A central part of being a network is about building relationships. For that to happen good communication is essential.
As a lecturer I have discovered that teaching in ones own culture and context has its difficulties. Conveying a message does not mean that all listeners / readers hear the same message or even the intended message. Each of us understands a message through the lens of our own experiences, concepts, prejudices and definitions. When we further add the lens of our own cultures, traditions and backgrounds, we add a further complication and translation and interpretation needs to wrestle with these hurdles.
Good communication therefore needs good relationships as trust, friendship and a commitment to understand and support one another is foundational. Micah Network is intentionally a global network, as we are drawn together by our common commitment as Christians to the Lordship of Christ and our belief that mission is at the centre of God’s purposes. A mission that speaks into each cultural context in a relevant way, addressing real needs in current situations – holistic transformation!
Why is being a global network so important – surely it would be easier to have just national networks, as they can be more sensitive and relevant in their communication? Ephesians chapter 4 is about unity in the Body of Christ and I encourage you to read the whole chapter and reflect on what this means for Micah Network. I believe God has given us gifts which find their fullness when we cooperate and share together. Part of our commitment as a network is to build the capacity of members to make a biblical-shaped holistic response to: 1. People who are poor, oppressed and marginalised 2. People who do not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, irrespective of religion, class, caste, gender, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, politics or status.
Ephesians 4:12-13 says “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
The bringing together of us as a global network is important, but we also recognise that dialogue and relationship building needs to occur at other levels too and so the new Micah Network strategy under development seeks to establish national coordinating groups, wherever there are three or more members. Here at national level planning can take into account the culture and context of each country and respond appropriately. Countries however do not operate in a vacuum from their neighbours, and so we also see the added value of meeting regionally, and to support this we see the role of regional coordinating groups as being an effective way of drawing countries (neighbours) together. A testimony from a Chilean Christian after the massive earthquake was that what was the most powerful witness for them was that Christians from surrounding countries empathised and came and helped!
This is why Micah Network sees the value of working at all three levels – global, regional and national.
Let’s make a concerted effort to link up to members within our country and region to build amazing relationships and share our gifts for a world in need.
You have just a short time to register for one of the regional consultations – please do so as these consultations are the main platform Micah Network uses to bring us together in the year. I want to encourage you to ensure at least one person from your organisation is participating. The main thematic topic may be the common thread throughout each consultation but many linked topics occur throughout the week in working groups, plus networking and sharing experiences makes this an enriching time for all.
The 10.10.10 (10th October 2010) special campaign is only weeks away. Have you signed up and motivated your church and organisations to be a part of this? If not – now is the time: www.micahchallenge.org
This special campaign is to help us all focus on our promise to the poor, ten years after nations around the world committed to halve global poverty by 2015.
Micah Challenge is a global campaign set up by WEA (World Evangelical Alliance) and Micah Network in 2005. The campaign is drawing together a global coalition of Christians who hold governments to account for their promise to halve extreme poverty by 2015. It is important to stand together and be a part of this movement as it not only holds governments to account for their role but also our role – we need to be more committed to the poor and speak out effectively together for justice and good change.
Our hope is that every Micah Network member has joined into the Micah Challenge campaign and the 10.10.10 date for prayer, commitment and solidarity in action is a great opportunity to do this together.
This month we welcome two new associate members to Micah Network – both from West Africa.
Institut Evangelique au Benin
The Evangelical Institute of Benin was established in 2001 and is dedicated to educating workers from the local church in theological studies and practical ministries for the development of communities. Discipleship training and personal transformation are at the heart of all programmes the institute runs. Their President is Leonce Dagbo and the Director of Projects and External Relations is Hounga Senami Hermine. More information about the institute can be found on their website: www.institutevangelique.org
Association Amis des Enfants - Togo (AE-T) The Friends of Children Association in Togo was created in Kante in 2001 for a group dedicated to serve God. After much prayer AE-T was officially launched on 4th October 2004, with a vision that stated “All for Christ” and the core purpose being to contribute to the well-being and vitality of Togolese people in general, with a particular focus on children. AE-T seeks as its mission to share the gospel with people through holistic development, prioritising children and ensuring the protection of women. Programmes include working to reduce child prostitution, promotion of children completing school, fighting against child trafficking and promotion of the rights of the child. Ayokassia Kpatare Moses is the head of the multi-disciplinary team of five volunteers and has served over 103 orphans and destitute children through the generosity of volunteers in Togo.
Picture of Aneth, one of the children supported by AE-T
By António Maiandi, Director of Diakonia IERA - Angola
More than 50,000 people who were from DRC are now living in tough conditions in Uige and Mbanza Kongo. From March 2010 IERA began delivering assistance to more than 1,600 families. Support was given by IERA members, Micah Network members Tearfund UK and Cedar Fund and by Evangelical Reformed Church of Germany.
Sadly the news of this crisis hardly made the news, showing how many forgotten crisis are going on around the world. António Maiandi would like to share two personal stories with us:
Maria da Silva 56 years old says, ”since it started raining life is bad and since we returned from DRC we are suffering. We are grateful for the help IERA has given such as food, buckets and soap. We ask that they continue doing this”. While visiting Maria’s house IERA staff found that she was responsible for an extended family of five nephews, her parents as well as her own family. Trying to start up from scratch is extremely hard with the only option is to work as labour on others peoples land trying to make enough for food for the family
Tsanga Mona Messo 67 years old lives with seven people in her home after being forced to relocate from DRC to Angola. For older people it is particularly hard to find work to support their families.
These testimonies from IERA remind us of the many pockets of poverty and struggle all around that seem never to gain the attention of the media – may we never forget!
Integral Mission IERA are planning to facilitate two workshops on integral mission in 2011 in Angola. As the country is so vast one will be held in Uige (North Angola) and one in Lubango (South Angola).
Amahoro Africa is an exciting network in Africa working to see the Gospel of Jesus bring transformation to communities. In order to support emerging Christian leaders they facilitate holistic transformation by encouraging, resourcing and connecting those who are committed to the tangible manifestation of justice, mercy and goodness in their local context.
Micah Network would like to encourage members to attend the city conversations in their country as this represents a wonderful way to further engage in integral mission, fellowship and learn from one another.
Schedule: Cape Town – South Africa: 26th to 28th October 2010 Maputo - Mozambique: 29th to 31st October 2010 Harare – Zimbabwe: 2nd to 4th November 2010 Kumasi – Ghana: 9th to 11th November 2010
Message from Claude Nikondeha, who leads Amahoro Africa:
The Amahoro City Conversation was developed to convey the content of the larger Amahoro conversation (and the integral mission worldview that is their foundation) by creating small interactive seminars where local leaders can participate in a time of learning, conversing, connecting and dreaming together. This is a time to consider ideas that fall under three categories: theology, context and praxis. We will discuss a fresh understanding of the Story of God, take a look at our own local context and then begin to imagine what the Story of God looks like in our own communities. In particular, we would like to engage the question: How does following Jesus in our community bring about transformation, in accord with His gospel of peace, reconciliation and love?
We are actively seeking leaders to participate in the Amahoro City Conversation who are innovative emerging leaders engaged in transformational endeavours in their community. We are eager to find innovative men and women who are reaching their communities in new ways, propelled by their love of Jesus and commitment to follow Him into their neighbourhoods bringing justice, mercy, freedom and love. We are looking out on the horizon for those who are emerging into leadership now or soon. These are the leaders packed with potential, brimming with new ideas and thinking in new ways about the realities on the ground and the hope that Jesus announces to their neighbours. We want to create a place for the future transformational leaders to come and engage in conversation together about how to bring about change in their nations, communities and neighbourhoods in the name and spirit of Jesus. Who is primed to lead significant change in their sphere of influence? Who has the opportunity to advocate for deep change in their local context? We are inviting men and women of various ethnic groups to come together for this time of conversation about the way of Jesus and the hope He brings to change communities across Africa.
To participate in these conversations please e-mail Amahoro Africa at: [email protected] Further information will then be sent to you.
Healing Hearts – Changing Nations: 24th January to 25th March 2011
The nine-week school is divided into three phases: two lecture phases exploring principles of Reconciliation, Community Development, Self-Care and Leader Development; and a practical phase, giving the participant an opportunity to gain field exposure and experience teaching the material just learned.
Phase 1 • Principles and design for teaching the Healing the Wounds of Ethnic Conflict Workshop • Cross-cultural and multi-cultural considerations and practices • Maintaining emotional health while ministering to others in great pain • Empowering healed people express their reconciliation in practical ways in their communities
Phase 2 • Practical outreach — students will join current training opportunities in targeted communities in Africa’s Great Lakes region
Phase 3 • Strategies for self-care and stress management • Principles of leader development and spiritual formation for the peace practitioner • Dynamics of conflict, theories of change and strategies of peace building • Redemptive responses to Conflict
For an application or more information e-mail [email protected] or log onto www.lerucher.org or contact Le Rucher Ministries B.P. 5090 Kigali, Rwanda +250 78 318 6696
A number of strategic consultations are planned between now and December:
Harare, Zimbabwe: 12th October 2010 – from 14:00 to 17:00 at Emerald Hill Community Church, (Gateway Junior School) Corner of The Chase and Wretham Ave, Harare – for registration please write to [email protected]
Cape Town, South Africa: 16th October 2010: 16:00 – 19:00 at Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel, 1 Lower Buitengracht Street Cape Town. For registration please write to [email protected]
Kampala, Uganda: 4th to 5th November 2010 at Lweza Training and Conference Centre, Kampala Entebbe Road
Transformation 2010: Jos, Nigeria: 25th to 29th November 2010 The Transformation 2010 (T-2010) Conference is a Joint initiative of Global Relief Nigeria and the Micah Network seeking to pull together strategic leaders to brainstorm biblical solutions to violent conflicts and poverty.
T2010 seeks to promote the practice of Integral Mission among Nigerian church and mission leaders, Christian professionals, Christian Politicians, NGOs, Christian Business community, Government officials, civil society and youth leaders.
For all current members we want to ask you to download the member application form and complete as this will be a means of us updating our database and contact details, as well as learning more about you.
For all our contacts, please consider how you can engage further in our network.
Weekly Prayer Update: this is a prayer letter that is sent to all who want to join with us in prayer for the issues and concerns raised by us – please join us by both sending your prayer points and by prayer: Contact Steve Bradbury at: [email protected]