26 October, 2009

Just Give...

Have a read through the following article and then consider the significant difference you could make by purchasing something from the Just Gifts catalogue...

“In mid-September a joint group from UNICEF, the World Health Organisation, the World Bank and the United Nations Population Division, released the mortality figures for 2008 of children under five. The central statistic was that last year 65 children out of every thousand died before the age of five. That translates to 8.8 million children.

Although 8.8 million children is an enormous figure, there is some consolation in the knowledge that there could have been many more. In 1990, for example, the global child mortality rate was 90 deaths per 1000 live births or 12.5 million children. Comparing the two figures we see that today 10,000 fewer children die every day than did nearly 20 years ago. Still, it is frustrating to know how easily preventable most of those 8.8 million deaths were.

While the child mortality figures are believed to be the lowest in world history, it is feared that next year's figures will tell a horrifying story. Food and fuel prices have backed off but remain high, and the full impact of the global financial crisis is yet to be felt. With poverty and health so inextricably linked, there are obvious grounds for fear.

But amidst the speculation, simple, low-cost measures like vaccines, insecticide-treated mosquito nets and Vitamin A supplementation continue to show just how easily preventable many, if not most, child deaths can be.

Countries like Malawi are a perfect example. In 1990, Malawi had an extremely high under five child mortality rate of 225 deaths per 1000 live births. That rate has now dropped significantly to 100 per 1000.

Correlative to those figures is the knowledge that in 2000 only three per cent of Malawi's children aged under five slept under a mosquito net — a key means of preventing malaria. By 2006 that had increased to 25 per cent. With limited resources, Malawi focused on a simple intervention that saved countless children's lives.

As expected, Australia's under five child mortality rate is among the lowest in the world at 5.8 deaths per 1000 live births (Save the Children figures show the indigenous rate at 12.5 deaths for every 1000 live births).”

Eureka Street “Child Mortality Breakthroughs” Matthew Smeal, October 21, 2009

The new Just Gifts catalogue is available now. Click here to request a copy to be sent out.

23 October, 2009

Trade as One - Just One

Just One Fair Trade purchase from all of us would lift One Million families out of poverty for one whole year.

To learn more or get involved, go to tradeasone.com

Surrender Youth Nite

We would love for you to bring your people along to the SURRENDER Youth Night 7:00pm on March 5, 2010 at Belgrave Heights Convention Centre in Melbourne. Would you consider adding it to your 2010 calendar and letting other youth leaders and pastors know?

What’s it about and how can you help...
  • Bart Campolo (yes he is Tony’s son) from the USA will be speaking together with a great line up of bands including Levi McGrath, Vox Congo and Hip Hop artist Ezeldin Deng.
  • The aim of the night is to inspire kids to See Poverty around them, Hear from the lost and the least amongst us and Join in solidarity with those in society who are doing it tough.
  • Attached is the flyer for you to send around to your networks – cost is only $10 per person

Check out our promo video on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36IZptQHbYk featuring some amazing young people on the journey!

There is also a Facebook page where you can encourage your friends to become a fan of SURRENDER

20 October, 2009

Further safeguard for survivors of trafficking – Complementary Protection

“Complementary protection is about helping vulnerable people – people at risk of the most serious forms of harm if returned to their home country”, Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

The Australian Government is attempting to pass a law that will provide further protection to the survivors of trafficking in Australia, to give them protection if being returned to the country they were trafficked from would place their safety in serious danger (such as those responsible for the trafficking targeting them for retribution). The proposed law is called the Migration Amendment (Complementary Protection) Bill 2009.

Australia is currently one of the only developed countries who do not have a complementary protection process in place. For example, Canada and the European Union already have systems of complementary protection in place.

Complementary protection refers to legal mechanisms for protecting people who fail to meet the definition of a refugee under the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. This would be the situation for most survivors of trafficking in Australia. STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia member organisations have had experience of a number of women trafficked to Australia where it was too dangerous for them to go home but they weren’t eligible for a refugee visa in Australia. Under the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, a refugee is someone who faces persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

Under the current system people who do not meet the definition of a refugee, but whose lives or well-being would be in serious danger if returned to their country of origin, can be granted protection in Australia but only by a decision directly by the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship. This usually only happens at the last stage of the process of seeking protection, meaning that a person must go through a very long process to have their claim of protection actually considered.

Australia has clear obligations not to return a person seeking protection to a place where their lives or safety could be threatened (non-refoulement) through a number of the international treaties that Australia is signed on to such as the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention), the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Australia adheres to the Refugee Convention obligations of non-refoulement through the current protection visa process however the proposed Complementary Protection Bill ensures that Australia will fulfil the non-refoulement obligations of all of these international treaties.

The Migration Amendment (Complementary Protection) Bill 2009 is set to be debated in one of the next Parliamentary sittings. While the Greens and Senator Xenophon have publicly indicated support for the Bill, the Coalition has indicated that they will oppose the Bill. Senator Fielding has not yet publicly declared his position on the Bill. Unless Senator Fielding supports the Bill or a Coalition Senator votes against the position of their party, the Bill will not be passed and Australia will continue to return people seeking protection, including survivors of trafficking, to situations of danger or even death.

For the text of the Migration Amendment (Complementary Protection) Bill 2009 go to:

Write a polite and respectful letters or e-mails to the following selected Senators (writing to the Senator in your state):

Senator Gary Humphries
Canberra Centre
148 Bunda Street
Salutation: Dear Senator Humphries

Senator Marise Payne
PO Box CC18
Parramatta, NSW, 2123
Contact Link:
Salutation: Dear Senator Payne

Senator Sue Boyce
PO Box 143
Albion DC, Qld, 4010
Salutation: Dear Senator Boyce

Senator Mary Jo Fisher
Ground Floor, 75 Hindmarsh Square
Adelaide, SA, 5000
Contact Link:
Salutation: Dear Senator Fisher

Senator Guy Barnett
Senator for Tasmania
33 George Street
Launceston Tas 7250
Salutation: Dear Senator Barnett

Senator Judith Troeth
Level 9, 601 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000
Contact Link:
Salutation: Dear Senator Troeth

Senator Steve Fielding
Family First
255 Blackburn Road
Mount Waverley Vic 3149
Contact Link:
Salutation: Dear Senator Fielding

Senator Michaelia Cash
Suite 8, Level 2 5 Tully Road,
East Perth, WA, 6004
Contact Link:
Dear Senator Cash

Points to make in your letter or e-mail (Please note that letters are more effective than e-mails, but sending an e-mail is much, much better than doing nothing):

· Request that they vote in support of the Migration Amendment (Complementary Protection) Bill 2009.

· Australia is one of the only developed countries in the world who currently do not provide complementary protection.

· Australia has been urged to implement a complementary protection process by domestic and international bodies such as the Australian Human Rights Commission, the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the United Nations Committee Against Torture.

· Implementing the Migration Amendment (Complementary Protection) Bill 2009 will ensure that Australia upholds its non-refoulement obligations under the international conventions it is signed on to such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

· Voting for the Migration Amendment (Complementary Protection) Bill 2009 would ensure that Australia has a stronger system to prevent the return of those seeking asylum, including some victims of human trafficking, to situations of danger or where they may be murdered or tortured.

RCOA calls for no scaremongering


Political scaremongering and grasping for hardline deterrents will do nothing to resolve the complexities associated with asylum seekers seeking protection in Australia, the Refugee Council of Australia says.

Refugee Council president John Gibson said the recent debate about asylum seekers arriving by boat had revived memories of past destructive debates which had demonised vulnerable people and diminished Australia’s reputation as a just nation.

"A decade ago, the then Australian Government introduced temporary protection visas, expecting that this measure would stop the flow of people escaping persecution in their countries of origin," Mr Gibson said.

"In fact, the policy achieved the opposite, with the three years following the introduction of temporary protection being the three highest years in Australian history for asylum seekers arriving by boat. It beggars belief that Opposition MPs seriously believe that the reintroduction of this policy will result in a different outcome this time around."

Mr Gibson said a far more constructive historic precedent was the experience of the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Australia’s political parties worked in a bipartisan manner, under Coalition leadership, to contribute to effective regional solutions for Indochinese refugees fleeing persecution.

"As we learned 30 years ago, international cooperation is critical to responding to large-scale human tragedy," he said.

"We are contending with difficult regional issues, including gross human rights abuses in refugee source countries and complex social and political issues in countries receiving asylum seekers. Rather than backing away from our international responsibilities, Australia could play a significant role in promoting open and transparent cooperation with our neighbours and UNHCR to find durable solutions for the region’s refugees.

"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pointed out in his recent address to UNHCR’s Executive Committee that Australia was the sixth country to sign the Refugee Convention and a founding member of UNHCR’s Executive Committee. This, too, was the result of bipartisan political action, from Coalition Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, and Labor Opposition Leader, Dr H.V. Evatt.

"As a nation which has championed human rights, it is important that we do not back away from the Refugee Convention, recognising that it is never ‘illegal’ for a person to enter our country to seek protection from persecution.

"Much of the recent debate about asylum seekers has lacked perspective. It is extraordinary that some commentators are engaged in such a shrill public debate about the arrival by boat of 1704 asylum seekers this year, given that nations such as Pakistan and Syria are currently hosting more than one million refugees each."

18 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY FOURTEEN

Muslim extremists raided a Christian village in Mindanao, Philippines leaving hundreds homeless. Pray for their strength.

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty"
(Psalm 91:1).

Voice of the Martyrs

17 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY THIRTEEN

Jiang Yao was kicked out of her state-sponsored church in China for attending a Christian conference. Pray for a church family.

"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world" (Romans 1:8).

Voice of the Martyrs

16 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY TWELVE

In Laos, village leaders kicked Nuaysuay out of his home when he would not renounce his faith.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" (Romans 8:35)

Voice of the Martyrs


15 October, 2009

Start Freedom Launch Film

Just to let you know that http://www.startfreedom.org/ is now live in 7 languages. 3 more to follow in the next week or so.

Also, the launch film is up and ready for today! It’s on youtube, so you can also take it and imbed it in your websites and blogs.

14 Days of Prayer - DAY ELEVEN

Officials in Turkmenistan continue to falsely accuse Shageldy Atakov to sway his faith in God. Pray that he is encouraged.

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, LORD, for I hide myself in you" (Psalm 143:8-9).

Voice of the Martyrs


12 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY TEN

Kalila's parents beat and ridiculed her for her Christian faith before kicking her out in Mauritania.

"So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God..."
(2 Timothy 1:8).

Voice of the Martyrs


11 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY NINE

Churches in Iraq have been targeted by bombs; believers are afraid to meet there. Pray for courage.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Voice of the Martyrs


10 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY EIGHT

Luis, 18, spends his school vacations trekking into guerrilla territory, sharing the Good News in Colombia. Pray for young evangelists.

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12).

Voice of the Martyrs

~ Rob

09 October, 2009


In the last 3 months, 18 million people all over the world have heard the message of the Global Poverty Project. Twelve thousand people worldwide have attended over seventy presentations. The movement is in motion...

Join the movement and Stand Up for poverty on the 16th-18th October

As one of over 5000 people to make the commitment to end extreme poverty, your voice has been heard. Now it?s time to continue and to be the change that you want to make in our world.

Leading the movement is about action. Last year, over 117 million people worldwide stood up to say that extreme poverty must end.

In two weeks, the world again Stand Up as one to say that each life is important and extreme poverty has no place in our world. Working with the UN Millennium Campaign and Make Poverty History, we need you to lead from the frontline in the fight against poverty.

Commit now to Stand Up for Poverty

Every generation has the opportunity to do something great. Lets make our generations challenge, to end extreme poverty. Lets all commit to doing something about it.

The Global Poverty Project will support you in spreading this message that needs to be heard.

The Global Poverty Project team

PS -
Click here to take your NEXT STEP on the journey to end extreme poverty.

14 Days of Prayer - DAY SEVEN

Hindu extremists attacked Pastor Daniel inside his church in India. Pray for pastors.

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

Voice of the Martyrs

08 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY SIX

House church members risk arrest and imprisonment by Chinese officials every time they meet. Pray for God's protection.

"I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber" (Psalm 121:1-3).

Voice of the Martyrs


07 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY FIVE

The Eritrean government imprisons Christians in metal containers, denying them food and medical care. Pray for their health.

"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners..." (Isaiah 61:1).

Voice of the Martyrs

06 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY FOUR

Colombian guerrillas shot Marcella, Lydia and Jeffrey's parents because they shared Jesus with others. Please pray for their safety.

"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:28-31).

Voice of the Martyrs

~ Rob

05 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY THREE

Shi Weihan was sentenced to three years in a Chinese prison for printing Bibles to give away. Pray God's Word spreads.

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Voice of the Martyrs


04 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY TWO

Muslim extremists attacked Christian families, burned 50 homes and killed livestock in Pakistan. Pray that families find peace.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:8-10).

03 October, 2009

14 Days of Prayer - DAY ONE

For over a decade, my wife and I have been receiving the monthly magazine from Voice of the Martyrs. We've been able to pray for brothers and sisters who have been persecuted around the world because of their faith in Christ. VOM also provides global maps that show where the areas of persecution is heaviest around the world. Recently, we've participated in sending an Action Pack to a Christian family in Iraq through VOM. These action packs are filled with clothes, blankets toiletries and other items that are difficult for families to obtain in Iraq, Pakistan and Sudan.

Yesterday, in the magazine a pull-out card was included that called for 14 Days of Prayer on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world. For the next 14 days, I'm going to post the prayer guide for the day in the hopes that you will join me in praying for our brothers and sisters.
"Ruth is a widow whose husband was killed in a religious riot in Nigeria. Pray for Nigerian widows."
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5.43-35).

~ Rob