Prayer Bulletin–Micah Sunday 2011
Micah Challenge Zambia
A Ministry of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia
Micah Sunday is a global day of prayer to mobilise churches to engage with global poverty issues. It is a time for churches to learn, reflect and act on their belief about the importance of justice, and to commit to the fight for dignity for the most vulnerable.
Micah Sunday is celebrated with activities in church services around the world. These activities include prayer times, Biblical reflections and mobilization of faith communities to present public pitions in the fight against poverty within each context. In Zambia,this year we are focusing on water and sanitation. We encourage you to join Micah Challenge in holding special church event which will take plabe on Sunday October 16th to pray and lobby the government to honour its commitment to provide communities with adequate water supply and access to sanitation facilities.
The International Date for Micah Sunday 2011 is October 16th.. We would like to encourage you to mark this year’s Micah Sunday during the Sunday service.
Interdenominational Prayer Meeting
Each Pastors Fellowship is encouraged to organise an Interdenominational Prayer Fellowship in the afternoon on the 16th of October 2011 at district level.. Have someone preach, and different people lead the congregation on respective prayer concerns on water and sanitation. You can also invited newly elected Members of Parliament and Councillors. Inform Micah Challenge on the numbers of people attending the prayer rally and lets us if MPs and Councillors have attended the prayer meeting.
The aim of this year’s Micah Sunday is:
· lobby the government to honour its pledge to provide quality water and sanitation services in our communities.
· Intercede for our newly elected leaders to keep their promise to halve poverty by 2015.
· Pray for Zambia to meet her side of commitments to the MDGs to meet the seventh goal which pledges to promote environmental sustainability.
· Take stock of what your church has done to lessen poverty in your community by carrying out specific interventions, like running a community school, Home Based care Program a feeding Program for children, or orphans support among many other interventions
Sunday October 16, 2011
Thank you for accepting to share and pray with the worldwide Micah Challenge community this Sunday. We hope this bulletin is challenging, inspiring and spurs us on! Prayer needs to be an important part of our efforts to over come extreme poverty. This Sunday we are united in prayer because prayer:
- Brings our hearts closer to the heart of God, especially as it concerns the poor. God’s mercy inspires us to strive for environmental justice when we pray.
- Help us remember that real people are behind every staggering poverty statistic
- Sustains us as we seek to overcome the injustice of poor services in the provision of education in community schools
- Empowers us to be POWERFUL agents of social change in our communities
Most of our communities face problems of quality water supply and access to adequate sanitation services. On a yearly basis most communities face health challenges which easily be challenged if there is good water supply and adequate access to sanitation services. For example, Diarrhoea one of the leading cause of death in children under 5 can easily be prevented if communities have access to clean water Yet the issues of water and sanitation received little political currency during this years election, despite the high burden of disease.
The Zambian government has committed itself to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Fifth National Development Plan for 2006-2011 gave reassuring priority to poverty reduction. The task will be formidable as Zambia has so far failed to make significant progress on the eradication of poverty and hunger (MDG 1). The majority of the population (76% lives on less than $1 a day, and 94% have less than $2, figures that are significantly worse than in the MDG baseline year of 1990). Food security remains very sensitive to unpredictable harvests. There is a growing gap between the rich and the poor.
The good news is that Zambia has the potential to achieve nearly all of the MDGs, according to the Zambia MDGs Progress Report published in 2008. One important exception is maternal mortality (MDG 5) which has been increasing in recent years. This worrying trend is also true of of MDG seven which deals with environmental sustainability..
What is the role of the church in Zambia in the context of economic crises, failing standards in the provision of quality water and sanitation services in our communities.
How is the church of Jesus Christ going to face these challenges in these end-times, and be the “salt” and “light” and God’s agent in transforming communities by God’s and bringing peace and transformation through the Gospel?
Please reflect on Luke 4:14-21, a model of engaging society in order to attain spiritual, physical and social transformation.
‘…the spirit of the Lord is upon me
For he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor’ (Luke 4)
Let us pray:
For passion, energy and wisdom for the church in Zambia so that it can be a true light and salt in its continent and respond united to challenges accordingly. Please pray that opportunities can be maximized and used for the growth of God’s kingdom. Specifically pray for the government to fulfil its commitment to improve the quality of water and sanitation services in our communities.
Specifically let us pray for the following:
1. Provision of safe drinking water in our communities
2. Improving school infrastructure by providing funds for improvement of water and sanitation in schools.
3. Provision of adequate water services in order to prevent diarrhoea diseases among children in order to prevent child mortality.
4. Specific water challenges in your respective community.
Meditate on the Statistics
As you spend time in prayer and reflection, you may like to take a moment to silently understand with your heart the focus statistic included below. Our hope is that you will find these statistics a useful resource in preparing for Micah Sunday.
Goal 7: Ensure Environmental sustainability
Target 10: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation Indicators
· Proportion of population without sustainable access to an improved water source
· Proportion of population without access to improved sanitation
Commercialization of water supply has contributed to accessing water sources and been crucial to sustaining improvements in service delivery in urban areas. Over recent years, the Commercial Utilities have made considerable achievements in extending water supply coverage from 58 percent in 2004/05 to 73 percent in 2005/2006 (NWASCO). With respect to sanitation, the situation is not getting better. The proportion of the population without access to good sanitation rose by over 10 percent from 26 percent in 1991 to 36.1 percent in 2006.
Lack of mechanisms for replicating the performance success of Southern Province towns in water and sanitation delivery to other areas in Zambia, in the absence of specific externally targeted funding support.
Increasing investment levels towards extension of services in water supply and sanitation, particularly in rural and peri-urban areas where cost recovery may not be possible.
Need for coordination at sector level between Ministry of Water and Energy Development and Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH).
Lack of implementation progress on decentralization to the local authorities.
Lack of adequate human and financial capacity at Ministry of Local Government and Housing and the local authorities.
Need to improve the performance of commercial water utilities including water quality and hours of supply.
Encouraging effective community participation and stakeholder involvement in the design, operation and management of water supply and sanitation facilities.
Providing low-cost, appropriate, standardized and sustainable water supply and sanitation technologies in order to provide alternatives to high cost technologies.
Addressing the issue of unplanned and illegal urban settlements that make the provision of water and sanitation facilities difficult.
Resistance to behavioural change and traditional values around sharing pit latrines.
Source: Report: Zambia Millennium Development Goals: Progress Report 2008.
Further Suggestins for Holding Micah Sunday
You can take three simple actions:
1. Encourage people to join the movement by explaining the Micah Challenge. Then ask people to add their names by signing the Micah Call on the form attached (Make copies for your church and send signed copies to Micah Challenge at the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia)
2. Pray for justice and an end to global poverty.
3. Ask your congregation to commit to taking specific actions in your community. Identify issues of water and sanitation that your church can be involved with in your community. You can add your voice to the Micah Challenge campaign by sending the following sample letter to your respective member of parliament:
Name of your church or Pastors Fellowship
Dear (Name of your area Member of Parliament)
On behalf of our (name of church or Pastors Fellowship) we would like to congratulate you for having been elected as our area Member of Parliament for (name of constituency).
As you assume the office of Member of Parliament for our constituency for the next five years we are aware of the fact that the 2015 completion of the MDGs will occur during your tenure as our Member of Parliament. Therefore, we would like to urge you prioritise the MDGs in your work as MP and work towards making Zambia attain her side of the MDGs. We are already to offer you our support so that we score big on MDGs and save the lives of millions of Zambians affected by extreme poverty.
As a Local Church (indicate Pastors Fellowship if writing on behalf of your respective Pastors Fellowship) we have serious concerns on the water and sanitation situation in our constituency. Specifically our concerns are:
Therefore, we would like to ask you to share with us your plans for addressing these issues together with other community players in the area of water and sanitation.
Name of senior Leader
Your position in the Organisation
Send a copy of your letter to us at the following address
Micah Challenge Zambia
c/o Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia
P O Box 33862