Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Archbishop Sentamu's Forth Lent Reflection

International Aid and the MDGs

30 March 2011 - The Archbishop's Fourth Lent Reflection follows...
Archbishop visits Ivory Coast SchoolArchbishop visits Ivory Coast School
Jesus taught his disciples to prioritise.  'Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you' (Matthew 6.33, AV).
One way of putting this vision into practice, for me, has been a commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – international objectives to raise people out of poverty, hunger, and disease. 
Four years from the target date of 2015 this initiative has already made a massive impact in the developing world:
• Despite recent financial crises extreme poverty will have fallen by 15% from its 2000 levels by 2015
• Major advances have been made in getting children into school in Sub-Saharan Africa.
• Deforestation rates have slowed due to tree planting schemes.
• People in rural areas are getting better access to water
• Child deaths are down from 12.5 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008.
However 8.8m children dying a year, from preventable diseases and lack of medical care, is far from acceptable!
A mindboggling 1.4billion people still live in extreme poverty. In the next four years there is a lot to do – as new efforts focus on the health, education, and economic needs of the worlds poorest. It really is possible, there is good news for the poor, and with the Holy Spirit in us we can be part of it.  We need to "love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbour as ourselves".
It is not just up to the Government to help address these appalling situations–see what you can do this week to support Christian Aid, Tear Fund, or one of the other agencies working to reach the Millennium Development Goals. If we all pull together, maybe we can help to end this suffering.
For "He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God" (Micah 6:8, AV)
Teach us, good Lord,
to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do your will.
Amen.  St Ignatius Loyola
+Sentamu Ebor

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