BILL GATES "IS AN ANSWER TO PRAYER" FOR CHRISTIANS SAYS CAMPAIGN BOSS
THE leader of a Christian campaign group aiming to halve world poverty by 2015 has hailed billionaire Bill Gates as an answer to the prayers of millions.
Joel Edwards, International Director for Micah Challenge, this week bumped into Bill Gates at a BBC Radio 4 studio in London, where they were both appearing in separate broadcasts within minutes of each other.
Joel travels the globe aiming to inspire Christians to pray for the poor and advocate on behalf of them to Prime Ministers, Presidents and MPs.
This week Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland has been urging the same world political leaders not to forget the poor – even in an age of economic uncertainty. To top it off, the Microsoft founder donated £478million to the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“This is an incredible act of advocacy and generosity, and a stimulus to the efforts and prayers of millions,” said Mr Edwards.
“Since 2000 Christians have been increasingly intensifying their advocacy and prayer for the poor. Then along comes one of the world’s richest and influential men to be another significant voice.”
Mr Edwards has been part of Micah Challenge since 2000 when the Millennium Development Goals were set to help halve extreme poverty by 2015. In 2008 he took over the role of leading the campaign to mobilise Christians in response to the promises of the MDGs.
In the BBC studio this week, Mr Edwards was preparing to give BBC Radio 4’s popular ‘Thought For The Day’ message when he briefly bumped into Mr Gates who was on to talk about his work for the poor.
Mr Edwards added: “I told Mr Gates he had been an inspiration to me. He is reminding world leaders not to forget the poor, and advocating on behalf of some of the world’s poorest people - despite the world’s economy taking a knock. This is incredible and a major boost for the world’s poorest.
“In his BBC interview, Mr Gates described himself as actually having fun in his mission of philanthropy and raising these issues for the poor.
“Christians across the world can take huge encouragement from this. Throughout the Bible God reminds us to care for the poor and it is our privilege and responsibility of the church globally to ensure this is carried out.”
Mr Gates’ cash pledge to the Global Fund in Davos this week was meant to encourage other potential donors to come forward and join the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.
Gates said: “These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest.”
Micah Challenge is a global coalition of Christians of all denominations who are holding governments to account for their pledge to halve extreme poverty by 2015.
Micah’s vision is to see a world free from extreme poverty. They are urging Christians to pray that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are hit by 2015.
Its leaders also encourage Christians to advocate on the MDGs by asking leaders to take responsibility for their commitment to halve extreme poverty by 2015.
Micah works in partnership with a host of world Christian organizations and the World Evangelical Alliance.
It takes its inspiration from the prophet, Micah, where it says in Micah 6:8 "He has shown you O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." - Micah 6v8.
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