Canadian Baptist Ministries' Kenya Team
(Aaron, William, Andai, Ruth, Laura, Pauline, Erica and Geofrey)
Teamwork is essential to the success of Christian mission whether in the local church or within the broader community. Serving cross-culturally on five continents, Canadian Baptist Ministries has embraced a team approach to integral mission, positioning groups of Canadian and international staff to work in and through partnerships with churches and other Christian organizations.
Together we rely on one another for support, expertise and insight. Over the past two days, we have been meeting together with the CBM Kenya team at Acacia Camp, near Athi River. Our time has been spent in prayer, reflection and sharing as we review our progress so far in 2015 and work through our plans for rest of the year.
Sharing together has been so important in times like this. We recognize that it is more than a truism that great ideas do not come from organizations - they come from people. Leaning on each other for perspective, encouragement and prayer is critical.
Geofrey and Andai
In Margaret Heffernan's recent TED Talk, "Why it's time to forget the pecking order at work," she observes that social cohesion of collaborative teams consistently out preforms groups that revolve around one or two 'superstars'. Her illustration of experiments with breeding "super chickens" is both hilarious and insightful. Heffernan's research into productivity reinforces the importance of teamwork and building a foundation of social support and trust with your colleagues. We all need to give and receive help from each other.
Teamwork doesn't mean that we all need to agree all the time. In fact, effective teams learn to disagree and value candour. We make better decisions when we are free to challenge one another and question the options before us. The important thing is that in the midst of our different views and convictions, that we are held together by a common identity and purpose.
Healthy teamwork understands the importance of working hard together and laughing hard together. It is the balance of tackling big tasks and nurturing essential relationships.
We are deeply thankful that many people who read our blog uphold our family in prayer. We are also extremely grateful for the way so many of you pray for our colleagues and friends. Here are a few brief items for praise and petition on behalf of some of our team members.
William Wako, project office community development
"Our presence, of weekly meetings in the community, has been so good. Walking through the fields training farmers in their farms has strengthened trust. We share personal challenges and encourage one another through struggles and disappointments. We praise God for the improvements we are experiencing. Early adopters are seeing benefit, and for others we are helping them move from the known to the unknown. Thank you for your prayers."
Laura Muema, project officer urban self help groups
"For me the relationship with each other as a team and the acceptance of CBM within the community has been so important. Seeing men and women helping each other, social networking and investing in each other is where progress is coming from. In so many of the things we do with the self help groups it is amazing to hear people saying, 'We can do this!'."
Andai Jackson Ahole, project assistant and logistics facilitation
"I have worked for many years with CBM, but I am so glad for the support of my colleagues here. They have a passion for the neglected people and this has had a big impact on me. Seeing kids going to school, kids who use to just stay at home and do nothing, this makes me so happy. Today the school we built is full. The toilets we built with the community are being used. We use to see human waste lying around, but not any more. Together, with the people, we are reviving the desert. It is very hot and insecure in these places, but we trust God for the work."
Geofrey Mwita, project officer relief
"I am so encouraged by the impact of CBM's ministry in the small villages of Northeastern Kenya. There has been a culture where women do not sit and talk with men. Men make the decisions and women are not welcome. But this is changing. Now men and women are meeting together and sharing their ideas. This alone has led to change in the communities where we serve."