Integral Mission and Freedom
Participants from 10 nations are currently gathered in Livingstone, Zambia for our Africa Regional Consultation which is focusing on Gender Based Violence and Anti-human Trafficking. We were delighted to be joined on Tuesday by the Zambian Minister for Home Affairs Dr Ngosa Simbyakula, who especially made the trip from Lusaka to join us as he recognised the importance of the topic we were addressing.
Gathering as a network we found that the opportunity to advocate for action that improves the lives of vulnerable people was a natural outflow of our deliberations. This current example underpinned the exciting developments in Micah as we draw together the gifts and capacities of Micah Network and Micah Challenge.
Martin Kapenda (Zambia Micah Challenge National Coordinator) and I sat together envisioning how we could respond to this moment in time, calling for an integrated and radical commitment to live out integral mission in our nations. We asked the question: what would Zambia look like if God answered our prayer for it? Imagining this bigger picture helps us to consider what role Micah can play in moving us forward towards this vision, indeed what role can / should each of us play?
It should be remembered that Integral Mission is not a project or a programme, rather it is an approach to our Christian faith that seeks to relate God's ongoing revelation to all aspects of our lives, indeed to the whole of creation. Integral mission challenges us to live out what we say we believe, to respond in obedience to Christ in all things. At the heart of this obedience is our call to work with God in His mission, through His church, for His glory.
The questions we are wrestling with in Zambia this week is how can we together raise awareness of the travesty of gender based violence and the inhumane treatment of people who are trafficked, exploited and abused. How can we mobilise every available stakeholder to make a stand and STOP gender based violence and trafficking.
We read from Luke 4:18-19 and shared together that as Jesus was sent so he sends us to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed..
As each of us in our nations plan together for the launch of Micah this December – may we be bold and determined to play our part in liberating the captives, restoring sight and lives, and reconciling one to another. Our Global Consultation is now only a year away (14th to 18th September 2015) – Integral Mission and Shalom: justice, peace and joy. We invite you to submit papers on this so that we can prepare well in advance.
Grace and peace
Malaysian Care 35th anniversary celebration
35 years of good news, overflowing with thanksgiving
We are 35! What Malaysian Care is today would have escaped the wildest imagination of our founders when they acted on their simple faith 35 years ago. Amidst unresolved theological differences concerning evangelism and social concern in the Malaysian Church and being young in age then, it was a daunting task made possible only by a strong conviction of integral mission. Under the guidance of the late Rev. Peter Young, they held their first Board meeting in 1978 and set up a home in the following year, for children of leprosy patients who were subjects of social stigma. There began the legacy of Malaysian Care not just as a Christian organization reaching out to the poor and needy but a catalyst to the growth of Christian social ministry in Malaysia.
Community development work was birthed from intentional efforts to look out for the poorest, following a strategic planning exercise. Among the poorest communities at that time (1990’s) were the Orang Asli (indigenous people) and Indian plantation workers. Today, our community development continues with the indigenous peoples and urban poor.
Reading the history of Malaysian Care and stories of some who have been part of the journey, and reflecting on my own relatively brief journey with this organization, my heart overflows with thanksgiving for the many lives that have been and experienced good news hence, transformed. It has been a mutual ministry and it is often not clear who is receiving from whom. God’s faithfulness has been so evident, affirming that the ministry of Malaysian Care is very much part of His mission. I remember the times when we experienced ‘extreme poverty’ (huge financial deficits, human resource crises) and God taught us to “take His yoke and learn from Him who is gentle and humble in heart, and find rest” (Matt 11: 29). In all occasions, God provided just on time – sometimes by sending money from heaven – literally through a will! In the
words of our former Executive Director, “most of our fundraising is done on our knees”. God teaches us humility each time when He gives graciously – be it finance, people with the right aptitude and attitude, or circumstances.
We are thankful to be part of God’s mission, having many partners who span across space and time. We have a taste of God’s Kingdom i.e. heaven when we become good news to the poor.
This reflection was written by Joyce Thong, Director of Communications at Malaysian Care. Micah Network celebrates with Malaysian Care as they enjoy this milestone!
Bangladesh IM Conversation Reflection
This reflection comes from the recent Integral Mission Conversation which took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh in August.
A Consultation Program on "Integral Mission & Church" has been completed on 07-09 August, 2014 at the NCFB conference center in Dhaka, Bangladesh. More than 90 aid organization leaders & local church pastors participated in this consultation. The main focus of this Consultation was “How to involve local churches with integral mission”. Rev. C B Samuel, Ms Sheryl Haw, Rev. Dr. Paul A. Adhikary & Rev. James T. Halder were the guest speakers of this consultation.
All Participants were inspired through their messages for integral mission. Some participants shared - what they had learned from this consultation & what they can take home from the experience. They shared holistic ideas, story of Younes, Shalom to the entire thing, reading bible meaningfully, love, to not be judgmental. The following issues they have learned from Micah for the future:
• Vision of Micah Network
• How can the perspective of local communities be changed?
• Strategic plan of integral mission.
• How to be inclusive (involve more denominations).
• How to deal and mobilize with government bodies.
• How to include children (place of children in integral mission).
• Major activities on the global level.
• More details about Shalom
The Institute of Studies in Asian Church & Culture (ISACC) invite you to join their course on ‘Transformational Development, Integrating Faith and Culture in the Empowering of the Poor,’ to be held on September 22 to October 3, 2014 in Quezon City, the Philippines.
This two-week residential course is aimed at helping CEOs, managers and emerging leaders of faith-based organizations (FBOs) to integrate spiritual and cultural sensitivity in their work. It focuses on Integral Mission and how it can be integrated in the actual management systems and operational processes of FBOs, particularly those engaged in development and microfinance.
There are two modules in the course, namely, Integral Mission and Development: Theological and Socio-Cultural Perspectives, September 22 to 26, 2014, and Making it Better: Church Responses to Disaster, September 29 to October 3, 2014. You may opt to be present for just one or both modules.
For more information, please email email@example.com.
Participants are limited to 50 slots for in-depth interaction and personal mentoring by the faculty team.
Master of Arts in Vocational Practice: Aid and Development Specialisation
Are you: Passionate about justice for the poor? Committed to a faith-based, Biblically-informed response to the needs of those who continue to be violated by poverty? Yearning for the opportunity for thoughtful reflection and learning relevant to your calling and vocation as an aid and development practitioner?
This Masters Program is run as a collaboration between Malaysian Care, AGST Alliance and Tabor College, Victoria. It aims to equip students for transformational development.
The Asia stream commencing in February 2015 for this course is now open for enrolment.
More information about the course can be found on the AGST Alliance website here.
Seminar: IM and Local Church
During this two-day seminar, pastors and church volunteers will get the opportunity to work actively with, what Integral Mission can come to mean in a local Danish (/Scandinavian) church setting.
Dates: 29th to 30th October 2014
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Speaker: Vinoth Ramachandra
Facilitators: The seminar is arranged in collaboration between the Micah Network partners The Danish Mission Council and the Danish Mission Council Development Department and
TORVET (“The Square”, housing The Lutheran School of Theology in Aarhus and a number of mission organisations).
Read more about the seminar and Vinoth Ramchandra's visit in Denmark here (in Danish)
Events of Interest
Inhabit UK was created because we believe God is doing something special across the United Kingdom. Dozens of organisations and movements are converging towards a common heart for neighbourhood renewal. Grounded in collaboration, creativity, and imagination, we want to discern together the practices and postures that open up new possibilities for the future of the church in the UK.
3rd to 4th October 2014
Birmingham (Rowheath Pavilion in Bournville), UK
For more information see here.
Global Connections Integral Mission Forum: Global Trends in Mission
Integral mission practice is a fast-changing field. We will explore some of the trends impacting the way we think and do mission. As we strive to introduce ‘best practice’ in integral work, we need to be up to speed with global trends in relief, development, sustainability, mission and the world church.
14th October 2014
CMF Office, Borough – London, UK
For more information see here.
Urban Life Together: Inhabiting our Neighbourhoods
A Forum hosted by Urban Seed’s New Urban Studies Centre.
Come and join with some remarkable activists, thinkers and leaders. Help discern how to see deeper and sustainable transformation of our urban places and people. Be part of a publication that will share insights from the forum with the world.
October 17th-18th, 2014
More details here.
Micah Network Events
Integral Mission Conversation: God of Justice
September 15th - 16th, Kampala
As we explore together how to live justly, we will need to address a number of questions such as:
- What does doing justice mean?
- Where are the greatest injustices and where is the greatest vulnerability?
- How do we respond?
Good Governance and Accountability
October 9th-10th, Phnom Penh
What does it look like to apply an integrated response to governance and accountability in our churches and in our society?
Dates for the Diary:
Courage for Change:
transforming church, transforming community
January 14th - 16th, 2015
Integral Mission Conversation
March 4th-5th, 2015
Integral Mission Conversation
March 10th-11th, 2105
Micah Global Consultation
September 14th-18th, 2015
For more information on any of the events above, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gender - an ongoing dialogue
Later this month, Micah Network will be sending out a special publication focused on the theme of gender; highlighting how we integrate gender issues into our ministry and mission work.
This will include news on the international developments and trends in this area, profiles of significant gender activists and organisations as well as opportunities for you and your organisation to engage in an ongoing dialogue on this topic.
We want to encourage thinking around some important questions including:
How does society's perception of gender and gender roles influence your work?
How does your work influence your society's perception of gender and gender roles?
What progress has been made internationally in advancing the agenda of gender equality?
If you want some more information, or are keen to contribute to this first publication, please email Sue Barclay at email@example.com.