On Monday I began working with the OAIC. My first three days have proven to be exciting and wonderful opportunities for learning. I will be working in communications, developing stories on OAIC programs, events and churches across the continent. The past two days I have focused my attention on two events/programs of the OAIC: the ‘Just Communities’ program and ‘Micah 10.10.10’ event. The OAIC has created a new program focused on creating ‘Just Communities’ which aims to enable, mobilize, and capacitate its member churches, AICs (African Instituted/Independent Churches which are generally smaller churches in rural areas and informal settlements (slums)). AIC churches focus their tithes on the communities they live in, often micro-financing tithes within the church and village/community the church is based in. So far I have only traveled to two AIC churches and have found that the churches are vibrant, dynamic and joyful- the AICs often split from traditional Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran etc. churches because they were too restricting in worship services, AICs embrace African joy through singing, dancing, clapping etc during worship services…. Back to the Micah 10.10.10 event….
On October 10, 2010 (Sunday after next) churches across Africa will join together in prayer. The event on 10.10.10 is simply to pray, to pray for an end to poverty, hunger, gender inequality and poor health- issues that are daily struggles for many AIC members. Across the African continent, the OAIC hopes to have 2 million members joined together in prayer for the day, the prayer is this:
O Lord, our great and awesome God, loyal to your promise of love and faithful to all who honour and obey you. Hear our prayer.
We pray for those of us who live in poverty, we cry out for those who are denied justice and we weep for all who are suffering.
We pray for strength, that we continue to care for each other, and that we rise up to the challenge of poverty and the evil of injustice.
We confess that we have not always obeyed you. We have neglected your commands and have ignored your call to justice. We have not always spoken out for justice. We have been guided by our interests and divided by our differences. Forgive us.
We remember your promises to fill the hungry with good things, to redeem the land by your mighty hand and to restore peace.
Father God, help us always to proclaim your justice and mercy with humility, so that, by the power of your Spirit, we can rid the world of the sin of extreme poverty.
As part of your global church, we stand with millions who praise and worship you.
May our words and deeds declare your perfect goodness, love and righteousness to both the powerful and the powerless, so that your Kingdom may come on earth as it is in heaven.
Micah 10.10 is a tool/campaign to empower churches to talk to the government, to get members involved and aware of the government’s promises to them (Millenium Development Goals). October 10, 2010 is one day of prayer to motivate, enable and mobilize members; the plea for an end to poverty does not end there, AIC churches are being asked to make a promise to work in fellowship with each other to end poverty and to act in fellowship with the poor help their struggle, also to work together to remind their leaders to honor commitments they have made to aid the poor. Micah 10.10 challenge seeks to create a strong voice in the AICs to challenge their leaders to aid the poor. The last aspect of the Micah 10.10 challenge is to mobilize AIC communities to get involved, become active and engaged in ending the poverty that affects their day-to-day life.
I write all this for two reasons, one is that this is what I am working on and I would like you to know the work I am doing but also to ask that you may also join in the Micah challenge on the 10th of October and become involved in the challenge that the AICs are facing.
Galatians 2:10 All they asked was the we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.’