Summary Report: Caringfor the Poor & Needy Resource Network (CPNRN)

Dear AD2-Announce Reader:

As the AD2000 & Beyond Movement moves towards its final closure date of early 2001, all of the movement's Tracks / Resource Networks and Task Forces have been requested to provide an overview summary of their specific realm of experience over the 5 - 10 years of their operational existence. These reports have been prepared for compilation of a "lasting record" of this movement and for all to see, as they are interested!

Please see the attached report on the Caring For The Poor And Needy Resource Network (CPNRN) prepared by Brother Daniel, Founder of Mayheno Mission in South Africa. Though this Resource Network did not have its first consultation until 1996, God has blessed mightily as you will see. We thank God and praise Him for the vision and leadership of Brother Daniel in this tremendous global effort!

These reports will all be included along with other historical reports and data of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement, including the AD2000 website, and much more on a CD-ROM being produced for distribution at Celebrate Messiah 2000. Further distribution of this CD-ROM will also be made after the conference. Please email info@ad2000.org if you<> are interested in purchasing one of these CD-ROMs.

NOTE: Celebrate Messiah 2000 will be held in Jerusalem and Bethlehem 27 December 2000 - 2 January 2001. Registration invitation is still open to those so interested. Please contact Lauri Dennis, Registrar, at Lauri@ad2000.org for more information.<>

The AD2000 International Office will be closing early in 2001. Click here for more information.

Thank you for your interest in the AD2000 & Beyond Movement and its spiritual and catalytic outworkings into the 21st century. Please continue to pray for the movement until our closing day! Thank you!

That all may hear!

Luis Bush
International Director
AD2000 & Beyond Movement


Caring For The Poor And Needy Resource Network (CPNRN)
2000 Update

by Brother Daniel

Introduction

I believe that caring for the poor and needy is the vital missing knot in the net of networking needed for world evangelization. How I rejoice that these things form part of the key values mentioned in the new and emerging Great Commission Global Roundtable (GCGR), which says, "networks are to mobilize the whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world in a holistic, incarnational and transformative manner", described in The Lausanne Covenant.

I firmly believe that with God's help the CPNRN can in some way greatly assist in making this a reality.

In this update we want to cover: A brief historical overview of CPNRN; Our purpose and objectives; How God has used the CPNRN; The involvement of key people; Specific goals accomplished; How we plan to make the most of existing opportunities; Lessons learned and what could have been done differently.

Historical overview of the CPNRN

I am the founder of the Mahyeno contemplative community in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, which has since 1984 had as its expression, a call to serve the poor and needy. At the Global Consultation on World Evangelization (GCOWE '95) in Seoul, Korea, the CPNRN emerged as a sub-Track to the Cities Resource Network of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement. I was appointed project coordinator to specifically focus on the needs of the poor and needy.

The CPNRN later emerged as a resource network of its own, with an international working group of twenty-two members from nineteen different countries. Jackie Pullinger-To of St. Stephen's Society in Hong Kong is the facilitating chairperson. The first consultation was hosted by Jackie and her ministry in Hong Kong in 1996, where over one hundred international grass-roots workers and leaders of movements amongst the poor and needy, met together for the first time.

Living and/or working amongst the poor and needy as part of our consultations has had many benefits. In Hong Kong, we were hosted at Hang Fook Camp, well known for its successful work amongst substance abusers and the poor for decades. At GCOWE '97, two hundred and thirty delegates from thirty-five countries met for CPNRN 2 in Mamelodi, Pretoria, where we were housed in a so-called black township (slum).

Some benefits are:

  1. Such venues have proven to be an added incentive for workers with the poor who for various reasons are not inclined to attend conferences.
  2. Motives for working with the poor and needy have been challenged.
  3. Opportunities exist to learn from each other about different approaches to the same problem.
  4. A resolve to become more effective in ministry, and challenges to others to become more involved in this work has emerged.

Major Barry Willson of The Salvation Army, U.K., after GCOWE '97 in Mamelodi Township, says: "The experience has deeply affected me in ways I cannot begin to express, and I am indebted to those who selected me, those who hosted me and God who sustained me through an experience I never want to forget"

In thanksgiving for the working of the Holy Spirit, we can now say that in less than five years the network has grown to include more than seven hundred and forty workers. These are representative of some three hundred and sixty two organizations, from fifty-seven countries. This number is constantly increasing, with some significant networking happening.

Practitioners working with the poor often do so in isolation and are often misunderstood, because they tend to be impassioned, visionary or pioneer types, (and mainly women). There is a constant strain due to the various dynamics emerging and the need always exists to break down stereotypes. Some of these stereotypes are;

Incarnational leaders are practical and generally people persons, whereas leaders of movements tend to be more function orientated. Grass-roots practitioners are generally passionate, spontaneous, and impulsive types, while the latter see themselves as practitioners at a different level, but perhaps tend to be more sensible, taught more by experience. They debate, research and have a participatory developmental approach. One group is mainly women, while the other tends to be mostly middle-aged men. The one side says, "Resource administrators need to roll up their sleeves and become active." The latter are generally academics, with twenty-five or thirty years in ministry and authors of vital articles and books, and perhaps look down on the others. One side depends more on the mystical workings of God, while the others depend more on strategic management and organizational skills.

This dynamic has been a real strain to me personally, i.e. to bring these two groups together. Each needs the other to bring a balance, and their successes and stories are vital, to complete the task of world evangelization. Nevertheless, the consultations have helped to facilitate times, where workers can impart and receive God's love and encouragement. Delegates learn from each other through story telling and other sharing opportunities. They strategize ways of reaching the poor and needy in unreached people groups of the world, with the ultimate aim of duplicating their success stories.

Our experience is that the poor and needy, and workers among them are often overlooked, ignored, or introduced as the "last but not the least". A fact is, that one of the highest statistics with reference to the 10/40 Window is that of the poor and needy. This is often clumsily handled, but rather demands careful thought, prayer and strategic plans to constructively disarm the powers of darkness. We are encouraged that the poor and needy are increasingly becoming a part of the world's missions agenda. I also refer to Luis Bush and Beverly Pegues' book - "The Move of The Holy Spirit in the 10/40 Window" and particularly chapter four; "Disarming the Powers of Darkness", which really says it all.

Significant networking and partnering now exists amongst some of our networkers. For example, 6 specialist interest groups amongst us have emerged. Various individuals and organizations of the (1) children at risk group recently visited one of our networkers - Roland and Heidi Baker at Iris Ministries in Mozambique, during the aftermath of that country's devastating floods. Iris Ministries in only five years has grown from leasing one home for 80 children to owning two separate centers with more than 500 orphaned children. They employ nearly 100 Mozambican staff. (www.irismin.org). Heidi has tentatively agreed to participate at the CPNRN 3 Consultation as part of Celebrate Messiah 2000. (2) Then there is the Substance abusers group. Many individuals and organisations now share valuable information and resources amongst each other; (3) Workers with Prostitutes group. Patricia Green of Rahab Ministry in Thailand, ministering amongst young women and child prostitutes, is to us a real inspiration and challenge in this growing area of ministry which demands Christian intervention; (4) People empowerment and community development - with its very topical and modern trends demands our attention; (5) Prisoners and the suffering church group must be included in all our concerted evangelism efforts; and (6) while the Short and long-term Holistic ministry outreaches group is a emerging modern day missions phenomenon.

CPNRN's Five-Point Strategic Plan. Dv.

A five-point plan, adopted by the network through the process of consultations and ongoing networking discussions, is constantly being developed.

  1. An international prayer initiative called "Shoes Off Praying For the Poor and Needy of the World"; coordinates prayer and/or fasting on a monthly basis in thirty-seven countries. It gets its name from a prompting by God's Spirit some years ago, whereby as a sign of respect we remove our shoes when speaking or praying about the poor and needy. This growing prayer network presently involves fifty-five international organizations and hundreds of praying individuals. More than three hundred South Korean Christians have recently joined this initiative. The first Monday of the month, representing the first commercial working day of the month is set aside as a day of prayer and/or fasting.

    We plan to: (a) To partner further with other national and international prayer initiatives and networks. (Visit our Web site at: www.cpnrn.org.za for a monthly prayer letter sent out as a guide to all who subscribe. It is sent by either e-mail or snail mail). (b) To provide through the prayer letter up to-date information on the plight of the world's poor and needy. c To emphasize world evangelization targeting unreached peoples groups. (d) To stimulate thoughts for consideration and discussion on the plight of the world's poor. (e) To use the prayer letter as a means of informing networkers of events, information and resources available to them.

  2. The poor and needy - A Passport to the unreached people groups and others. The major successful movements and missions amongst the poor and needy virtually all agree and can prove the point that in the poor we have a most effective and available workforce for world evangelism. They are dead to the world and prepared to go without. I believe we can slash the estimates of how many workers and how much money it will take to get the job done, if we focus our efforts on this group from the start. The needy are more receptive and thus often fall into the occult, superstition and other beliefs. We can change this especially as the hopeless respond more readily to the message of Hope, yet despite this, most efforts still seem to focus on the urban middle-class, even in the 10/40 Window. The poor will get the job of world evangelization done. Start there! It's Biblical! They will gain access to people and places others only dream of reaching - of this I am convinced! It forms the basis of our Mahyeno Community's progressive vision.

    We plan: (a) To partner with other "creative access" groups. This is beginning to happen. Medical, educational, community development and other professionals can often gain easier access to otherwise difficult unreached people groups. This can however be done as professionals; voluntary aid workers or even as declared missionaries in certain cases. (b) To continue developing a training package for those seeking to gain creative access.

  3. Effective Networking, Partnerships and Awakening. Networking with specific goals is key in reaching the poor of the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Major relief-aid and community development agencies and others are beginning to work together more effectively. This needs to be enhanced and carefully coordinated. This is despite sometimes totally different approaches to church planting initiatives, etc. It is vital to expand networking and partnerships of those working with the poor and needy through the CPNRN and other networks, e.g. Joan Carter-Wilson of El Tablero in Nicaragua, an effective networker with regular interaction, and Journalist Melinda Wallace from New Zealand - who is widely traveled and writes regular articles about other networkers. Melinda assists Paul Seok, from the Shelter Community in South Korea, as Editor of the Korean CPNRN magazine. We long for the day when this can be translated into English and other languages and circulated amongst all our networkers. We plan: (a) To facilitate an emerging e-Group discussion on the Internet. (b) To continue to bring various role players such as mission organisations, relief-aid and development agencies, city and urban poor initiatives and grass roots practitioners together. (c) To learn more from each other, avoiding unnecessary duplication. (d) To multiply successful individual and corporate efforts; e.g. I firmly believe that the long and successful history of America's RESCUE missions, an association of The International Union of Gospel Missions (IUGM), needs to be duplicated far more widely as a model, especially with the world's growing urban poor dynamic. (e) To better realize the vital role of women, (often the most effective workers amongst the poor), who themselves represent a large percentage of the poor and needy. (f) To maintain and develop our existing database of networkers. (g) To add to the existing "Story-Telling Handbook" (Consultation delegates and others all submit their particular stories). (h) "To create holistic ministry networking partnerships covering all of the priority peoples. These networkers will involve diverse agencies and churches to carry out complimentary ministries as part of an integrated strategy which addresses both spiritual and physical needs". (i) "To work for the formation of a Shalom Corps, - a Christian version of the Peace Corps, in which young people, retired folk and others, are trained in community development and make a commitment to serve for two years (3 months training or even longer included). Churches and other groups, which have been adopted and are praying, send and support at least one of their number. There will be a team of them for each people group. Their mission will be to demonstrate Christ's love by practical caring service that builds relationships. Key role players hopefully will include World Vision, The Salvation Army, World Relief and others". (j) To establish micro businesses, revolving loan programs and other grass roots enterprises amongst unreached poor and needy peoples (hopefully in partnership with Business Executives and Professionals), and (k) Where possible to encourage and assist national and regional networks of those working with the poor and needy.

  4. Repentance, Reconciliation and Restoration. The consultations have helped to highlight and facilitate the need for repentance, reconciliation and restoration. This has begun to happen as some have sought forgiveness on behalf of others who have inflicted suffering in the past. Often years of injustice, oppression and other social ills prevent the effectiveness of the gospel of Christ amongst the poor and needy. We plan: (a) To facilitate: These issues need to be addressed and barriers removed in a truly sensitive, caring, and Christian manner. With a humble, yet mature confrontation of the truth. (b) To highlight the fundamental importance of spiritual mapping, community research, identification repentance, and spiritual warfare amongst poor and needy communities. Also the need for the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit to be used with strong Christian character, particularly in the ministry with poor and needy.

  5. Participatory Research, Information, Training and Empowerment. A Bible study course helping to mobilize the local church towards its biblical mandate for mercy ministries, also called "Shoes off for the Poor and Needy of the World", has been developed and successfully implemented amongst various churches and especially young-people's groups.

The local church and even mission agencies need to be challenged to become more involved, yet certain disincentives exist, keeping folk from becoming involved in ministry with the poor and needy:

  1. Folk are often overwhelmed by the enormity of local and global poverty. However, all authorities in the field of caring for the poor and needy agree - "start with the one's". World-renowned Mother Theresa, founder of Missionaries of Charity, said, "I do not think the way you do in this matter. I never add up; I only subtract from the total dying. It is not the magnitude of our actions, but the amount of love that is put into them that matters."

  2. People focus on the loss; seeing it as a difficult work. A comfort to me has been a thought I had - "Workers with the poor and needy, sadly find that nine go off with their silver, but, if as workers they persevere in faith, to care, they gladly find that one returns as gold", (Luke 17:15). Most folk avoid the blessed call and ministry of working with the poor and needy because they only focus on the potential loss and fail to see the enormous gain that comes through perseverance and faith.

    John Robb of World Vision - (A Director of MARC Publications and international Track leader for the Unreached Peoples Track of the AD2000 & Beyond Movement, recently elected as International Coordinator of the newly formed Great Commission Global Round Table, G.C.G.R.), says; "The biggest need in world evangelization, both now and in the next century, will be undertaking holistic mission to the majority of the unreached, who are also the poorest people on earth. Making Jesus known to those who suffer from a lack of adequate food, clean water and proper shelter, will require the Church to partner with the unreached poor, as well as with the rich and powerful, to meet these real needs. God will use the AD2000 Caring for the Poor and Needy Resource Network to stir and link those who care enough to be part of the solution."

    We plan; (a) To conduct effective research amongst the various poor and needy peoples groups, especially those within the 10/40 Window region. (b) To research what efforts are in place or not. (c) To identify where such efforts are lacking and where opportunities exist. (d) To encourage proper training in the dynamics of caring and true development, and the fundamentals of equipping and empowering through caring and sharing, i.e. incarnational ministry. (e) To conduct ongoing research into existing and available training courses and model-works amongst the poor and needy. (f) To work with Presidents and Academic Deans. Adequate training, discipleship and exposure is often lacking amongst organizations and training institutions that frequently send people on short or long-term outreaches to impoverished communities. (g) To facilitate greater access through the network to the many excellent resources (books, videos, training courses, etc.) which help address relevant issues and give practical advice on caring. (h) To make better use of The Jesus Film with its focus on Christ's ministry with the poor and needy, an invaluable means of evangelism and an inspiration and comfort for the mainly illiterate poor, and as a training model for workers with the poor and needy. (i) To make use of the arts. Workers with the poor and needy internationally all agree that music; song and other arts all play a vital role in evangelism and more especially amongst the poor and needy. (j) To provide regular information on the calendar of events relevant to this network, already being done through the prayer letter and other circulars.

    A key role player is Doug Nichols of Action International Ministries (USA) who regularly sends inspiring and challenging articles relevant to the poor and needy.

The Prophet Isaiah still declares: "Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Is not this the kind of (true religion) fast I have chosen?" (Isaiah 58) I believe that this chapter of Scripture, acclaimed by all workers with the poor and needy as their main scriptural mandate for mercy, says in effect:

"Practical self sacrifice in true obedience to God in caring for the poor and needy is the source of true blessings and the fulfillment of His promises in ministry - to the ends of the earth."

In His service for the poor and needy of the world,
Brother Daniel

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