Politics and the Poor

Politics and the Poor

by Melba Maggay

It is cause for rejoicing that in the past four decades, there has been a growing awareness that the church should somehow be involved and make a difference in the massive poverty that has engulfed this country.

In the early 70’s, you could count on your fingers the number of evangelical organizations doing what has come to be called as ‘wholistic ministry.’ Today, there are thousands doing ‘transformational development,’ or, in the language of the Micah Global Network, ‘integral mission.’ Micah Global is a coalition of more than 800 faith-based development organizations worldwide.

It is in the field of politics, of making democratic institutions work, that the churches have been reluctant to step out and speak truth to the powers. While we have seen a movement towards putting Christians into office, we have yet to see a political engagement that is theologically informed and truly consistent with the concern for righteousness in our governance. This is partly due to deficiencies in our theological paradigms, and the fear of being allied with forces whose morals and ideological leanings we suspect.

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Mission on the margins

Mission on the margins: A proposal for an alternative missional paradigm in the wake of COVID-19

Buhle Mpofu - January 2021 The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic paralysed all aspects of human lives and transformed systems, cultures, businesses and institutions as communities grappled to stay safe from the deadly COVID-19. The existential desire for safety and shunning precarious situations prompted the need to delimit spaces we inhabit, as governments ordered lockdowns and closed borders as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus and fast track ‘contact tracing’. Demarcating territories through ‘stay at home’ instructions and regulations restricted travelling to essential services. The global threat presented by COVID-19 resulted in one of the worst socioeconomic disruptions in modern history, leaving a devastating impact and configuring the world in a scale never imagined before. As infections and deaths peaked, most countries introduced a lockdown and millions of jobs were lost; universities, schools, colleges and Technikons remained closed; oil prices plunged to critical levels and global trade was estimated to decline by 32% in 2020 (CNN 2020). Read more
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The Church, COVID 19 and Integral Mission

The Church, COVID 19 and Integral Mission

by  Martin Kapenda, National Coordinator- Micah Zambia

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) broke out in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and on the 11th of March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a global pandemic. Normal life in many places has since been affected. COVID-19 is not just a healthy issue. It has also revealed different layers of socio-economic inequality in most of the countries. For instance, in the United Kingdom people from BAME (BLACK ASIANS AND MINORITY ETHNIC) communities appear to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. In the United States of America which has a higher number of Minorities than the UK, people of color (African Americans/Hispanic/Native Americans), have been some of the most affected. According to Sherita Golden (John Hopkins Medicine 4/2020), disproportionate rates of COVID -19 illness and death in Black, Latino/Hispanic and Native communities are more than in white communities. These communities, says Golden, “share common social and economic factors, already in place before the pandemic, that increased their risk for COVID-19”. She further observes that risk factors for people of colour include, living in crowded housing conditions, working in essential fields, inconsistent access to health care, and stress and immunity. Some of these factors also apply to communities at risk in other parts of the world.

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‘As the Father has Sent Me’: Integral Mission and the Church

‘As the Father has Sent Me’: Integral Mission and the Church

by Bishop Mtetemala

In my work as the Bishop of a small Diocese in Tanzania I visit each parish at least once a year. This gives me the opportunity talk about the needs of the community and the response of the church to those needs with members of the church and community leaders. The Diocese has become more active in responding to the physical needs of the poor communities because we saw this as a way of bringing God's love among them. Evangelism has always remained central to our mission, but the more we do evangelism, the more God shows us the broadness of his mission.

We are learning that mission must not be narrow because it is God's mission. The Church's mission originates from God's mission and as such it must be broad enough to touch both the soul and the body; the society as well as the individual. It must have an impact on people in their total need. It must be integral, total and wholesome.

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MOBLISING THE CHURCH FOR CARE-GIVING

MOBLISING THE CHURCH FOR CARE-GIVING

by

Oum Vutha and Rosalie Thompson, Innerchange Sunrise Program

In 2001 CRM/ InnerCHANGE started SUNRISE, a home based care program for HIV/AIDS clients, in response to God's call: To minister holistically to those with HIV/AIDS in Kompong Cham city, by rising up and equipping local church leaders and laity to model the love and restoration of Jesus Christ, through Word and deed. Sunrise was started when it was found there was a need for people who were poor, and had no one to care for them while dying from AIDS. It was called Sunrise because of the scripture in Luke 1:78-79…which says the rising of the sun will shine on those living in the shadow of death. The aim is to love, care and nurture the poor within the city and to give respite care to those who have no one to care for them at home. Read the article
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Church and Community Mobilisation to Build Resilient Communities in SE Asia

Church and Community Mobilisation to Build Resilient Communities in SE Asia

by

Debora Suparni - Director, Yayasan Sion - Indonesia

Arshinta Soemarsono - Director, YAKKUM - Indonesia

Norman Franklin C. Agustin - Director, Lingap Pangkabataan - Philippines

Fennelien Stal - Impact & Learning Coordinator – Country lead Indonesia & the Philippines, Tear NL - Netherlands

 October 2016 & September 2018

Since 2016 Yayasan Sion, YAKKUM, LPI and Tear Netherlands have gained valuable experience on establishing a network and a CoP to support churches to build resilient communities through Church and Community Mobilisation processes. They would like to share their experiences to promote this integrated, locally owned and church based approach to resilience building, to make recommendations as well as welcoming discussion and feedback of colleague organisations.  Read the Consultation to Assess possibilities Read the Church and Community Mobilisation in Cooperation Read the Final Report
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Building Resilience with local Churches and Communities

Building Resilience with local Churches and Communities

by Jané Mackenzie - July 2018

This report will unpack some of the learning and reflections gleaned by our staff, peer agencies, partners and community members around how we can partner with churches and communities to build resilience. This is an evolving process. Our aim with this report is to reflect and share where we are at, and to share our learning and plans going forward. Read the paper
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Dangerous Resilience? The Institutional Church and its Systemic Resistance to Change

Dangerous Resilience? The Institutional Church and its Systemic Resistance to Change

by Thandi Gamedze - September 2018

The church is supposed to be the body of Jesus on earth. While an attempt to preserve and grow itself, the process of institutionalisation has in reality created structures that make the church resistant to change- including the change that it desperately needs. If the church truly desires to follow Jesus wherever he leads, some of these structures must be subjected to sound critique. The three key issues addressed in this paper relate to the church’s pedagogical practices, its governance structures, and its tendencies to a-contextualise and compartmentalise. Read the paper
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