29 August, 2008

A heavy week in social policy...

Wow…big week for social policy and you must tune in if you are going to keep in touch with the policy that WILL severely affect the most disadvantaged in our communities. First, we have new laws emerging around abortion. I won’t comment, but you MUST read Danielle’s blog two below from this entry.

Then, Western Australia proposed new prostitution laws. In April, The West Australian parliament passed a controversial bill which decriminalised brothels and gave prostitutes basic working rights including superannuation and workers compensation. The bill led to the regulation of brothels and escort agencies in WA, where prostitution is legal but running a brothel is not. Nor is living off the earnings of prostitution. Opposition police spokesman Rob Johnson at the time commented that the bill would result in; "a massive escalation of what I would call "mini brothels" operating in residential streets." Well, he was right. This week more amendments to prostitution laws were added. Under the new laws, up to two prostitutes will be allowed to work in any suburban home. However opponents claim those operators would be impossible to police because no prostitute working in a suburban area would come forward for the mandatory planning approvals. Mary-Anne Kenworthy says the Act allows people to set up small, more profitable, brothels in residential areas. "By allowing two girls to work together with the councils not able to turn it down, they've allowed this big gap where anyone can go and rent houses and apartments and rent them to working girls just for a rental fee," she said. Essentially, we may see a massive increase of prostitution that is unregulated, unprotected and spread throughout suburban areas.

And in the same week, a dramatic policy initiative was floated in the area of school truancy by the Federal government. Deputy leader Julia Gillard outlined the details of the Government's legislation to strip parents of welfare payments if they fail to attend school. If passed, the bill would place school authorities responsible for monitoring attendance and notifying Centrelink. Gillard stated, "We cannot have an education revolution and give every Australian child a world education if they are not going to school. We will not be able to improve literacy and numeracy and improve the Year 12 retention rate if kids aren't turning up to classes.” This is true..."there's about 20,000 children not enrolled (in school) and if children are not in the system they've got no chance in life.” (Maxine McKew)

I have blogged before about the correlation between school absence and long-term negative outcomes on employment and poverty. However, I want to find a policy that helps the situation, not one that will only further exacerbate disadvantage. The general public tend to support initiatives of breaching payments for poor mandated attendance, as demonstrated in the mutual obligation unemployment policies of the last decade. I fear that most people will agree with Liberal backbencher Don Randall who states that, "If people are squandering their money and taking it down the pub and the TAB and the local casino, we've got a right to make sure the taxpayers' money is spent properly." The statement may be true (though it is incredibly narrow minded and unhelpful) but it fails to deal with any problem related to truancy! What is the correlation between pension money and kids attending school?! You think the parents are in charge of the kids not attending? You think threatening their payments is going to suddenly give them authority over their thirteen year old son who refuses to go to school? As Senator Rachel Siewert states, "Where is the evidence base that this punitive approach will actually work? Income management is a very blunt and ineffective tool to address the complex problem of children who are being failed by our education system and do not want to be at school".

So what will work? She states that “the Rudd Government needs to be looking at the social, economic and educational problems that contribute to truancy problems, rather than rely on penalizing measures such as welfare quarantining and suspension. The real factors behind poor school attendance are the failures of the education system in some regions to deliver appropriate early childhood and primary education, and provide educational and social support services for disadvantaged families,"

So, not only will the policy not work, it is also yet another blow for the Indigenous community who, I imagine, are tired of being policed and regulated with welfare initiatives that are both patronizing, patriarchal and ineffective. The truancy program will be initially trialled at just eight sites involving about 3000 children from the start of 2009. Six of the sites will be in the Northern Territory. Another will be in Western Australia with a final site to be determined.

So how do we know this policy won’t work. Well, firstly, I use my common sense. I work with kids who don’t want to attend school. The main reasons for their absence? Major family breakdown and disadvantage means that school is not a high priority, and would not become a high priority just because the government says so. Another reason is the lack of resources schools have for dealing with students who are severely behind academically. Get them in school if you like…but once they are there, what are you going to do with them? Imagine a class full of 12 year-old kids with major issues of disadvantage and a range of academic skill as low as grade one!

But mostly I know it won’t work because it has been done before. The UK have already trialed all of these initiatives and more, and the rate of truancy has remained steady at around 0.7%. In 2002 the department was set the target of cutting unauthorised absence by 10% - some 5,000 pupils - within two years, but by 2003-04 the rate was unchanged at 0.72%. Pupils absent from school each day could fill 816 primary schools and 252 secondaries. The conclusion there, and the suggestion here comes from UK politician Phil Willis who states, "they have tried threatening, they have tried jailing and, instead of getting better, the situation is getting worse. The time has come to turn the policy on its head and look at why children are truanting." Really? Focusing on the problem? Ingenious!

Anyway, I know it was a big read, but we have to stay informed if we are going to curb the tide of injustice. Imagine how much influence we could have if we altered policy before it was passed into law rather than waiting and spending our energies rectifying the devastating impacts on our people. No more ambulance at the bottom of the cliff! We must start to learn how to build the fence! Get informed and get active.

Till next week,
Genevieve

28 August, 2008

Imagination...

I just realised that I hadn't blogged and I should be heading to bed, so sorry it is going to be a short one.

Today I have had the opportunity to think about imagination.

A couple of quotes from Einstein:
"if you can't imagine it, you can't do it"
"imagination is more important than knowledge"

Today I was asked to imagine that I could begin a missional community anywhere and with anyone.
It was an interesting exercise. I was also able to talk it out with a few people and expand upon my imaginings.

I wonder if you were to imagine a missional community that you could begin what it would look like?
How much connection does it have to your current faith community?
If the answer is not much, then the follow up question has to be what are you going to do about it?

I wonder if you were to imagine the kingdom of God here on earth, what would it look like?
How much connection does it have to the situation here on earth now?
If the answer is not much, then the follow up question has to be what are you going to do about it?

I would love to hear your thoughts and imaginings.

Liam

26 August, 2008

Urgent action required...

I hate to hog the blog but it's Danielle here and everyone who lives in Victoria needs to pay attention to this abortion law debate. It's key that we make our voices heard...

The New proposed Abortion Law 2008 includes:

ABORTION ON DEMAND
The bill allows abortion on demand up to 24 weeks and allows abortion up to 9 months (as long as it is not born first!), if 2 doctors agree it is appropriate on medical grounds and with regard to "the woman's current and future physical, psychological and social circumstances."
The media expect the Bill to be passed but as Paul Austin said in the Age on Thursday 21st August, “Brumby’s soothing words about the legislation being nothing more than removing criminal codes should not mask that this bill is very liberal. It is not hard to see why anti-abortionists say it amounts to “open slather” And the concerns expressed by Brumby’s cabinet colleagues James Merlino and Nationals leader Peter Ryan among others, that it will mean more abortions cannot be easily dismissed.” p17

We, as Victorians, have a very serious choice and a short window of opportunity. Will you stay silent or defend the sacredness of the gift of life? Proverbs 31:8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." The shedding of innocent blood is a serious spiritual act that defiles the land and brings curses on our nation. Only the blood of Christ washes away the shed blood of the innocent. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

BECOME AWARE OF THE ISSUES
1. Read Herald Sun, Mirko Bagaric, August 19, 2008.

“Abortion numbers in Australia are estimated at around 90,000 annually. This compares with around 250,000 births. Thus, more than a quarter of all pregnancies are terminated.

· At 24 weeks the embryo has individuality and uniqueness, and the building blocks for the development of life.

· There is no logical difference between a 24-week embryo and a new-born child.

· The only quality that a 24-week embryo lacks, by virtue of it being in the womb, is the capacity to tug at the emotional heartstrings of the mother.

· It can't plead for its life.

The indecency of the human condition is rarely more obvious than in relation to our willingness to exterminate humans simply because they can't beg to not be destroyed.

It is repugnant to suggest that whether a being enjoys the most cardinal right of all - to life - should depend on the whim of another person.”
Mirko Bagaric is a professor of law at Deakin University and author of "Being Happy and Dealing with Moral Dilemmas".

2. Babies are fully formed at 24 weeks
Many babies are born and healthy at 24 weeks.
In Victoria, babies spontaneously born or through termination after 20 weeks' gestation are registered and a death certificate is completed.

3. Women having an abortion are not told of the possible emotional or physical consequences for themselves.
See video of the story of one such woman: Salt Shakers,

5. There are many abortion myths being pushed.
See article tackling these myths: www.billmuehlenberg.com/2008/08/17/abortion-myths/

6. More information: www.billmuehlenberg.com/category/ethics/abortion/

HOW WE CAN RESPOND
There are actions each of us can take to stop this Bill. Kirsten Jack, from Coalition Against Decriminalisation of Abortion has suggested some practical things we can do. Which will you do?

1. Visit or Write to your politician
Premier John Brumby, Health Minister Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu are backing the bill. Industry and Trade Minister Theo Theophanous and Sport Minister James Merlino oppose the reforms. Several prominent Coalition MPs, including Nationals leader Peter Ryan and Liberals Terry Mulder, Robert Clark and Kim Wells, will vote against the bill. Six other ministers - Rob Hulls, Bob Cameron, Joe Helper, John Lenders, Justin Madden and Tony Robinson - have yet to declare their hands. Help to persuade them.
(List of MPs)
3. Pass this info on to your friends and colleagues.
4. Write to Herald Sun
5. Do something creative that will influence the politicians.
6. Be Reflective. Hold compassionately the needs of parents, children and the medical profession. Hold sacredly the value of each child’s life- even of those whose life is tenuous and brief - the gift of naming, touching, honoring, shared pain, grief and remembering. Contrast this with the silent shame, guilt and grief for denied children who have been disposed of as unwanted material.

PRAY!!
Pray for the will of our Father; proclaim the authority and righteousness of Jesus and warfare against the deceitful, murderous schemes of the enemy.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Proverbs 31:8

25 August, 2008

live and kicking...



Tail-docking a dog would be illegal, putting a lobster in boiling water would be illegal, but it will be legal to abort a six-month-old child if this Bill passes. – Victorian Liberal MLC Matthew Guy

If the Government is going to decriminalise the process, we need to do it with our eyes wide open and demand modern legislation that spells out a standard of care for our women. I am determined to get support from all MPs to pass amendments, whatever the outcome of the conscience vote. – Victorian Labor MP Christine Campbell

With 20,000 abortions performed in Victoria each year, the Victorian Government this week introduced abortion law reforms which provide virtually open slather access to abortion, ignoring calls for protection of women and unborn children.

Set to be debated on September 9, the Abortion Law Reform Bill will, if passed, give unfettered legal access to abortion for any reason up to 24 weeks’ gestation, without even the need for a doctor’s agreement. After that, women will also have easy access to late-term abortions - including brutal partial birth abortions, with no criminal penalties for either the woman or the doctor.

Needless to say, ACL is strongly opposed to the abortion bill which sells out the unborn children of Victoria and does nothing to assist women facing unsupported pregnancies. Pro-abortionists, however, are celebrating.

ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward has been lobbying hard against the bill and speaking to the media. The bill is likely to increase Victoria’s high abortion rate, departs from the Government’s plege not to change current clinical practice, does nothing to support women, and ignores major ethical concerns about the killing of unborn children – some of whom would be old enough to survive outside the womb.

With the abortion bill set to be debated in less than three weeks, it is vital that you make your opposition to the bill known to Victorian politicians. Several commentators are already suggesting the bill will be passed, even though thankfully there are a number of politicians who are strongly opposed to the bill and are making their concerns known. While strongly opposed to the bill, Labor MP Christine Campbell is working on ammendments to provide at least some protection for women and children.

If you live in Victoria, we urge you to go to our ‘Alive & Kicking’ campaign on our Make A Stand website and sending off an email to your local Member and Upper House representatives urging them to vote against the bill. But don’t stop there, please also consider ringing your local MP or visiting them in their electorate offices to let them know your concerns. Contact details can be found by clicking here. If you live outside Victoria you can still help. Please also join our campaign and your email will be sent to the Victorian Premier.

A piggy bank of change…

I was in Adelaide at Operation 58 this past weekend. It’s a Divisional youth event with a focus on social justice (based on Isaiah 58) and it was amazing! Every Division should be holding one of these events and they should be starting them as soon as possible. Why? Because in just over two years they have raised $30,000! Now I have been to a lot of youth events over the years and they have been a mixture of good teaching or good worship or good fellowship. But none of them have had a moment in the meeting where every person came down and dumped their piggy bank of change into a giant tin…a tin that now has the capacity to make an orphanage for abused kids in Cambodia!

Basically, the youth are encouraged/compelled to fast a luxury for the school term (like chocolate or coke) and instead of spending that money on junk, they put it in their piggy bank and then give it all to Operation 58. It is an easy and effective way of teaching kids mission and justice and holiness and servanthood and sacrifice and fasting…and on top of the life transforming experience, they get to make a real difference in the lives of those who need our help desperately. There was nothing flash about the event. The prayer meeting and worship were simple, fun and effective, the preach was average, the people were regular children of God…and yet I got the feeling Operation 58 was an annointed plan that is not-so-slowly changing the world.

It was refreshing to meet a bunch of youth and leaders who seem to have grasped justice and mission in The Salvation Army. Maybe instead of checking out every other curriculum, program, church, event, camp, and initiative of other denominations, Salvos will latch onto Operation 58 and replicate the awesome results coming out of the South Australian Division of The Salvation Army.

Thanks guys, you are an amazing blessing.

Gen

21 August, 2008

Church Planters

Hello, I’m Liam and this is my first entry on the JustSalvos blog. Today I had the privilege of listening to two church planters. The two planters had both planted missional communities here in Melbourne, funnily enough in the same suburb. They were from two different denominational backgrounds. Both of their stories were tied together by one key theme. Their missional imperative flowed from a realisation that the kingdom of God is the key message of Jesus’ life and ministry. Further to that, they both spoke of how they came to realise that the kingdom of God is a present reality and that it is the responsibility of the church to live that reality. The church is to live that reality and to invite others into that reality. Both were keen to encourage their ‘church plants’ to engage in acts of service within their community. One leader spoke of how his church learnt the principle that worship should be “95 percent acts of service and 5 percent singing.” One of the leaders spoke of the problem he has seen with the missional paradigm of Christianity. What he said has been going over in my head ever since. He said, “Most evangelisation today is built on the following question. ‘If you were to die today, when you got to the pearly gates would you know where you are going?’ However that totally misinterprets the kingdom of God. The question should be ‘If you knew you would live forever then what type of person would you like to become?’” Reading that one paragraph without the context of the leader’s talk you might think that he is heading down the route of pop psychology. However his question goes to the heart of our understanding of the kingdom of God. What do you think our churches would look like if we took that question to be our reason for being? I think that the church should be about God calling people to be all that they can be. It is a gathering of people who are on the journey of becoming who God has created them to be. What about you? I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Liam

20 August, 2008

Barnett’s brothel plans welcome but not enough


Christian concerns already appear to be having an influence on the West Australian election, with WA Opposition Leader Colin Barnett using his opening policy salvo in the campaign to commit his party to repeal WA’s controversial prostitution laws (only passed in April) if they take office. Click here for further details.

This is a key issue which ACL and other groups have been lobbying on in WA and the policy commitment represents a big advance in the fight against legalising brothels and normalising sexual exploitation.

However, while we welcome the WA Liberal Party’s commitment, we are concerned about their plans to licence brothels in designated areas, as these kinds of containment policies do not work.

In a media release issued on Monday, ACL WA Director Michelle Pearse urged the West Australian Opposition to go further with its plans to change the State’s prostitution laws and introduce the ‘Swedish model’ which criminalises the buyers of sex and has been proven to dramatically reduce prostitution and sex trafficking. She said that both major parties need to give greater consideration to the Swedish model.

“This isn’t only about protecting families living in suburban areas from nearby brothels – although that is important. It’s also about protecting women and children caught up in the sex trade from the exploitation that even legal brothels can’t stop. We should be prosecuting the perpetrators of prostitution, and helping the victims get out,” she said. Please click here to read the media release.

posted by Danielle

15 August, 2008

Living as a community in mission

I am currently sitting watching three of my children's leaders sing and dance to Billy Ray Cyrus. Why? Well, we had had enough of Spice Girls! But seriously, we are having a little girls sleepover tonight and have broken out the sing star. The joy of opening your house to the children of the community. My smile gets bigger as each burger ring gets slowly but convincingly crushed into the carpet. And my brain shrinks with each new rendition of 'Barbie Girl'. I guess I just ask that you forgive the quality of the blog.

I was reflecting, though, on the beauty of community. At this moment, in my lounge room, I have a group of children, most of whom struggle with various social issues and a bunch of middle class Uni students. We are all in PJs, all singing and all having a marvelous time. There is unity and joy despite a zillion differences within our group.

It's moments like these that I praise God I was introduced to Jesus and to The Salvation Army, and to Reservoir. For me, life is very good! But I also love these moments, because they give me a glimpse of heaven, and it is good!

Who says doing mission and living as a disciple is a hard life of sacrifice? Though Billy Ray did make it a little more uncomfortable than necessary :-)

Have a great week!

Gen

13 August, 2008




Recently I was volunteering by manning the phones at a Salvation Army Emergency Relief centre. I took a call from a lady, let's call her Mary, who had suddenly had to take on responsibility for her 2 young grandchildren. The children's parents were struggling with addiction issues and the children had been neglected. Because she was still in the process of paperwork to become the children's legal guardian, she was not receiving any additional financial assistance and so was trying to make ends meet for all three of them with her single pension payment.

This may sound out of the ordinary but statistics below unfortunately prove otherwise:

In 2003, there were 22,500 Australian families in which a grandparent, or grandparents, were the guardians of their grandchildren (31,100 children aged 0-17 years).

Almost half (47%) of grandparent families were lone grandparent families, while 21% of other families with children aged 0-17 years were lone parent families. Most lone grandparents (93%) were lone grandmothers caring for grandchildren.

The transition to being a grandparent guardian may be sudden, and associated with high initial costs related to accommodating children (e.g. clothes, bedding, school supplies). The ongoing cost of caring for children may not have been planned for and may affect the sustainability of the grandparent's retirement income.

(click here for the full page of stats etc. from the ABS)


Fortunately we were able to assist Mary in getting some things together for the children like clothing etc. But I was accutely aware that for Mary, this would only prove to be a small level of assistance, especially considering the ongoing medical issues that both children are suffering due to the neglect and inherited addiction related problems.

So why blog about this on justsalvos? Because I think it's a terrible injustice that there is an epidemic of family break down in Australia and that many children are growing up not knowing the love of their mum and/or dad. Thank you God for the many willing grandparents who have stepped in for some of these children. These grandparents are providing stable environments for their grandchildren to grow and develop in, get an education, and prevent becoming trapped in poverty cycles. Maybe there are grandparents caring for grandchildren in your street, your children's schools, in your area, in your corps; let's try and help them out.

12 August, 2008

Conference in PERTH... not to miss.



If you can't make it - pray for it!
Go JUSTSalvos in Perth!
posted by Danielle

08 August, 2008

Putting a mink coat on an old drunk

I was on a visit the other day with one of my mums. We were lamenting the situation of her sons, one who is twelve and in a spot of trouble and whom we are working with to prevent further hardship. She was telling me about her teen years in the inner city and how her sons never would have survived back then. Her eyes lit up with stories of pub brawls, broken glasses and bar stools and general drunkenness and hilarity. She repeated several times, ‘it was all so exciting’. She went on to talk about that area and how it’s just not the same. I was waiting for the inevitable, ‘drugs have ruined the old burbs’ story I get a fair bit out here. But this time I heard quite a different take. She was concerned that the place had been cleaned up and beautified and was over run with the trendy middle classes and their cafes and art galleries. She said, ‘it’s just crazy…like putting a mink coat on an old drunk.'

It got me thinking a fair bit about transformation and how we measure success. Sometimes we view an outcome in terms of outward appearance rather than inward conversion. Now I’m not going to talk spiritually, though the applications are there too. Today I am going to reflect on a government initiative pulled from the UK a couple of years ago.

‘Neighbourhood Renewal is an initiative of the Victorian Government to reduce inequality and improve community well-being for areas with a high proportion of public housing. It emphasises the value of local communities participating in the decisions and planning that affect the future of their neighbourhood.’

It sounds like a great plan, and to an extent it is, but the plans flowing from NR are often about beautifying the suburb and the individual.

Now these are noble aims, but one of the most visible projects in my suburb has been the ‘upgrade’ to 76 government housing properties at a cost of $1.1 million dollars. You drive around our streets and see amazing landscaped gardens out the front of these freshly painted commission houses, and in many ways they really do make an improvement to the morale and pride in the area. But I work with the families inside those houses and believe me, their situation has not improved! I can’t help but think, it’s like ‘putting a mink coat on an old drunk’. How much can external appearance really change the people inside the home, and the bigger question, how much do our people really want to be changed? Being lifted from poverty and increasing health, education and employment outcomes is essential, no question. But have we moved at all from our patriarchal policies? Are we still the rich settler trying to convert the savages? Our business is to transform the whole person and make real changes to their social standing. So let’s stop playing dress ups and talk to a real person and act on their real needs and desires today.

Genevieve

05 August, 2008

International Call to Pray for PEACE


Sept. 21st marks the international day of peace and the General is calling all Salvationists to pray for peace on earth.
Considering war is one of the main causes of extreme poverty - and that more money goes into arms and military spending than anything else... it's time to pray and pray hard.

Why not download a poster and host a prayer rally in your local community/corps?
Be blessed as a peacemaker.
go to justsalvos for more resources on the day.

And the leaders of the world today talk eloquently about peace. Every time we drop our bombs in North Vietnam, President Johnson talks eloquently about peace. What is the problem? They are talking about peace as a distant goal, as an end we seek, but one day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. All of this is saying that, in the final analysis, means and ends must cohere because the end is preexistent in the means, and ultimately destructive means cannot bring about constructive ends.

--Martin Luther King, Jr., "A CHRISTMAS SERMON" 24 December 1967

02 August, 2008

The Peoples Games!?

Hi, Matt here, a new recruit to Justsalvos, from Adelaide.

As i picked up my paper this morning i noticed the special Olympic Guide inside, woo hoo i thought as a sport lover, i now knew when all my favorite events were on, and how many nights I'd be up until 2am!! But as someone with a heart for human justice, was i going to enjoy these games as i had in the past. I was there in Sydney, oblivious to any issues, wearing my green and gold as i cheered on the team, but now with more knowledge and awareness was i going to enjoy these games?

China, the great economic superpower, the largest population in the world, has given the world cheap labour and Chinese takeaway delights!
So as i browse through 'The Australian' this morning i come across not just the 'nice' stories of the games but those reports of human rights violations and the plight of the people of china. After reading the paper i flick on TV and find another documentary highlighting the homeless in Beijing. So will this Olympics be different from the rest? in the days of organic, fair trade 'cool' even at Maccas! Will the media spotlight change anything?

One particular article reported that china was getting it's deserved Internet freedom back, with restricted sites such as amnesty international getting it's ban lifted! This is a special once only Olympic offer! another article contradicted the freedoms by reporting that censorship was at an all time high in order to keep the games running 'smooth'. Street concerts were out, singers must submit lyrics for public performances to the sensor, and the broadcast within china is going to be delayed by ten seconds, just in case.

The peoples China, hosting the peoples Olympic Games, which has the motto 'One world, One dream'
Hmmmmm

01 August, 2008

Yet another one on children...

This is more of a salvo one for today, just because it related to children and I thought it worthwhile in light of the previous blogs on children...

I heard a fantastic idea floating around the blog world…a Children’s Brengle Institute! It would be an opportunity for a select group of children to receive teaching on holiness and sanctification over the course of a camp. The fruit of such an investment? Well I think that covenanted children coming to an event designed for sanctification would radically change The Salvation Army for the next seventy years! I think that giving children the opportunity to have their faith taken seriously will not only multiply the fruit of the kingdom through the children individually, it will multiply the faith of adults who see the child's purity and happiness restored and reproduced in countless others. I think that we have waited far too long and have wasted time investing in just about everything else but children. I think the time is coming when we will start to see the revolution we have been praying for, only to find that it is very different to what we expected, in that it will be catalysed by children.

As an Officer with a lean toward advocating the importance of respecting children, I am excited at this move. It is a step toward building a stronger movement and that is a huge progression toward growing the kingdom and radically changing the world! Bring it on! The children are ready and waiting for someone to take them seriously! Start praying for it now.

And for those of you who only want social justice specific thoughts on this blog and perhaps don’t see the importance of respecting the child, I’ll throw this in for you. Did you know that approximately eleven million children under the age of five die for reasons relating to poverty each year? That is half the population of Australia! Now, let me ask you…do you think the people of this world care deeply for our children and respect them and their rights, and hear their voice? I’m not sure how we can answer yes and acknowledge the statistic above at the same time. I guess my point is, if children are ignored, they are left to deteriorate. In the developing world, this means death in every sense of the word. In The Salvation Army world, this means death of spiritual growth and kingdom fruit. It is unfortunate, but undeniable.

Pray for a child this week and make a difference in their life. Ring THQ and get yourself another sponsor child. You are changing the future if you do.

Have a great week,
Gen