Last week I got back from the WEA ILF (World Evangelical Alliance International Leadership Forum) in Manila. This is the annual meeting for the people representing the 7 WEA regions, the 20 Commissions, Initiatives, and Task Forces, and the WEA Executive.
I am invited as a representative from the South Pacific region, which is a great privilege not only because I get to discuss issues with representatives from Europe, Africa, and the other regions, but because I also get the opportunity to spend quality time with the people who head up WEA’s work in areas such as theology, religious liberty, and human trafficking, and in some cases who represent evangelical Christians in forums at the United Nations.
There was a little more pressure than usual on this year’s agenda because the 6-yearly General Assembly is taking place in Korea in October next year, and as you would expect, there was plenty to discuss and finalise about programme, content, structure, invitations, registration details, potential visa issues, political sensitivities, and so on.
More than 6,000 evangelical Christians from the 7 regions and 129 countries that make up the WEA are expected to gather, to worship, be resourced, and strategise about effective mission in a wide range of topics.
Although like most people attending, I didn’t get to see much more than the insides of the airport and hotel and the road that connects them, we did get something of the local context when the PCEC (Philippines Council of Evangelical Christians) joined us one evening for dinner and to share about their work in the Philippines.
Bishop Efraim Tendero has been chairing the PCEC for over 20 years and shared on the recent Disaster Management conference held in Manila which will feature also at the GA 2014. The Philippines, with a landmass similar to NZ, but a population of 104 million compared to our 4 million, is known by many as the disaster capital of the world. Around 20 typhoons hit the country each year, in addition to earthquakes (such as the 7.2 magnitude quake in Bohol that killed 215 people just 4 days before I arrived). and other types of disaster.
Other useful discussions with people like Christine MacMillan (human trafficking), Joel Edwards (Micah Challenge), Brian O’Connell (Refugee Highway), Chris Elisara (Creation Care), Bertil Ekstrom (Missions Commission), Godfrey Yogarajah (Religious Liberty Commission), Mats Tunehag (Business as Mission), Eileen Stewart-Rhude (Women’s Commission), Rosalee Velloso Ewell (theology), and Sas Conradie (Generosity Network), as well as country/region focused meetings with the WEA Executive, will be filtered through to specific groups over coming weeks.
One small resource you might be interested in is the PCEC’s use of Bill Bright’s 7 pillars of society (see below). This is their prayer. Let’s make it our prayer too.
7 Spheres of the Philippine Society
Let us pray that these spheres of our society will come to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and serve Him in accordance to His perfect will. (2 Peter 3:9)
1. Arts & Sciences – Let us pray that this pillar of our society will display the glory and majesty of our Creator. (Ecclesiastes 2:4)
2. Business – Let us pray that the business people will remember God, who gives them the ability to produce wealth. (Deut. 8:18)
3. Church – Pray that the Church will be faithful to obey her mandate for the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:19-20)
4. Daily News/Media – Let us pray that our media people will be honest and truthful in their reports and advocacies.
5. Education – Pray that this pillar of society will be passionate in carrying out the mandate of training and educating the children and our youth for the transformation of our nation. (Prov.22:6)
6. Family – Let us pray that that the blueprint of families as God had mandated be restored. (Ps. 68:5-6; 2 Tim. 3:1-4)
7. Government – Pray that the Executive, Judiciary, Legislative, Military, Regional, Local and Barangay units will recognize the lordship of Jesus Christ. (Proverbs 29:2)