Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall Choral Concert

Praise His Holy Name
preformed by the Imago Dei Choir, the High School Concert Choir and the Rosslyn Singers

Last evening, Rosslyn Academy’s Music Department presented their "Fall Choral Concert” under the direction of Mark and Audrey Statler. 

It was without a doubt one of the most fun concerts that we’ve enjoyed at Rosslyn. During the concert, each of the five Middle School and High School choirs shared popular and sacred music from the James Bond theme and Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin' to Wade in the Water and River in Judea. The evening ended with everyone dancing in the aisles during an encore performance of Praise His Holy Name.

Chords of Love
Tristan preforming with the Rosslyn Singers

Owl City’s Shooting Star
Emma performing with the Imago Dei Choir

We were blessed to have our friends Tim and Diane Bannister join us for the concert. The Bannister’s, who have been staying with us this past week, are returning to Canada next week. It was fun to have them with us on a week when the Rosslyn Academy High School was in competition with their old school Rift Valley Academy (RVA). On Thursday, the Rosslyn High School students did a “black out” day to support the varsity basketball teams in their rival game with RVA.

The Men of Rosslyn Singers

Preforming Arts is one of the great joys of student life for our children. We are looking forward to a great fall. In November Tristan will be performing in the High School play, Our Town, and Ava will be singing in the Elementary Music program. In December, both Tristan and Emma will be singing in the Middle School and High School Christmas concerts.

Diana and Emma

Ezra, Michael and TK

Tristan and Daddy

Emma and Mommy after the show

Ava’s First Swim Meet

Ava’s First Swim Meet

On Friday afternoon, Ava raced in her first swimming competition on the Rosslyn Academy Elementary School Swim team.  She did fantastic and her girls 250 meter relay team came in first place. Ava swam butterfly, freestyle, and backstroke.

We are very thankful to coach Mindy Seeman for the encouragement and support that she has shared with Ava and the elementary school swim team. It has already been a great year for Ava as she learns new strokes and gains more confidence in the water.

Way to Go Rosslyn!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Improved Sanitation and Hygeine

One of 18 new hand washing stations in CBM’s three target communities
of North Eastern Province, Kenya

Only a year ago, we had written about the fact that there was not a single safe latrine in the three communities where CBM is serving along the Tana River of North Eastern Province, Kenya. Our primary intervention was to help these communities recover from drought and displacement through food for work projects and conservation agriculture (These initiatives are still ongoing). We soon discovered several public health issues facing the people. One primary need was for improved sanitation and hygiene. They along with 69% of people in Subsaharan Africa did not have a single safe latrines or toilet.

Well, that was true a year ago, but not today!

Our colleagues William Wako, Geoffrey Mwita and Jackson Andai have been working with these communities over the past six months to establish eighteen community toilets and hand washing stations, all hand dug and built by the community members themselves.

"There are more than 300 houses in Bakuyu,” confesses Geoffrey, “but these first six toilets are making a big difference. The community has divided up into committees each responsible for maintaining their toilet and protecting it from vandalism. Already the committees are planning to build more. They just needed help to get started. Most of the materials were already there, they just didn’t see how to use them."

Community volunteers working together
to build a kitchen for the Buula Pamoja
Community School

Please continue to pray for the work in North Eastern Province and for the health and wellbeing of the people of these communities.

You can learn more about the work of CBM in Africa and around the world on our website at

Oh, and by the way.... even the soap at each station is handmade 
by a community group - Pretty cool!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CBM Africa Team: Maureen Morgan

Maureen Morgan

The Canadian Baptist Ministries Africa Team is a diverse group of men and women who serve among our partner churches and their communities in the area of integral mission. Over the past few months, we have been sharing short interviews with many of our colleagues serving with us here in Africa. 

This month, we have the joy of introducing you to our friend and co-worker Maureen Morgan, who has been living in Kenya with her husband Wayne and their son Michael since December 2011.

Along with her work with the African Christian Church and Schools, Maureen coordinates the ministry of short term mission volunteers that come from Canada to serve among our various ministries and partners within Kenya. 

For all who know Maureen, she is a fun loving and inclusive person who draws others into participating in all aspects of ministry from worship to acts service. 

We are especially thrilled over the organization and attention to detail that Maureen has brought to the preparation for the upcoming Kamp Tumaini program with the Guardians of Hope children. God is using Maureen’s giftedness to bring together many people from a wide spectrum of backgrounds to share their gifts and talents in this important ministry.

        "Ever since I was a child growing up in Toronto, I have been burdened by the suffering and injustices in our world and have wanted to be a part of the solution.  I went into the field of Nursing for that reason, and in the hopes that one day God would open the doors for me to work “overseas” as a missionary.

And He did. Twenty years later, on January 1st, 2012, my husband, Wayne, and I arrived in Kenya to begin our work as Global Field Staff with CBM.

As a lecturer at the African Christian Church & Schools (ACC&S) School of Theology, Wayne helps to prepare young leaders to embrace a holistic understanding of the gospel of Christ.  

At the same time we work with the ACC&S Development Department as they help churches to reach out to their communities – through programs involving agriculture, water, HIV/AIDS awareness and support, income generation and micro-credit, to name a few. We also help to facilitate “global discipleship” with short-term mission teams from Canada who come to Kenya to support the work of CBM and its partners.

After almost 3 years “on the field”, we are continuing to grow in our understanding of the culture, of the challenges faced by the people of Kenya, and of our role in building the capacity of the ACC&S to reach out and minister holistically in their communities.  And we continue to have a growing appreciation and love of the Kenyan people. 

I have been humbled and amazed by the capacity of people to love; to embrace hope; to hold onto faith in God’s goodness, in the face of challenges; to be grateful for the little they have; and to be generous in spite of their own needs.  We are daily challenged to humbly reflect on ourselves in light of all that we learn from those around us.

So it is both a joy and a challenge to be living in this Kenyan context.  It is a joy to be a small part of God’s work, helping to relieve suffering and bringing about God’s Kingdom here in Kenya - to see the faces of people who have new found hope for the future.  But it is a challenge because in spite all of the good work that is being done, there is still so much more that needs to be done. 

Daily we see the faces of suffering - and it breaks our hearts. We ask God why he allows it to continue - but the answers don’t come easily. Still, we press on, trusting that God, who is clearly at work in Kenya in powerful ways, in the lives of his children, has everything under control.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Ephesians 3:20-21

So please continue to pray for wisdom, humility and discernment as we continue to work with our partner, the ACC&S, and for the members of the ACC&S to have strength to continue being a part of holistic transformation in their communities and in their nation.

Thank you and God bless you for taking the time to read and pray for us."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


A frisky elephant following our car
in the expansive Samburu Game Reserve

This past weekend, we had a great time away with our friends Andrea, Alix and their families. We traveled together to Isiolo and into the great Northern Plains of Samburu for the Mashujaa Day long weekend.

Without a doubt this is one of the most dramatic landscapes that we’ve ever experienced in Africa:  As we descended from the lush central highlands, we were met by the wide white and tan plains,  fringed by massive kajobe hill outcroppings, intertwined by purple brown rivers and peppered with the vibrant green Acacia trees and Duom Palms. Our pictures do not do justice to the beauty of this arid region.

Beisa oryxes fighting on the arid plain

Silver backed jackals hunting stray lambs from the nearby Boran herds. We followed a group of three jackals that had just snatched a young sheep.

Erica and I walking along the Ewaso Ngiro River
in the Shaba Reserve

Stunning Grevy’s Zebra
This mother and her fowl stayed near our campsite

This proud reticulated giraffe also enjoyed
the Acacia trees near our camp

Elegant long-necked gerenuks

The kids enjoying a spotlit feeding of the crocodiles 
on the Ewaso River below our camp

One of the highlights of the trip happened one evening as we were perched on the side of a low cliff watching the crocodiles snapping, we heard great splashing moving down the river towards us. Everyone froze and the crashing sound, when all of the sudden three massive bull elephants came barging into the light. They turned and flapped their ears at us and stayed below the cliff for about thirty minutes. The crocodiles scurrying out of their way and onto the sandy banks of the river.

A great afternoon of tossing kubbs!

Hornbills near buffalo springs in Samburu

A great weekend!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Prayer Update: Ebola

The global response to the Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak in West Africa was slow to start, but as the government of Canada’s first shipment of protective gear reaches Sierra Leone a massive effort on the ground is racing to contain the virus and care for those affected.

While there are 3400 confirmed deaths in West Africa, it is believed that the virus has actually taken far more lives as many people were not accessing medical facilities early on.

Today the world media announced the first case contracted outside of Africa. The woman, a Spanish nurse working in Madrid, was treating two Spanish missionaries who died of the virus while receiving care in Spain.

There have been no cases of Ebola in Rwanda or Kenya where we and our CBM colleagues and partner churches live and work. East Africa is taking great precaution to screen all visitors and to limit travel from any Ebola outbreak areas.

As Canadian Baptists, we do have partner churches in Liberia West Africa that are ministering at the heart of the current Ebola Outbreak. Zion Grove Baptist Church in Brewerville, Liberia, is currently working to help over 5000 people in its immediate community with prevention. You can support this relief effort directly through CBM. Visit our website here.

Please join us in praying for churches that are ministering to their congregations and neighbours in the midst of this terribly situation. Pray for peace and security within the affected communities. Pray for the safe distribution of food and supplies for the thousands of people that are in desperation, for the medical workers and volunteers that are on the front lines of care, and for the thousands of families suffering through loss and grief.

No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Eight Years Old!

Ava and her pals having a

Ava celebrated her Eighth Birthday this past weekend with her teachers and some of her Rosslyn friends. They had a garden tea party filled with dancing, games and yummy snacks. Here are a few snap shots of the party.

Miss Sarah Idsardi, Miss Lindsay Lane, Emma,
Indera, Pheobe, Ava and Marna

Miss Melanie McKee, Miss Kerry Jividen (and Zuri), and Erica

Ava and Zuri having fun in our garden

Daddy leading some silly games

Pheobe, Ava, Indera, and Marna
on a butterfly hunt in our garden

Mommy’s homemade Birthday tutus

The girls playing on the tea party 
cushion with their baby owls

Emma and mommy made each of the girls 
baby owls as party favours

Friday, October 3, 2014

Thinking Ahead!

 CBM Project Officers’ Meeting Today in Nairobi

We had the pleasure today of meeting with our colleague, Lenny Mbogo, and three of the project officers within our CBM ministry teams in North Eastern Province and Nairobi, Kenya. 

September and October are the planning months within our annual project cycle as we evaluate each year’s first three quarters of ministry and fine tune our project planning for the coming year. It is an important time of reflection and collaboration as we ask the question “how can we be better?”.

Lenny serves as CBM’s program officer for Africa where she has been overseeing 44 CBM/partner projects and 6 CBM/CFGB/Partner projects for the past few years. It is a HUGE responsibility, but thankfully we have a great team of partner and CBM workers who are passionate about helping local churches effectively bring hope and healing into the brokenness of their communities. We deeply appreciate her ability to both encourage and challenge us to become more effective in the work that we are doing.

Geoffrey sharing about the challenges facing the 
communities that CBM is assisting in our relief efforts

While our funding as CBM global and national field staff comes directly from the generosity and support of churches and individuals who wish to donate to CBM as our "partners in mission”, the actual ministry projects that we and our colleagues are engaged in are funded from a number of sources including third party agencies (Such as Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Baptist World AID, and other organizations), special donor appeals (Such as the Ebola campaign or the current Relief Campaign for CBM), and direct giving to CBM (through general giving or directed donations through the CBM website or annual gift catalogue). Wow,... there are a lot of links in this paragraph! But please follow the links if you are interested in contributing to our ministry with CBM in Africa. :)

These funds that are entrusted to CBM in Canada are accessed around the world through project grants that our CBM staff and partners work on together with the communities that we serve. This project approach to ministry enables us to work with local churches and community members to identify the local needs and resources, and to walk together in a thoughtful and intentional way. 

Please keep our team in your prayers as we seek God’s leading as we work with our church partners and local community stakeholders in discerning ministry priorities for the coming year.

You can learn more about what CBM is doing in Africa and around the world through our website at

Aaron, Erica, Laura, Lenny, William, 
a waitress photo-bombing, and Geoffrey

“But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.
The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless."
Psalm 10:14

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ava turns Eight!

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y
A  V  A

October 1st was Ava’s eighth birthday. She went to school in her beautiful birthday tutu made by mommy. She is very excited for her birthday party that we will be celebrating with her friends and teachers on this Saturday afternoon. 

Ava wants her birthday celebration to be a garden tea party with lots of dancing and games. We will be sure to share pictures of all the fun.