen commented, "Canada has a reputation for compassion to the wider world.”
“The Micah Challenge is a strategic opportunity for Christians to express their love for their neighbour in a powerful, life changing way," Toycen added.
Meanwhile, President of the EFC Bruce Clemenger told those gathered for the launch that, "Many Canadian Christians are only one generation removed from need, and are acting out a biblical mandate, and motivated by an empathy and experience that fosters hope for a real reduction in poverty, globally."
As South African Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane had stated at the October 15 launch of the Global Micah Challenge in New York, "The Micah Challenge represents a significant new movement in global civil society to address the evils of poverty. It is God's challenge to us, to be His agents of hope in this hurting world."
Currently, the leading partners in the Micah Challenge in Canada are the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Canadian Council of Christian Charities Relief and Development Group, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, and the Canadian Council of Churches Commission on Justice and Peace.