Integral Mission and Resilient Communities

05 September 2018

Integral Mission and Resilient Communities

Written by Sara Kandiah, Global Support Officer, The Leprosy Mission International Office.

The Leprosy Mission is joining Micah Global at Manila, The Philippines.

Micah Global, an international Christian community of organisations and individuals committed to integral mission, will be holding their 7th global consultation meeting in Manila, The Philippines from 10th to 14th September 2018. Taking place every three years, these global meetings bring together hundreds of Christians from NGOs, churches, and academic institutes from around the world to embrace and practice integral mission.

What is Integral Mission?

“Integral mission (or holistic transformation) is the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel. It is not simply that evangelism and social involvement are to be done alongside each other. Rather, in integral mission our proclamation has social consequences as we call people to love and repentance in all areas of life. And our social involvement has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.” (From https://www.micahnetwork.org/integral-mission)

The theme for the 2018 Micah Global meeting is Integral Mission and Resilient Communities. More than 400 delegates will gather together to share and discuss this issue. Church leaders and representatives from faith-based organisations will share learning on how they have worked together with communities to build resilience. A resilient community is able to recover quickly from difficulties, to cope with life's shocks and challenges. Increasing resilience in communities helps everyone to live life in all its fullness, free from poverty, injustice and conflict. 

Community Health and the Gospel

The Leprosy Mission and American Leprosy Missions are jointly running a thematic workshop at the Micah Global meeting, focusing on integral mission and community health. Today, millions of people remain highly stigmatised because of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), disability, and other conditions. Throughout history, the poorest and most marginalised communities have suffered the greatest ill health. Yet community health is central to the gospel and as Christian organisations we seek to follow Jesus’ example of restoration, inclusion and hope.

The gospels highlight healings of diseases and marginalising conditions including NTDs (leprosy and other skin conditions), physical disability, and mental health. In Jesus’ earthly ministry, we know that He prioritised health restoration and inclusion of different people and groups, and addressed a wide variety of health conditions. Jesus’ healing work also served to restore healthy community dynamics – inclusion, access and participation to education, health services, and other public services – for stigmatised, exploited peoples.

Our workshop will share tangible lessons from the successes and failures shared by practitioners from the global south and other parts of the world around health service access, awareness raising, advocacy and stigma reduction and the church’s response to marginalised peoples. By the end of the week our aim is to have a better understanding of the church’s role in the community health context and to identify the building blocks of a sustainable community health model; integral mission in practice.

Find out more!

The Leprosy Mission will be participating at the conference and you can read updates on the community health workshop on Twitter via @Leprosymissint

To connect with what else is happening as part of the Micah Global meetings in Manila follow @MicahGlobal and the hashtags #Micah2018PH #Global7th #IntegralMission