Have you felt overwhelmed every time you turn the news on?
Conflict: the atrocities perpetuated in Gaza and Israel; the ongoing Syrian struggle; the bombs assailing Iraq; drones threatening destruction; thousands displaced; violence against women and children; people caught in the crossfire of those who are filled with hate and prejudice, pain and betrayal. The shooting down of MH17 - a rude awakening to the reality that conflict is like yeast – its tentacles spreading into homes across the world.
Injustice: governments who steal the resources of the land for themselves while their populations die of treatable diseases, hunger and neglect; Christian leaders who manipulate their congregations out of money to feed their own ambitions; the foul smell of corruption on our streets, our civil service, our markets and even in our homes; foreigners and migrants treated like animals; lies and propaganda filling our ears; the marginalised oppressed.
Poverty: populations held in the chains of deprivation because the few squander the wealth of the nations; poor health and living conditions that are appalling drain hope away.
These three inter related barriers to community well-being are the core drivers of why Micah exists.
To tackle them we need a new type of collaboration. Paul Bendor-Samuel, International Director of Interserve shared a challenging thought – he said “we always look at partnerships with people / organisations who are like us – when we will dare to partner with those that aren’t like us”.
One of the exciting distinct characteristics of Micah is that we draw people together from North, South, East and West; from all types of initiatives (aid and mission organisations, churches, colleges, business, denominations, alliances, movements). Large international organisations, small national grass root responses; varying thematic gifts and skills, interests and priorities!
How can such diversity work? Because we are anchored and deeply rooted in the Gospel which clearly calls us to unity, to proclaim the Good News, to works of service, to reflect the Kingdom of God in every way and all times. Only when we seek out intentional collaboration can we become effective ambassadors for reconciliation, advocates for justice, and restorers of wholeness.
Paul Bendor-Samuel warns us to be careful that the signs of the Kingdom don’t overshadow the King himself. We need to remain anchored in Christ – for it is only in Christ that true transformation comes.
We are in great anticipation of the impact of drawing the skills and gifts of Micah Network and Micah Challenge together to form a united and passionate movement that serves this agenda. We invite you all in stand together and be the change we long to see.
Grace and peace.
Reflections from ISUM: A Good Malay Curry
This reflection comes from Darren Prince, of InnerCHANGE, who attended the International Society for Urban Mission Summit co-hosted by Micah Network last month in Kuala Lumpur.
Like a good Malay curry, the 2014 ISUM Summit is best described by the delicious blend of its many complex parts. I could tell you about the plenary speakers, Jayakumar and Perkins, proclaiming justice for the world's urban poor and a message of radical love, at times in serendipitous stereo. I could summarize the fruit of the working groups: their immersions into the heart of Kuala Lumpur, their theological musings, their calls to prophetic action. I could try and capture the essence of the learnings distilled through the meaningful and varied workshops. Or the significance of the stories shared by urban practitioners from around the globe.
But that would be like trying to describe a curry by listing its ingredients. The beauty of the Summit is the way these pieces simmer and stew into something wholly different than its individual parts. This was the delightful surprise of the time together in Malaysia in late June: the way it all came together to point us towards signs of real, lasting hope for our cities. All within the hospitality offered by the generous, kind hearted people of our Malaysian host city.
The true joy, as when any tribe or family is gathered, was the rich diversity of people: urban practitioners of hope from around the globe, spanning the age brackets, the socio-economic groups, the theological and church traditions. My greatest take-away was the sheer number of deep connections with like-minded souls whom I had never met before but can't wait to see again.
There is something special, dare I say sacred, to what God seems to be forming among the ISUM community; something not to be missed by those in the Micah Network who are eager to link arms with the next generation of urban workers for justice. I came away inspired, renewed, and reinvigorated for the work of hope in my city and for our increasingly urban world.
We are grateful to God for all of the learning, relationships and encouragement that came out of the Summit. See below to access sessions and resources from the Summit
Did you miss our on our Asia Regional Consultation in Malaysia last month?
Don't worry! You can access the highlights and all of the main sessions here.
Upcoming Micah Network Events
Integral Mission and Church
How should our Churches carry out the Integral Mission to transform the communities?
August 7th-9th, 2014
BBCF Conference Center, Rajendrapur, Dhaka
Intergal Mission and the Community
How can we act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God in our communities?
August 22nd, 2014
Assemblies of God Bible training center, Nyandungu, Kigali
AFRICA REGIONAL CONSULTATION
Integral Mission and Freedom
We invite you to this opportunity for learning together how we can tackle the injustice presented by situations of human trafficking, forced labour and other forms of exploitation.
September 8th-12th, 2014
Chrismar Hotel, Livingstone, Zambia
God of Justice
Throughout the Bible we see that God is deeply concerned about justice. God’s character demonstrates a zeal for justice that we are called to reflect. How, therefore, are we to live in a world filled with injustice?
September 15th-16th, 2014
Lweza Training and Conference Centre, Kampala
Lausanne Consultation on Children at Risk
November 16-20, 2014
The Laussane Consultation on Children at Risk aims to raise awareness of the needs and initiatives related to ministry with children at risk, and to engage sustained, collaborative actions within the global church community to fulfill the Capetown Commitment Call to Action on their behalf.
For more details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exposed Campaign Update
"StopArmut2015" (Stop Poverty 2015) Swizerland call for more transparency i financial transactions and tax policy.
Repeatedly, Switzerland has been criticised for the lack of transparency in the funding of political parties – most recently by the European Council at the beginning of this month. The campaign "StopArmut2015" (Stop Poverty 2015) of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance is disappointed with the reluctant attitude of parliament and government. They have issued a strong call to tackle secrecy and corruption, which ultimately hurt the poor the most.
Read the details here.
In Australia, everyday citizens are Shining the Light on tax dodging and corruption.
Great momentum has been built from the Voices for Justice event which took place in Canberra, Australia in June. Over 200 Australians met with their political leaders to challenge them to 'Shine the Light' on tax dodging and corruption.
Read the blog from John Beckett, National Director of Micah Challenge, explaining why citizens' voices are so important in raising these issues and catalysing change.
2014 MDG Report Released
The United Nations 2014 Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) Report is now available.
There is good news, but the general picture can mask the truth in different regions.
You can read the full report here [pdf].
Some headlines from the report:
- The world has reached the goal to halve the proportion of those living in extreme poverty.
- 90% of children in developing regions are attending primary school.
- By 2012, all developing regions have achieved, or were close to achieving, gender parity in primary education.
- The political participation of women has continued to increase. In January 2014, 46 countries had more than 30% females as members of parliament in at least one chamber.
- In 2012, 2.3 billion more people have improved access to drinking water than in 1990.
We celebrate these successes but recognise that targeted efforts are required to continue the progress that has been made towards achieving the MDGs, particularly in the areas of :
- child nutrition;
- child & maternal mortality;
- primary school dropout rate;
- safe sanitation.
A Friendly Reminder
A reminder for all Micah Network member:
We are past halfway through the year, and that means we are reminding those who have not yet paid their annual membership contribution, please do so soon!
For details on how you can make your contribution, click here.
We sincerely thank all those who have already made their contribution - we are grateful for your faithful contribtution to our work.