Micah Network November - December 2010 Newsletter – Christmas Edition

General December 6, 2010

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 Christmas Image

We take this opportunity to wish all our members and contacts a blessed Christmas and a very Happy and Inspired New Year. Thank you for the fellowship and support of our shared vision and mission: to motivate and equip a global community of Christians to embrace and practice integral mission.

We look forward to work with you all in 2011.

Yours in service,

Sheryl, Timothy, Sundar, Ruth and Greg

Happy New Year

Contents

International Director
PO Box 381-Carlisle-CA1 9EF United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0) 16974 75369
Mobile: +44(0)7739 665 777
E-mail :[email protected]
www.micahnetwork.org

 

Secretary
PO Box 731 - Woking - Surrey - GU21 4XW
United Kingdom

 

What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your GOD - Micah6:8

Letter to Members - Nov-Dec 2010

Dear Friends,

In some recent discussions about the distinctiveness of our faith in Christ it was explained to me that the belief that God became a man and walked this earth, had to eat, go to the toilet and struggle in the heat as he walked dusty roads in order to serve the needy, marginalized and suffering communities, was an obstacle to their concept of a divine all powerful God. Here their view of God was distant and separate from creation and the suffering people on earth.

On the contrary, the miracle and wonder of the incarnation – God becoming man, is one of central importance to us as Christians. God comes alongside and walks with us, fully engaging in all we do, living with us and serving us – the perfect example of integral mission.

God identifies with us so we can identify with him.
God lives out the Kingdom values and is an example for us to follow.
God demonstrate the "how to" love and care for one another.
God mobilises us to stand with and speak out against injustice through his life, which clearly demonstrates inclusion of the marginalised, forgiveness and restoration, equality and access to him by all who seek him.

Of course the Good News is of Christ our Saviour, the hope and assurance of eternal life, but oh the wonder of a God who not only gives us hope of what is not yet but is also the God who declares NOW is the time of salvation and God's favour (2 Corinthians 6:2); who agonizes alongside us, who weeps with us and who declared the prophecy from Isaiah 61 to be fulfilled on earth through him. We are now, as his ambassadors to do likewise.

As we draw to the end of 2010 and begin our preparation to celebrate the birth of Christ, the incarnation – Emmanuel God with us, what better way can also join together as Micah Network and live out integral mission. One of greatest strengths on integral mission is being present with our families, with our communities as Jesus was and is present with us.

We wish you a wonderful and inspiration Christian as a very Happy and blessed New Year. We look forward to all the 2011 holds for us to do and share together.

Warm Regards,

Sheryl Haw

Sheryl Haw

International Director
Micah Network

Transformation News in Africa

There are a number of exciting highlights we would like to report on from Africa:

Zimbabwe, 12th October: Micah Network met with members and contacts in Harare to review the global strategic framework and to brainstorm together how best to take forward the mission of motivating and equipping Christian communities to embrace and practice integral mission in Harare. The testimonies shared highlighted how devastation caused by the impact of HIV and AIDs in Zimbabwe had also been a catalyst to mobilise Christians to engage in the care of those affected in a holistic and transformational way. It was pointed out that many orphans of those early days are now young adults and programmatic support needed to take into account the changes that needed to be made to ensure care and support continued to be relevant and progressive.

Plans are being considered to hold an integral mission consultation in Zimbabwe in 2011 where experiences and practices can be shared and where the conversation of integral mission can be shared within the wider Christian community.

Zimbabwe Meeting

South Africa, 16th October: Micah Network hosted a conversation with René Padilla on integral mission and global partnership. René shared the importance of working together. A time of questions and answers was held where participants were able to raises concerns with René and Sheryl.

Questions included:

Does the message of integral mission underplay the need for conversion?

In what ways should Christians be engaging in work in and through secular organisations?

Micah Network seeks to create opportunities for these questions to be discussed and worked through. The integral mission conversations that will be occurring nationally over the coming months and the annual regional consultations are especially designed so Christians can gather together and work through the issues, share testimonies of transformation and case studies of good practice, to build and partner together in our mission of restoration and reconciliation.

The new web site that will hopefully be launched by the end of this year is another platform for us to engage is discussions and share practices.

Uganda, 4th - 5th November: Micah network hosted an integral mission strategic consultation in Kampala. From the 40 delegates who participated, a Micah Network Uganda Coordination Group of five people were elected to act as the focal point and to spearhead rolling out, the mission to motivate and equip Christians in Uganda to embrace and practice integral mission. We are so excited to see this group form and take on the serving role of supporting members in Uganda to network and finding ways to enhance capacity.

The coordination group are: Geoffrey Steven Kyeyune (RYDA), Janet Opio (ACLAIM), Grace Kabuye Lopeyok (My People Worship Centre), Solomon Kkesiga (Kampala Evangelical School of Theology) and Jane Achaloi (PAG).

Uganda Meeting

Nigeria, 25th - 29th November: Global Relief and Development Mission and Micah Network are co-hosted a conference called Transformation 2010, in Jos. An average of 40-50 people attended daily. The raw pain and aftermath of violence was evident as we together sought God to understand reconciliation and the power of love in action as a means of peace building. The overall message of the week was that Christians needed to be the change they wanted to see. Testimonies at the closure of the meeting highlighted the impact of taking time to talk together and anchoring ourselves in God's Word, encouraging one another to serve in love our neighbours.

At present there are eight full members, 4 associate members and two individual members of Micah Network in Nigeria. Many participants expressed an interest in joining our network. We look forward to all that God is doing through and in his church in Nigeria.

Transformation 2010

Reflections on Cape Town 2010: Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization

We have a number of people's reports and responses to some of the issues raised at the Congress in Cape Town in October here for you. Take the time to read these thoughts and pray over their implications and discuss them amongst Micah Network, with your colleagues, friends and family as we together strive to practice Integral Mission whole-heartedly.

C. René Padilla, President of Micah Network shares his thoughts of the Congress:

The Future of the Lausanne Movement
The figures related to the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, meeting in Cape Town from the 17th to the 24th of October under the motto "God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19), are very impressive. Over 4,000 participants from 198 countries were present. Besides, over 650 GlobalLink sites were connected with the Congress in 91 countries, and there were 100,000 unique visits from 185 countries. That means that many thousands of people all over the world were able to follow the main sessions through internet. Doug Birdsall, Executive Chair of the Lausanne Movement, is probably right in claiming that Cape Town 2010 was "the most globally representative assembly of evangelicals in history." Beyond doubt, this accomplishment was to a large extent the result of his long-stretched efforts to make it happen.

Equally impressive were the many practical arrangements that took place beforehand for the Congress. Aside from the difficult process of selecting the plenary speakers, the people in charge of the multiplexes and the dialogue sessions, the interpreters, and the participants from each country, there were two tasks that must have involved an awful lot of work before the Congress: the Lausanne Global Conversation to enable people around the world to comment and interact with one another by taking advantage of leading-edge technology, and the drafting of Part I (the theological section) of the Cape Town Commitment  under  Christopher Wright's leadership.

A positive evaluation of Lausanne III
The acid test to detect the value of a conference like Lausanne III is the concrete results that such a conference produces afterwards in relation to the life and mission of the church. That being the case, the present evaluation of the conference that has just taken place in South Africa can only be regarded as a very preliminary attempt to weigh its significance.

Each of the six full days of the program (with a free day between the 3rd and the 4th) had a theme:
1) Monday, Truth: making the case for the truth of Christ in a pluralistic, globalized world.
2) Tuesday, Reconciliation: Building the peace of Christ in our divided and broken world.
3) Wednesday, World faiths: Bearing witness to the love of Christ with people of other faiths.
4) Friday, Priorities: Discerning the will of God for evangelization in our century.
5) Saturday, Integrity: Calling the Church back to humility, integrity and simplicity.
6) Sunday, Partnership: Partnership in the Body of Christ toward a new global equilibrium.

Each of these core issues, qualified as "the greatest challenges to the Church in the coming decade," was the subject of Bible study and theological reflection each day in the morning. The biblical text used in the series entitled "Celebrating the Bible" was the letter to the Ephesians. One of the most positive aspects of the program was the inductive study of the passage for the day in table groups of six, which provided the members of each group an opportunity to learn from and to pray for one another, to develop new friendships, and to build partnerships for the future. The group Bible study was followed by an exposition of the passage of Ephesians selected for the day. Without minimizing the importance of music, drama, visual art, story and multimedia presentations, a very high percentage of the participants felt that the time allowed for "Celebrating the arts" could have been considerably reduced in order to allow more time for "Celebrating the Bible", an activity that they appreciated very highly.

Special mention should be made of several of the testimonies given in morning plenary sessions by people whose life experience clearly illustrated the topic of the day. Who that was there can forget, for instance, the Palestinian young lady and the Israelite young man who spoke together about the meaning of reconciliation in Christ across racial barriers? Or the young North Korean girl whose father died in prison for confessing  Christ but who still intends to follow in her father's footsteps?  Or the North American missionary lady who spoke on witnessing to the love of Christ with people of other faiths and told how several Christians, including her husband (an MD), were assassinated by Muslims as they were returning from an isolated town where they had been rendering compassionate service in Afghanistan?

The practical implications of the morning Bible study and theological reflection were explored in depth in the daily elective multiplexes (seminars) and dialogue sessions in the afternoon. To be sure, the most relevant debate over the various topics did not necessarily take place within the confines of the assigned time but in informal conversation outside the official program. The fact remains, however, that much of the richest reflection on subjects related to present-day global problems took place in these afternoon sessions. Built around the principles of comprehension of the diversity of perspectives represented, contextualization of ideas, models, contacts, and materials, and commitment to articulate action plans, these interactive sessions will provide the basis for Part II of the Cape Town Commitment. The plan is to publish the whole two-part document with a study guide as soon as possible.

Of the twenty-two multiplexes that were offered during the Congress, there were specially three that could be regarded as dealing with the most critical issues affecting life in the global South: globalization, the environmental crisis, and wealth and poverty. These three factors are closely interconnected and, because of their big impact on millions of people in the Majority World, they deserve far more attention than they have received so far from Evangelical Christians.

Serious flaws
According to the official definition of its mission, the Lausanne Movement exists "to strengthen, inspire and equip the Church for world evangelization in our generation, and to exhort Christians in their duty to engage in issues of public and social concern." Close analysis of this wording reflects the dichotomy that influences a large segment of evangelicalism especially in the West: the dichotomy between evangelism and social responsibility. Because of that dichotomy, closely connected with the dichotomy between the sacred and the secular, the Lausanne Movement intends "to strengthen, inspire and equip the Church" with regards to the former, but only "to exhort Christians" with regards to the latter. The implicit assumption is that the primary mission of the church is world evangelization conceived in terms of the oral delivery of the Gospel, while engagement in issues of public and social concern — the good works through which Christians fulfil their vocation as "light of the world" to the glory of God (Mathew 5:16) — are a secondary duty for which Christians do not need to be strengthened, inspired or equipped but only exhorted.

In the Bible reading based on Ephesians 2 given on Tuesday (the second day of the Congress), it was made clear, on the basis of the text, that Jesus Christ is our peace (v. 14), that he made our peace (v. 15), and that he preached peace (v. 17). In other words, being, doing, and proclaiming peace (shalom, fullness of life) were inseparable in him. The church is faithful to God's purpose in the extent to which she prolongs Jesus' mission historically by embodying the Gospel in what she says but also in what she is and what she does. The church's Integral mission is rooted in the mission of God in Jesus Christ, a mission that involves the whole person in community, the whole of God's creation and every aspect of life.

The Bible reading based on Ephesians 3 on the following day threw into relief the urgent need that there is in the Lausanne Movement to clarify theologically the content of the mission of God's people. In contrast with what had been said on the previous day, the Bible expositor assigned for that day stated that, although the church is concerned about every form of human suffering, she is especially concerned about eternal suffering and consequently is called to give priority to the evangelization of the lost.

A serious flaw of Lausanne III was not to allow time for serious theological reflection on the commitment that God expects from his people in relation to his mission. Sadly, no time at all was allowed to discuss the rich theological content of Part I of the Cape Town Commitment, on which a group of senior evangelicals led by Christopher Wright had diligently worked for several months with the intention of circulating it right at the beginning of the Congress. Their document was not given out until Friday night and no official measures were taken for the participants to at least have the opportunity to write down their personal comments on it in response to specific questions before the closing of the conference. According to the Lausanne Executive Committee, there was no time for that!

The negative posture taken by the organizers with regard to a recommendation by senior participants that intended to insure the ownership of the document by all the participants is not only inimical to the common ownership of this particular document. It is also a sign that the Lausanne Movement is still very far from attaining the sort of partnership without which it can hardly claim to be a global movement.  In all fairness, however, it must be added here that the liturgy for the Closing Ceremony on Sunday night was based on Part I of the Cape Town Commitment, with the intention that the overall message be endorsed and appropriated in the context of worship. One hopes and prays that in this case John Calvin's dictum concerning the role of doctrine will be fulfilled and the theology that was drafted in this document using the framework of covenantal love is "transformed into the breast, and pass into the conduct, and so transform us into itself as not to prove unfruitful."

In contrast with the treatment that the Cape Town Commitment received, a whole plenary session was dedicated on Wednesday to the strategy for the evangelization of the world in this generation (made in USA) on the basis of a chart of so-called unreached people groups prepared by the Lausanne Strategy Working Group. Their strategy chart reflected the obsession with numbers typical of the market mentality that characterizes a sector of evangelicalism in the United States. Besides, according to many of the people participating in the Congress who have firsthand knowledge of the evangelistic needs in their respective countries, the chart of unreached groups failed to do justice to their situation. Curiously enough, no unreached groups were listed in relation to the United States!

Another flaw of Lausanne III was that, as the Lausanne Interest Group on Reconciliation pointed out near the end of the Congress, no official mention was ever made that this Congress was taking place in a country that not long ago was under the grip of apartheid and is still deeply affected by socioeconomic injustice. In effect, it took place in the International Convention Centre which was built on land reclaimed from the sea with rubbish and gravel brought from District Six. In 1950, this area was declared a white-only zone and as a result about 60,000 black people were removed by force from it and their homes were bulldozed to the ground. In spite of that fact, the Congress organizers ignored the invitation made by the Group of Reconciliation to have Cape Town 2010 officially "reject the theological heresies which undergirded apartheid" and to "lament the socioeconomic suffering which is apartheid's on-going legacy." One wonders how serious are the leaders of the Lausanne Movement in their commitment to the Lausanne Covenant, according to which "The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist" (paragraph 5).
 
Partnership in mission and the future of the Lausanne Movement
That in the last few decades the centre of gravity of Christianity has moved from the North and West to the South and East is a fact frequently acknowledged today by people interested in the life and mission of the church on a global scale. In spite of that fact, all too frequently Christian leaders in the North and West, especially in the United States, continue to assume that they are in charge of designing the strategy for the evangelization of the whole world. As is stated in Day Six – Partnership in the 125-page book with the full description of the Cape Town program given out to all the Congress participants, "the locus of organizational leadership, control of financial resources and strategic decision-making tends to remain with the north and the west." Sad to say, the biggest obstacle to implementing true partnership is the affluence of the North and West – the affluence that Jonathan J. Bonk in his insightful work on Missions and Money has described as "a Western missionary problem". If that is the case, and if the Lausanne Movement is to contribute in a meaningful way toward the fulfilment of the mission of God through his people, it is high time for the missionary force connected with this movement, including its strategists, to renounce to money power and to make the incarnation, the earthly ministry, and the cross of Jesus the model for missionary life.

Please read and reflect on further feedback from:

Harold Segura, a Latin American theologian, has completed an article about the meeting in Lausanne. This is a working document that invites organizations, individuals and/or churches to open a dialogue that nurtures our practice of mission.

The document title is "After Cape Town, what's next? Working Paper" and can be downloaded here:
http://www.lupaprotestante.com/index.php?option=com_jdownloads&Itemid=100029&view=view.download&catid=5&cid=15

The article will be published in Portuguese at www.novosdialogos.com

Vinoth Ramachandra's recent blog post visit: http://vinothramachandra.wordpress.com

Restoring Life to Flood-Hit Communities

Flood Communities

Good Will for Humanitarian Development, a Micah Network member, has spent the last months struggling alongside thousands of flood-affected families in Pakistan. Over 20 million people have been adversely affected and the response and long term rehabilitation needs are enormous.

In a report received from Mr Sohail Anwar of Good Will for Humanitarian Development, there were many outstanding needs still to be addressed, with priorities such as:
Home reconstructions
Restoration of livelihoods, micro-finance opportunities
Rehabilitation and commencement of education support for children
Re-establishment of the cultivation cycle
Distribution of household essentials, especially as the weather changes
Restoration of community infrastructures

Mr Anwar, Director of Good will says: GOODWILL believes monsoon disaster is a natural catastrophe. With our local collective wisdom, true leadership and honest efforts we can make flood disaster as an opportunity to uplift of human values and dignity with reconstruction of better environment friendly community base infrastructure.  

Disaster Management: Over the last few months Micah Network has been carrying out a review on disaster management with our members. The results of this review will be available in January 2011. One issue became clear during the Pakistan floods, we can coordinate and cooperate further to ensure response to needs are covered.

Thank you Goodwill for sharing with those in need and we hope Micah Network members working in the area can link up to support and encourage one another for the long haul restoration work ahead.

Contact details of Goodwill: www.goodwill4humandevelopment.org

6th Brazilian Mission Congress – October 2011

The 6th Brazilian Mission Congress will be held in October 10-14, 2011. It will take place at the Thermas diRoma Hotel in Caldas Novas / GO. Its theme is:
THE TRANSFORMATIONAL MISSION TO THE PRESENT REALITY.

You will be able to register yourself from the end of this month onwards. Possibly 99% of the information you need is in this following site www.congressobrasileirodemissoes.com which is in Portuguese.

Advance notice given so all can ensure their calendars are marked.

Pr Silas Tostes
Coordinator
6th CBM

Unhealthy Dependency – Research by Ralph Hanger

Over recent years a lot has been said about the unhealthy dependency that often develops between Christians and churches in the 'majority' world and their materially more rich counterparts in the so-called developed world.

Unfortunately this is not just a result of the colonial past of the mission movement, it is something which continues to grow today with increasing negative consequences for all involved.

Having just retired from more than 40 years of ministry, most of it in or connected with interdenominational Christian work in East and Central Africa, I have registered with the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies as a Research Associate in order to look at this issue.  There does not seem to be much written systematically about the ways in which dependency has arisen, what causes it, the dangers for both donors and recipients and ways to both overcome it where it has already arisen and to seek to avoid it in the future.

This does not mean that there is not a lot being done or that there are not a large number of ideas re dependency being talked about and touched on in a variety of communications.  It has been suggested that the members of the Micah network will have had a lot of experience of this issue.  Some will have observed it developing and may even feel they have themselves been the cause of some unhealthy dependency developing.  Others have given a lot of thought to this and will have valuable contributions to make to those looking for help.  Many will have been involved in situations of good practice where unhealthy dependency has been overcome.

If any members of the Micah Network would like to share their thoughts or experiences with me, it would be much appreciated and would result in the final work at the end of this Research being more balanced and inclusive.

If you would like to be involved, please email me with your thoughts or experiences.  Let me know if you need anonymity or whether or not you would like your comments to be attributed to yourself.  Needless to say, I cannot guarantee to include everything I receive, although I will try to take into account all relevant ideas and concepts!  Please also let me know if this is a once off comment or if you would be willing to be part of further discussions, or questionnaires, on this vital issue.

If you would like to know more about the direction the research is taking, do contact me.

Please email me at [email protected] with the Subject of the email as 'Unhealthy Dependency'.

Integral Mission Resources – MOSAIC Films

MOSAIC Integral Mission Films:
The MOSAIC films are now available to view and download at www.integralmission.net in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

The aim of the Mosaic project is to paint a picture of the breadth and depth of God's mission - an integral mission - by presenting small snapshots of transformation from around the world.  More than half of the stories come from Micah Network members.  Let us know what you think of them.  We hope the project will be ongoing and that more stories will become available in different kinds of media over the next months and years, and that people will contribute their own.  We already have a few more appearing at integralmission.net.  We really hope that these films are an encouragement to you, and are also a helpful tool as you communicate with others.

Background to MOSAIC Films
Between February and July this year we interviewed a number of people around the world, to capture snapshots of how God was bringing transformation in all kinds of ways, in all kinds of communities around the world. We wanted to paint a picture of a broad, integral, diverse and beautiful mission, one in which we all have a part to play.  What we have now is only the start.

We have made 5 films, each around 6 minutes long, and each made up of a number of stories.  They are designed to paint a picture of integral mission through stories. There are a number of ways we hope the films might be used:

• Many people will simply watch them on the internet
• We've developed some discussion questions and Bible studies to go alongside each one, so they can be used in small groups.
• We're suggesting churches hold a MOSAIC evening, to think about mission. They would watch the videos and talk about them together, and finish by sharing what they think their part of the MOSAIC is – where does our church fit into this story?

The supporting resources are available on the website (translations will be available soon).

Please feel free to use them in any way you would find helpful.  And we'd love you to upload stories from your own communities.

The films are also available on DVD, for free.  Please contact me if you would like me to send you some copies.  In Latin America they will be available from Ruth Alvarado primarily ([email protected]), but for now please email me if you would like some DVDs.

Every blessing,

Jenny Flannagan, Micah Network Integral Mission Project Lead & Tearfund Integral Mission Dept

P.S. For more exciting and challenging stories of integral mission go to www.tobetold.info

'The Forgotten Jesus and the Trinity You Never Knew':
Damon So serves as Research Tutor at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. In June 2010 he published his second book on Jesus and the Trinity, which is entitled 'The Forgotten Jesus and the Trinity You Never Knew'. Suitable for university students, lay leaders, church leaders, pastors, evangelists, mission activists, seminary students, and non-believers who are more intellectually inclined and open to the gospel of Jesus, this book offers a great examination of Jesus and the relationships within the God-head.

René Padilla, President of Micah Network says of 'The Forgotten Jesus and the Trinity You Never Knew':
"Dr Damon So´s work is a very timely reminder of the need to recover the New Testament view of Jesus in intimate relationship with his Father through the Holy Spirit. All too often Christology has ignored this Trinitarian approach. As a result, it has failed to give proper account of the spiritual basis for Jesus' life and ministry as well as for his death and resurrection. This book provides a necessary corrective for this failure and shows the relevance of a Trinitarian Christology to the life and mission of the church in today's world. I wholeheartedly recommend this work by one of the most capable theologians from the Majority World."

Learn more and purchase Dr So's book at www.Jesus-Trinity.co.uk, where you can also read sections of the books for free, especially for the latest volume. There is also a page for readers to make their comments.

I hope you will visit the website and recommend it to your friends if you find it interesting.

Can local communities combat climate change?
James Pender has produced a report based on his research and experience in Bangladesh examining the impact of climate change on local communities and the steps they can take in response to these new developments in their environment.

To see the report and James' findings, please visit:

http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/councils/churchsociety/downloads/csclimatebangladeshsep10.pdf

Latin America Integral Mission Update

Latin American IM 1

The Latin America Regional Coordinating Committee gives thanks to God for having allowed the production of the United Voices CD. This would not have been possible without His faithfulness and goodness. We are also thankful for the extraordinary contributions from Christian composers such as Leonardo Alvarez (Chile) and Santiago Benavides (Colombia), who worked together to made this music project work. May God continue to bless their ministry. We are also thankful for the Micah Network member organizations who came together to offer their support: Peace and Hope (Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia), World Vision (Costa Rica), Youth for Christ (Uruguay) and Kairos (Argentina), for the musicians and engineers who selflessly offered their professional assistance, and for each and every person who participated in this project that will now be available to the Latin American church. Pray that this tool will serve to further the church's mission.

Two other Latin American resources to take note of are:
Administration of Shelters for Children at Risk. This is a compilation of lessons learned within the Evangelical community in Latin America, shared at an event that took place in 2007 in the city of La Paz, Bolivia.

Latin American IM 2 

Integral Mission, Progress, Setbacks and Challenges. This is a systematized compilation of the event: "A strategic meeting for the Andes region Evangelical Community that traces a path and sets new commitments towards strengthening Integral Mission in Latin America". This event took place is 2008 in Lima, Peru.

Latin American IM 3

Both publications are available in Spanish to those interested, so please contact:
Jr. Hermilio Valdizán 681, Jesús María, Lima, Perú.
00-51-46333000 x24

Sudan – only a month to go before the Referendum (WEA)

Sudan is just one month away from a referendum that could propel the country back into civil war.

A fragile peace, signed into being five years ago under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, is on the brink of unravelling, with preparations for the vote on January 9 still behind schedule and foreign governments slow to fulfil their promises of assistance.

Yet the world – even Christians – seem to have little realisation of the enormous potential for renewed violence and bloodshed, not to mention a major humanitarian crisis.

If the South votes to secede, the North has indicated that it will not only become an Islamic state; it will not help Christians to leave the country safely.

Churches in Sudan have shouldered a large part of the burden in readying people for the referendum and pushing it high on the agenda of the international community, but the tangible support of the global body of Christ would be a great comfort to them in this uncertain time.

There are several things that Christians outside Sudan can do. They can get informed about the situation and contact their own governments to ask that they do everything they can to ensure that the referendum is peaceful, fair and its outcome accepted.

They can pray for a successful outcome and they can financially support the aid agencies that will respond to the needs of the expected influx of refugees from the North as well as the long-term reconstruction of the South. The World Evangelical Alliance has established a "Hope for Sudan" fund to assist in the coordination of Christian response to this critical situation.

The World Evangelical Alliance at the request of the Sudan Council of Churches is also responding in other strategic ways to the upcoming referendum. Please click here for further details. Also, it is important to note that the WEA is not speaking to a specific outcome of the referendum. Click here (http://www.worldevangelicals.org/sudan/news/view-WEA-assures-Southern-Sudanese-leaders-support-referendum.htm) to read the WEA position on the referendum.

It is our prayer for Sudan is that in the end the grace of God would be so poured out in Sudan that the referendum would be a beacon to the world of what God can do.

Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe
CEO/Secretary General
World Evangelical Alliance

Prayer Needs from around the Integral Mission globe

ONE VOICE: Lit Up. Together. Around The World. We're lighting up the world with our prayers. Igniting beacons, forming a GLOBAL POVERTY PRAYER MOVEMENT. Illuminating the darkest places, where poverty punishes the poorest. A worldwide gathering of God's people.

So Prepare. To enter the throne room of God with brothers and sisters from every corner of the earth.  Campaign launch week 27th February - 6th March 2011.

Click here (http://www.tearfund.org/Praying/One+Voice+2011/) for more details.

LATIN AMERICA: The regional coordination committee is pleased with the outcome of the consultation that took place in Ecuador this past September. Please pray that we will be able to continue to pursue the dream of promoting integral mission in the churches and organizations in the region. We are now dreaming of being able to gather artists from around the region to explore our understanding of the church´s mission; please pray for smooth planning and the needed provision to be able to make this dream a reality.

URUGUAY: Please pray with us for the ¨Love your Neighbour¨ campaign for the Good Treatment of children hat is underway in Montevideo, Uruguay. The Youth for Christ team is partnering with the ¨Together for the children¨ movement in Latin America to encourage churches to support this campaign within their area. This phase will be carried out on Friday the 12th and Saturday the 13th of November in Montevideo, Uruguay.