Friday, September 27, 2013

Volunteer Opportunity in Kenya


Dear friends,

We are very excited to share with you a new initiative of Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) and our Kenyan Partner Churches for the summer of 2014. Together we are launching an annual camping ministry for the orphans and vulnerable children of the Guardians of Hope, CBM’s international response to HIV and AIDS.

We are presently looking for 24 Canadian volunteers to come and serve as camp leaders and counsellors in Kenya for two weeks next August.

The GOH Camps will provide a safe and fun opportunity for the children to gather together and build supportive and loving relationships with Kenyan and Canadian mentors. Each Canadian volunteer will enable 5 Kenyan children and youth to experience the love and hope of Christ through the GOH Camp ministry.

We are looking for churches, youth groups, Christian Camps and individuals to help make this a transformational experience for the children of the Guardians of Hope. 

You can learn more about the camp, or apply as a volunteer, by contacting Carole Philips at or (905) 821- 3533.

In the Abounding Love of Christ,
Aaron & Erica Kenny 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Time for Mourning

Photo: Rosslyn Academy flags flying at half mast, in memory of the lives taken during the Westgate terrorist attacks.

Flags flying at half mast at Rosslyn Academy

We want to thank everyone for their prayers and notes of concern for our family and our CBM colleagues here in Kenya. We are all safe and grateful for our wonderful community of faith and support! It means a lot, knowing that so many churches and friends are upholding Kenya in prayer at this time.

Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, addressed the nation yesterday declaring the Westgate Terrorist Crisis over and calling for three days of national mourning. At present, we know of 69 people that were killed in the attack and many more seriously injured.

This morning, after a prayer service at Rosslyn Academy, we had an opportunity to talk with other families who are grieving the loss of friends and the injury of students who were at the shopping mall when the attackers struck. As memorial services and funerals are being arranged, grief counselling and support for the families and children are also being provided. Please remember in prayer the children and families affected by this horrible tragedy.

As CBM continues to work in partnership with Kenyan churches, we are committed to sharing the hope and healing of Christ in word and in deed. Please pray for peace and security in Kenya, and for leadership in the diverse faith communities to work in solidarity for the good of their neighbours.

"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of confusion or despair, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing... not curing... that is a friend indeed." --Henri Nouwen 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Women in Action

African Christian Church & Schools
Women in Action
2013 National Conference

This past Sunday, we journeyed to the community of Kigumo, in Kenya's Central Province, with Aaron's parents, Cecil and Marie Kenny, to participate in the ACC&S's annual Women's Celebration. Well over 2500 women representatives from each of the ACC&S's 9 regions gathered for a day of worship and solidarity as "Women in Action" at the Kigumo Bendera Boys Secondary School.

Erica was invited by the ACC&S moderator, Dr. Julius Karanja, to give a key address to the women. She shared about the importance of the Church as the full body of Christ, encouraging the ACC&S to continue to value the diversity and unique contributions of every person, and for women to embrace God's purposes for them in the communities where they have been place.

The ladies finding some shade from the hot afternoon sun

Meeting with members of the ACC&S executive

Aaron sharing our appreciation for the partnership of CBM and the ACC&S, 
who have walked together for almost 40 years. It was a privilege to meet past-moderators and leaders of the ACC&S who had been a key part of the original discussions with CBM leaders like John Keith and Bob Berry back in the early 1970's when our partnership began.

Women with a strong voice!

Marie and Jedida Karanja at her home, near Thika

Celebrating a great day with the Karanja family

Erica and Ava peaking in on the rabbits at the Karanja farm

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Waliwana children in Kenya's North Eastern Province 
receiving lunch at their village's daily feeding program

Among the many initiatives of Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) in Africa, emergency relief is a crucial one. When a crisis hits a community to the point where people are no longer able to cope, relief is an important first step on the road to recovery. Relief actions are designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity in the aftermath of a crisis.

Currently, CBM is involved in several important relief efforts in assisting displaced communities in Kenya's North Eastern Province, Syrian refugees in Lebanon and communities affected by military insurgency and insecurity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the same time our team in Rwanda is launching a new relief initiative to address hundreds of refugee families that are moving into Rwanda.

Relief projects require a great effort, as local churches, the national CBM team, partner staff and our Canadian colleagues work together to assess the situation, collaborate with other government and non-governmental organizations that may be working in the same region, design the most appropriate intervention, and mobilize the necessary resources.

Implementing takes place as CBM's team works with local people to deliver specific interventions to the targeted households, or community, in a given time period. Helping a community get back on its feet (to the level it was at pre-crisis) is the immediate goal, but as a faith-based organization our over arching motivation is to see people experience a full and abundant life. Beyond bringing emergency water, food, shelter and health care is our first response, but working together with local churches our long term response is to help people achieve food security, experience peace and reconciliation with their neighbours, and embrace hope. Ultimately, poverty is about brokenness: Social, Economical, Environmental and Spiritual.

In each of CBM's African Relief projects, local churches are responding to the needs of their neighbours. Presence is an important aspect of our work as followers of Christ demonstrate their faith in word and in deed. 

In Kenya's North Eastern Province, CBM is helping three local congregations who are currently walking with their neighbours through daily feeding programs that are serving vulnerable families and school children affected by the the severe famine of 2011, that displaced thousands of people in the Horn of Africa. In partnership with the Garissa-based Sister's Maternity Hospital (SIMAHO), the churches are providing basic health care and nutritional support to communities that the CBM Kenya team is assisting with food security programs that are improving sustainable agriculture, public health and education. You can read more about this ministry in our latest update letter: Click Here to Read

Bruno and Kathleen Soucy

Bruno and Kathleen Soucy

For nearly eight years, the Soucys have served as Canadian Baptist Ministries' global field staff in Rwanda, where they have provided leadership and support in the area of sustainable community development for the Association of Rwandan Baptist Churches. They have been instrumental in shaping effective initiatives in literacy, food security, micro enterprise development and peace building throughout Rwanda and mentoring an outstanding team of young leaders who continue to walk with local churches in the holistic ministry of integral mission.

The Soucy's have also invested their hearts in the ministry of hospitality and discipleship as they have dedicated themselves to building one of the most integrated short term mission programs that we have ever witnessed. Each year, they and the CBM Rwanda team have facilitated volunteer groups and individuals who have been transformed by their experience of serving Rwandan communities through local churches.

On September 29th, Bruno and Kathleen will be completing their ministry in Rwanda and beginning their transition to Latin America, where they will serve as team leaders. Please remember them in your prayers as they connect with our colleagues in Brazil and Bolivia, begin their orientation with CBM's partner churches and organizations, and settle into their new community. We are also praying for great success as they begin language study. We join the Soucys in praying for the CBM Rwanda team and the ongoing ministry of Integral Mission. You can read more about their ministry through their latest update: Read their update letter here.

The CBM Kenya team's farewell party for the Soucys

Following our CBM Kenya team meeting on Monday, we enjoyed a fun time of fellowship and farewell as friends and colleagues. We are so thankful for the great people whom God has called to serve through CBM and for their diverse talents, gifts and personalities that shape our common work.

Erica & I will especially miss Bruno & Kathleen who joined CBM together with us, Tim & Diane Bannister and David & Susanna Nacho in 2006. Together we have shared many great memories in Canada, Kenya and Rwanda. We are thankful for how they have modelled generous hospitality, sincere faith and courageous leadership. Most of all, we are thankful for their treasured friendship. As we continue as part of CBM's global work, we will look forward to more laughter, adventures and late night conversations.

Tristan, Emma and Ava 
saying good-bye to Bruno and Kathleen

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Praying for Syria

This past June, our family had the pleasure of spending a week with our Canadian Baptist Ministries partner and colleagues serving in Lebanon. CBM's team in Lebanon is leading cutting edge work in theological education and training for the Christian Church in the Muslim majority region of North Africa and the Middle East. They are also spearheading vital humanitarian work among refugees and displaced communities affected by the unrest in Syria. Our friend and fellow CBM global field staff, Rupen Das, was recently interviewed about the situation facing Syria and the local churches caught in the middle. Please read and share his interview below, and join us in praying for God's people in places of uncertainty and turmoil.

"Syrian Christians in Danger if US Attacks,
Christian Relief Worker Says"