Saturday, November 11, 2017

We will Remember Them

Ava and Grammie earlier this past week at Harbour House,
Halls Harbour, Nova Scotia.

It was well below zero degrees in Dartmouth this morning, as Erica left on her flight to Ontario. She will be speaking tonight in Sarnia for the Middlesex/Lambton/Huron Baptist Association gathering, and on Sunday at Forrest Baptist Church.

Ava and I are bracing for a chilly Remembrance Day, as we are in Halifax this weekend, speaking at West End Baptist Church on Sunday morning.

This is Ava's first Remembrance Day in Canada. As part of this past week's homeschooling, she learned about why we wear bright red poppies and the significance of November 11th for Canadians and members of the Commonwealth. 

During a ceremony at Acadia, we joined in a time of reflection and silence to honour the sacrifice of the men and women that have given their lives in service. Rev. Dr. Harry Gardner shared his personal connection with Remembrance Day, his father a first World War veteran. Reading Laurence Binton's "For the Fallen", he shared:
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."
Working with refugees and churches living in areas of conflict, we know how devastating it is to live in times when peace is broken and nations are torn apart by war. We do not take for granted the sacrifices made on our behalf.

This past week, we had great opportunities to meet with friends and supports that came to visit with us in the Annapolis Valley. We also appreciate the opportunity to speak at the Acadia Divinity College chapel about the work of Canadian Baptist Ministries in Africa.

It was also a delight to have my mother, Marie Kenny, join us along with some friends that stayed with us at Harbour House. Grammie had a lot of fun combing the beaches for sea glass with Ava and hearing stories from Tristan about his experiences during this first semester at the University.

As our time in Canada draws to an end, we are so grateful for these times of together.

Tristan and Grammie at Cutten House, Wolfville.
Grammie teaching Ava to knit her first wool scarf.
Visiting our friends Daryl MacKenzie and Andrew Myers,
at Just Us Coffee, Wolfville.

We have a full week ahead, including preaching next Sunday at Middleton Baptist Church.
Wishing you grace and peace this Remembrance Day.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

It is curtains for him

Bay of Fundy lobster in Halls Harbour, Nova Scotia

We have had such a great start to November here in Nova Scotia. This past week, we have been connecting with friends and supporters from the Annapolis Valley and the South Shore. We are excited to be sharing with the faculty and students of the Acadia Divinity College tomorrow, Wednesday, November 8th.

Tonight we are enjoying our harbour home perched on windswept cliffs of this rustic fishing village. The tide clock hanging in the kitchen marks the rhythms of the dramatic tidal shift that swells and retreats into and out of the Bay of Fundy lifting lobster boats from the pebbled shore over forty feet into their briny waves. 

There is something nostalgic about this place. The salt air and buoy lined cottages draw us back to childhood memories of visiting the small ports of Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island. We are so thankful for the opportunity to share with Ava a taste of our Maritime heritage.

Harbour House, Halls Harbour, Nova Scotia
Halls Harbour at low tide on a Monday night
Darrell Bustin speaking at Centreville Baptist, Nova Scotia
This past weekend, Aaron, and our colleagues Darrell Bustin and Randy Stanton spoke at the Eastern Valley Association meetings at Centreville Baptist Church. On Sunday, Bridgwater and Western Shore Baptist Churches hosted us to speak about the ministry of CBM in Africa.
Travelling on the South Shore of Nova Scotia
Our good friend Joel Wentzell and Aaron at Western Shore Baptist Church
Mahone Bay friends with us at Western Shore Baptist Church
Ava, Nancy, and Erica at Sunken Lake, visiting Nancy's quilting 
ministry for girls at New Minas Baptist Church
Erica with our good friends Catherine and Luwanna
Back on Prince Edward Island
Halloween in Brackley, Prince Edward Island
Grampy and Grammie with their first Trick-or-Treater
Happy Halloween!
A huge highlight for Ava was being able to experience a Canadian Haloween with all of her cousins living on Prince Edward Island. She was the pirate villain, Uma, from Disney's Descendants.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Praxis: CBM's Best Kept Secret!

Our first experience with CBM's PRAXIS program 
in Kenya, way back in 2008.

We find it amazing that so few people in our Canadian Baptist churches and seminaries seem to know about the Praxis global discipleship program. Chances are that you are in that category of people who haven't heard about what seems to us to be CBM's best-kept secret.

Praxis is an opportunity for emerging Christian leaders in masters and doctoral level studies to experience and reflect upon the mission of God in the world by traveling to visit with CBM partners around the world. 

Since moving to Africa to serve with CBM in 2006, we have hosted two different Praxis groups with our Kenyan and Rwandan partners. Each time, we have found praxis to be a transforming experience.

Dr. Lois Mitchel leading the 2017 Praxis team to Bolivia

In conjunction with our denominational seminaries, CBM is presently receiving applications for the 2018 PRAXIS Global Discipleship scholarship program that will be returning to Bolivia, on May 2-18, 2018. 

Applications are due by November 21, 2017.

This scholarship program is available upon application to a select group of CBM affiliated students enrolled in an accredited theological school and pursuing graduate-level seminary studies (at a Masters or Doctoral level). 

Each scholarship, estimated at $5500, provides the opportunity for the accepted participant to engage in missiological reflection on a significant issue related to Gospel and Culture in a global context.

In Bolivia, the participants will be hosted by the Bolivian Baptist Union and will have the opportunity, alongside Bolivian participants, to study, reflect and see practical examples of Integral Mission being implemented through the local church. 

The theme of this year's course is "Integral Mission and Creation Care". Dr. Lois Mitchell, the professor of record, will travel with the participants and will lead in this reflection. 

If you are interested or perhaps know of someone who would be, please follow this link and Learn More Here. Or contact Adrian Gardner at 1.905.821.3533.

Monday, October 30, 2017

When October Goes

Worshipping with the York Association
at Brunswick Street Baptist Church.

Travelling from Halls Harbour to Fredericton, gave us time to listen to Stuart McLean's unreleased stories from the Vinyl Cafe. Listening to MacLean's reflections about the sweet melancholy of the season of late Autumn, and the exploits of Dave and Morley, was a beautiful way to experience the drive along the hedges of mostly bare trees. A few days of strong winds have transformed the landscape of these maritime roads from gold to silver, as the last leaves linger. 

As we made our way into Geary, we could smell the wood smoke from chimneys. Unlike Kenya, the days are growing shorter here in Canada. Ava is beginning to notice the dark mornings and early sunsets. She is hoping to catch some snowflakes before returning to Africa later in November. 

Sharing at the Queens Sunbury Association at Geary Baptist Church.

Over the weekend, we met with people representing churches throughout the Queens Sunbury and York Baptist Associations. We are so thankful for the support and interest that we encountered. Every time we speak, we are reminded how the story of God's work in the world is the story of all of us. 

As we leave this area to travel to visit with family on Prince Edward Island, we continue to pray for the life and ministry of these local congregations. Each church is involved with important ministries in their communities and with Canadian Baptists around the world. We pray for continued vitality and joy as they serve their neighbours.

Here are a few pictures from our weekend in the Fredericton area. We will be speaking next on Saturday, November 4th, in Centreville, Nova Scotia.

Suzanne and Rev. Robert Weaver at Geary Baptist Church.

Bob and Judy Bettle our host family in Douglas, New Brunswick.

Rev. Peter Moore of Douglas Baptist leading the gathering in prayer.

Rev. Greg Geldart with Ava discussing the finer details of cartwheels.

Wonderful to connect with Dan and Melody Grove, soon to return to Cameroon.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The UpsideDown

Lost in the giant Canada 150 Corn Maze, New Minas, Nova Scotia.

Having lived without Autumn for the past eleven years, it has been so much fun to experience some Canadian Fall Traditions with Ava. On Wednesday afternoon, we picked apples and got lost in a local corn maze with Tristan. We are so thankful for the warm and colourful month of October that we have enjoyed here in the Maritimes.

The pumpkin people of Kentville certainly add to Ava's anticipation for her first Canadian Halloween.   We are excited to be travelling to Prince Edward Island where she will be trick-or-treating with her many Island cousins. 

Ava following the clues. 
We are pretty sure Dad had the map upside down!
A beautiful Autumn in Nova Scotia.
Grooving our way to the apple orchard, with Ava.
Visiting with Tristan at Acadia

CBM Board Meetings in Mississauga, Ontario
On Thursday, Aaron travelled back to Ontario to participate in the CBM board meetings. It was a good opportunity to share with the leadership of CBM some of the inspiring work that our partner churches are doing often in difficult and uncertain times. We continue to pray for peace in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kenya. 

Yesterday's re-election in Kenya was an extremely intense day for us being so far away from Emma. Protests and unrest caused the closure of several polling stations, that will be holding a third voting day this coming Saturday. We are praying for peace and calm to prevail, and for God to bring together the broken factions of the country. 

We will be travelling together to New Brunswick on Saturday and speaking at the Geary Baptist that evening. Please see our November schedule below, and feel welcome to join us at a church in your area.

Up Coming Events

October 28 Geary Baptist Church, New Brunswick, 7:00 pm
October 29 Douglas Baptist, New Brunswick, 10:30 am
October 29, York Association Meeting, Brunswick Street Baptist Church, Fredericton, 6:00 pm
November 4 Eastern Valley Association, Centreville Baptist Church, Nova Scotia, 9:00 am
November 5 Bridgewater BaptistChurch, Nova Scotia, 10:45 am
November 5 Lunenburg-Queens Association, Western Shore Baptist Church, Nova Scotia, 3:00 pm
November 8 Acadia Divinity College, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, 11:45 am.
November 11 Middlesex/Lambton/Huron Association MISSIONFEST, Forest Baptist, Ontario, 5:00 pm.
November 12 Forest Baptist Church, Ontario 10:30 am
November 12 West End Baptist Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 10:30 am
November 19 Middleton Baptist 10:45 am
November 25 Bethel United Baptist Church, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 6:00 pm
November 26 Stevens Road Baptist Church, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia 10:00 am

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Bright Days in Nova Scotia

Erica, Tristan, and Ava on the shore of Halls Harbour, Nova Scotia.

After ten weeks of travelling in Canada and living out of suitcases, it was wonderful to arrive today in Halls Harbour (our home away from home for the remainder of our time in Canada). Although we will be back on the road later this week, it is so good to have a place to unpack our suitcases and regroup.

Harbour House
Ava enjoying the beautiful pebbled beach

Over the past weekend, we appreciated rich times with the congregations of the Brookfield and New Glasgow Baptist Churches, as well as their local association gathering. It was so good to see how these churches are working together to support local and international missions through projects like their Canadian Foodgrains Bank corn growing initiative.

Aaron with pastor Eric McKinnon, and Frank and Hazel Locke.
Fellowshipping with the Brookfield Baptist Church
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Rev. John Dunnett introducing our family and the ministry of CBM
A little bit of Kenya in New Glasgow!

Tonight, the Kentville Baptist Church hosted a great evening missions gathering where we focused on the ministry of the Guardians of Hope in Kenya and Rwanda. We are so thankful for the committed prayer and support for these important ministries that we are finding among the churches that we are visiting.

Erica and Tristan in Halls Harbour

Being back in this part of Nova Scotia has also given us a chance to see Tristan, who is doing very well with his first semester at Acadia. It has been a big change from life in Nairobi, but TK is thriving.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Autumn in Canada

Enjoying the beautiful October colours 
on the road to Truro, Nova Scotia.
After our big weekend in Moncton, we travelled to Saint John where we connected with friends and spoke at gatherings hosted by Lancaster and RiverCross Baptist Churches. We are so thankful to pastors Wayne Murphy, Rob Nylen, and John Knight, who are leading their churches to participate in God's mission in their community and around the world.

We are so impressed with how multi-cultural the Canadian Baptist of Atlantic Canada are becoming. In churches that we have been with from Charlottetown to Saint John have met people who have immigrated from across Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. In particular, we have been delighted to talk with people who come from some of the communities where we work in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Erica with Pastor Wayne Murphy and Women's 
Groups in Saint John, New Brunswick
Across Atlantic Canada, women's groups continue to be a vital part of local and global missions. We are so grateful for the members of the Hillcrest and Lancaster women's missionary societies that shared a wonderful afternoon with us in Saint John. These groups are helping their churches and communities to live generously in the compassionate way of Jesus.

Visiting with our friends Andrew and Kelly Myers
We are also thankful for the dear friends that have taken time to connect with us on our great Canadian road trip. Some of these friends have become family to us over our years of ministry. It has been such a gift to have an Autumn in Canada.

Great to see Jessie and Aaron at Hillside Baptist
in Moncton, New Brunswick
Wonderful to see friends in Saint John
This weekend, we are in Truro, Nova Scotia, to speak with the Colchester Pictou Association meeting and with congregations in Brookfield, New Glasgow, and Kentville. We are looking forward to seeing Tristan next week.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Moncton, New Brunswick

Great to see Bronwyn and Caleb Bustin, and Jane Weiler 
at Hillside Baptist, Moncton, New Brunswick.

It was a big weekend in Moncton as we shared with our friends at the Gunningsville and Hillside Baptist Churches during five different weekend events. It was also a gift to be near family and friends living in the Moncton area. 

Thanks to the gift of Facetime, we have been keeping in touch with both Tristan and Emma. They are doing well during this season of school mid-terms. 

Erica with the Taylors at Hillside

Pastor Jerry Reddy, lead pastor at Hillside

The over-40s take on the under-40s in a Tug of War

On Friday night, Aaron spoke at the Band of Brothers men's ministry of Hillside Baptist Church. It was a fun evening as 120 men from the church and community shared supper and fellowship together. Aaron challenged the group to be a voice for the voiceless and to stand in solidarity with the marginalized in their community and around the world.

Malcolm Card sharing about the power of having a community of hope, 
during the Friday night Band of Brothers, men's group.

Erica with Patty Card, who organized the Saturday night "Girl's Night Out" where Erica shared about the incredible impact of the self-help group program in Kenya.

So great to see our friend Rachel O'Brien

Our niece Emry packed her bag, grabbed her snake, and was ready to leave 
with us for the next leg of home assignment

We are now in Saint John, New Brunswick, and will be speaking at Lancaster and RiverCross Baptist Churches on Tuesday, October 17, before we travel to Nova Scotia. 

Thank you so much for keeping us and the ministries of CBM in prayer.