Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Praying for Peace in South Sudan

Praying for Peace in South Sudan

On Saturday, seven local humanitarian aid workers were murdered in a roadside ambush outside of Juba. The aid workers (four South Sudanese and three Kenyan) were serving with a UN implementing partner that assists children. It is still not clear who attacked the humanitarian vehicle on its way to the community of Pibor. Attacks like this are becoming all too common. Over the past three years of civil war, seventy-nine aid workers have been killed while serving in South Sudan.

As we grieve for the families of these workers, we pray for peace and an end to violence in South Sudan. 

In a recent IRIN report, South Sudan Needs Peace as Much as Food, the analyst provides an important perspective on the current famine that is gripping two counties in South Sudan. The need for ending the military conflict is urgent. The world cannot continue "sending food without stopping the bullets," wrote IRIN contributor Jason Patinkin.

Humanitarian assistance alone cannot end the violence. As the church supports relief efforts, we must also pray and call for the International community to use its influence to end the war. 

FEBAC Coordinator for Christian Education and Training
John Monyjok Maluth

The deteriorating state of South Sudan is a great concern for our local church partner, the Faith Evangelical Baptist Churches (FEBAC), which are leading humanitarian relief in the communities where they are receiving displaced people North of Juba and in the southern community of Narus. 

"The fighting is the issue," shared our friend John Maluth, who we met with earlier this year in Nairobi. "People are hungry because of the fighting. People cannot work their farms and grow food because of the fighting. People cannot stay in their homes or do their jobs to make money because of the fighting. This is our greatest problem."

Please join us in praying for peace. As FEBAC is one of many organizations that are promoting peace and reconciliation across ethnic lines within South Sudan, we pray for wisdom and discernment as pastors and leaders draw people together from across this fragmented community.

We also ask that you consider contributing to the urgent relief efforts. To learn more about how you can help please see our CBM website here.

Thank you for partnering with us in this important ministry.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Graduation in Goma

Graduation Glee!
Cyprien, Jacob, and José in Goma, DRC

Earlier this week, Aaron traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to participate in the Carey Theological College doctoral graduation. Two of our friends and colleagues were each awarded the doctor of ministry degree for their research and completion of the DMin program that CBM and Carey sponsored for our African Church partners.

Rev. Dr. Kwibeshya Cyprien (Association Des Eglise Baptiste au Rwanda) and Rev. Dr. Jacob Lipandasi Bahavu (Communaute Baptiste au Centre de l'Afrique) both received their doctoral degrees during the the graduation ceremony hosted by the Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs (The University of the Great Lakes) Goma, DRC. 

Graduation Procession

Since 2010, CBM and Carey have been investing in training high-level leadership across our African partners. The DMin program has facilitated theological reflection and academic research that is helping our partner churches address issues such as Gender equality, church growth, effective ministry in the context of war, and the poverty of pastors in retirement. 

Together these leaders are working to strengthen the health and witness of the church in Africa. 

Among representatives from our partner churches in Rwanda and the DRC, it was great to have our CBM colleagues Darrell Bustin and José De Silva participating in the graduation service. Both Darrell and José are contributing to the theological education of our partners.

José de Silva and Darrell Bustin celebrating with the graduates

Jacob and his proud father

Thursday, March 16, 2017

March Break 2017

A white rhino at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya 

This past week, we've been enjoying a family road trip for our March break. We went camping with friends in Naivasha before traveling into Kenya's central highlands to camp in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Tonight we have come to the foot of Mount Kenya to enjoy a few nights at the beautiful Mt. Kenya Safari Club.

Erica and Tristan at our friend's treehouse in Naivasha

Ol Pejeta is a protected breeding area for black and white rhinoceros. It is also home to the last Northern White Rhinos left in the world. Now extinct in the wild, these last three are under twenty-four-hour armed security to protect them from poachers. 

We are so thankful for this opportunity to see these beautiful giants.

Emma and Aaron at our camp site 

Ava at the camp

Visiting Baraka, a blind black rhino

More rhino visiting the watering hole outside our tents

Each day we were treated to herds of plains antelope, zebra, cape buffalo, giraffe, rhino, and elephant that would come to the watering hole only 50 meters from our tent. Separated by a deep ditch, we had an amazing up-close view of the action.

A lion and lioness we came upon today on our way out of the camp

Mt. Kenya

Friday, March 10, 2017

Praying for Kamp Tumaini 2017

Crossing the channel near Mivumoni, Kenya

Earlier in February, we traveled back to Kwale for a few days of preparation with local leaders of this summer's Kamp Tumaini. The Guardians of Hope group and village high school are very excited to be hosting the youth volunteers from Spring Forth. The team of seventeen will be joining us from Atlantic Canada in July.

Two girls on their way to class at the Mivumoni Secondary School

The 2017 Kamp Tumaini is being built on the theme STRONGER TOGETHER, as the youth are challenged to build an inclusive and caring community that over comes the social stigma and marginalization of people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. 

A part of the program will also be presentations and small group discussions that will focus on HIV awareness and prevention. We are thrilled to be partnering with the county hospital's public health team. 

The boys having some fun in chemistry

Erica meeting with the deputy principle, local ABC pastor and GOH leader

Plans for the camps continue to progress. We are excited to have this summer's camp embedded with an entire school with rallies, games and small groups that will involve all of the high school teachers and students. 
A sharp-eyed hornbill, keeping watch over the school

Please join us in praying for the Spring Forth youth team as they preapare for camp and as they work together to raise funds for their short term mission in Kenya. This will be the first opportunity for most of the team to travel to Africa. We are especially remembering the team leaders Adrian, Renee and Catherine as they encourage and support this great group of students.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 2017 Prayer Update

School director Samuel, Rob, and Erica 
at the Sawa Educational Centre, Eastleigh

Over the past two weeks, we have been connecting with several of our partners with our colleague Rob Jackett who has been visiting with us from our head offices in Mississauga, Ontario. 

On Rob's departure day, we squeezed in one last visit with one of the schools that is benefitting from the women's self-help group program: Seven of the thirty-five students receiving scholarships from the CBM SHG groups are attending Sawa. 

Sawa director, Samuel, is a trained teacher with a background in psychology. When he started the school less than ten year's ago it was in a single rented room with only a few pupils. Today the school is thriving with 683 students, and a proven performance record.

One of the older classes at Sawa

"We believe the key to ministering to our community is love," shared Samuel. "As Christians working in a diverse community, we open our doors each day and demonstrate God's love to every parent and child that comes to us. That is the most important thing!"

Mothers picnicking with their children during the school lunch break

Earlier this year, a group of women taking sack gardening training with the SHG program helped to build a demonstration garden at the Sawa school for children to tend and care for. The integration of learning and support between mothers and children is an important dimension of this ministry.

In Prayer

We continue to pray for our friends and partners serving in South Sudan. The famine in South Sudan is certainly on our hearts and minds as we continue to see other vulnerable areas in Kenya, Rwanda and Somalia struggling with drought. You can learn more about current droughts and the growing threat of famine in Africa here.

Please consider how you might support this urgent need and Donate Here


Women clearing new farm land along the Tana River, Photo from IRIN

While drought is an environmental reality, it is well known that famine is most often a manmade disaster. War, insecurity, mismanagement, and injustice are all common causes behind the world's modern famines. In a recent article by IRIN, a spotlight is shone on the alarming causes of decreasing water levels in the Tana River, an area where CBM is helping impoverished villages through conservation agriculture here in Kenya. Read more from IRIN here.

Please pray for wisdom as Kenya's government manages its limited water resources. We also pray for our CBM colleagues William and Geofrey who are working with vulnerable communities along the Tana River.


Finally, we are happy to share with you a great resource for helping children learn about the issues of food insecurity and the response of local churches in Kenya.

Canadian Baptist Ministries' KIDS CARE: HUNGER BITES includes four lessons with games and activities for you to use a with a children's program. CBM will provide free hard copies of the Kids Care resources for you to use at a camp, VBS, or program throughout the year. 

Please click here to request this FREE RESOURCE.