Sunday, September 28, 2014

Back in the water!

Emma’s first Swim Meet of 2014

Being back to school, our children are also happy to return to sports and extracurricular fun at Rosslyn Academy. Both Emma and Ava are swimming this fall on the Rosslyn Swim Team. This weekend was Emma’s first Middle and High School meet with Peponi School here in Nairobi.

She did fantastic winning first place in two of the events and second place in three others. We are very grateful for coaches Jon Hravatic and Mindy Seeman for the encouragement and strong coaching that they are providing the students. Our girls are having a great time!

Erica warming Emma up after the races

All three our our children are also very involved in choir and drama. The choral season will soon be upon us with concerts and the high school play in November. 

Please remember our children and their friends in your prayers. Rosslyn Academy is home to hundreds of young people who are going through times of great transition. We are thankful for the wonderful teachers and staff who provide such an important ministry to our family and so many others.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

CBM Africa: Partnership


Serving in partnership is a powerful way of enabling the Church in its many manifestations to pursue a common vision. Certainly working together allows us as Canadian Baptists to achieve more than we could on our own. But the real bedrock of partnership is the fact that it brings us into deeper fellowship with other members of the family of God. 

As Canadian Baptists, we have called this experience global discipleship. It is the mutual learning, encouragement and edification that is born out of walking side by side, shoulder to shoulder, with our international partner churches. Learning with and from one another, everyone is made stronger in our pursuit of deepening our Christian faith and witness.

This past week, Erica and I had the joy of meeting with four of the African denominational leaders who are an integral part of the ministry of Canadian Baptists in Africa.

Meeting at Heart Lodge, Nairobi

Canadian Baptist Ministries is currently working with partner churches in the areas of capacity building, cross-cultural ministry, evangelism, theological education, literacy and education, HIV and AIDS, food security, relief and community development.

During our meetings, we discussed opportunities for multilateral collaboration as partner churches come along side each other. Eight key areas of priority were identified, namely: Human Resource Management; Theological Education; Peace and Reconciliation; Children’s Ministry; Inter-Religious Dialogue; Gender and Women’s Ministry; Marriage and Family Ministries; and Financial Management.

Please join us in praying for our partner churches.

Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki
Africa Brotherhood Church (ABC)
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo

“In the past, women within our church had been trained as “sisters”. They could become secretaries, teachers and even preachers. But now in the past three-years, we have ordained 300 women pastors. Of our total 648 pastors, now nearly half are women. There are now two women canons of the church and in these last three-years women are now on the governing council. Of the 45 members, 15 are women. These are important changes in our church.”

Please pray for the ABC as the church seeks to strengthen its congregations and communities through the empowerment of women. In the words of Charles Malik, “The fastest way to change society is to mobilize the women of the world.”

Executive Minister Rev. Dr. Kakule Molo
Community of Baptists of Central Africa (CBCA)
Democratic Republic of Congo

“We are thankful to God. Our country has gone through reoccurring wars, but one year ago one of the most difficult rebel movements, M23, was defeated... Recently we had a conference for 700 of our pastors. Trauma healing is a major need in our church. There are so many victims of rape. In my home church alone we are helping 3200 women and children born of rape. Most of our congregation has been traumatized. Even our pastor was recently kidnapped by bandits, but he escaped.”

Please pray for the CBCA as its churches provide medical and emotional healing through their 155 medical facilities, as well as their education programs and churches.

Moderator Rt. Rev. Joseph Maina
African Christian Church and Schools

“Planting new non-Kikuyu churches is a major initiative of the ACC&S. Our goal is to establish ten new churches in the next three years. Already in 2014 we have had success. There are four new churches already planted this year and we have two new start ups that are not fully established yet... God is building the church so quickly that now we see the need for more trained pastors!"

Please pray for the work of church planting and pastoral training for the ACC&S. Theological education and cross-cultural ministry are two important growing edges for the church.

Legal Representative Rev. Gato Munyamasoko
Association of Rwandan Baptist Churches (AEBR)

“One of the new initiatives in the AEBR is cell group ministries. A cell group is usually twenty people at the household level. In Kinyarwanda we say “The House Where People Share”. It is a movement that brings people together for praying, sharing, and learning. Church members organize their groups in the community and invite their neighbours. In Rwanda the groups also save money together and make sure that everyone is able to be apart of the national health insurance program.”

Please pray for the outreach ministries of the AEBR as they train leaders and group facilitators in their new cell group ministries throughout the country.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

CBM Urban Muslim Ministries Team

Lucky, Patrick, Erica, Aisha and Laura

In the Nairobi communities of Eastleigh, Pangani, Haruma, KyaMichael, and Kariobangi, Canadian Baptist Ministries has several initiatives that are strengthening the lives of displaced Muslim groups who have come to the city to find a better life.

We are so thankful to our colleagues Laura, Patrick, Aisha, Lucky, Andrew and Alamu who make up the CBM urban outreach teach. Together they are leading adult literacy classes, self help group programs, livelihood training and children’s education scholarships. Recently, the self help group program has been distributing ceramic water filters and training households on the importance of clean drinking water. We are very appreciative of the generous contributions through the annual CBM Gift Catalogue that have provided hundreds of families with clean drinking water in the urban slums of Nairobi.

Urban ministry is about connecting with people and their stories. It is about drawing people into community where they discover identity and meaning. Over the past eight years, we have been continually blessed by the incredible people that we have had the joy of serving in urban centres like Nairobi, Kigali, Goma, Juba, Mombasa, Garissa, Thika and Machakos. These are important hubs of their societies. Places where people of diverse backgrounds gather. Places where the hope of God in Christ transforms lives.

In an urban context we work with a multiplicity of cultures, religious backgrounds, economic status, and world views. But what we bring into it is the beautiful message of grace and acceptance. We believe that if God’s love is for anybody anywhere, then it is for everybody everywhere! 

Please pray for the CBM urban team in Nairobi. Everyday we face complex and overwhelming problems of poverty, injustice, and violence. Our team asks for wisdom and discernment as we seek to make the best use of our limited resources for the good of the people we serve. Please pray for the safety of our team and the communities that we serve as crime, terrorism and ethnic violence are major vulnerabilities. 

We thank God that we are not on this journey alone. That each and every day we know that God is with us and that God loves the people of Nairobi far more deeply and profoundly than we could ever imagine.

"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. 
It is an act of justice” — Nelson Mandela

Sunday, September 21, 2014