Thursday, October 23, 2014

Improved Sanitation and Hygeine


One of 18 new hand washing stations in CBM’s three target communities
of North Eastern Province, Kenya

Only a year ago, we had written about the fact that there was not a single safe latrine in the three communities where CBM is serving along the Tana River of North Eastern Province, Kenya. Our primary intervention was to help these communities recover from drought and displacement through food for work projects and conservation agriculture (These initiatives are still ongoing). We soon discovered several public health issues facing the people. One primary need was for improved sanitation and hygiene. They along with 69% of people in Subsaharan Africa did not have a single safe latrines or toilet.

Well, that was true a year ago, but not today!

Our colleagues William Wako, Geoffrey Mwita and Jackson Andai have been working with these communities over the past six months to establish eighteen community toilets and hand washing stations, all hand dug and built by the community members themselves.

"There are more than 300 houses in Bakuyu,” confesses Geoffrey, “but these first six toilets are making a big difference. The community has divided up into committees each responsible for maintaining their toilet and protecting it from vandalism. Already the committees are planning to build more. They just needed help to get started. Most of the materials were already there, they just didn’t see how to use them."




Community volunteers working together
to build a kitchen for the Buula Pamoja
Community School

Please continue to pray for the work in North Eastern Province and for the health and wellbeing of the people of these communities.

You can learn more about the work of CBM in Africa and around the world on our website at www.cbmin.org



Oh, and by the way.... even the soap at each station is handmade 
by a community group - Pretty cool!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CBM Africa Team: Maureen Morgan


Maureen Morgan
Kenya

The Canadian Baptist Ministries Africa Team is a diverse group of men and women who serve among our partner churches and their communities in the area of integral mission. Over the past few months, we have been sharing short interviews with many of our colleagues serving with us here in Africa. 

This month, we have the joy of introducing you to our friend and co-worker Maureen Morgan, who has been living in Kenya with her husband Wayne and their son Michael since December 2011.

Along with her work with the African Christian Church and Schools, Maureen coordinates the ministry of short term mission volunteers that come from Canada to serve among our various ministries and partners within Kenya. 

For all who know Maureen, she is a fun loving and inclusive person who draws others into participating in all aspects of ministry from worship to acts service. 

We are especially thrilled over the organization and attention to detail that Maureen has brought to the preparation for the upcoming Kamp Tumaini program with the Guardians of Hope children. God is using Maureen’s giftedness to bring together many people from a wide spectrum of backgrounds to share their gifts and talents in this important ministry.



        "Ever since I was a child growing up in Toronto, I have been burdened by the suffering and injustices in our world and have wanted to be a part of the solution.  I went into the field of Nursing for that reason, and in the hopes that one day God would open the doors for me to work “overseas” as a missionary.

And He did. Twenty years later, on January 1st, 2012, my husband, Wayne, and I arrived in Kenya to begin our work as Global Field Staff with CBM.

As a lecturer at the African Christian Church & Schools (ACC&S) School of Theology, Wayne helps to prepare young leaders to embrace a holistic understanding of the gospel of Christ.  

At the same time we work with the ACC&S Development Department as they help churches to reach out to their communities – through programs involving agriculture, water, HIV/AIDS awareness and support, income generation and micro-credit, to name a few. We also help to facilitate “global discipleship” with short-term mission teams from Canada who come to Kenya to support the work of CBM and its partners.

After almost 3 years “on the field”, we are continuing to grow in our understanding of the culture, of the challenges faced by the people of Kenya, and of our role in building the capacity of the ACC&S to reach out and minister holistically in their communities.  And we continue to have a growing appreciation and love of the Kenyan people. 

I have been humbled and amazed by the capacity of people to love; to embrace hope; to hold onto faith in God’s goodness, in the face of challenges; to be grateful for the little they have; and to be generous in spite of their own needs.  We are daily challenged to humbly reflect on ourselves in light of all that we learn from those around us.

So it is both a joy and a challenge to be living in this Kenyan context.  It is a joy to be a small part of God’s work, helping to relieve suffering and bringing about God’s Kingdom here in Kenya - to see the faces of people who have new found hope for the future.  But it is a challenge because in spite all of the good work that is being done, there is still so much more that needs to be done. 

Daily we see the faces of suffering - and it breaks our hearts. We ask God why he allows it to continue - but the answers don’t come easily. Still, we press on, trusting that God, who is clearly at work in Kenya in powerful ways, in the lives of his children, has everything under control.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Ephesians 3:20-21

So please continue to pray for wisdom, humility and discernment as we continue to work with our partner, the ACC&S, and for the members of the ACC&S to have strength to continue being a part of holistic transformation in their communities and in their nation.


Thank you and God bless you for taking the time to read and pray for us."


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Samburu



A frisky elephant following our car
in the expansive Samburu Game Reserve


This past weekend, we had a great time away with our friends Andrea, Alex and their families. We travelled together to Isiolo and into the great Northern Plains of Samburu for the Mashujaa Day long weekend.

Without a doubt this is one of the most dramatic landscapes that we’ve ever experienced in Africa:  As we descended from the lush central highlands, we were met by the wide white and tan plains,  fringed by massive kajobe hill outcroppings, intertwined by purple brown rivers and peppered with the vibrant green Acacia trees and Duom Palms. Our pictures do not do justice to the beauty of this arid region.



Beisa oryxes fighting on the arid plain


Silver backed jackals hunting stray lambs from the nearby Boran herds. We followed a group of three jackals that had just snatched a young sheep.


Erica and I walking along the Ewaso Ngiro River
in the Shaba Reserve


Stunning Grevy’s Zebra
This mother and her fowl stayed near our campsite



This proud reticulated giraffe also enjoyed
the Acacia trees near our camp


Elegant long-necked gerenuks



The kids enjoying a spotlit feeding of the crocodiles 
on the Ewaso River below our camp

One of the highlights of the trip happened one evening as we were perched on the side of a low cliff watching the crocodiles snapping, we heard great splashing moving down the river towards us. Everyone froze and the crashing sound, when all of the sudden three massive bull elephants came barging into the light. They turned and flapped their ears at us and stayed below the cliff for about thirty minutes. The crocodiles scurrying out of their way and onto the sandy banks of the river.



A great afternoon of tossing kuubs!



Hornbills near buffalo springs in Samburu


A great weekend!



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Prayer Update: Ebola



The global response to the Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak in West Africa was slow to start, but as the government of Canada’s first shipment of protective gear reaches Sierra Leone a massive effort on the ground is racing to contain the virus and care for those affected.

While there are 3400 confirmed deaths in West Africa, it is believed that the virus has actually taken far more lives as many people were not accessing medical facilities early on.

Today the world media announced the first case contracted outside of Africa. The woman, a Spanish nurse working in Madrid, was treating two Spanish missionaries who died of the virus while receiving care in Spain.

There have been no cases of Ebola in Rwanda or Kenya where we and our CBM colleagues and partner churches live and work. East Africa is taking great precaution to screen all visitors and to limit travel from any Ebola outbreak areas.

As Canadian Baptists, we do have partner churches in Liberia West Africa that are ministering at the heart of the current Ebola Outbreak. Zion Grove Baptist Church in Brewerville, Liberia, is currently working to help over 5000 people in its immediate community with prevention. You can support this relief effort directly through CBM. Visit our website here.

Prayer
Please join us in praying for churches that are ministering to their congregations and neighbours in the midst of this terribly situation. Pray for peace and security within the affected communities. Pray for the safe distribution of food and supplies for the thousands of people that are in desperation, for the medical workers and volunteers that are on the front lines of care, and for the thousands of families suffering through loss and grief.

No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted.