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Why Micah?

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26 February 2019

Why Micah?

In 1995 I was posted by Medair (a Christian Aid Organisation) to work in South Sudan in the Shilluk Kingdom along the mid-west Upper Nile Region, an area caught up in a drawn-out civil war, complicated by inter-factional fighting. Our task was to set up a health system and explore how to improve access to clean water. We based ourselves in Tonga, at a former Catholic mission station, pock-marked with bullet holes but still home to a small Christian community who gathered each Sunday. We lived with the community and worked together on renovating old burnt-out buildings and constructing huts to live in.  


That year we saw the health system evolve into a 10-stationed primary health care service with a central referral unit in Tonga. We met with the Catholic Father responsible for this region, based in Kenya, and asked his permission and blessing for us to work together and assist with the training of catechists. He gave us this and a precious friendship evolved. We started training the catechists and soon the community asked for more. Each Friday we held a Bible study under a village tree and people walked for 8 hours to just be a part of this. Women from the community came to us and asked if they could join, but as they could not read, felt embarrassed. A special teaching group was formed in these women’s homes and a picture training guide developed.  

Our team members offered their gifts of carpentry to train young boys, sharing stories of Jesus as they worked. Others ran kids’ fun days. As the community flourished, the need was expressed for a school. It was not in our project proposal, but we suggested they build a school and we would partner and liaise with UNICEF to help get supplies. A school was born. New trade businesses were started after community discussions, including a bustling tea room. We soon saw that there were gaps in speciality skills so we invited others to get involved. For example, MSF were experts in Kala-azar treatment and this evolved into a wonderful cooperation that saved many lives. And all of this in one year!

Out of a fledgling partnership with a broken, battle-weary and hurting church came life-giving transformation for the whole community. 

This experience showed me what is possible when we embed ourselves in a community, working with the church and the people towards a shared vision of life in all its fullness. When the day came when people began to ask Jesus into their lives we were overjoyed, and a little scared as baptisms happened in the Nile River as the crocodiles looked on! The local church began to grow again. It was an inspiring time.

But when I look back, I can only imagine how much more effective we could have been had we been linked into a network where we could have learnt from others, drawn from their expertise and gifts, advocated for further input and explored more sustainable approaches together. It would have been wonderful to be connected with other missions and linked to training schools. I am thankful how God blessed what we did, but I have grown to realise that the united action of all is a truly powerful demonstration of the Gospel in action for the common good of the whole community.

So, the answer to the questions I am often asked - Why Micah? And why does Micah exist, and what can it really do?  - are captured in the above example and summary below:

Micah is a global network seeking to develop and demonstrate integral mission that transforms communities, so they live life in all its fullness, free from poverty, injustice and conflict.

Agents of Change
Micah believes that the Church is God’s agent of transformation, being embedded in communities and able to walk with them through life; in times of disaster, in places of unrest and where the travesties of poverty, injustice and conflict are evident.

Micah members have a shared vision to serve and enable churches to live out this calling and to work together to address poverty, injustice and conflict.

Forming a global network of like-minded Christian Ministries to achieve this is exciting. Each member brings their gifts and expertise to the table, learning from one another, tackling the issues of concern to find a wise way to address them in their various contexts. As this network grows across cultural, geographical, linguistic and denominational divides a movement is born; one that inspires believers to take responsibility for discipling their nation and demonstrating the hope we have in Christ, who longs to see reconciliation between God and us, between one another and with God’s creation.

Challenges
Of course, there are challenges. One of the most significant hurdles is the need to inspire church leaders and Christian ministries to embrace their calling to be agents of change in word and deed, from a theological base. This is why Micah sees the importance of developing platforms for both a theological and practical learning exchange. Romans 12:2 underlines the need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds as we do what we believe. Training and discipling is key.

That is why Micah ... 

Micah – connecting and equipping Christian ministries for transformational mission.

How do we do this effectively? One way is to have a Focal Person in each organisation who acts as a bridge between Micah and the member. Please read the piece below to find out more about what a Focal Person can do to serve the greater vision. 

In the coming months Micah will be following up with Focal Persons in our membership to better support and strengthen this important bridging role. Please contact us too, to ensure that membership enriches all.

Grace and peace,

Sheryl Haw

The Role of a Micah Focal Person
What is the role of a Micah Focal person?  

When a Christian Ministry joins Micah they appoint a Focal Person in their organisation who acts as the bridge/conduit between Micah and the member.


What is the role of the Focal Person? It is a two-way exchange ensuring there is mutual reciprocity that benefits all.

  1. They act as the recipient for all the Micah news, prayer focus, thematic learning, and information on activities, resources etc. Once they receive this information, their task is to ensure it is disseminated effectively throughout their organisation and to expose this learning to partners and other organisations within their contact reach who are interested or have shown a desire to grow and learn in this area.
  2. They act as provider of learning from their organisations to share with the wider Micah network, to invite Micah members to link into their own training activities and to benefit from their learning resources. Sharing stories of change that Micah can publish is part of this.
  3. They act as representatives to attend and/or ensure colleagues attend Micah events so as to transfer knowledge and good practice learned into their own organisation.
  4. They act as ambassadors for Micah’s vision and mission through intentionally exploring ways to invite new organisations into the network.
  5. They are vision holders and are critical in ensuring the fulfillment of our shared aims.

Please keep in touch with us.