Creation care and the gospel in Africa
Faith2Share's Africa Coordinator, Timothy Mazimpaka, of Church Army Africa (a Faith2Share member), joined 140 other delegates from East and Central Africa at Lausanne Creation Care Network's Creation Care and the Gospel Conference (from 17 to 21 May). The meeting is being held in Limuru, Kenya and aims to spread a Biblical vision for creation care as a gospel issue and highlight how this issue holds tremendous potential for missions, for discipleship - and for ministry to the poor. The idea is to encourage churches and Christian organisations across East Africa to begin addressing the urgent environmental issues of our day, equipping each participant to begin Biblically-based creation care movements in their own country and sphere of influence. Faith2Share member CMS Africa were very involved with the conference, too - with training manager, Karobia Njogu, chairman of the conference’s planning committee along with executive director Dennis Tongoi and mission network manager Serah Wambua. Dennis is pictured speaking at the conference.
'Fallible followers of Jesus' at Adelante!
All things related to Latin American mission could be found at CMS house in Oxford last weekend for the Adelante!(‘Forward!’) conference - hosted by Church Mission Society (a Faith2Share member). More than 150 delegates (plus one large dog) gathered to worship, pray, network and catch up with the latest work of mission workers in this part of the world. Ronnie Irene, CMS Latin partner in Paraguay, gave the keynote address, while mission partners Alf Cooper and Marcus Throup also made presentations. Marcus argued that church leaders could go back to basics and must remember to share their lives with others, just as Jesus did; and return to the Scriptures, as Jesus did. He urged people "to see who we really are in Him' and be "fallible followers of Jesus." Alf, who is based in Chile, told delegates that when the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, had visited Alf's church - La Trinidad in Santiago - he had thrown down the gauntlet to him - suggesting he (Alf) planted 100 new churches in the City! This was the first time this biennial conference had been held in Oxford and all agreed it was a great success. One of the highlights included three giant paella served to delegates under a canopy in the car park on the Saturday night (pictured).
Nepal mission helps earthquake victims
National Mission Commission of Nepal (a Faith2Share member) has been working around the clock to provide food and warm clothing for 500 families in Dhading (one of the areas worst hit) and Dolkha Districts of Nepal, who are suffering in the aftermath of two recent earthquakes. In an update today from Ram Prasad Shrestha, director of NMCN, he thanks people for praying and sending funds after the "catastrophic earthquake claimed 8,600 lives and left millions homeless". The impact of a mission agency delivering supplies has also been huge. Ram adds:"I just spoke to our missionary who coordinated the relief distribution there, along with his brother, and he said ‘people are very much thankful because we were the first group to bring relief materials to them...People were thinking the Christians only preach about Jesus and try to convert but Christians also feel responsible to care for people. ..the families appreciate the work very positively.'” NCMN's next phase of relief will focus on building houses with zinc tin sheets.
Sustainable Mission in Myanmar
As the Faith2Share Leadership Consultation continues in Myanmar, local leaders have been looking at the question of sustainability in mission and ministry. In a session on Tuesday led by Johnny Knox of Opportunity Now Myanmar, participants were encouraged to explore the three aspects of sustainability: environmental (what resources are available locally and can be used sustainabily); human/social (what people, skill, training and community support are available) and financial (where funds can best come from to ensure local ownership and success of the mission or ministry). Discussing these issues participants identified some of the challenges present in Myanmar and possible opportunities for development. Earlier in the day, Manik Corea, from NAMS Network, presented a challenging session on effective leadership for church planting. The consultation ends today (Wednesday).
Leaders in Myanmar prepare for mission
The Faith2Share Leadership Consultation opened in Yangon, Myanmar today, Monday 18 May, with a joyful act of worship led by Pastor Martin Lalthangliana of the Lutheran Church in Yangon. This group of 32 pastors and leaders from all parts of Myanmar will be meeting together for three days this week to explore how they can be engaged in mission locally and in different cultural settings. The focus of the first day was on the place of Myanmar in world mission and the style and character of leadership required for effective mission. In an opening session Faith2Share International Director, Mark Oxbrow, pointed out that Myanmar sits at a strategic crossroads between the largest Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim nations on earth (China, India and Indonesia respectively). Anglican bishop of Mandalay, Rt Rev. David Nyi Nyi Niang challenged all participants to develop a Christian character based on Influence, Holiness and Humility; whilst in group sessions participants identified many of the challenges which leaders face in Myanmar.
Confusion in Burundi after attempted coup
CMS Africa (a Faith2Share member) reports that Burundi’s capital Bujumbura is still in a state of confusion after an attempted coup. "Some coup leaders have apparently been arrested but the situation remains very unclear," says the agency on Facebook yesterday. Here's what some CMS Africa friends and partners in the country were saying: “People have been killed, vehicles burnt out, bullets were still flying here and there the whole last night, some media houses burnt etc. “There is big fear, confusion and outflow of people leaving the country.” “Sheer delight was to be seen on almost all faces, apart from police and army, who no doubt had to keep on their guard and professional. At one stage we got caught up in a dancing mass of people, which was nerve-wracking for a few moments, but they peeled away for us, and we made our way home, having seen a dead policeman with a crowd gathered around him.”Another partner of Faith2Share in Burundi reports that "my family is doing well so far even if we cannot leave our houses since protestors have closed the roads and have been burning cars."Thank you for your support in prayer. Read more on latest at BBC.
Indian missionaries face future role in mission
Meeting in Durah Din, North India, this week, 150 missionaries of the Friends Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB) a Faith2Share member, were encouraged to understand the leading role that Indians will have in global mission in years to come. These missionaries, working in the northern regions of India are just part of the 2,000-plus band of mission workers deployed by FMPB. They work in villages, towns and cities across the region often facing opposition from fundamentalist groups. As one of the speakers at the gathering, Faith2Share International Director Mark Oxbrow, encouraged them to see how, together with countries like Korea, Nigeria, Brazil and China, Indians must lead the way in mission today. In a second talk Mark was asked to talk about "Servant Leadership". At the end of the consultation, FMPB General Secretary Rev. Simon Ponniah shared his agency's "Giant Leap Forward 2020" vision for growth.
Bishops and mission leaders' covenant to serve in mission together
Gathered in Delhi this week, under the leadership of their Moderator, Rt. Rev.Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy, the bishops of the Church of North India (CNI) have met with leaders of the major Indian mission agencies to discuss mission.The gathering has been facilitated by Faith2Share at the request of the Church and agencies. In a series of intense discussions, the 29 participants agreed a series of measures to be taken to enhance cooperation and resource sharing between the agencies and dioceses of the church and will sign a memorandum of understanding later today (Friday). In a rousing address, Rev. Simon Ponniah, General Secretary of FMPB (pictured) told participants that there was absolutely no shortage of resources for mission in India - the only shortfall was in vision and faith! He issued a call to prayer, mobilisation and joint mission.