U.S. church bodies are urging Congress to pass a bill that supporters say will make U.S. foreign assistance programs more efficient and focused on fighting poverty.
The faith groups, brought together by Bread for the World, are also calling on millions of their constituents to urge their U.S. representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 2139, the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009.
“[H.R. 2139] begins the process of bringing U.S. foreign-assistance programs up-to-date and ensuring that the fight against deadly poverty and disease is elevated, alongside defense and diplomacy, as a central focus of our foreign policy,” explained the Episcopal Public Policy Network of The Episcopal Church in a policy alert. “While U.S. funds save millions of lives around the world each year, Congress and the President must act to maximize the impact of these programs, particularly in a time when money is tight and we are making progress on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a mission priority of The Episcopal Church.” more >>
As Sri Lanka declared victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after 25 years of fighting, a quarter of a million people are left suffering and need urgent help for "healing and hope of a future," according to a World Vision aid expert.
Army commander Lt-Gen. Sarath Fonseka said on Monday that troops had finished the task President Mahinda Rajapaksa gave them three years ago.
"We have liberated the entire country by completely liberating the north from the terrorists. We have gained full control of LTTE-held areas," Fonseka announced. more >>
Acclaimed CCM artist Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, were recently honored with the Children’s Champion Award for their work for orphans in the United States and around the world.
The couple, who founded the orphan ministry Show Hope in 2003, were recognized this past Sunday together with Focus On The Family President Jim Daly at a banquet organized by the award's presenter, Children’s Hunger Fund.
The award honors those who have used their positions of influence in government, business and charity, to ensure that children receive hope against the odds. more >>
More than 1,500 churches across the United States will participate in Compassion Sunday, an annual event that helps find sponsors for the world’s poorest children.
Congregants of participating churches this Sunday will hear about the needs of millions of children living in poverty with no hope for a future. They will also learn that with as little as $32 per month a child will be provided opportunities for education, health and personal development.
"Compassion Sunday gives churchgoers a tangible way to help the poor – by offering hope and encouragement to a child in need," says Jerry Henderson, national church relations director at Compassion International and a former pastor. "Churches half a world away can serve as catalysts for permanent change in the life of a poverty-stricken child by becoming a child sponsor through Compassion International." more >>
An initiative to mobilize teens in the fight against malaria has raised nearly half a million dollars since its launch – most of which came in over the past four months.
But more than the money, the Bite Back campaign – the brainchild of Compassion International and Jordan Foxworthy, the 17-year-old daughter of comedian Jeff Foxworthy – has been raising awareness of a preventable, curable disease that kills more African children than does HIV/AIDS.
"There’s no excuse for not stopping malaria right now,” says Jordan. “Poor parents have so much to worry about - how to feed their children and try to get them an education and keep them safe…This is one thing we can take off the list." more >>
The year 2009 has so far been a rough one.
Last month, the U.S. unemployment rate zoomed to 8.5 percent - the highest in a quarter-century - after employers axed 663,000 more workers. It was also the first time job losses topped 600,000 for a fourth month in a row in government record-keeping dating to 1939.
According to estimates, there are now over 13 million jobless in America. more >>