One of the great joys of serving with Canadian Baptist Ministries in Africa has been the privilege of investing in young leaders from across our Church partners and local community stakeholders. Over the last twelve years, we have witnessed an incredible shift in leadership in CBM's Africa programming that has largely moved from Canadians to national field staff.
Canadian Baptist churches are recognizing more and more the richness in perspective and expertise that comes from diverse teams serving to meet a common purpose.
We anticipate a great Autumn as we participate in the next round of the Africa Leadership Exchange that will be held in Rwanda in October, facilitate a group of Canadian volunteers sent to support the ministry of women pastors in Kenya, and work with our new deputy team leader in launching new partnerships and programming.
Here are a few prayer requests:
Changing leadership in our denominational partners
Please pray with us for the current shift in leadership among several of our local partners. In Rwanda, the AEBR will be officially installing Rev. Emmanuel Ngayhihembako as their new legal representative in late October. We pray for the success and well being of Rev. Emmanuel and his family.
In South Sudan, our denominational partner is also approaching the election of its executive leadership. We pray for the Lord's leading in the selection of their new general secretary and officers.
Lies, Rumours, and Curses
We continue to pray for the ongoing response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our church partner is actively engaged in front-line prevention in the area where 97 people have already died from the virus.
One of the emerging challenges in this area has been documented by the Red Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres, who are witnessing people "hiding symptoms, refusing vaccination, and performing unsafe burials." These healthcare workers are discovering that the reaction against the prevention of Ebola has been fueled by the spreading of lies, rumours, and fear of curses.
"Some think that the disease is a plot to kill opposition voters. Others believe it is a money-making scheme by foreign groups." Through community surveys, the Red Cross has found community resistance is being fed by three main theories: "that it is a political strategy, that it is a business, and that it is a curse."
Please pray for medical workers and volunteers from humanitarian groups and our local partner churches as they seek to build trust and dispell myths that are harming their community. As our local partner works to share grace and truth, we pray with them that the spread of Ebola will be halted.
On September 17th, Canadian Baptist Ministries officially announced that national field staff, André Sibomana, has been named as our deputy team leader for the CBM team and partners across Africa.
You can read the announcement here on the CBM website.
CBM Deputy Africa Team Leader: Rev. André Sibomana
We are thrilled to be working more closely with André over the coming months as he joins us in supporting the mission of CBM and our partners. The Lord has used André's sincere love for others and servant heart to make a lasting impact upon churches and communities throughout Rwanda. We are confident that he will bring great integrity, experience, and energy to this role.
Over the past five years, we have witnessed God using André to influence and strengthen other leaders through programs like the Certificate of Integral Mission and the Africa Leadership Exchange. We are excited for all that God has in store for Andre and the CBM Africa team!
Please join us in praying for André and his family as he transitions into this new role, and assumes the wider responsibilities and travel demands throughout Africa.