In a four-part devotional series with its first focussing on economic empowerment, Malaysian CARE takes readers on a discovery of ‘Integral Mission’, the belief that Word and works are meant to walk hand in hand.
Earlier this year, Malaysian CARE released a devotional series as a resource for Christians looking to gain a Biblical perspective on some of Malaysia’s current issues. Each module consists of three topical devotionals (to do one per week) followed by a Lectio Divina, a spiritual practice that encourages meditation, the reading of Scripture and prayer. It’s a step beyond the ‘normal’ devotional, inviting us to slow down in prayer, reflection and contemplation.
Here, we provide a glimpse of the gems you can find in the full devotional on economic empowerment!
Must Christians care about the environment?
We are called to be good stewards of all that God has created. This means taking care of our home planet, the resources we have been given and the people whose livelihoods depend on the soil and sea.
According to a 2021 study by UNICEF, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sabah, children from vulnerable families are the most impacted by the effects of climate change2. The study focused on children in special groups, covering indigenous, marginalised and urban poor communities.
In one devotional topic, Malaysian CARE invites readers to dive into the empowering work of being good stewards of God’s creation by giving their example of equipping indigenous communities with agricultural knowledge and skills to earn sustainable income while taking care of the earth’s resources.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.Matthew 25:35 (NIV)
Each part provides an anchor Scripture passage and prompt questions for reflection, challenging participants to not just understand what we’re reading but how to apply it in a practical way. For instance, a discussion question from the Sustainable Agriculture devotional asks us to ponder on the kind of economic empowerment solutions that conserve the earth while meeting communities’ needs.
By teaching communities financial literacy, we equip them for a more sustainable future
Another topic that this devotional covers is in the area of financial literacy as a necessity to build stable, sustainable communities. In a world largely driven by money, knowing how to manage our income means we can grow our wealth and save for a rainy day.
For vulnerable communities who are often most impacted by external shocks, whether from climate change, political instability or conflict, financial literacy can be the critical difference between slipping further into poverty and managing to stay afloat.
Co-operative efforts with an attitude of ‘saving’ can build a prosperousMODULE 2 – ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT DEVOTIONAL
community… Generating income and taking steps to manage our resources well can ease the burden of economic injustice and inequality.
As we’re midway through the Lenten season, perhaps you may be looking for meaningful content that aligns faith with the burden you have for those in need. Through pointed reflections anchored on God’s Word and Jesus’ heart for the poor, this devotional offers a different way of creating impact, through awareness, prayer and advocacy.
To request the full devotional, head to Malaysian CARE’s Devotional Resources here. The Bahasa Malaysia version of this devotional will be available from April 2022.
1. Devotional: Economic Empowerment, 2021, Malaysian CARE
2. Impact of Climate Change on Children: A Malaysian Perspective, 2021, UNICEF, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sabah Malaysia
3. Cover Image: Worshae on Unsplash