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Micah Network Update - April 2006

April 24, 2006

MICAH NETWORK UPDATE

April 2006


Dear Friends

We are delighted to share news from the Micah Network community with you – our recent consultation in Ethiopia, news of our triennial global consultation being held in September 2006, our expanding regional capacity, changes on the website and prayer needs of our members.

REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN FOR GLOBAL CONSULTATION IN SEPTEMBER


You should have received by now, an invitation by email to attend our triennial global consultation in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 11-16 September 2006. The theme is Integral Mission in a World of Conflict and we will be focusing on Global Conflict, Relief and Development, Church and Community and Peace and Reconciliation.

You can download flyers and booking forms from our website at : http://www.micahnetwork.org/eng/index.php/home/events/global_consultation_2006/brochure

We are very grateful to Lander Aspajo from member agency Paz y Esperanza in Peru for the wonderful design work he has done on the pdf flyer and to United Mission in Nepal for the photos they have allowed us to use.

Places are limited to 500 so please register early. You will also be able to register on-line at www.micahevents.org after Easter.

TOWARDS A CHRIST CENTRED APPROACH TO HIV/AIDS


Those who attended Micah Network’s consultation on HIV/AIDS and Integral Mission in 2002 will remember Kristin Jack who works with Servants to Asia’s Urban Poor in Cambodia. Since that consultation, Kristin has continued to reflect on this issue, in the context of his faith and work.

Kristin has recently sent us a copy of his paper, « Towards a Christ-centred approach to HIV/AIDS ». You can download his paper by clicking on the title or searching for it in the News section of our website. We’d be interested to hear your feedback on Kristin’s paper.

PAPERS FROM ADDIS ABABA CONSULTATION


It was a great privilege to participate in a strategic conversation on integral mission in Addis Ababa last month, along with around 50 representatives from member organisations working in Africa.

An Ethiopian-based organising committee brought together a wonderful program of presentations and dialogue on integral mission, including:

Efforts to Integrate Development Education into the Bible Schools Curricula, by Aklilu Dalelo PhD – the development of a curriculum to enable graduates of bible schools to understand not only the development issues of contemporary world but also to make a significiant contribution to the fight against poverty and food insecurity in their locality

Speaking for the Disadvantaged : Advocacy in the Church – the case of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus – the journey of Mekane Jesus since 1972 when it adopted ‘wholistic ministry’. The paper also includes a comprehensive section on the biblical mandate for speaking on behalf of the marginalised and how Mekane Yesus has put this into practice. An excellent paper !

No More a Taboo – HIV/AIDS and the Churcha paper by Terri Early from SIM Ethiopia. Terry gave a very moving presentation which is also captured in her written paper.

Multidimensional response to a national crisis : the Kale Heywet Church’s Medan ACTS HIV/AIDS Programme – this paper looks at the scaling up of the Kale Heywet project and the three major components of this comprhensive project – community-based interventions, church based interventions and networking.

Food Security and Integral Mission – a very interesting paper by John Wibberley from RURCON Nigeria which challenges us about food security and fair trade.

The Role of the Peruvian Catholic Church in conflict resolution – an excellent case study of the Catholic church’s response to environmental degradation and resulting community conflict.

Papers from World Vision Ethiopia, Compassion International (Ethiopia) and Medical Ambassadors International were also presented. We hope to bring you the Medical Ambassadors presentation (on community health evangelism) in a future email update.

One of the points made in the devotions on the first morning resonated with participants throughout the consultation - as people passionate about seeing and bringing change and transformation in our communities, we must continue to transform ourselves. A continuing challenge and journey !

VISIT TO ALETO WONDO


Micah Network connects every day with member organisations around the world. Most of the time we do this by email and phone, so it is a special privilege when we get to meet each other face to face. In March, our Chairman Steve Bradbury, Regine Nagel from Micah Challenge and I were able to spend 4 days with staff from the Kale Heywet Church in Ethiopia and to visit a new and exciting education project in the town of Aleto Wondo, Ethiopia.

This was a wonderful opportunity to see the Kale Heywet Church responding to the needs in their community – it has mobilised 157 local congregations to develop small kindergartens to provide basic education to the community’s children. I learnt that education in Ethiopia is free, but only after a certain level of basic education has been attained. The initial education is usually provided by private kindergartens, which are beyond the reach of children in poor families. Prior to this project commencing, many of the children in this community were missing out on education because they could not gain entry to the public system.

The kindergartens are running at low cost, using existing church buildings for classrooms and teachers who have been recruited from local churches and been given basic training. The project commenced in October 2005 and 50 of the kindergartens are already operational.

Thanks to the Kale Heywet Church for this opportunity to see integral mission in practice. Please pray for the schools in Aleto Wondo and for a new generation of young Christians emerging from this community.

REGIONAL COORDINATING GROUP MEETING – SOUTH ASIA


As you know, Micah Network is seeking to develop its regional capacity by establishing regional coordinating groups in areas where its members are most active. Our first regional coordinating group was established for South Asia in November 2005.

It was great to be able to participate in this group’s second meeting at the end of March in Bangkok. Some of the initiatives that this group and its members are involved in planning include:

- A national consultation in Bangladesh in August 2006

- A disaster management workshop in Bangladesh in August 2006

- A national consultation in Nepal at the end of April 2006

- Input into the global consultation on Integral Mission in a World of Conflict – September 2006

- Half day workshop for Thai theological educators on HIV/AIDS – September 2006

- An Asia-wide consultation on A Christian response to the Marginalised – September/October 2007, likely in Kuala Lumpur

- An Asia-Pacific consultation for Theological Educators on HIV/AIDS – 2007

- Future workshops and consultations at the national and local level

In order to carry out these initiatives, we will be recruiting a regional coordinator for South Asia, to be based in Delhi. Please pray for these new initiatives and for the search for a new staff member to join our team.

This coordinating group involves Rev Dino Touthang, General Director of EFICOR (Chair), Dharani Ratno (NEIDAC), Elgin Saha (HEED Bangladesh), Roshan Mendis (LEADS Sri Lanka), Jennie Collins and Shaha B Gurung (UMN Nepal). Dino and Jennie are also members of Micah Network’s global coordinating group.

REGIONAL COORDINATING GROUPS IN LATIN AMERICA AND AFRICA


Micah Network will also be forming regional coordinating groups in Latin America (June 2006) and Africa (late 2006/early 2007). With the leadership of these groups, we will be able to offer more regional and national initiatives for members.

We are very grateful to an Australian Christian trust for a contribution which will allow us to fund the regional coordinating group in Latin America for 2 years and to help us engage a regional coordinator for Latin America .

CONSISTENT PROPOSAL AND REPORTING GUIDELINES


At the beginning of March, we held another regional workshop on the development of consistent proposal and reporting guidelines across our member agencies. This meeting was held in Africa, with participants from , , and . Findings from this workshop are available for other implementing agencies within Africa for review and comment. Please write to Kate Jefferies if you’d like to have a copy of the revised guidelines produced by this group. We will be circulating them by the end of April.

In early May, members of the supporting partners working group will meet in London to continue to work through outstanding issues from their perspective.

In June, there will be a regional workshop for implementing partners based in Latin America .

In July, a small group of representatives from all the working groups will come together to dialogue on the issues and seek to develop close to final drafts. All Micah Network members will have an opportunity for final review and comment at the global consultation in September.

NEW WEEKLY PRAYER UPDATE


This week we have started a new prayer update for members. This will allow us to support one another in prayer more regularly.


If you’d like to receive this update or contribute items for prayer, please email prayer@micahnetwork.org to register.

PRAYER


Please join us in praying for:

  • The situation in – many members in have contacted us this week to uphold their country, their leaders and their people

  • The ongoing process to develop consistent proposal and reporting guidelines for Micah Network and particularly the meeting of supporting partners in London in the first week of May

  • 3 weeks of events in on integral mission, with Vinoth and Karin Ramachandra and Leonardo Alvarez (the “Chilean psalmist” from our global consultation in in 2003) – please pray that these events will be effective in encouraging a deeper understanding of integral mission within the Australian Christian community

  • arrangements for the global consultation in September – for the program and logistics teams and all those seeking to attend

  • the staff appointments to be made over the next couple of months – that the right people will be identified to serve Micah Network’s member base

  • the newly formed South Asia Coordinating Group – we are grateful that this group are able to offer leadership and direction to our ongoing initiatives in the region

  • planning of the Micah Network Children at Risk consultation being held in in June 2006

Wishing you rest and peace this Easter.

Yours in Christ

Jane

Jane Furniss

International Coordinator
Micah Network
Email:
ic@micahnetwork.org
T + 613 9877 7444
F + 613 9877 7944
www.micahnetwork.org

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