MOVING WITH THE MOVEMENTS – I
When I was in school, as young boy I was told to believe that “everything in the universe moves.” In the beginning I only believed that for the science class, but with time I realized that the statement had crept in and fastened itself deep into my thought apparatus. Yet, “Well, that statement should be false then.” I thought at a later time. “Why is this belief not moving away from me if everything in the universe moves?” I continued thinking without realizing how it kept moving from the person who stated it for the first time to reach a distance in space and time as far as my mind, which used to believe that “earth didn’t move”. Not only that, several occasions – even before it secured embedment in my mind – it moved from me to others. Everything in the universe moves! Furthermore, I would like to say, “Every thing in the universe, and what is contained in ‘the everything’ moves. The latter detail is not from my science class. But I hear my mind thinking that way. If this can be true I could shorten the statement as ‘everything moves’! Even Heaven and its dwellers – including God – move.
These days I am reflecting on this “fact” of movement. I see myself as a result of movements – physically, spiritually, socially and mentally. Total immobility – be it voluntary or involuntary – of all of one’s elements, I am thinking, is one’s total mortality. In my last update I had admitted that, “in the absence of stories human beings would never become what we are today.” In this update I admit that in the absence of movements human beings wouldn’t exist at all. Existence calls for movement. What needs to exist needs movement. I don’t deny that, on the contrary, movements can also bring an end to existence – at least of form. Movement leads to vitality or mortality, to existence or non-existence. Without justifying my bias I will transiently be biased to talk about the movement/s that leads to vitality, existence. Again, I will be selective and talk about Christianity.
If Christianity is to continue and even widen itself in existence it needs movements. The movements needed in one generation may not be needed as the same blue prints in another generation. Today in our generation one wouldn’t expect Pope Francis to go and toss his father’s possessions to the poor as St. Francis did (without his fathers consent). I tend to think that God has prescribed dispensations of contexts of movements for all generations. If so, any given movement in a given generation would be required to identify the context of movement suitable for that generation. Throughout the past 2000 years several movements of various contexts brought Christianity this far. But some movements, which failed to grasp the right context for their time, place and people may also have failed to bring Christianity this far.
Today, we have several Christian movements striving to secure and enhance the vitality of Christianity. The ones that we in WGM’s Mango Ministries are moving with are: The Community Health Evangelism (CHE) movement, Simply The Story (STS), which is an Orality movement, the Farming God’s Way (FGW) movement, and the Kairos movement.
Let me proceed to write briefly about how we are moving with these movements in MM.
Community Health Evangelism (CHE)
This is also called Community Health Empowerment or Community Health Education. This is a movement which uses a ministry model that integrates evangelism, discipleship, and church planting with community health and development to bring transformation in the lives of individuals and communities.
In Mango Ministries (MM), so far more than a hundred South Sudanese hailing from four states have had the opportunity to attend a CHE training ranging from CHE vision seminar to completion of four trainings of trainers. We praise God for these!
Our CHE facilitators train local people (currently church leaders) to be CHE trainers in their communities. These local trainers then train a committee from the community. The committee, in consultation with the trainers, selects a group of people called Community Health Evangelizers/Educators (CHEs) to be trained by the trainers on spiritual and physical lessons. As they keep learning, the CHEs in turn make visits to their neighbors and share/teach them the physical and spiritual lessons they learned. The expectation from this ministry model is to see the spiritual and physical lessons disseminated in the community and help in the transformation of individuals and communities. This is a movement. Individuals … Communities … Nation. Jesus, for sure, wants to see transformed South Sudanese individuals, and communities. He wants to see the whole nation of South Sudan transformed. It is possible. A transformed individual can be instrumental in the transformation of other individuals, communities, nations, and even the world. In MM we want to see transformed South Sudanese transforming fellow South Sudanese and other nationalities. But Satan and his angels are against this movement of transformation! So, would you please join MM in praying for transformation through CHE? We are not calling you to labor in a barren field. It is a fertile field. Even though our CHE ministry is in its early stages of fruition, yet the early fruits are encouraging. I am an eyewitness to that.
To know more about CHE you can check the CHE network website (http://www.chenetwork.org).
Simply the Story (STS)
If you have not read my last update “Building with Stories”, I encourage you to scroll down and read it to get the link between STS and me.
STS is an inductive Bible study using oral style. A person using STS to learn biblical truths and also help others learn first identifies a Bible story, then learns it by heart, studies it, tells it without reading, and uses insightful questions to help others to find God’s treasures in it and make life applications. The Bible stories are the storehouse of God’s treasures for His children, and STS is a means of ferrying these treasures out of the store for use in day-to-day life.
A testimony by Loren Cunningham (the founder of YWAM) in ‘Orality Breakouts’ reads, “The orality movement is a gift from God for the peoples of the world to become acquainted with God’s book. But it is also God’s story to lead each person to have a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ…”. This is true for STS, which is part of the orality movement.
Since MM began using STS in East Rumbek County this oral style of learning God’s truths is beginning to become popular in the county. The word of God is beginning to have a wider presence among the people. The testimonies that are coming from the beginning until now are wonderful. I am a witness to this.
“These people are not reading from the Bible but they speak like the Bible.”
“We only had baptism and the songs, but now we are beginning to have the word of God through these stories.”
“Our church in this area was founded mainly through relief work. People were coming to the church being motivated by the relief, which was given during the wartime. That was good, but it was not a firm foundation. But, now our church is getting the genuine foundation, which is the word of God”!
These and other similar statements were made by different people in appreciation of the STS approach in the areas were we are using it. Praise God! You can also join usin praying for transformation through STS because Satan and his angels are also against this movement of transformation!
To know more about STS you can check the STS website (http://simplythestory.org/oralbiblestories/).
In my next update I will write about Farming God’s Way and Kairos movements.