Remembering our Choices
The Bible is full of stories of God’s people seemingly captured in a cycle of:
1. Repentance, turning to God and committing to follow him alone
2. Forgetting who they belonged to and their identity in Him
3. Having forgotten they begin to compromise and fall into all sorts of idolatry and poor decision making
4. Repercussions begin to evolve, prophetic voices initially squashed speak up and name the problems and idols, calling people back to God
5. Repentance and commitment to follow him alone.
It is not just the Bible that has these stories, our church history reflects this cycle, and my own life reflects this cycle.
What makes us forgetful of our identity in God? One thing is because we become uncertain what our commitment to God really means and we slowly allow influences from around us to persuade us that we can live lives of compromise. We really do want to worship God but we seem to have very little time to fit it all in. We may believe that Jesus is the answer – but we have forgotten the questions. We may cling to the truth that we are forgiven but forget the message of the Kingdom and the consequence of living for and following Jesus. We may acknowledge Jesus as Lord and King but forget to give him authority over our everyday life and decision, our choices and time.
In our “forgetfulness” we become prey to all around us and transformation and witness is stripped of its power by our lack of integrity.
What is helpful about a new year is it is a time of remembering and an opportunity to consider what the priorities really are, to turn again and walk the light.
2012 is a year for us in Micah Network to reflect back on our commitments, to consider what we have forgotten and renew our commitment together. To remember the choices we have made before God and turn our efforts to them.
May 2012 be a year marked by a radical decision to walk His way!
Local Church, Local Change, Global Impact
5th Triennial Global Consultation: 10th to 14th September 2012 – taking place in Thun Switzerland
As Micah Network enters its 11th year of networking it is time to ask ourselves what impact we have had. The theme of this consultation will be around integral mission and the local church and we will be asking ourselves if we have been sufficiently radical to support the transformation we longed for. We will be challenged regarding whether we have rationalised ourselves into compromise and if our commitments to embrace integral mission has been rhetoric.
Micah 6:8 will be used as a framework for the weeks focus, looking at justice and advocacy, compassion ministries and humility in our work.
This is an important gathering in the Micah Network calendar and we encourage all our members and interested non-members to attend. Registration will open at the end of January 2012.
Speakers will include René Padilla, CB Samuel, Elmer Thiessen, Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Joel Edwards, Nataniel Disla, Ebenezer Joseph, Gbile Akane, Dave Andrews, and more to still be confirmed.
For more information please watch our web site at: Events
Events and Training Opportunities
Partnering for Change
Dates: 23rd to 27th April 2012, Germany.
Holistic transformation occurs as we combine our gifts and skills to work together, much like a cloth is made stronger by its many interwoven threads.
CCDC and Micah Network warmly welcomes you to join with us at the Schönblick Conference Centre (not far from Stuttgart, Germany) to explore and wrestle through how we can partner and cooperate in our efforts to bring about positive change through our work in relief and development contexts.
For more information and registration: CCD Conference
Diploma in the Development of Children and Adolescents
Start Date: March 2012, Buenos Aires, Argentina
CETI and the area of Community Ministries (MC) of the Kairos Foundation with Compassion International are offering a course aimed at providing basic training and practice for both men and women engaged in pastoral work with groups, teaching, social intervention, among other areas. The course is available to churches in Latin America. For more information: www.kairos .org.ar
Disability Inclusive MDGs and Aid Effectiveness Conference
Dates: 12th – 14th March 2012, Bangkok, Thailand.
This conference is being organised by: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and brings together disabled people's organisations, non-governmental organisations, UN agencies, development practitioners and academics, offering a unique opportunity to develop innovative ways to bring disability into the international development mainstream.
For more information: See here: Conference
Hope and Healing Retreat
Dates: 18th to 20th February 2012, at Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Through genuine and healthy relationships with others, grow in our capacity to love, trust and honour each other. As we learn to give and receive love in the right way, Jesus and His power is revealed in our sexuality and our relationships. However, sexual and relational brokenness distorts our own image and that of others. Our culture fed with false images of masculinity and femininity. Gender becomes a confusing issue where the truth about our true identity is distorted. Interpersonal relations into a state of chaos. As a result, injuries in men and women reach the depths of the heart. They begin to express their grief in ways that will hurt themselves and hurt others. But the good news is that Jesus comes into our pitiful state, transforming the lives disfigured by sin and makes us whole people. This retreat is a time of learning and healing. For more information click here:
Managing the Health, Safety and Wellbeing of Aidworkers – Moving towards an integrated approach
Dates: 23rd to 25th May 2012 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
This is a Human Resource Management Conference and will be tackling the issues around responsibility for the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, looking at what does this mean in practice and asking if there is more we can do? For more information: see People in Aid
School of Reconciliation: Healing Hearts, Changing Nations
Dates: 30th January to 9th March 2012. Location Rwanda
This 6 week course prepares you to run the Healing Ethnic Wounds Workshop. For more information: School
Proposed, ‘International Society for Urban Mission’
‘Seek the peace of the city where I have sent you, for in it’s peace you will find your own.’ (Jeremiah 29:7)
God’s world is increasingly urban, with urban poverty a significant injustice. Today more than half of all humans live in urban areas, with over one billion in urban slums. Almost 100,000 new slum residents are added each day and by 2050 half the world’s population could live in these morphing and moving neighbourhoods. Two out of three of these slum residents live geographically in the 10/40 Window where Christians are least present. Traditional development and mission based on large, stable institutions simply do not work here. Therefore, urgent collective, thoughtful and committed Christ-actions are required if God’s shalom is to come. All are needed and benefit from God’s shalom, harmony and justice bubbling up into slums. Would you join us?
Join our ISUM forming meeting: Klong Toey Slum, Bangkok, January 12-13, 2013. Book here
Contribute to a new journal: ‘New Urban World’. Contact editor: email@example.com
Use your experiences to support Christian leaders, research and engagement in slums: www.newurbanworld.org
Come together as part of the Micah Network meeting in Bangkok to seek more integral responses to slums, more to follow about where and when.
Publications on Disasters
Disasters and the Local Church
Disaster management is rarely taught in seminaries or Bible colleges! Yet in times of crisis, church members will often look to their spiritual leaders, as well as to local government, for help and direction. This book is written for church leaders, in areas where disasters are common, who may find themselves engulfed by a crisis – be it flood or windstorm, famine or earthquake – and don’t know what to do! It also contains many ideas for preparing for the next disaster, so that suffering will be much reduced.
During Hurricane Mitch in 1998, large areas of Central American suffered severe damage and loss of life. In Honduras, a small community near the river Choluteca was cut off by the flood for nearly two weeks. The local church fed and looked after the entire community. They mobilized a group of women to prepare and cook food, and motivated the youth to deliver it to elderly people and the house-bound. The pastor organized groups of men to repair houses and to collect firewood and food. This was stored in the church. After 14 days, a team from an NGO arrived by boat with supplies: they were amazed to see how well the church had done! When the team met the pastor, he said, ‘We were here before the disaster, we were here during the disaster and we are still here after the disaster. Agencies like yours will come and go, but the church will always be here.’
Available to download, by chapter or in full, from Tearfund’s TILZ website: http://tilz.tearfund.org
Also available in French.
Reducing the Risk of Disaster in our Communities (2nd Edition)
This book is a substantial revision of a publication first released in 2006. It provides a basic introduction to Disaster Risk Reduction, including Christian perspectives, and then describes a methodology called Participatory Assessment of Disaster Risk. PADR enables communities to assess their own vulnerabilities and capacities, in the face of prevailing hazards. In step form, it shows how to develop locally owned, community-based plans to address those risks. It is an empowering process, helping people to understand cause-effect relationships and to realise their own capacities to reduce their vulnerability to hazards. The second edition (2011) builds on the original publication. Many improvements have been made in response to feedback over the last five years.
New features include:
• improved methodology with new templates
• more examples of completed assessments
• sample questions for focus group discussions
• suggested risk-reducing activities for different types of hazard
• more emphasis on gender as a cross-cutting issue
• more consideration of climate change and its impacts on future hazards
To download: Roots
One Voice Prayer Call
In 2011 Tearfund UK launched the One Voice Global Poverty Prayer Movement - connecting with others who show their love of God by embracing the timeless prayer combination of reflection and action. From 26 February – 4 March 2012 a special challenge to pray about the injustice of global poverty has been planned. The idea is to unite with churches and organisations across the world for One Voice 2012 – a week with unlimited potential for God-scripted possibilities. Action
1. Save the date for One Voice 2012 in your diary!
2. Invite others to join you in prayer. Tell your local churches, partners, other organisations, and prayer networks in your country about One Voice.
3. Plan a special One Voice prayer event. It could be a prayer movement, a prayer concert, a night of prayer, prayer rooms, prayer meetings, or prayer emails – be a part of mobilising for prayer.
4. Decide and create your own resources that reflect the area of injustice or global poverty you want to pray about during the one voice prayer week. At www.tearfund.org/onevoice you will find a seven day prayer guide, prayer and reflection sheets and written prayers to help you pray about the big issues of global poverty such as climate change, food security, and HIV. These will be available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian from January 2012.
Micah Challenge Campaign: News Update
The global campaign moment on poverty and corruption - EXPOSED Shining a Light on Corruption is now online.
Keep the dates 14-20 October 2013. More information and ideas will follow next year and we will be asking for your expertise to build a huge movement of Christians who want to see integrity, hope and transformation in dark places.
EAA Food Campaign Update
Bulletin and news update on Food for Life Campaign
The review and development of improved Micah Network proposal formats and guidelines is underway and we are looking for members who would help us in this process.
If you and your organization would be willing to answer a questionnaire and take part in giving feedback and testing of the newly evolving formats we would be most appreciative. Please contact Sheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your participation. Thanking you in advance.
Membership Contributions: 2012
As we start the new year please can we remind all our members to send in their 2012 annual membership contribution. For more information and to view the 2012 contribution guideline table follow link.
It is our expectation that we will meet all our core costs from members and associate members and we are very grateful for your contribution to our overall costs.
We welcome new members in January 2012:
- Fountain of Water Church International – Malawi
- Frank Paul - Germany