HONEY FROM THE ROCK Poverty alleviation from a missio Dei perspective presented as a missiological case study of Integral Mission through the African Honey Bee project in the uMfolozi area of South Africa.
After many years of experience of working in desperately poor communities in South Africa, Africa and South East Asia, the researcher has come to realise that in order to achieve sustainable social transformation, a holistic poverty alleviation approach is necessary. In evaluating the approach from a biblical perspective, he was struck by the realisation that a holistic approach is biblical. Several globally acknowledged missiologists refer to holistic poverty alleviation as Integral Mission, for example: (Buys, 2013a:67-96); Goheen (2011:25); Jansen (2017:21); Stott (2015:17-22); Wright (2010:274-278). The Cape Town Commitment II-B-3 states that “Integral Mission means discerning, proclaiming, and living out, the biblical truth that the Gospel is God’s good news, through the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for individual persons, for society, and creation. All three are broken and suffering because of sin; all three are included in the redeeming love and mission of God; all three must be part of the comprehensive mission of God’s people” (The Lausanne Movement, 2010). And the Micah Declaration defines Integral Mission as “the proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel. It is not simply that evangelism and social involvement are to be done alongside each other. Rather, in Integral Mission, our proclamation has social consequences as we call people to love and repentance in all areas of life. And our social involvement has evangelistic consequences as we bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ” (Micah Network, 2001:1). This study endeavours to, summarise and evaluate several tried and tested social development principles of poverty alleviation in the light of biblical and current missiological principles. In order to identify key principles, a practical assessment of the African Honey Bee project in the uMfolozi area in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, will be undertaken and evaluated. The object is to develop a biblical framework that can be practically applied by practitioners for Integral Mission elsewhere.
- Theology