Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Mission of God's People is for the entire church.



The Mission of God People.



After reading Wright’s book the Mission of God's People. I would like to share my thought. The Mission of God People is through and through a Biblically based book. It is thoroughly theological. It is not dull, however. It is theology for a living. He says, "No theology without missional impact; no mission without theological foundations."

Wright explains to us why we were created, and why we have been re-created in the new birth. There is a goal in it all. That goal is to bring glory to God. From Adam to Abraham to us, and to the ages to come, the mission of God's people is to magnify the greatness of God.
Wherever we go, and whatever we do, we are to love, worship, value, honor, and demonstrate the worth of God. That is the Mission of God's People. It's not simply something that we do: it's who we are. It is our identity. It is our calling.

As God's people, Wright argues that the mission of God entrusted to us is "God's determination, through the whole biblical narrative, to bring about the redemption of his entire creation from the ravages of sin and evil."[1]
God’s Mission to Be Known
The purpose of God is to be known. God’s desire to be known is observed most clearly in two Old Testament events: the exodus and the exile. In both occasions, in salvation and judgment, we see God’s passion make himself known to the world through his interactions with his chosen people. Ultimately, both events point forward to Jesus, who will fulfill the mission of the God of Israel.

The African context: God’s mission with the people called The Methodists.
Our God’s mission is to make disciple of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. New church starts are a priority for The United Methodist Church.  A critical path in making disciples for Christ requires venturing into communities where no vital church exists. It also calls for healthy churches to branch out and assist in planting new ones. New Church Starts is a team of leaders drawn from local church whose mission is to train and equip new church planters who will start new congregations throughout the continent. The immediate objective is to train and equip many  church planters who will start many churches we can.

New Church Starts is simply about reaching out to more people with the Good News. God is calling us to multiply vital ministry in ways that will reach more people, more young people and more diverse people in our communities. The mission of The United Methodist Church is to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” (Matt. 28:18-20; Matt. 22:36-40). This mission will be achieved through vital congregations that equip and empower people to be disciples of Jesus Christ in their homes and communities around the world.


What involve the mission of God’s people?

The mission of God's people involves the whole church. Mission is not just for missionaries. God is a sending God, and knowing him means being sent into the world on his mission. God is the one who created mission, who can audits it,  who can governs it, and who can redeems it.
What it means for the whole church to be engaged in God's mission: The answer is serving God and blessing others wherever we are living and working.  Christians are always participating in God's mission, just by the way that we live. Therefore, "there is no biblical mission without biblical ethics."

The mission of God's people proclaims and demonstrates the whole gospel. We must resist false dichotomies. The gospel is historical and ecclesial, faith and obedience, a message to be heard and to be lived, personal and cosmic, etc. One of the reasons why Christians truncate the gospel is that we are looking only at portions of the Bible.


The mission of God's people needs to be grounded in the whole Bible, the whole story of Scripture.
The mission of God's people is oriented toward the whole world. If we draw our mission from the entire Bible, our mission will be geared inevitably toward the entire world. By the whole world, Wright means all of the creation as well as every nation. Wright indicates how creation care tests our motivation for mission and embodies a biblical balance of compassion and justice. In addition to creation care, the mission of God's people also includes serving society in all spheres, whether economic, political, legal, familial and others. Of course, God's mission also includes proclaiming the gospel through preaching and teaching, with the ultimate goal that others will join us in praising and worshiping our glorious God.
If you are interested to support the work of church planting, and evangelism, please you can contact me at jmaleka@umcmission.org or malekamasuka@gmail.com;  for further information. 
You are all called to be in God's mission. THANKS BE TO GOD


[1] Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God's People (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan,
2010), 17).

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

photo by Jean Claude. Zienkolo village in Cote d'Ivoire
                                               OFFERING CLEAN WATER
Many communities are in need of clean water to ovoid undesirable diseases. Water is consumed daily by most everyone either orally or through the skin by showering/bathing, swimming, etc. Clean water is an essential nutrient, the basis of fluids of all living organisms, and absolutely necessary to sustain life. When we talk about achieving optimum health, consuming clean water should be at the top of the “most important” need.
        
According to UNICEF; more than 8 million people – 43 % of Côte d’Ivoire’s population – lack appropriate sanitation facilities and over 4 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources, especially in rural areas. Consequently, many children die every day from diarrhea and other diseases related to the lack of water and appropriate sanitation; many more suffer and are weakened by illness.

The lack of access to safe drinking water and appropriate sanitation has many other serious repercussions. Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because they are busy fetching water or are deterred by the lack of separate and decent sanitation facilities in schools. Women are forced to spend large parts of their day fetching water (85.9% of women in Côte d’Ivoire are in charge of supplying their family with water). Poor farmers and workers are less productive due to frequent illnesses, and national economies suffer. Without safe water and appropriate sanitation, sustainable development is impossible. 

 The Water and Sanitation sector in Côte d’Ivoire faces two major problems:
  • The difficulty for many communities to access safe drinking water in sufficient quantities
  • The limited access to sewage infrastructures and latrines, and difficulties in discharging household refuse in urban centres
To address these issues, the United Methodist Church in Cote d'Ivoire is more focusing on  Water and Sanitation programme (Advance 3021991 for any donation at www.umcmission.org)   we are focused on two components:
  •  The supply of water in community, school and health centres and churches.
  • The promotion of hygiene and sanitation in community, school and health centres and at the church.
Francine caption in Gnangoussou village

Photo by Jean Claude



  • 24% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water (MICS)
  • 35% of people living in rural areas do not have access to safe drinking water (MICS)
  • 7.5% of girls under 15 are in charge of fetching water for their family
  • 43% of the population does not have access to appropriate sanitary facilities (MICS)
                                    WATER IS BRINGING HOPE IN ANY COMMUNITY
CONTACT:  jmaleka@umcmission.org  or malekamasuka@gmail.com

Friday, 21 August 2015

Mission trips



Mission trips
Dear friends, learn more to be part of mission trips. Mission trips bring together the best of both worlds in ways that communicate Christ’s servant love, prompt growth and ignite passions. That’s work we want to be a part of!

Mission trips connect people with what God is up to all around them, and teenagers are an important part of what God is doing. Mission trips invite students’ faith to their fingertips, allowing meaningful conversations about why service is essential to following Jesus. Mission trips invite students to be fulltime participants in God’s plan.


Communities, too, are participants in that plan. We know that every community – the ones we visit and the ones we come from – have both strengths and struggles. By entering a different village or city, we get an inside view of another context where Jesus is at work. Alongside the real needs we’ve seen students meet, the people and places we serve have also poured back into church groups. This mutual giving makes mission trips much more than simple service projects. It changes perspectives, shapes passions and alters pursuits. It opens students’ eyes to the incredible possibilities God has put in front of them.


Mission trips equip and encourage students to go home and love the communities they travel into every day when they roll out of bed. And God’s mission for us is far more than a trip. But we know, for many, living out that mission begins with a trip. That’s why mission trips will continue to be our work and our passion.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Women are hungry for a chance to talk.



                                                              
Women are hungry for a chance to talk. An open conversation that everyone will participate. In my experience as missionary, I have discovered that many women in rural areas or urban areas, are not participating in conversation of their community concerns. Many want to tell their story, their concerns and their struggles but they have not given an opportunity. In most of cases, they feel isolated, strange even ignored.  The church is a place where women are getting in conversation to help end all the frustrations.  Change will not come from the leader’s plan but change begins from deep inside a system, when a few people notice something they will no longer tolerate such as poverty or respond to a dream of what’s possible than will start.                                          


Women in the Southern Abidjan district of the United Methodist Church in Cote d’Ivoire believes in conversation. A conversation which will help women to acknowledge one another as equals, a conversation which recognized that we need each other’s help and assistance to become better listeners to overcome the challenges. During our workshop, they have remembered that conversation is the natural way humans think together and they took conversation as an opportunity to meet together as peers, not as roles.
In Africa, women are known to produce up to 80% of the food. Yet, when it comes to agricultural inputs and services, the share going to women is meagre: they receive only 7% of agricultural extension services, less than 10% of the credit offered to small-scale farmers, and own only 1% of the land.[1] In this context, women are often found concentrated in subsistence agriculture and unpaid farm work, and excluded from more lucrative agricultural opportunities such as cash crop production.
During our workshop, more than 200 women came to the program. It’s not true that rural women are incapable of thinking, but it is lack of an opportunity for them to talk. During our conversation, where each woman was involved in thinking and doing. They have numbered a long list of their struggles, their needs and they priorities. In all their discussions, they have concluded to empower women as major concern which will bring change. Through empowerment program, they want to start a micro-credit project to give small loans to women; they want to improve maternal health, they want to reinforce the gardens project which they are doing (Women are producing vegetables for their families and some part to sell to support children education. This project will improve the livelihood for women).
As a church, we should empower women farmers improves food security for all. As women comprise on average 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries and produce the bulk of the world’s food crops. While the vast majority of small scale producers experience difficulties accessing resources, socio-cultural norms particularly curtail women producer’s access to productive resources including education, land, technologies, information, financial services, and markets. Their presence in decision-making bodies, especially in leadership positions, also remains weak, and their needs as farmers are seldom accounted for in policy and resource allocation. As a result, women farmers do not produce to their full capacity. If women farmers had access to the same opportunities and resources as men farmers, their productivity would rise significantly and the food security of millions of people would be improved. One challenge that remains is to improve women’s participation in cooperatives. By ensuring women farmers to have adequate access to financial resources is a key tenet of successful rural development strategies.
As a church and as a missionary; I think, our reflection on ministry with the poor should be a practical framework where the beneficiaries are participating in the empowerment process where everyone is involved to bring positive change. We believe that participation means taking part, as an individual and as a community, freely and fully, in decision-making at each step of the development process because development should be understood as a process of ongoing change that moves all the people involved both the helpers and the helped. Our regard to ministry with the poor, the church should avoid doing things for people which they can do for themselves. The strategy is to empower them to bring change themselves. Participatory approach is one of the best way to build confidence to the people in need. 
                                                                        

Another project which they have listed is a women cooperative where women will work in small groups according to their vocation. For instance, those who are sowing will be in one group, those who are able to sell fish will be in another group.( Cooperatives increase women's income through job creation and financing of income generating projects and provide an opportunity for women to be leaders.)  Throughout our African continent and through cooperatives, millions of women have been able to change their lives - they have found through the cooperative enterprise a route towards self- empowerment and development that works for them.
Despite the physical needs which they have listed, women have also mentioned to develop their spiritual life.  The church should promote the cooperatives in ministry with the poor. Cooperatives are contributing to a change for the both as providers and recipients of services. Our goal as a church, is to empower more women with practical skills that will make their projects both successful and satisfying. The vision is working on empowering local communities where women will enhance their economic position and address the challenges surrounding them.
                                                                     


Women’s lack of access to finance, due to factors such as lack of collateral, complicated administrative procedures, unsuitable loan sizes or interest rates, is one of the major factors affecting – and limiting – the investment and productive capacity of women workers as well as their ability to finance other basic and strategic needs. In Cote d’Ivoire, for instance, only 3% of women have access to the formal financial sector, as opposed to approximately 44% of men. Many communities are responding to these constraints by setting up financial cooperatives composed of women, or developing the services of existing providers to cater specifically to women’s needs.
“Organizing is the key to empowerment. Organizing is the process by which people who are individually weak and vulnerable unite and create power together. When individuals who are among the poorest, least educated and most disenfranchised members of society come together they experience dramatic changes in their lives.” -- Renana Jhabvala


If you want to contribute to the project and donate any gift, please send your donation through the advance # 3021990 for Leadership Development Program in Cote d’Ivoire.  Thank  
Jesus challenged the disciples to "Go and make disciples..." (Matthew 28:19). John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, challenged those who were going to America to "Offer them Christ." .  Along with my family, we are offering Jesus Christ in Cote d’Ivoire.
 Jean Claude Masuka Maleka, Advance # 3021390











[1] ILO, Global Employment Trends for Women 2009, Geneva, 2009