This reflection comes from Darren Prince of InnerCHANGE, who attended the International Society for Urban Mission 2014 Summit in Kuala Lumpur.
A Good Malay Curry
Like a good Malay curry, the 2014 ISUM Summit is best described by the delicious blend of its many complex parts. I could tell you about the plenary speakers, Jayakumar and Perkins, proclaiming justice for the world’s urban poor and a message of radical love, at times in serendipitous stereo. I could summarize the fruit of the working groups: their immersions into the heart of Kuala Lumpur, their theological musings, their calls to prophetic action. I could try and capture the essence of the learnings distilled through the meaningful and varied workshops. Or the significance of the stories shared by urban practitioners from around the globe.
But that would be like trying to describe a curry by listing its ingredients. The beauty of the Summit is the way these pieces simmer and stew into something wholly different than its individual parts. This was the delightful surprise of the time together in Malaysia in late June: the way it all came together to point us towards signs of real, lasting hope for our cities. All within the hospitality offered by the generous, kind hearted people of our Malaysian host city.
The true joy, as when any tribe or family is gathered, was the rich diversity of people: urban practitioners of hope from around the globe, spanning the age brackets, the socio-economic groups, the theological and church traditions. My greatest take-away was the sheer number of deep connections with like-minded souls whom I had never met before but can’t wait to see again.
There is something special, dare I say sacred, to what God seems to be forming among the ISUM community; something not to be missed by those in the Micah Network who are eager to link arms with the next generation of urban workers for justice. I came away inspired, renewed, and reinvigorated for the work of hope in my city and for our increasingly urban world.