More Information
ISBN: 9781839730375
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 21
Publication Date: 31/10/2020
Pages: 402
Language: English

Relentless Love

Living Out Integral Mission to Combat Poverty, Injustice and Conflict


How does the church’s calling to take the whole gospel to the whole world manifest in contexts of poverty, injustice, and conflict? In this collection of essays, drawn from the 7th Micah Global Triennial Consultation in the Philippines, Christians from across the globe reflect on the church’s role in alleviating suffering and developing transformed communities.

At the heart of these reflections is the topic of resilience and its role in Christian community, integral mission, and faith-based development work. Offering both theological frameworks and practical tools for the development of resilient communities, this book ignites a biblical passion for integrating justice and proclamation, witness and social concern, evangelism and community transformation. Relentless Love is a powerful reminder of Christ’s calling to join him in his work to bring wholeness, reconciliation, and redemption to the earth.

Author Bios

Graham Joseph Hill
(Edited By)

Graham Joseph Hill is Interim Principal and Director of Research at Stirling Theological College (University of Divinity) in Melbourne, Australia. He has planted and pastored churches, and been in theological education for twenty years. Graham is the author or editor of nine books including Global Church (IVP, 2016), Healing Our Broken Humanity (IVP, 2018, with Grace Ji-Sun Kim), Salt, Light and a City (Cascade, 2017 and 2020), Hide This in Your Heart (NavPress, 2020, with Michael Frost), and Hold Up Half the Sky (Cascade, 2020). He also directs the Global Church Project (


Through a diverse collection of voices, this compelling volume reveals new ways of being church that are emerging from the Majority World and are fueled by a shalomic imagination for the common good. This book is a vital guide for operationalizing the love of God as the love of neighbour, while equipping us to appreciate that love of neighbour always invites love of neighbourhood.

Dwight J. Friesen, DMin
Associate Professor of Practical Theology,
The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, Washington, USA

In this great work, Hill brings leading global voices together around the essential topic of resilience and compassionate Christian witness. The depth and timeliness of this book and its importance in integral mission cannot be overstated.

Lisa Rodriguez-Watson
National Director, Missio Alliance

This volume calls us with one voice to resilience in the Spirit, not only to sustain ourselves, but to flourish in our service to the world’s most vulnerable.

Al Tizon, PhD
Executive Minister, Serve Globally, Evangelical Covenant Church

With heavy hearts, yet renewed energy and continued resolve, this book encourages us to say “No!” to injustice and “Yes!” to God’s shalom.

Rev Darrell Jackson, ThD
Associate Professor and Director of Research,
Whitley College, University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia

This book is an exceptional resource in the way it brings to light underrepresented issues in the academy and the church today. The global perspectives in this resource are like “a cry in the wilderness” to every listening ear. Every page throbs with resilience. It is sweeping, challenging, inspiring and applicable!

Grace Al-Zoughbi
Lecturer in Biblical Studies,
Bethlehem Bible College, Palestine

This is a book that will engage seminary students, pastors, community leaders and activists alike, with thought-provoking essays and challenging questions for how best we are to live as followers of Christ in our many different ways and places.

C. Rosalee Velloso Ewell, PhD
Redcliffe College, Gloucester, UK
Executive Director,
Theological Commission, World Evangelical Alliance

This book is a rich distillation of twenty-first-century practitioner-wisdom; contextually relevant and laced with enduring biblical and theological insight. A recommended read for those thirsty for transformation.

Carol Kingston-Smith
MA Tutor,
ForMission College, Birmingham, UK
Co-founder, “the jusTice initiative”

Relentless Love provides holistic hope in these challenging days. This collection brings together a wide range of profound reflective practitioners whose combined voice helps us better understand how to present the face of Christ with resilience, spirituality, compassion, and reconciliation.

Perry Shaw, EdD
Former Professor of Christian Education,
Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Beirut, Lebanon

In view of the worldwide events in our turbulent time, this book offers readers invaluable insight and understanding of resilience in integral mission of the global church. These multiple voices provide refreshing and compelling ways, in both theory and praxis, to embrace and embody the transforming power of the whole gospel for the whole creation.

—Xiaoli Yang, PhD
Research Scholar, University of Divinity,
Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
    1. Melba Padilla Maggay
  2. Preface: Micah Global 7th Triennial Consultation
    1. Integral Mission and Resilient Communities Address in Poverty, Injustice, and Conflict
    2. Sheryl Haw
  3. Misión Integral
    1. The Challenge of World Christianity
    2. Graham Joseph Hill
  4. Part 1: Resilience, the Church, and Integral Mission
  5. Resilience and Integral Mission
    1. David Boan
  6. Righteousness, Suffering and Participation in Philippians 3:7–11
    1. Integral Mission and Paul’s Gospel
    2. Andrew Steere
  7. Dangerous Resilience?
    1. The Institutional Church and Its Systemic Resistance to Change
    2. Thandi Gamedze
  8. Poorology
    1. Getting the Seminary into the Slum
    2. Viv Grigg
  9. How Do Missionaries Become Resilient?
    1. Preliminary Findings from the Resilient Missionary Study
    2. Geoff Whiteman, Emily Edwards, Anna Savelle, and Kristina Whiteman
  10. The Gospel and the Future of Cities
    1. A Call to Action
    2. Participants of the Gospel and Future of Cities Summit
  11. Part 2: Resilience, Peace, and Justice
  12. Biblical Teachings on Social Justice
    1. Manavala Reuben
  13. Addressing Gender and Leadership Gaps in Development-Oriented Organizations
    1. Amy Reynolds and Nikki Toyama-Szeto
  14. Deeper Understanding for More Resilience in the Work for Peace and Justice
    1. Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda
  15. God’s Preference for the Poor
    1. The Bible and Social Justice in Ireland
    2. Patrick Mitchel
  16. Worship and Justice
    1. Spirituality that Embodies and Mobilizes for Justice
    2. Sandra Maria Van Opstal
  17. Proclamation and Demonstration
    1. CB Samuel
  18. What Is Required?
    1. Florence Muindi
  19. Beyond Compassion to Solidarity
    1. Peter McVerry
  20. Part 3: Resilience, Spirituality, and Compassion
  21. “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”
    1. The Necessity of Lament for Spiritual Resilience in Contexts of Poverty and Injustice
    2. Clinton Bergsma
  22. Building Resilient Communities
    1. The Importance of Integrating Mental Health and Well-Being in Effective Development Thinking and Practice
    2. Becca Allchin, Stephanie Cantrill, and Helen Fernandes
  23. Indigenous Voices
    1. The Spiritual Strength of the Peoples of Abya Yala
    2. Jocabed Reina Solano Miselis
  24. The Gospel and Resilience in the Pursuit of the Common Good
    1. D. Zac Niringiye
  25. Against All Odds – and Ends
    1. Ruth Padilla DeBorst
  26. Resilience and Disaster and the Church’s Response
    1. Johannes Reimer
  27. Part 4: Resilience, Mobilization, and Partnerships
  28. Building Resilience with Local Churches and Communities
    1. Jané Mackenzie, Chris McDonald, Stanley Enock, and Mari Williams
  29. Church and Community Mobilization in Cooperation to Build Resilient Communities in South East Asia
    1. Fennelien Stal, Debora Suparni, Arshinta Soemarsono, and Norman Franklin C. Agustin
  30. Lessons from the Frontline of Global Movement-Building
    1. Reflections from Three Years of Tearfund’s Restorative Economy Approach
    2. Naomi Foxwood, Richard Gower, Helen Heather, and Sue Willsher
  31. North and South
    1. Boureima Diallo
  32. Part 5: Summaries from the Six Consultation Tracks
  33. “Church and Community Resilience” Consultation Track
    1. The Church at the Heart of the Resilient Community
    2. David Boan
  34. “Church and Corruption” Consultation Track
    1. Martin Allaby
  35. “Formation for Integral Mission (Discipleship)” Consultation Track
    1. Tori Greaves and Ruth Padilla DeBorst, INFEMIT
  36. “Urban Shalom” Consultation Track
    1. Joel Kelling and Fiona Kelling
  37. “Reconciliation as the Mission of the Church” Consultation Track
    1. Johannes Reimer
  38. “Integral Mission and Community Health” Consultation Track
    1. James Pender, Jim Oehrig, and Sara Kandiah
  39. Final Remarks
    1. Integral Mission and Community Resilience
    2. Sheryl Haw
  40. Bibliography
  41. About Micah Global
  42. List of Contributors


Sheryl Haw

Sheryl Haw is the former International Director of Micah Global ( She has spent over twenty-eight years working with communities around the world to address relief, development, and justice concerns. Her career has included Operations Director for Medair, Accountability Development Manager for HAP International, lecturer at All Nations Christian College, and, for the last nine years, International Director of Micah Global (representing a merger between Micah Network and Micah Challenge). Sheryl was privileged to grow up in Zimbabwe surrounded by examples of amazing resilience that have inspired a persistent pursuit of justice for all.

David M. Boan

David M. Boan has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Biola University, La Mirada, California, USA. He is the Director of the Department of Relief and Development at the World Evangelical Alliance and has thirty-five years of global experience in applied psychology, research, and consulting. He is the co-author of the Handbook of Disaster Ministry (InterVarsity Press) and the author of more than fifty professional articles and presentations.

Andrew Steere

Andrew is a management and engineering adviser supporting individuals and organizations working in resource-limited contexts. Projects and leadership teams he supports have won multiple industry awards for innovation and successful project delivery. Andrew and his family have lived in Kijabe, Kenya, since 2011, where his wife, Mardi, is a paediatric emergency physician at Kijabe Hospital. He is a PhD candidate at the London School of Theology in Biblical Studies and Contextual Theology, and holds degrees in civil engineering (BSc, George Washington University), physics (MSc, Michigan State University), and theology (MDiv, University of Divinity).

Thandi Gamedze

Living in Cape Town, South Africa, Thandi works in communications and resource development for an organization called The Warehouse. She has recently completed a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on education. Some of the things that take up space in her heart are writing poetry, live jazz, the Jesus that is good news to the poor, family, friends that are like family, radical education, conversations about decolonizing theology, laughing, and dreaming about and working towards a world that is just and kind.

Viv Grigg

Viv Grigg is a New Zealander and a prophetic voice among the poor of the slums, focused on multiplying poor people’s churches and community organizations in Manila, Kolkata, S.o Paulo, and Los Angeles. He has catalysed networks of communities of workers (apostolic orders) in the slums of over forty emerging mega-cities, creating a plethora of organizations that transform poverty. Viv Grigg is the author of Companion to the Poor, Spirit of Christ and the Postmodern City, Slumdwellers’ Pedagogy, among others. These have been seminal for new paradigms of incarnational mission among the urban poor, the new Western apostolic orders, transformative city-wide revival, and economic discipleship. Viv Grigg is Professor of Urban Leadership at William Carey International University, multiplying the MA in Transformational Urban Leadership in universities globally (

Geoff Whiteman

Geoff Whiteman, MA, ThM, is an Orthodox Christian, couple’s counsellor, and resiliency researcher who is passionate about God’s mission in the world. Married to Kristina Whiteman, MA (PhD candidate at Asbury Theological Seminary, focusing on resiliency research) since 2003, they encourage global workers to be united in marriage and resilient in ministry. They began serving in vocational ministry in 2000 and have been supporting global workers since 2007. They currently serve as the Mission Specialists in Missionary Care and Training for the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and as the founders of and which disseminate the results of the Resilient Global Worker Study through innovative solutions to support global workers and those concerned with enhancing global worker resiliency. Download the results of the study and connect with Geoff at

Emily Edwards

Emily Edwards, BS, is on the MEd in Counselling Psychology programme at the University of Louisville. A graduate research assistant and student clinician, Emily has overlapping research and clinical interests in the areas of building resilient communities, empowering helping professionals to combat adversity, and supporting and preserving families. At the University of Louisville, Emily does research with the Resilience, Adaptation, and Well-Being lab and the Human Trafficking Research Initiative. Additionally, Emily is on the founding and planning team for the Emerging Care Summit, an annual gathering focused on building the future of global worker care (for more information, see www.

Anna Savelle

Anna Savelle is Special Projects Coordinator at Jennings County Economic Development Commission. Prior to that she served in the ESJ School of World Mission and Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary.

Kristina Whiteman

Kristina Whiteman, MA is a PhD candidate at Asbury Theological Seminary, focusing on resiliency research. Married to Geoff Whiteman, MA, ThM (Orthodox Christian, couple’s counsellor, and resiliency researcher) since 2003, they encourage global workers to be united in marriage and resilient in ministry. They began serving in vocational ministry in 2000 and have been supporting global workers since 2007. They currently serve as the Mission Specialists in Missionary Care and Training for the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and as the founders of and which disseminate the results of the Resilient Global Worker Study through innovative solutions to support global workers and those concerned with enhancing global worker resiliency. Download the results of the study and connect with Geoff at linktr ee/geoffwhiteman.

Manavala Reuben

Manavala Reuben is an Indian Christian leader who worked as a pharmacist at Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, South India, from 1974 to 1984 and served as a mission worker in Northern India from 1984 to 1997 for the mission organization called Navjeevan Seva Mandal, a sister concern of Friends Missionary Prayer Band. Reuben moved to Singapore to do theological studies at Discipleship Training Centre from 1997 to 1999, and from 2000 to 2001 at Theological College for Asia, obtaining an MA in Intercultural Studies. Since 2002, Reuben has been serving among grassroots international workers as a ministry staff worker.

Amy Reynolds

Amy Reynolds is an associate professor of sociology at Wheaton College (IL, USA). Her research focuses primarily on the intersections of the global church, economic globalization, development, and gender inequality. She is the author of Free Trade and Faithful Globalization (Cambridge, 2014), which examines how Christian communities in the Americas have engaged in trade policy debates. She coordinates the Wheaton Network Initiative on Gender, Development, and Christianity, which aims to advance the work of holistic development that promotes gender justice.

Nikki A. Toyama-Szeto

As Executive Director of Evangelicals for Social Action (ESA), Nikki Toyama- Szeto guides the execution of ESA’s mission and vision. Nikki came to ESA with a long history of working with leaders of faith communities to help ignite a passion for biblical justice among the global church. As an educator and advocate, she is passionate about gender issues, racial justice, refugees/ displaced peoples, and fighting poverty. She speaks and trains leaders globally. Past engagements include speaking for Tearfund (Nepal) and Centro Esdras (Guatemala), CCDA (USA), and Billy Graham Center (USA). She writes and speaks from her experiences as a leader in organizations like International Justice Mission, the Urbana Conference, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She served on the Third Lausanne Congress (2010), helping to develop the plenary programme. Nikki Toyama-Szeto was a co-editor of the book More Than Serving Tea (IVP, 2006), a collection of essays, stories, and poems looking at the intersection of race, gender, and faith for Asian American women. She also co-wrote Partnering with the Global Church (IVP, 2012) with Femi Adeleye and edited the Urbana Onward series. Additionally, she is a co-author of The God of Justice: IJM Institute’s Global Church Curriculum (IVP, 2015).

Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda

Dr Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda is a scholar practitioner whose work focuses on civic leadership formation and the promotion and defence of the fundamental rights of vulnerable populations in Latin America. Nina earned her PhD in political science from the University of Notre Dame du Lac. In addition to serving as CETIContinental’s Dean of Graduate Studies, Nina is the President and CEO of Peace and Hope International (PHI). Through its sister organizations in Latin America, PHI supports efforts to prevent violence and other forms of injustice, mobilizing individuals and communities to foster systemic change for peace and democratic civic engagement.

Patrick Mitchel

Dr Patrick Mitchel is Director of Learning at the Irish Bible Institute in Dublin where he teaches theology. He has been involved in theological education and church development in the Republic of Ireland for nearly thirty years. He blogs at Faith in Ireland and is author of a new volume in the Bible Speaks Today: Bible Themes series, The Message of Love. He is married to Ines and they have two grown-up daughters.

Sandra Maria Van Opstal

Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a second generation Latina, pastors at Grace and Peace Community on the West Side of Chicago. She is a preacher, liturgist, and activist who is reimagining the intersection of worship and justice. In her fifteen years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Sandra has mobilized thousands of college students for God’s mission of reconciliation and justice in the world. Sandra served as Director of Worship for the Urbana Missions Conference, Chicago Urban Program Director, Latino National Leadership Team (LaFe), and Northwestern University Team leader (multi-ethnic fellowship). Sandra’s influence has also reached many others through her leadership and preaching on topics such as worship and formation, justice, racial identity and reconciliation, and global mission. Sandra Maria Van Opstal has been published in multiple journals and has authored God’s Graffiti Devotional, Still Evangelical, The Mission of Worship, and The Next Worship.

CB Samuel

CB Samuel is an itinerant Bible teacher focusing on spiritual, missional, and leadership formation. CB and his wife Selina live in Delhi and minister among university students, young adults, and families. While CB has developed a global ministry, teaching frequently in Asia, the USA, and Australia, he and his wife Selina remain strongly engaged in integral mission in India. They have a particular passion for building and strengthening younger leaders in their spiritual formation and their mission engagement. CB serves as a Theological Adviser for both EFICOR and Micah Global.

Florence Muindi

Dr Florence Muindi is considered the industry leader in community development work. A native of Kenya, Dr Florence is the founder and president of Life In Abundance International, a non-profit organization committed to bringing health to the poor through the local church in Africa and the Caribbean. She is a trained medical doctor, specializing in public health interventions, and has a diploma in Urban Poor Theology. She regularly speaks and writes about empowerment of the vulnerable and sustainable transformation. After serving as a missionary in Ethiopia, she now lives with her family in Kenya.

Peter McVerry

While working as a priest in the inner city in Dublin, Fr Peter McVerry SJ encountered some homeless children and opened a hostel for them in 1979. The organization he started is now called Peter McVerry Trust. It has twenty-five hostels with a thousand homeless people staying every night, four hundred apartments where homeless people or families can have a home for life, four drug treatment centres, and a drop-in centre. He has written about his experience in the book The Meaning Is in the Shadows. Subsequent publications were Jesus: Social Revolutionary? and The God of Mercy, the God of the Gospels.

Martin Allaby

Ruth Padilla DeBorst

RUTH PADILLA DEBORST (PhD, Boston University) is a wife of one and mother of many, a theologian, missiologist, educator, and a story-teller. She has been involved in leadership development and theological educa- tion for integral mission in her native Latin America for several decades. She works with the Comunidad de Estudios Teológicos Interdiscipli- narios (CETI), a learning community with Master’s and Certificate level programs. She coordinates the Networking Team of INFEMIT (The Inter- national Fellowship for Mission as Transformation) and serves on the board of Arocha. She lives in Costa Rica with her husband, James, and fellow members of the Casa Adobe intentional Christian community. Her education includes a Bachelor’s in Education (Argentina), an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Wheaton College), and a PhD in Missiology and Social Ethics from Boston University.

David Zac Niringiye

DAVID ZAC NIRINGIYE holds a PhD in Theology and Mission History from the University of Edinburgh, UK an MA in Theology from Wheaton College, USA as well as a Physics Honours degree and Teaching Diploma from Makerere University, Uganda. He is a leader with national and international acclaim and has experience as a church leader, theologian, peace and social justice activist and an organizational development consultant. Bishop Zac who previously served as Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Kampala, is now engaged in full-time civic-political activism in his native country of Uganda. He is married to Theodora and they have three children.

Johannes Reimer

JOHANNES REIMER was born and raised in the Soviet Union. As a young convert to Christianity, he spent two years in a labour camp in the east of modern day Russia. Today, Dr Reimer teaches Missiology and Intercultural Theology at the University of South Africa (UNISA), from where he gained his DTh, and the Ewersbach University of Applied Arts in Germany. He is the Global Director of the Peace and Reconciliation Network of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).

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