Tuesday, February 27, 2018

CBM Team: CP Raju

Aaron, CP Raju, and Erica in Nairobi, Kenya

Until Thursday, we are travelling with our friend and colleague, CP Raju, who just arrived in Kenya last night. He will be visiting CBM's team, partners, and programming in Kenya and Rwanda over the next two weeks for a time of mutual learning and reflection.

Since 2012, CP Raju has served in India as a CBM field staff working in the Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha states. Along with managing community development projects, he is helping our partners embrace principles of integral mission. "That people's lives will be improved and that God will receive all of the glory!" he explained. "That is what our work is about."

Under his leadership, the CBM India projects have brought about positive change in areas of high infant mortality, malnutrition, illiteracy, poverty, and HIV/AIDS. CP has a great passion for working in tribal areas where churches are struggling to overcome issues of the mistreatment of girls and women, religious conflict, and persecution.

We are very excited about this opportunity for CP to meet with our CBM colleagues and to dig into the wide array of projects that we and our partners are engaged in. 

Erica and CP talking about approaches to 
women's empowerment in India and Kenya

We would encourage you to join us in prayer this week for CP Raju and the CBM Africa team. We pray for safety and good health for CP as he experiences diverse regions of Kenya and Rwanda. May this be a time of new growth and encouragement for us all. 
We also remember CP's wife, Jane Swarna, and their two children Raje and Jessica. May they experience peace while CP is so far away from them all. 
We pray for the ongoing ministries in India. Since 1874, Canadian Baptists have been working in this South Eastern portion of India. We pray for renewed strength and hope as the Church seeks to bring the love of Christ into their communities. We especially pray for an end to religious conflict and violence. 
We also pray for rain in Africa. We especially think of the terrible drought in South Africa, and the imminent total lack of water for Cape Town. Much of Kenya is also in serious need of rain. They say that in Africa if you arrive in a community with rain that you are considered a blessing. We pray that CP will be a blessing where every he goes!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Little Good News -- Prayer Update South Sudan

We are so glad to share that the peace summit has resumed and that all parties are sitting around the table. This is certainly an answer to prayer. 

Over the coming days, we pray for humility and courage for the leaders of all sides engaged in these discussions. May the good and welfare of the people of South Sudan be served and may the conflict come to an end.

As our partner shared with us last night,
"On the peace front, peace talks are going on in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa with all the warring in attendance. The delegation of the Government of South Sudan had initially boycotted the talks but they were finally persuaded. The government wanted 40 members of their delegation but the mediators wanted only 12 delegates from the government. The parties have presented their negotiating/position papers already. The parties are still far apart. We appreciate the international community for the pressure it is relentlessly exerting on the peace. Let us continue to pray that the South Sudanese leaders will come to their sense and embrace peace so that the suffering of the population ends.
Thank you for joining us in prayer. We know that only God is able to bring real change to this situation. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Praying for South Sudan - A Nation in Crisis

Praying for South Sudan.

South Sudan is desperate for peace. Despite international calls for reconciliation and the recent arms embargo, this week's peace talks in Addis, Ethiopia, were boycotted by the South Sudanese government. The humanitarian crisis continues to worsen. 

According to the head of the UN refugee agency, the cost of the South Sudanese conflict has reached "epic proportions" with the number of refugees to surpass three million by the end of this year. Currently, two and a half million people have fled the country and seven million are in need humanitarian assistance.

We sat down earlier today with Rev. Saphano Riak Chol, the general secretary of our local partner the Faith Evangelical Baptist Churches (FEBAC) to hear his perspective on the crisis and the response from within his churches.

There is a lot to thank God for as Saphano is seeing young leaders emerging and taking responsibility for the ministries of the church.  The churches are growing as they reach out to their neighbours. But there remains much to pray for.
"Let me begin by thanking the Canadian Baptists for your partnership and support. As a Church, we are receiving persistent requests to respond to the humanitarian crisis that is affecting our entire country.  
People are pleading for help. We know that one day these wars will end. The ones behind it all will not live forever. Our prayer is that peace will come quickly and that those who wait will be able to survive.  
Every day new people are coming to the camps. My wife is there now, she has left Nairobi and is receiving new arrivals and providing counselling and care for them. Please do not forget to pray for our churches and the ministries in the camps.  
Those who travel with me into South Sudan need your prayers as well. When we go we do not know if we will return, we have to be ready to die. Every time I leave, I tell my wife, 'If I do not come back, we accept it as God's will.' Our ministers must be able to endure hardships. We must continue to speak for peace. We must reason with those who only want more bloodshed. 
The relief assistance that we are bringing is very important, but with this food we bring a Gospel of hope and reconciliation. Only by God's spirit will South Sudan be saved."

Please join us in praying and supporting this ministry.

You can learn more about the relief efforts of Canadian Baptist Ministries and the Faith Evangelical Baptist Churches by visiting our website at www.cbmin.org