This month: important foundations
and issues in member care.

Member Care Associates
Resources for Good Practice: Update May 2012
Member Care for Mission/Humanitarian Assistance

Global Letters for a Global Community
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This expanded issue of the Update consists of excerpts from our recent Global Letters for a Global Community. The first part overviews some foundational perspectives that have positively affected the development of global member care (GMC). The second part identifies some current issues that have negatively affected the progress of GMC. Both parts emphasize the healing commitment to “truth and peace” in our relationships (Zech 8:19). This special issue, taken from eight of the latest CORE Member Care postings, launches us into the fourth year of the Updates. It is also sent as a special encouragement to the hundreds of participants that are meeting at the Member Care Consultation in Bangalore, India (18-20 April) and at the Global Member Care Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand (23-27 April).
Warm greetings from Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell—Member Care Associates
"So love truth and peace."
(Zechariah 8:19, NASB)
"Say what you need to say."

Enjoy! (John Mayer, music video)
Letter 1. Resilient love. Member care above all involves the trans-cultural practice of fervently loving one another. Such love, as affirmed in I Cor. 13:8, never ceases. It is both sacrificial and celebratory. We grow together in the mission/aid community, we celebrate life together, and by God’s grace we do our utmost to stay close together. Resilient love is the ultimate measure of the effectiveness of our member care.
ἡ ἀγάπη οὐδέποτε πίπτει  (Love never ceases. I Cor. 13:8)
Letter 2. Friendships and consultations
Where were you in September 1998? We were in Oxford, where twelve international colleagues met for three days to discuss the development of member care. Participants were from seven countries and four continents. One key outcome was the formation of the Member Care Task Force (MemCa) as part of the World Evangelical Fellowship (Alliance). This helped set the stage for future MemCa work, including forming relationships, convening consultations, and doing projects (photo at the C.S. Lewis house; the group is flanked by two pioneers: John Powell and Dave Pollock)
Letter 3. Going steady. My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God.(Phil. 4:1)
Letter 4. Traveling together. I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel.You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love. What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretenses. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ's bodywe're all connected to each other.(Ephesians 4, the Message)

Global Letters: Current Issues for GMC

Letter 5. Getting unstuck. This photo is of the longest known traffic jam (over 200 kilometers, in China!) Sometimes we all get stuck in life. This is true in our member care community.Currently there is a protracted moral and relational traffic jam within the member care community. It became apparent trying to work through differences and management issues in the mid 2000s. Then it progressed into trying to sort through overlapping areas of health and dysfunction. And then with time it became clear that intertwined if not underlying so much of this malaise was a major international fraud (Nordic Capital Investment, NCI) that had wreaked havoc in the church-mission community. It affected a major part of the Evangelical member care community with which we have been closely associated over the years. The good news though is that there is much that can be done to help—to get unstuck…
Letter 6. Birthday wish. I have a special wish:for truth and peace to prevail in the Evangelical mission and member care community (Zech. 8:19). May thelong-standing requests to meet with leaders be honoured--and for everybody concerned to do so with transparency, accountability, and courage. May healing light shine on the long-standing malaise. May we truly persevere in loving one another as Jesus Christ has loved us. So what are we waiting for? Meeting would be a great gift—for everybody.

Letter 7. Shining the light. We have just signed a petition because we care very much about how an international fraud, NCI KB, has seriously affected the public, charities, and especially the church-mission community—including the Evangelical member care community. This petition is an international call for integrity and action---for transparent and verifiable disclosures from individuals, projects, and organizations affected by this fraud.  It includes a brief update about the fraud with links to core documents for more information. Go to:  Shine the Light—Together!
Letter 8. Love never fails. Providing the flow of care is a body effort of mission agencies, sending churches, supporting families, and committed caregivers who realize that the Great Commandment and the Great Commission are inseparable.(Dave Pollock, posted on the eight anniversary of his death).

Final Thought: Staying the Course

We write to encourage us all to stay the course in our service to God and humans and to take full advantage of the many opportunities to provide and develop member care. We write fully aware of the problems that can discredit, divide, and disable the church-mission community (CMC) and all of our member care efforts. We write with a commitment to the love that can resolve these problems and to promote health within the CMC.

"Everybody heals with love."
(Ingrid Michaelson, music video)

Copyright © 2012 Member Care Associates, Inc.

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The resources in these Updates help us as learners-practitioners to cross cultures, disciplines, and sectors for good practice.