Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Peace & Reconciliation

Maureen, Judith, and Erica at BTL, Ruiru

Today we participated in the first of a three-day training conference on peace, reconciliation, and conflict management with our CBM colleagues and African partner churches. This is a timely focus for our Kenyan team as Kenya suffers further acts of violence against Muslim sheiks and churches in Mombassa this week. This most recent incident follows a series of attacks against churches over the past year. Unrest throughout Kenya is of great concern among our church partners. “With the coming national elections,” warned Dr. Julius Karanja of the African Christian Church & Schools, “grave concerns are felt among Kenyans that the wounds from the 2008 post-election violence have not yet healed... at the grassroots mistrust is high and has not improved with time.” 

The conference is being facilitated by our colleague Gato Munyamasoko from Rwanda, where he has headed peace and reconciliation efforts with the Rwandan Baptist Association. Together we have been learning principles and best practises in peace and reconciliation in anticipation of a new peace building program with the African Brotherhood Church and African Christian Church & Schools. The conference participants were challenged by the question “Who is going to reconcile, who is the person with the skills, time and ability to bring together, encourage and reconcile?” asked our colleague Ruth Munyao. Stepping forward as ambassadors for peace should be woven into the fabric of who we are as Christ followers.

Ruth Munyao addressing the participants

Aaron, Dr. Karanja, and Gato

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Congratulations Pauline!

 On Friday, our colleague Pauline Kariuki graduated from the Masters  of Development program at Nairobi University. Pauline joined our CBM team about three years ago, working with Ruth Munyao out of our Machakos office. She currently supports the ministry of CBM in Kenya through logistical coordination of short term missions, and monitoring & evaluation of community development. After the ceremony, we joined her family and friends for a great time of celebration!

Congratulating Pauline with our team mates Wayne and Maureen Morgan -- We are so proud of you Pauline!

CBM Year in Review

Looking back on this past year, this video was shared at the Oasis 2012 gathering of the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches. It is exciting to see the wider impact of CBM around the world!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Birth day!

Emma celebrating her Eleventh Birthday

August 16th, was a very special day as we celebrated Emma’s birthday and welcomed little Sophie into the world. We are so excited for our friends Laura and Kennedy were blessed with the safe birth of their first daughter. Emma was also thrilled to share her birthday with little Sophie.

Over the weekend, she had friends over for a sleepover and games. A highlight was making flowered hair bands with mommy and her girlfriends. 

Congratulations to Laura and Kennedy on the birth
of their beautiful baby Girl, Sophie
born August 16, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

SHG visit

Meeting with Self Help Group
Members at our home

Hawa with Safiya's daughter, Ruwaydo

Enjoying a great day with Aisha, Patrick and the ladies of the Noor Self Help Group

Monday, August 13, 2012

Eastleigh Community Centre

Erica and our friends John and Stephen at the 
Eastleigh Community Centre, Eastleigh

Aaron and Pharis Nyaga, director of the ECC

Today, we had the joy of visiting our good friends at the 
Eastleigh Community Centre in Nairobi. A lot has 
changed at the community centre since we first 
began working together in 2007. We were delighted to
find Pharis Nyaga now serving as the director. Pharis had
been instrumental in helping us establish the self help project
with refugee women in Eastleigh! He was sharing with us 
today how he began humbly at the centre as a costodian, and over 
the years became an automotive instructor, leader of community 
based training, self help group manager, head of the vocational
training centre, and now the director. Pharis' love for the Eastleigh
community and his passion for empowering people to overcome
poverty is gift that he brings to the centre. 

Under Pharis' leadership, the community centre is putting focus on
helping young people put their training into practice through 
innovation and enterprise development. We are excited to see what
God has in store for this important urban ministry!

Please remember the Eastleigh Community Centre in your prayers
as they make important transitions. We are thankful for the board and 
leadership team who are dedicated to the ministry of the church in Eastleigh.

Laura and Kennedy

Laura and Kennedy

We were very excited to visit with our friends Laura and Kennedy, who are expecting their first child at any moment!! Laura had promised that the baby would wait for our return from Canada, and although she is a week over due this baby is obedient. 

We are so thankful for Laura and continue to pray for her as she begins her maternity leave from the CBM urban ministry program in Nairobi. We will continue to visit over the fall as they begin the adventure of parenting.

Uplifting the Church in NEP

Our Canadian Baptist Ministries colleagues Yattani and Michel
this past week in Nairobi, Kenya

In the aftermath of the July 1st attacks against churches in Garissa, North Eastern Province, our colleagues Yattani, Michel and William have continued walking in solidarity with the churches of Garissa. Last month, they hosted a gathering for Church leaders to share and heal from the trauma of the attacks and persecution that they have experienced. With the help of Canadian Baptist churches, we have also been able to provide funds to respond to the medical and burial costs for the families of the 18 people killed and 60 injured. Presently, many of the injured continue to receive care for the physical and emotional wounds from the attack. 

Please continue to pray for our work in North Eastern Province. At the end of this month, we will be participating in a peace and reconciliation conference organized by CBM in Ruiru. Again in September, we will be facilitating a gathering of 44 Christian leaders and pastors in further training on post traumatic stress syndrome and integral mission. Walking in partnership with local churches in times like this is central to who we are as Canadian Baptists. Thank you for being a part of this ministry through your support, encouragement and prayer!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

First day of School

We arrived back in Nairobi earlier this week after a great three months in Canada. We are thankful for our friends the Hepburns, Penners and Sharlene Craig for seeing us off from Pearson International! We also had the joy of travelling with the Bustin family, who have just begun serving with Canadian Baptist Ministries in Rwanda.

Although still a little jet lagged from the journey, our kids were excited to start a new year at school today. We are so thankful for the great school, teachers and community of friends that we are blessed with through Rosslyn Academy.

Ava excited to start her first day of Kindergarten 
at Rosslyn Academy, Nairobi

Tristan, Emma and Ava on the way out 
of the door to school this morning.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vacation Week

We are presently in Washington, D.C., on our way back to Canada before our return to Kenya. We had a great vacation week with our friends the Myers family, and Aaron's sister Amanda, Justin and their beautiful children. Our kids had a fantastic time visiting with their cousins and experiencing the attractions of Orlando.

We continue to remember our friends and colleagues in Kenya, Rwanda, and Liberia. We are praying for Tim and Diane Bannister who are both recovering from Malaria. Also, please remember the Godwin family as Colin and Karen prepare for their eldest sons first year of university.

We also continue to uplift the churches of Garissa as they heal from this past months attacks. Please remember the pastors fellowship and our team there.

Thank you again for the many ways that you have all encouraged and supported our family during this home assignment and the ongoing ministry of CBM!