Press Release

Upskilling Urban Poor Movement Leaders

April-May 2004

Dear Praying Friends,

There are four servant psalms in Isaiah, prophecies of the coming Messiah.  Do you know them?  Start with Isaiah 42:1-4.  "Behold my servant, whom I uphold, I will put my Spirit on him, he will bring justice to the nations..." They are central to understanding the unity of the scriptures, the connecting of the redistribution of the Jubilee of Leviticus, with the three synoptic gospels, and Paul's teaching about global transfers of money from rich churches to poor.  They are essential reading to understand that the coming of the Kingdom of God is among the poor, in seeking their healing, in seeking justice for them.

Developing Story-telling Video Clips on CDRom

One of the privileges I have is sitting with workers in the many cities and listening to their stories of heroism, sacrifice and service among the poor.  But one has to keep a cool heart sometimes and go for the long haul.  That is why these couple of months, Bryan Johnson, a gifted trainer of poor pastors, and good friend, and Asenla Bendang of Nagaland, have begun crowding into the basement of our home, working long on developing training materials.

We need to take stories from India and Africa and get them to Brazil and vice-versa.  There are 40 main topics over about 7 years, that a poor pastor needs to practically master in order to develop  a healthy church and lead his people out of poverty, transforming the community around him.  One way to do this is to get these stories and related teaching modules in video clips onto CDRoms that can be used by clusters of pastors around a computer in cities around the world.  So these days i wander around with a digital video camera.

Gathering Movement Leaders in Bangkok

We will gather 40-50 wokers and trainers in Bangkok in July, to integrate various aspects of their experiences into this training process that we have been working on across the continents for the last two years.  Every day is filled with communications with different ones of these leaders, as to their part in these processes. 

It is a low cost international venture.  Some will sleep on the floor of a local poor people's church, and eat together at local market stalls.  Others will stay at a cheap but nice Bangkok hotel.

Chennai Story-Telling Gathering

Chennai, formerly Madras, is one of the few mega-cities in the world with a significant number of churches in the slums.  In July we will take 50 pastors from Chennai on retreat by the beach, plus a few from other cities and tell stories to each other about the processes of churchplanting.  I will integrate the stories into a theology and practice of such work.  This is rare for these pastors, who work day and night.  They have many Western organisations that train them to administer Western money in development projects, but their heart is in getting the gospel to the poor and establishing communities of faith that then are able to transform the poverty. This they want to do well.


Obviously these processes and events are central to the expansion of the Kingdom.  they will not go unnoticed.  Ieda has been facing a sever fever and lung infection these last three weeks - one wonders if it is related.    I will have my teenage daughter travel with me on this trip.   We need you to stick with us day by day in intercession.  Could you take one paragraph daily and pray for us.

Using Your Tithes in Mission to the Poor

The scriptures are rich in teaching on giving to the poor.  One way you can do this is through investing in the frontline workers among the poor -  the pastors.   I'm most happy to act as Robin Hood.

  $50 will provide a scholarship for one urban poor pastor to the Chennai consultation. $50/month will enable us to fund pastors to other consultations scheduled throughout this year in Mumbai, Manila and one other continent.

  $100 will provide a scholarship for one urban poor movement leader for a week at the Bangkok consultation. 

$2000 will enable an Indian publication of Companion to the Poor, and translation into Tamil, making these materials accessible to poor Indian slum churchplanters.

Thanks for walking with us through the years in building these movements,

Viv Grigg

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