Saturday, November 11, 2017

We will Remember Them

Ava and Grammie earlier this past week at Harbour House,
Halls Harbour, Nova Scotia.

It was well below zero degrees in Dartmouth this morning, as Erica left on her flight to Ontario. She will be speaking tonight in Sarnia for the Middlesex/Lambton/Huron Baptist Association gathering, and on Sunday at Forrest Baptist Church.

Ava and I are bracing for a chilly Remembrance Day, as we are in Halifax this weekend, speaking at West End Baptist Church on Sunday morning.

This is Ava's first Remembrance Day in Canada. As part of this past week's homeschooling, she learned about why we wear bright red poppies and the significance of November 11th for Canadians and members of the Commonwealth. 

During a ceremony at Acadia, we joined in a time of reflection and silence to honour the sacrifice of the men and women that have given their lives in service. Rev. Dr. Harry Gardner shared his personal connection with Remembrance Day, his father a first World War veteran. Reading Laurence Binton's "For the Fallen", he shared:
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."
Working with refugees and churches living in areas of conflict, we know how devastating it is to live in times when peace is broken and nations are torn apart by war. We do not take for granted the sacrifices made on our behalf.

This past week, we had great opportunities to meet with friends and supports that came to visit with us in the Annapolis Valley. We also appreciate the opportunity to speak at the Acadia Divinity College chapel about the work of Canadian Baptist Ministries in Africa.

It was also a delight to have my mother, Marie Kenny, join us along with some friends that stayed with us at Harbour House. Grammie had a lot of fun combing the beaches for sea glass with Ava and hearing stories from Tristan about his experiences during this first semester at the University.

As our time in Canada draws to an end, we are so grateful for these times of together.

Tristan and Grammie at Cutten House, Wolfville.
Grammie teaching Ava to knit her first wool scarf.
Visiting our friends Daryl MacKenzie and Andrew Myers,
at Just Us Coffee, Wolfville.

We have a full week ahead, including preaching next Sunday at Middleton Baptist Church.
Wishing you grace and peace this Remembrance Day.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It is curtains for him

Bay of Fundy lobster in Halls Harbour, Nova Scotia

We have had such a great start to November here in Nova Scotia. This past week, we have been connecting with friends and supporters from the Annapolis Valley and the South Shore. We are excited to be sharing with the faculty and students of the Acadia Divinity College tomorrow, Wednesday, November 8th.

Tonight we are enjoying our harbour home perched on windswept cliffs of this rustic fishing village. The tide clock hanging in the kitchen marks the rhythms of the dramatic tidal shift that swells and retreats into and out of the Bay of Fundy lifting lobster boats from the pebbled shore over forty feet into their briny waves. 

There is something nostalgic about this place. The salt air and buoy lined cottages draw us back to childhood memories of visiting the small ports of Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island. We are so thankful for the opportunity to share with Ava a taste of our Maritime heritage.

Harbour House, Halls Harbour, Nova Scotia
Halls Harbour at low tide on a Monday night
Darrell Bustin speaking at Centreville Baptist, Nova Scotia
This past weekend, Aaron, and our colleagues Darrell Bustin and Randy Stanton spoke at the Eastern Valley Association meetings at Centreville Baptist Church. On Sunday, Bridgwater and Western Shore Baptist Churches hosted us to speak about the ministry of CBM in Africa.
Travelling on the South Shore of Nova Scotia
Our good friend Joel Wentzell and Aaron at Western Shore Baptist Church
Mahone Bay friends with us at Western Shore Baptist Church
Ava, Nancy, and Erica at Sunken Lake, visiting Nancy's quilting 
ministry for girls at New Minas Baptist Church
Erica with our good friends Catherine and Luwanna
Back on Prince Edward Island
Halloween in Brackley, Prince Edward Island
Grampy and Grammie with their first Trick-or-Treater
Happy Halloween!
A huge highlight for Ava was being able to experience a Canadian Haloween with all of her cousins living on Prince Edward Island. She was the pirate villain, Uma, from Disney's Descendants.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Praxis: CBM's Best Kept Secret!

Our first experience with CBM's PRAXIS program 
in Kenya, way back in 2008.

We find it amazing that so few people in our Canadian Baptist churches and seminaries seem to know about the Praxis global discipleship program. Chances are that you are in that category of people who haven't heard about what seems to us to be CBM's best-kept secret.

Praxis is an opportunity for emerging Christian leaders in masters and doctoral level studies to experience and reflect upon the mission of God in the world by traveling to visit with CBM partners around the world. 

Since moving to Africa to serve with CBM in 2006, we have hosted two different Praxis groups with our Kenyan and Rwandan partners. Each time, we have found praxis to be a transforming experience.

Dr. Lois Mitchel leading the 2017 Praxis team to Bolivia

In conjunction with our denominational seminaries, CBM is presently receiving applications for the 2018 PRAXIS Global Discipleship scholarship program that will be returning to Bolivia, on May 2-18, 2018. 

Applications are due by November 21, 2017.

This scholarship program is available upon application to a select group of CBM affiliated students enrolled in an accredited theological school and pursuing graduate-level seminary studies (at a Masters or Doctoral level). 

Each scholarship, estimated at $5500, provides the opportunity for the accepted participant to engage in missiological reflection on a significant issue related to Gospel and Culture in a global context.

In Bolivia, the participants will be hosted by the Bolivian Baptist Union and will have the opportunity, alongside Bolivian participants, to study, reflect and see practical examples of Integral Mission being implemented through the local church. 

The theme of this year's course is "Integral Mission and Creation Care". Dr. Lois Mitchell, the professor of record, will travel with the participants and will lead in this reflection. 

If you are interested or perhaps know of someone who would be, please follow this link and Learn More Here. Or contact Adrian Gardner at 1.905.821.3533.

Monday, October 30, 2017

When October Goes

Worshipping with the York Association
at Brunswick Street Baptist Church.

Travelling from Halls Harbour to Fredericton, gave us time to listen to Stuart McLean's unreleased stories from the Vinyl Cafe. Listening to MacLean's reflections about the sweet melancholy of the season of late Autumn, and the exploits of Dave and Morley, was a beautiful way to experience the drive along the hedges of mostly bare trees. A few days of strong winds have transformed the landscape of these maritime roads from gold to silver, as the last leaves linger. 

As we made our way into Geary, we could smell the wood smoke from chimneys. Unlike Kenya, the days are growing shorter here in Canada. Ava is beginning to notice the dark mornings and early sunsets. She is hoping to catch some snowflakes before returning to Africa later in November. 

Sharing at the Queens Sunbury Association at Geary Baptist Church.

Over the weekend, we met with people representing churches throughout the Queens Sunbury and York Baptist Associations. We are so thankful for the support and interest that we encountered. Every time we speak, we are reminded how the story of God's work in the world is the story of all of us. 

As we leave this area to travel to visit with family on Prince Edward Island, we continue to pray for the life and ministry of these local congregations. Each church is involved with important ministries in their communities and with Canadian Baptists around the world. We pray for continued vitality and joy as they serve their neighbours.

Here are a few pictures from our weekend in the Fredericton area. We will be speaking next on Saturday, November 4th, in Centreville, Nova Scotia.

Suzanne and Rev. Robert Weaver at Geary Baptist Church.

Bob and Judy Bettle our host family in Douglas, New Brunswick.

Rev. Peter Moore of Douglas Baptist leading the gathering in prayer.

Rev. Greg Geldart with Ava discussing the finer details of cartwheels.

Wonderful to connect with Dan and Melody Grove, soon to return to Cameroon.