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I recently read a short article entitled “Is there Something Wrong with Integral Mission?” produced by Interserve in Australia. It naturally took my breath away as I was anticipating a heavy debate as I turned the first page. However, the answer on the second page was simply “Nothing Actually”. It basically covered the reality that it is easier to serve people than to tell them about Jesus Christ.
Our Micah Network mission is to motivate and equip a global network of Christians to embrace and practice integral mission. Understanding that it is easier to embrace the concept of integral mission than it is to practice, I have been reflecting on how we can all encourage one another to put our beliefs into practice.
The first thing we need to face is the reality that we can be, and often are, influenced by the world. In very subtle ways the world’s conditions can influence us in the way we respond to the needs around us and the methods we use. There are certainly many excellent good practices out there that we need to take on board and utilise, but are all the methods and processes used appropriate? Likewise the world’s condition influences our message of hope and salvation to the point that we become convinced that it is better not to share the good news rather than to be in possible conflict with the world. There is a need to prayerfully and carefully seek discernment and wisdom in the sharing of the message, but there is also an imperative.
The second realisation is more of a question – are we all convinced and assured of what the message of the Gospel is? If we accept the world’s desire to relegate religion to something one practices in the privacy of one’s home then we will easily compartmentalise spiritual activities from religious ones. It will also mean we will not see how transformation through the Gospel will affect the seemingly worldly areas such as politics, economics, sociology and international relations. It may feel that all we need to do is to schedule in time within our secular activities as “moments with God”. In actual fact the Gospel is a revolutionary message that brings about total transformation of individual lives, of communities and of nations. There is no area of our work or of our society that cannot be transformed by the love and grace of God.
Therefore integral mission is about embracing the good news of Jesus Christ who is both Saviour and Lord. Every part of our work is to be placed under His Lordship! The evidence of transformed lives and transformed communities will be seen in the way they live their lives.
We want to capture these testimonies and stories of transformation so we can motivate and inspire one another and so we can learn from one another. Please send us your experience and story to share in our newsletter. Send to [email protected]
May we encourage you to think through the wonderful message of the gospel and to ask God to fan into flame its compelling and life-changing message.
With so many people gathering in Cape Town this October it seemed like a great opportunity to meet together and share our latest thoughts on Integral Mission. We have managed to arrange a date and time:
Date: Saturday 16th October 2010
Time: 16:00 – 19:00 (4 to 7 pm)
René Padilla (President of Micah Network) will share his thoughts on Integral Mission in relation to Lausanne III. A time of discussion and questions will follow.
Sheryl Haw (International Director of Micah Network) will share the new global strategy for Micah Network.
Location: It will be a 5 –10 minute walk away from the main congress meeting place. We are waiting to see how many people will be there before we finalise the venue.
Cost: USD $10.00 (ZA Rand 75.00) donation to help cover the hire of the room and the refreshments.
RSVP: Please let Sheryl Haw know as soon as possible if you can attend this: [email protected]
In just over a month we will be holding our Consultation on Stewardship in Mission in Thailand. For those of you who are yet to register please do so. Information as follows:
Date: September 27 – October 1, 2010
Location: Cha’am Thailand (this is about 176 km from Bangkok. Transport can be arranged to get you from the airport to the centre)
Aim: Effective Stewardship in Integral Mission in the Asia- Pacific region
Important information for those already registered
1. The opportunity for participants to present case studies and workshops is open to all participants of the Consultation. Remember, it is your Consultation. There will be as much opportunity for you to share your experience as there will be to learn from others.
2. The opportunity to volunteer - specifically for worship and for other areas of need in administering the Consultation. Those registering online must write to [email protected] to volunteer
Participants who would like to have a display of their ministry may do so. In this regard please note the following:
• Participants will be completely responsible for the transport, setting up and dismantling of their displays.
• To request a display slot, please send an email to [email protected] with the subject line in your email as "Consultation: Display: Request for slot"
• Display slots are free of cost. Participants wishing to have a sale (of books, CDs, handicraft items, etc) will need to pay USD $10.00 as a 'shop fee'. This may be paid in cash at the venue of the Consultation.
• Requests for slots must be received no later than September 13th, 2010
We are looking forward to seeing you there.
For more information contact our Asia Regional Coordinator Sundar Daniel: [email protected]
41 participants from around the globe met at All Nations Christian College from the 9th to 13th August. Our host was WEA (World Evangelical Alliance) Mission Commission. The purpose of this meeting was to strengthen relationships with one another, update each other and to brainstorm how we can best serve God’s mission together.
What became strikingly clear is that good partnership will be the way ahead. Partnership relies on genuine relationships that need to be developed and built on over time.
It was wonderful to be a part of meeting where the agenda was not driven by individual ministry needs but was all about how we could move forward together.
Connections is the magazine of the Mission Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance. It contains ‘must read’ information for persons who are interested or engaged in world missions today. Connections is published in April, July and October of each year. Each edition has a specific theme with professionals from around the globe contributing articles. It also includes reports of the various committees of the Mission Commission. The next edition is about Arts in Mission and we highly recommend this to you all.
To review previous editions and or subscribe see: http://www.weaconnections.com
Restored was established this year. It is called Restored because of the essential truth that every individual is made in the image of God and can indeed be RESTORED into fullness of life through Christ, despite the horrific abuse many have suffered. Through Christ’s love and power, transformation and restoration can occur; healing the brokenness in relationships.
The vision of Restored is for communities based on restored relationships where women live free from violence and the fear of violence from men.
Restored have the following aims:
1. to promote healthy relationships;
2. to raise the profile of Violence Against Women (VAW) within churches;
3. to challenge church leaders to speak out;
4. to promote prayer to end VAW;
5. to bring together and develop biblically-based materials that help those seeking to end VAW;
6. to influence the media and culture to make VAW unacceptable;
7. to engage men, including reformed perpetrators, to campaign on VAW issues;
8. to help members develop programmes and access funding resources;
9. to campaign for legal reform, end impunity and access to justice for survivors;
10. to document and highlight within the development community the work of churches to end VAW
The global community is increasingly focused on these issues. The third of the Millennium Development Goals is to “Promote gender equality and empower women”. Follow this on the Micah Challenge web site.
If you want to know more about Restored please go to their web site: www.restoredrelationships.org
Note: 24th to 26th September 2010 is a special prayer and fasting weekend for victims of sexual trafficking. For more information see: http://www.worldevangelicals.org/news/article.htm?id=3040&cat=main
by Jude Simion and Brian O’Connell
The Refugee Highway Partnership (RHP) grew out of a vision to see collaboration take place among the many different leaders and organizations involved in ministry at diverse points along the “highway” on which forcibly displaced people travel. The birthplace of the partnership was an historic consultation on refugee ministry held in Izmir, Turkey in 2001 that brought together more than 200 leaders from around the globe. The RHP is led by a team of ministry leaders from Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America, South Asia, SE Asia, the South Pacific.
The Refugee Highway Partnership’s passion is to connect refugee ministries with like-minded churches, organisations and individuals to help meet the practical, emotional and spiritual needs of the displaced peoples around the world. There are nearly 50 million refugees and internally displaced people on the highway, though the millions associated with natural disasters and poverty related economic migration are not usually counted among them.
Refugees seek for protection and acceptance to build their life, but in reality they often experience social exclusion, largely by being ignored, marginalised or barred by country borders. The Refugee Highway Partnership recognizes the need for compassionate and coordinated responses by faith-based communities and churches in addressing these issues and challenges, ranging from practical to spiritual needs. In addition, the RHP recognizes and promotes the essential need of working together to leverage resources and opportunities.
Working with refugees creates a strategic opportunity for holistic ministry strategy through the demonstration and proclamation of the Gospel. Diaspora and refugee churches are an untapped resource for faith-based humanitarian aid and community development. These congregations possess the grass root experience, monitory capacity and a genuine desire to build their communities.
The Refugee Highway Partnership invites you to be part of this growing community that is serving and reaching forcibly displaced communities. Here’s what the RHP does.
1. The RHP strives to connect resources to needs through our partners.
2. We facilitate global consultations and regional Roundtables to give the opportunity for connections, the sharing of best practices and the exploration of potential joint projects.
3. The RHP sponsors and promotes World Refugee Sunday to raise awareness among the global Christian community.
4. The RHP website provides resources, tools and connecting points for groups seeking to serve refugees.
5. Regional networks of the RHP (Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, North America, and SE Asia) address the specific issues affecting their region, which enables closer collaboration and interdependency.
6. Collaborative RHP Task Groups seek to engage issues related to Advocacy, Member Health, Prayer Mobilization, Children, and Prayer.
We encourage you to continue praying for refugees and internally displaced communities. They need our support, compassion and our intercession and praying is one of the most effective things we can do for refugees and refugee caregivers. Additional information about refugees and displaced persons can be found at the Refugee Highway Partnership website: www.refugeehighway.net or write to us at: [email protected]
Originally from Sri Lanka, Jude Simion ([email protected]) is the Facilitator of Regional and Task Group Development for the Refugee Highway Partnership and director of the organisation, IDP in Australia.
Brian O’Connell ([email protected]) is chairman of the Refugee Highway Partnership Leadership Team and the President of REACT Services, an American organisation specialising in collaboration and partnering.
The monthly newsletter is a platform to ensure information flows around our network. Information such as:
Post event summaries
Sign-posting to relevant new books or articles
Issues of concern
In order for us to keep one another informed we need you to send us information you want to share within the network. Please send articles (not more than 300 words), with a photograph or logo to [email protected] by the 25th of each month for inclusion in the following month’s newsletter (i.e. articles received be 25th September will be included in the October newsletter)
Every week we compile a prayer letter that captures important items of prayer, which is sent to all who have requested it. Prayer points cover a wide range of issues from personal requests to national disasters such as the one currently occurring in Pakistan.
Praying together is a vital way of standing together and developing our shared vision.
We encourage you to contribute to the weekly prayer update by sending your requests, or praise and thanks, or words of knowledge and encouragement to Steve Bradbury: [email protected] by Thursday of each week.If you would like to receive the weekly prayer letter then please send your e-mail address to Steve Bradbury: [email protected]