Micah Network Update, August 2009

General September 7, 2009

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August 2009

Letter to members

Dear Members and Well Wishers of Micah Network,

Micah Network has completed 10 years of its existence. It was in 1999 that a small group of Christian leaders met at Kuala Lumpur and established the Micah Network. As we praise God for what has been accomplished in this decade, we realize that with this milestone, we are moving into a phase of transition. Some of the founding members of the Micah Network, Mr. Steve Bradbury and Dr Tesfaye Yacob have finished their tenure of service and retired from the Board. We are grateful to them for providing leadership to the Network for the last ten years. Mrs. Jane Furniss, International Director, is also abdicating her position by 30 September 2009 and with that the International Secretariat team who have effectively served the network are also moving out. Jane and her team have taken the Network to where it stands today and we record our immense gratitude and appreciation for their efforts.

We are in the process of recruiting a new International Director for Micah Network and the interviews for the same will be held shortly. We request you all to pray for this important matter as we look to God for guidance to select the right candidate to lead the Network. Details of the position description have been posted on our website at the following link: http://community.micahnetwork.org/en/page/latest-news. Applications close on 16 September - for those who may be interested in applying, please contact myself via email ( http://[email protected] ).

A verse from the Bible that comes to my mind as we go through this phase of transition is from Joshua 3:4 “You have never been this way before…..” We do not know what the future holds for us in the Micah Network, but as God is our Captain we have the assurance that He who has led us thus far will continue to lead us further. Joshua commanded the people to consecrate themselves to behold and be partakers of God’s amazing work of parting the waves of River Jordan and we as members of the Micah Network also need to rededicate ourselves to see God’s mighty works in and through the Network. As we trudge the uncharted road ahead amidst global instability and economic crisis let us closely follow the Ark of the Covenant, a symbol of God’s presence and power to guide us.

With kind regards,

Rev. Dino L. Touthang
Chair, Micah Network

Micah Network 4th Triennial Global Consultation on Creation Stewardship and Climate Change

Papers from our recent Triennial Consultation on Creation Stewardship and Climate Change have now been posted to the Micah Network website – click here to download.

We now have over 100 signatories from Christian leaders to the Micah Network Statement to World Leaders – Our Expectations for Copenhagen. It’s not too late to add your voice to this important advocacy statement which will be disseminated to key governments involved in the negotiations at the UN General Assembly on Climate Change in late September.

You can view the Statement to World Leaders as well as the Micah Network Declaration on Creation Stewardship and Climate Change at this link: http://community.micahnetwork.org/en/events/past-events/global/triennial-global-consultation

Please encourage as many church leaders, CEOs and Directors of NGOs and para-church groups to sign on by emailing http://[email protected] before 15 September 2009.

Report: Strategic Conversation on Gender - Limuru, Kenya - July 2009

The 2009 Annual Plan of the Micah Network includes ongoing network-wide discussions about gender and the development of a Micah Network gender policy by April 2010. As part of this plan, a ‘Strategic Conversation on Gender’ took place in Limuru, Kenya, from July 9 to 11, 2009. This strategic conversation included 10 men and women from Australia, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Netherlands, Peru, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom. Click here to read more about the Purpose and Outputs of the meeting.

We hope to be able to further develop the network’s initiatives on gender at upcoming regional meetings in the year ahead. More details to follow.

Report: Disaster Management Taskforce

Ahead of the Micah Network Triennial in Kenya, a group of people huddled against the cold and considered how Micah Network could better support those affected by disasters. Many people are becoming more vulnerable to disasters because of such issues as population growth, urbanisation and the growth of informal settlements, environmental degradation and the impacts of climate change. There has been a documented increase in the number of people affected by disasters year on year, with 354 natural disasters in 2008 killing more than 235,000 people and affecting 214 million. Economic costs were estimated at over US$190 billion. So what does integral mission mean in this context? How could Micah Network members and church leaders be supported to be better prepared for known disaster risks and in the response that follows such calamities?

The huddled collective was the first meeting of the Micah Network Disaster Management Task Force which was established following a series of meetings since 2006 between not only Micah Network, but also Integral Alliance and the World Evangelical Alliance, both of which are keen to support Micah Network in this important area of ministry. Over the two days of discussions a strategic plan was developed that proposed the establishment of dedicated capacity at the secretariat at both the global and regional levels with a series of objectives around existing practice among the membership and the church is in disasters, capacity building, policy work, learning, best practice and theology. A one year action plan was drafted and work has now begun to identify funding to support this.

Sadly, disasters are a growing phenomenon. But experience shows disaster losses can be reduced through good disaster reduction work, and good disaster response can aid recovery. Through prayer, planning and action we hope Micah Network can make a difference.

Micah Network's Core Values

In April 2009 we asked you to review and comment on a draft Values Statement for Micah Network.

The board of Micah Network reviewed your input and has now endorsed a final version of the Values Statement. The changes to the version you last saw were relatively small but significant – Christ Centred was moved to the top of the list!

We are pleased to launch the official version of Our Values now. These will be the guiding values for the way Micah Network functions and we encourage all members to read and live these values as participants in the network.

OUR VALUES

Christ-Centred

Jesus Christ is our inspiration and motivation, and we acknowledge that the true worth of what we do will be determined by the extent to which are joined to him, and our work shaped by him (John 15.1-10). We joyfully acknowledge our dependence upon him, and seek the empowerment of the Holy Spirit as we strive to be among those who “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6.8)

Equity

Jesus treated every person equally, without regard for their social or economic status (Mark 12.14). We aspire to the same godly “disinterest” in status in our personal and organisational relationships, and we will endeavour to resist those attitudes and practices that link influence and authority to economic power, gender, or geography.

Humility

Humility, nurtured by a proper appreciation and understanding of God, self and others, is critical to godly relationships (1 Peter 5.5). We aspire to the humility that will enable us to learn from each other. Such humility liberates us from the need to dominate and own, in order that we might serve one another in love (Philippians 2.1-8).

Unity In Diversity

We rejoice in the richness of our diversity, and we thank God for the profound joy of fellowship and interdependence in Christ that transcends the divisions of race, culture, gender, economics, geography and history. Such joy is at the heart of Jesus’ vision for his disciples and a profound sign of the character and love of God (John 17.20-32). We acknowledge the seriousness of the call to make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit (Eph 4.2) in our fellowship for the sake of the Gospel.

Event: International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church - November 2009

Every November, Christians around the world join together in prayer to remember our Christian brothers and sisters suffering persecution simply because they confess Jesus Christ as Lord.

In the traditional church calendar, the month of November is marked by “All Saints Day” and “All Souls Day.” These days were set apart to remember the saints of the church and the souls of those who have departed this world. In recent years, the modern church has also set apart the month of November to remember and pray for suffering believers through The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP)— an initiative of the Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance.

To find out more, click here.

Resource: Journal of Latin American Theology

The Latin American Theological Fellowship offers its English language Journal to the global Micah Network family. Christian Reflections from the Latino South is a biannual English-language publication of the Fraternidad Teológica Latinoamericana. The goal of this journal is to make available in English some of the most influential Protestant thinking in Latin America today, thereby contributing to a more fruitful dialogue within the church around the world. Subscription information is available here or via LATF’s website: http://www.ftl-al.org/

Resource: Servants to Asia's Urban Poor - new magazine launched

Good news! Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor is launching a new magazine. The inaugural issue, The Incarnation Issue, is out now and Servants will send it to you free (they also want to encourage you to pass it on to others when you have finished with it). Articles in this issue include:

• "The Incarnational Approach: is it really worth it?"
• "Bed Bugs and Stolen Bikes"
• "Jesus likes the Big Mac Value Meal"
• "Presence: journeying with others"
News and articles from Servants communities around the world plus a two-page spread on your local Servants community.

If you would like a copy, please send Servants your mailing address (email http://[email protected], be sure to include what country you are writing from) and they will be happy to send you one.

People: Anne Liew

This month we farewelled Anne Liew, who has been Micah Network's Operations Coordinator for the past 18 months.

Anne has brought to Micah Network amazing capacity in organising events, further developing and documenting our systems, communications and finance. She also acted in the role of International Director during Jane's maternity leave. We very much appreciate Anne's contribution to Micah Network and will miss her deeply.

We thank God for bringing Anne to us for this period and we ask God to guide and bless her in her next steps. We also thank Malaysian Care for seconding Anne to us for this period and for providing office space and support to Anne.

August Prayer points

Micah Network Prayer Update: 28 August 2009

World

  • Global - please pray to end violence against women. In many world’s conflicts rape is used as a weapon of war (DRC, Liberia, Darfur). Let us pray for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and for effective protection frameworks to be established.
  • Cambodia - please pray for those at Teen Challenge of Cambodia who are seeking the Lord to help them in many ways to serve students who are abused and victims of drugs.
  • Africa - this August, our Africa Coordinator, John Wesley Kabango is putting together case studies on video and CDs for the Integral Mission Initiative. Please pray for smooth interviews and availability and a good response from leaders of Church and Christian Organisations.

Also please pray that:

  • Skills training will enable young adult orphans to provide for themselves and for their future families. Such training is also needed by those who are trying to generate income to help support communities. Pray for the multiplication of skills training programs. Pray that teens and young adults would have greater access to learning vocational skills. This can reduce the need to resort in desperation to dependence on prostitution and theft. Pray for those in the African church with special skills to be willing to mentor people in need. This is another opportunity for the Church to manifest the active love of Christ.
  • Local congregations in Africa have been responsible for the vast majority of local community-based orphan support initiatives. The Church cares for more orphans than does any other type of agency. In one study of 230 faith-based organizations, over 9,000 volunteers were providing care for orphans. In another study, 366 faith based organisations were caring for well over 156,000 orphans. Pray for more volunteers from more churches to provide care for even greater numbers of orphans. Pray for these volunteers to find fulfilment in their work and their reward from God who sees their labour of love. Here is an opportunity for an entire generation to give thanks for God’s care for them through the love of His people.


People

  • Please continue to pray for the process of appointment of a new International Director for Micah Network. The position has been advertised and expressions of interest are being sought.
  • Please give thanks for Anne Liew who has formally finished her role with Micah Network as Operations Coordinator, but is volunteering her time to write up some of our important processes and systems.
  • Please pray for Rev Dino L Touthang in his new role as Chair of the Micah Network – for wisdom in a challenging period for Micah Network with transition of staff and board. We also give thanks for Steve Bradbury’s significant role as Chair of the network from 1999 till earlier this year.
  • Please pray for Jane Furniss and Angeline Emery as they begin their final month in their roles as International Director and Executive Assistant – for the ability to prioritise and complete the most urgent tasks and develop thoughtful processes / means to handover their responsibilities to their successors.


Other

  • Please pray for Micah Network’s planning and budgeting processes for 2010. Micah Network is very much affected by the global financial crisis and we anticipate a greater impact on membership contributions for 2010. Please pray for wisdom for the board as they review and finalise the budget for 2010 in the coming weeks.

We encourage all our members to contribute to the weekly prayer update. Please email any requests for prayer by each Thursday to http://[email protected]

CONTACT MICAH NETWORK

Call us: +61 2 9212 4181
Email Us: http://[email protected]
Visit our website: http://www.micahnetwork.org
Write to us: Suite 413/410 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia

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