Friday, May 27, 2016

Prayer Update: CBM Flood Relief in Garrisa

Food Distribution in Garissa

Earlier this week, our Canadian Baptist Ministries' team in North Eastern Kenya facilitated emergency response for survivors of the floods that had washed away farms and homes earlier this month. Medical assistance and mosquito netting were provided, in addition to supplementary dry rations that we distributed to 286 displaced households living in a temporary tented camp near Garissa.

5 kg of Beans, 10 kg of rice, cooking oil, salt and soap were given to each family.

When the floods came, most of these families fled their homes with whatever they could carry on their heads or backs. Over the past week as the flood waters recede, many are venturing back to their villages to see what has remained. Some of the farmers are even returning to their fields and are preparing to plant once again.

Supplementary rations are one way to help the community as they begin to recover from the crisis.

Our colleague William Wako overseeing the distribution with Geoffrey Mwita and Andai Jackson.

Please join us in continuing to pray for this community, our colleagues, local churches, and for the farmers who are starting to return to their fields.

We also pray for support for this relief effort. You can learn more or donate toward this disaster response by contacting Canadian Baptist Ministries. DONATE

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Prayer Update: CBM Flood Relief -- Garissa, Kenya

 Dear friends, we would appreciate your prayers and support for CBM's emergency flood relief response for the community of Bukuyu in Garissa, Kenya.
Just over a week ago, heavy rains coupled with high water levels in the Tana River burst the banks that protected the communities of Sankuri, Zwani and Bukuyu. These are the same people whom we have been working with in conservation agriculture over the past four years. 

The floods washed away homes, farms, and belongings of the hundreds of families living in the villages of Bukuyu. In the days that followed, our CBM colleagues William and Geoffrey assisted Red Cross workers in gathering small boats to rescue families stranded in the flood area.

Today, CBM is assisting 286 of these families with emergency food rations, medical assistance and mosquito netting as they shelter in make shift tents outside of the flood area.

William and Geoffrey meeting with community leaders from Bakuyu at the IDP camp 

William and Andai praying with survivors of the flood

Please join us in praying for the families displaced by the floods. May our God of love protect them and bring new hope to a community who have suffered so much loss and discouragement.

Please pray for our CBM colleagues William, Geoffrey and Andai who are leading the relief response  for CBM in this community.

We also remember three of our partner churches who have had their sanctuaries hit by the floods. We praise God for the way local Christians are helping one another and their neighbours during this crisis.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Rosslyn Academy

We often share posts about our family and the experiences of our children living in Africa. By far, the most significant part of growing up in Kenya has been the incredible gift of the school and community of Rosslyn Academy. Below is a short promotional clip for the school that gives a glimpse into the life of the school. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Transforming Mission: Growing in Partnership

Certificate of Integral Mission
Kenyan and South Sudanese Cohort
May 2016 - Limuru, Kenya
Abby and Samuel

May has been a busy month as we have been facilitating the third modules of Canadian Baptist Ministries' certificate of integral mission program with several of our African church partners. 

We have also had the pleasure of hosting the Kenyan portion of this year's CBM Praxis program (To learn more about Praxis click here). 

The 2016 Praxis team of three theological students and team leader, Paul Carline, are joining us and our partner churches for ten days in Kenya before travelling to Rwanda to join our colleagues and partners there.
Growing in Partnership
The theme of this module has been "Partnership", and we have been exploring together the Biblical and practical dimensions of (1) the purpose, (2) our historical/contemporary context and (3) approaches to international partnerships among Christian organizations. The days and evenings have been shared discussing and learning together about everything from how we experience Christian discipleship cross-culturally, and how we engage fruitfully with people of other faiths, to the skills required for effective proposal writing and collaboration. It has been a very rich time.

 Caroline and Michelle

Together we have been realizing the great value in sharing our different perspectives on God, Christian faith, life, and the communities where we live. It has been an incredible gift  to be with such a diverse group of Christian leaders as we reflect on what Christian partnership means and its importance.

 George and Paul

By no means is partnership always an easy road. It is often cumbersome and challenging as it requires us to slow down, communicate, and examine our unspoken assumptions. Partnership can be messy and costly. 

We have come to appreciate how a spirit of humility, forgiveness, and love are essential ingredients to true partnership.

As author Cathy Ross reminded us in "The Theology of Partnership", true partnership requires trust and commitment, mutual responsibility and shared risk. In Ross's words: “Involvement, responsibility, liability—without these there can be no true partnership. In proportion as they are accepted, the partnership becomes more satisfying and creative.”

 Paul and Dorin

As Canadian Baptists, we realize that partnership within the global Christian community is a vital expression of the oneness and unity of the Church. It is our hope that together we might experience as global disciples of Jesus unity without uniformity and diversity without division.

These sessions have been about mutual sharing and learning, and they represent our common hope for the way the Church will continue to demonstrate solidarity, respect, and mutuality. 

Both our common identity as followers of Jesus and our unique differences make us stronger -- God loves diversity. We see this in the Bible and in creation. 

This does not mean that any of our cultures or traditions are permanent fixtures. All growing things change. Christians are suppose to become more like Christ. The process of becoming is about transformation.

As the apostle Paul tells us in I Corinthians 7:31 "The world as we know it is passing away." 

Over the past two weeks, it has been remarkable how much we have had to learn from one another as Christians from diverse cultural, ethnic, economic, gender and generational perspectives. We have come together to think and talk about what it means to follow Jesus in our changing world.

Ultimately, we believe that God is calling all of God's people to work together in God's great mission of bringing redemption, wholeness, and healing to the world through bearing witness to the love and power of Christ in word, deed and being.

 Alice and Esther

So what does healthy and fruitful partnership look like? Here are five things that have emerged in our time together.

First, it respects and affirms the equality and giftedness of the Whole Church. We are called to honor and love one another, not dominate or ignore the other. Partnership requires us to appreciate and respect others, especially those who differ from ourselves.

 Erica and Jennifer

Second, partnership recognizes that we must prayerfully and deliberately work through our differences to so that Christ might bring us into interdependency and unity.

 Laura, Pauline, Geraldine and William

Third, Partnership requires honest and open communication where we share and discover a common vision for participating in God's mission. 

Judy Webb, CBM director of International Partnerships and Programs
and Dr. Kakule Molo, General Secretary of the Central African Baptist Churches

Fourth, partnership requires flexibility and an attitude of teachability, as we recognize that we are all learning together as fellow disciples of Jesus. 

Finally, partnership requires mutual trust and accountability to Christ and one another.

The Congolese and Rwandan Cohort 
Meeting in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Growing in Partnership is happening in Africa, but it is also a vital part of what it means to be the Church in Canada and throughout the world. As we participate in the beauty and complexity of partnership in the countries where we serve, it is our prayer for you that you might witness and experience the rich blessing of Christian partnership and mutuality where you live and serve as well.

 Jonathan Mills facilitating a discussion on the practice of ministry

These principles of partnership are a part of the picture, but we are all still learning and discovering what it means to walk together in faith in a world so often divided. We would love to hear about how you are experiencing local partnership in your community. What lessons are you learning?

 Jennifer Fernandes teaching 

 Polisi Kivava leading a discussion

Darrell, Laura Lee, Jonathan, Molo. Wendy and Ken

In Prayer

Please pray for us and our Canadian colleagues as we seek to model and live out healthy partnership with our African brethren.  

Join us in praying for the Church in Canada and around the world that we all might grow deeper in healthy partnership both locally and globally. May we together embrace the words of the Lausanne vision for "The Whole Church to bring the Whole Gospel to the Whole World."

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rosslyn Academy Presents Les Misérables

Rosslyn  Academy  Presents
Les Misérables
Nairobi, Kenya, April 2016

We are excited to share with you some photographs from the amazing performance of Les Misérables that Tristan and Emma were a part of last month. A huge thanks to Mrs. Audrey Statler, Mr. Steven Slaughter, Mr. Jose Muniz and the army of student, teacher and parent volunteers that made this show possible. The four sold out shows each ended with standing ovations as the students brought the house down. 

Ezra, Michael and Tristan

Ava congratulating Emma

Emma and Karisa
Tristan, Emmy and Emma