Over 140 church leaders from 18 countries were present at the Micah Network Latin America Consultation held in Lima, 22 to 26 April, for a time of in-depth reflection on the progress, setbacks and challenges of Integral Mission in Latin America.
Representatives from Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru, USA, Nepal, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Mexico, among others, participated in this event organized by the Micah Network. The objectives were to contribute to an analysis of the progress made on Integral Mission in Latin America, promote greater openness towards establishing and working in strategic alliances between churches and faith-based organizations, and incorporate new peace and justice approaches in our understanding of Mission.
The President of the Micah Network, theologian René Padilla, dared the audience of ecclesiastic leaders, made up of representatives from Evangelical churches and faith-based organizations to continue reflecting, praying and working towards making the Kingdom of God and justice a feasible reality in Latin America. He said "nobody knows the exact words that were said during the private conversation Jesus had with Zacchaeus, but after this conversation we know that Zacchaeus changed his life-style and priorities and, having belonged to the oppressors' side, he left his wealth in solidarity with those who most needed it".
The consultation focused on 4 themes:
Working with Vulnerable Sectors
Peace and Justice Approaches
Collaboration between Churches and Faith-based Organizations
Food for the Hungry and George Fox University are co-sponsoring a conference entitled Transformational Development which will be held in Newberg, Oregon from August 14-16, 2008.
The Transformational Development Conference seeks to explore what it means to be transformational in all aspects of Christian development work. To go beyond a mere label, we must acknowledge the demands placed on us by the promise the term connotes. Transformational development's distinctives should be found across the spectrum, impacting not just our scope of activities but our outcomes, not just motivations but operations, not just where we go or send but the posture with which we serve.
This conference hopes to bring together a broad interdisciplinary group of participants interested in wrestling with these issues and building sound academic foundations for both engaging in and educating for Christian development.
The plenary speakers include Dr. Bryant Myers, Dr. Evvy Campbell and Dr. Brian Fikkert. The conference sponsors are looking for presentations from faculty and graduate students (and poster presentations from undergraduate students).
Micah Network, together with host organization RURCON, will be holding a consultation on the Church and Good Governance from August 18 to 22, 2008 in Nigeria. The consultation will feature plenary sessions, case studies and/or workshops on Servant Leadership & Integrity, Leadership & Management, Role of Board & Relationship between Board & Management, Good Governance, Advocacy and Micah Network Governance Project.
The consultation flyer and registration form will be available soon. For more details, please contact John Wesley Kabango, Micah Network Africa Regional Coordinator ([email protected]).
We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all our members for making 2007 a year of new beginnings, and of continuous growth. Many new projects were started in response to expressed interests and needs from our members, and existing ones have progressed considerably through greater members' participation.
Micah Network is grateful for the opportunity to be of service to our members in 2007 and look forward to continuing our journey together in 2008.
The Strategies for Hope Trust is pleased to announce the publication of two new training materials on HIV and AIDS, designed especially for use by African independent churches and community groups.
Both books are based on 12 years of experience by the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), based in Nairobi, Kenya. The author, Nicta Lubaale, is an ordained pastor who has been involved in faith-based and community responses to HIV and AIDS since 1991. Since January 2007 he has been General Secretary of the OAIC.
The new books are nos. 4 and 5 in the Called to Care toolkit, produced by the Strategies for Hope Trust. Book no. 4, 'Pastoral Action on HIV and AIDS', contains guidelines for training pastors and lay church leaders in addressing the pastoral challenges of the AIDS epidemic. These challenges affect churches in their teachings about sickness and healing, their forms of worship and their pastoral ministries.
Book no. 5, 'Community Action on HIV and AIDS', is designed to help church leaders in dealing with social, cultural and economic issues related to the AIDS epidemic at community level. It contains sections on topics such as the sexual abuse of children, domestic violence, widow inheritance and property grabbing by relatives - issues which have been exacerbated in many African countries by the AIDS epidemic.
Both books include case studies of the work of several African independent churches which, with the support of the OAIC, have responded in particularly innovative ways to the challenges of the AIDS epidemic. These stories are drawn from OAIC member churches in Kenya and Uganda, but they are relevant to churches throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and beyond.
Both books contain numerous role plays, discussion guidelines, Biblical references, individual case studies and illustrations by African artists.
To order copies of either or both of these books:
Organisations in Kenya, please contact: OAIC, Junction of Riara/Kingara Roads, PO Box 21736, Nairobi 00505, Kenya. Email: [email protected]. Tel.: +254 20 387 8419. Website: www.oaic.org.
Please pray for the security situation in Burundi. The Burundi government and rebel forces failed to reach an agreement to revive the ceasefire after two days of talks. There has been fresh fighting between government forces and members of the rebel group, the National Liberation Forces (FNL). Micah Network member Deogratias NIYONZIMA of the Christian Community Development of Burundi reports that aspects of their work have had to cease due to the conflict. Please pray for peace to come to Burundi and for those involved in peace and reconcilitation work in the region.
Please pray for China, where the number of confirmed deaths after a devastating earthquake struck Sichuan province, now stands at 32,477. More than 220,000 people have been injured. Please pray for the millions of people affected and for the relief effort providing food, medical care and shelter to them.
Cyclone Nagris struck the south coast of Myanmar, causing major loss of life and substantial damage to buildings and infrastructure on May 2 & 3. Cyclone Nargis devastated people who were already in great need. The devastation will affect Myanmar for years, long after the initial disaster response.The UN reports that up to 100,000 people could have died and 2.5 million have been affected. Please pray for the people of Myanmar. Pray for God's comfort for those who are mourning, those who are homeless and food for those who are hungry.
In Sri Lanka, humanitarian agencies are preparing for the fallout from steadily increasing food prices and shortages. Please pray for vulnerable populations at risk of malnutrition and that humanitarian agencies will be able to assist where there is the greatest need. Pray for Micah Network members LEADS and Alliance Development Trust - NCEASL working in Sri Lanka.
The humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe is deepening amidst reports of election-related violence and intimidation. Please keep praying for the long-suffering people of Zimbabwe. Please pray for international mediation and pressure, particularly from the Southern African Development Community and the African Union, to end the violence and find a political solution.
Micah Network Latin America region's consultation on integral mission, Integral Mission: Progress, Setbacks and Challenges took place in Lima, Peru, from 22 to 26 April. Praise God that the consultation went smoothly and that it was a positive time of coming together. Thank God for all the hard work and commitment of Latin America coordinator, Ruth Alvarado, and the organising team who put time and energy into the event. Please pray that delegates returning to their homes and workplaces will carry with them a sense of commitment for strengthening integral mission in the region.
Give thanks that Micah Network's Asia Coordinating Group could come together in Kathmandu on May 3 & 4. Pray for coordinating group members, Roshan Mendis, Elgin Saha, Roma Hein, Shaha B. Gurung, Dino Touthang, Joe Lamigo and Jennie Collins and International Coordinator Jane Furniss as they return to their homes and work places, for safety for those travelling and that the meeting was a productive and positive time of thinking and planning for activity in the region.
Micah Network's Africa regional coordinator, John Wesley Kabango, is in the process of organising the West African consultation on Governance scheduled to take place in Nigeria from the 18th to 22nd of August 2008. Please pray for John Wesley Kabango and Africa coordinating group member, Danladi Musa as well as the local organising committee as they prepare for this event.
Please pray for the preparations for the upcoming Micah Network consultation, Churches living with HIV, to be held in Thailand in October 2008. Pray for the organising committee, including Greg Manning, Jane Furniss, Lirela Sangtam and Nancy Ten Broek as they finalise the program and participants. This is a key opportunity to engage with evangelical leaders attending the World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly. Please pray for meaningful participation from the World Evangelical Alliance delegates in the consultation.
Micah Network will be holding a strategic conversation on disaster management in Thailand in October this year. Please pray for the selection of participants and for the disaster management project group as they consider the topics for discussion.
Please pray for Mike Penberthy from member organisation TEAR Australia, following the death of his wife, Sue Penberthy, after a long period of illness with cancer. Please remember the family and loved ones, especially their two children Jonathan and Daniel during this time.
Please pray for those Micah Network members from Myanmar or those involved in the relief response there, who have specifically contacted us requesting prayer, including Morris Liana, Roma Hein and Neichu.
Give thanks for the safe return of International coordinator Jane Furniss and Micah Challenge National Campaigns coordinator Regine Nagel from travel overseas attending meetings and the Micah Network Latin America region consultation on Integral Mission in Peru.
Please pray for Dorothy Tran, a friend to Micah Network through Micah Network's dedicated volunteer Portuguese translator, Tatiana de Baptista Raineri. Dorothy has had a long period of illness with cancer and needs our prayer and thoughts at this difficult time. Please remember her family, especially her children and husband and her friends and loved ones as they support her. Pray that she and those around her feel God's presence in their lives.
Praise God for the positive news of recovery for Micah Network member, Reverend Rafael Navarro of Foundation for Transformational Development. Thank God for providing access to the treatment and medical expertise he required and pray that his health continues to improve.
Thank you very much for your prayers and support.
If you would like to contribute to or be added to Micah Network's weekly prayer update, please contact Anita Deutschmann ([email protected]).