Erica presenting at Glen Acres Baptist Church
Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario
Travelling through Southern Ontario, we have been blessed by our time with churches and friends that are committed to the good work that we share in together Canadian Baptists. From helping newly arrived refugee families in Canada to providing pastoral care and support to people in need, the Canadian churches that we have visited are passionate about living generously for the good of their communities.
In Kitchener Waterloo, we had the pleasure of meeting with representatives from women's groups from the South Central Association of the Canadian Baptist of Ontario and Quebec. Along with their local initiatives, these groups are strongly involved in international ministry supporting and participating in projects that are making a difference in communities in Africa, India, and Latin America. We appreciated the opportunity to give updates, tell stories, and answer questions about our shared work.
Visiting with new friends at First Baptist Guelph
On Sunday, we participated in worship at First Baptist Church, Guelph. We are very thankful for the welcome we received and for the evident desire of people to share in the ministry happening in Africa.
People often ask us about how they can get involved in the global work of CBM. There are many ways that we see individuals and churches participating, including financial support through becoming a "partner in mission" with our family or engaging other important programs. Volunteering through a short term mission opportunity or an educational program like Praxis. Mobilizing others in your church or community to learn, advocate, and pray for international missions.
We are also excited to see the emergence of the 323 Collective, an opportunity for artisans in Canada and the Global South to share the creative passions to improve the lives of the vulnerable and marginalized.
Handmade. For Good.
The 323 Collective is a new program that Canadian Baptist Ministries will be launching this October. More than an online store, the 323 Collective comes out of Colossians 3:23 which encourages us to use our vocation as an expression of our love for God -- "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord."
There are a couple of really amazing things that are taking shape through this program. First, it provides a marketplace for groups involved in microenterprise development. Erica and our friend, Brenda Halk, have been working together to connect Canadian Churches with self-help group ministries in Kenya where women are improving their household income and access to education through beautiful handmade scarves. Scarved purchased through the 323 Collective directly benefit these women.
Brenda Halk sharing about the 323 Collective
Secondly, the 323 Collective provides a platform for Canadian artisans to donate their in-kind gifts to support the CBM program of their choice. When 323Collective.org launches next month, people will be able to purchase handmade mittens made by Muriel Bent of Middleton, Nova Scotia. The proceeds from Muriel's mittens are being used to support important work in India where CBM is helping girls attend school and rural farmers to improve food security.
We hope to share more about the 323 Collective as it comes online this October. We are excited to see how God might use the talents and giftedness of artists and craftspeople to bless and strengthen people around the world.