New Hope in Dominican Republic

We’ve had an amazing time today here in the Dominican Republic. We visited two Compassion projects and visited a couple of homes of sponsored children.

I have some amazing stories to tell but I am so tired night now that those stories will have to wait. I may not even get another chance to blog until I make it home on Tuesday afternoon but I’ll see what I can do. If I wake up early enough tomorrow I might tell you some of the exciting stories we encountered today.

In the meantime, you might like to hear a little bit more about our departure from Haiti. I spoke to Tim Long at Sonshine FM yesterday morning. You can hear our chat by clicking play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.

By the way, I haven’t had the change to reply to those who have left comments over the past couple of days. I’ll thank you personally when I can but until then, thanks for your kind words and wishes.

I’ll catch you soon.

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Haiti's getting closer

compassion.gifIt’s now less than a month until I join representatives from other Australian radio stations to observe the work of Compassion Australia in Haiti. I’ll be leaving Perth on Saturday the 5th of April.

I had a jab to protect me against Typhoid last week. The immunisations I had for India in 2003 and 2005 cover pretty much everything else though I’ll need to start taking anti-malarial tablets in the next couple of weeks.

Haiti is a small Caribbean nation of almost 9 million people where an estimated 80% of the population is living below the poverty line with 54% in abject poverty. Around 6% of adults in Haiti are living with AIDS.

Compassion is an international Christian child development ministry, committed to child advocacy and working in partnership with local churches around the world. Compassion fosters the spiritual, economic, social, physical and emotional development of children living in extreme poverty in over 25 developing countries.

Our tour group will be able to see first hand the great need that Compassion Australia is working to fill.

98.5 Sonshine FM’s annual Compassion Day is on Thursday the 15th of May. I’ll get the opportunity to share details of the journey throughout the day and encourage listeners to get involved with Compassion Australia through child sponsorship.

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Heading to Haiti

ha-map.gifI’ve hinted a couple of times that I’ll be taking a long trip in 2008.

In April this year I’ll be joining a small group of others to fly to Haiti to observe the aid work of Compassion.

Compassion works with the poorest of the poor children in over 25 developing countries around the world in Africa, Asia, Central and South America.

Compassion works in partnership with local churches in developing countries; providing resources, training and expertise to assist in the operation of holistic child development programmes.

Each year in May, 98.5 Sonshine FM runs Compassion Day, a day where we highlight the great need to sponsor children in developing countries to provide a better life for them and their families. My trip will help me to communicate the vast need and the effectiveness of Compassion’s work.

The CIA’s World Factbook tells me that Haiti is a country in desperate poverty.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on the agriculture sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country’s widespread deforestation.

I’ll spend one day in Miami before about a week and a half in Haiti. Planning is in the early stages at the moment so I’ll tell you more as the journey gets closer.

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Show me the money

Does God want you to be rich? Is the kind of prosperity that Jesus promises in the Bible all about financial wealth?

Prosperity gospel is sweeping the world with many people claiming that financial wealth is an important indicator of God’s blessing.

Where does this gospel come from? Were Jesus and his disciples rich as many prosperity gospel followers claim? Are we being unfaithful to God’s call on our lives if we don’t have everything we desire in this world?

My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.

Today we talked about prosperity gospel and the way that it is not only sweeping through prosperous western countries but poor nations throughout Africa. Did you know that some prosperity gospel televangelists are taking more money out of poor regions in Africa than they are putting back in to care for the starving?

What is God’s call on our lives? Should we be amassing personal wealth? Should we be serving others with the rich blessings God gives us?

You can listen to our conversation through the media player below.

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