Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Update Video: Kakuma Refugee Camp

Kennys CBM Update from Kakuma from Aaron & Erica Kenny on Vimeo.

This month's Update Video comes from the Kakuma Refugee Camp, where Canadian Baptist Ministries is working with the Faith Evangelical Baptist Churches to bring hope to people living in a desperate situation.

We are so encouraged to see these churches thrive as they live out their faith in practical and life-giving ways.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Transforming Mission: Sharing

A Sudanese Refugee woman grinding her family's flour in Kakuma.

We returned last night from a wonderful visit with the Faith Evangelical Baptist Churches (FEBAC) in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in the Northwest corner of Kenya. We had traveled there with our Canadian Baptist Ministries' colleague Lenny Mbogo, who serves as CBM's program officer for Africa. Together we had the pleasure of monitoring the joint CBM/FEBAC projects in the camp.

Lenny Mbogo and Rev. Saphano Riak Chol sharing 
with the FEBAC congregation in Kakuma Camp 3.

Kakuma is a massive camp for over 186,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya's Turkana County, bordering South Sudan. With the huge influx of South Sudanese refugees fleeing violence north of the border, the FEBAC churches within the camps are growing. The congregations have been proactive in caring for new arrivals and providing valuable services to the refugee community. 

Lenny speaking to the congregation

Along with times of prayer and sharing, it was encouraging to see the love of God in action as the people of FEBAC respond to the needs of the vulnerable people around them. The generosity and open-handedness of the FEBAC people is humbling to witness.

Refugees line their bags of raw wheat, millet, 
and sorghum in front of a FEBAC posho mill

Families settled in the Kakuma receive rations of unmilled cereals such as millet, sorghum, and wheat. Bags of raw grains are difficult for a family to use. It takes great effort with a mortar and pestle for a mother to make flour to cook for her children.

Last year, FEBAC approached CBM to help them provide a valuable service to their community. With the help of Canadian Baptist churches, FEBAC purchased supplies and built two posho mills that they use as a free ministry to their neighbours.  

Raw grains are brought to the mill each day

A young man from the church operated the posho mill 
and feeds the hopper for the line of women and children outside.

A refugee mother carrying her milled flour home from the mill

Lenny and Erica with Rev. Saphano in Kakuma
"God has given us two hands - one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing."
Billy Graham

Thank you for your support of the ministries of CBM and our partners. You can learn more about the work of CBM in Africa and around the world at www.cbmin.org

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A little bit of joy: Feel the Sounds of Kenya

Feel The Sounds of Kenya from Cee-Roo on Vimeo.

These are sober times but amid all of the challenges we give thanks to God for life and beauty around us. If you haven't experienced this short video from Cee-Roo, we hope you take three minutes and "Feel the Sounds of Kenya".

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Praying from South Sudan

Time is running out.

The latest data from South Sudan confirms our fears that two-thirds of the country (more than seven million people) require immediate food relief or they will starve in the next four months. After four years of civil war, it is clear how conflict and hunger are destroying the country.

We are thankful for CBM's local partner, the Faith Evangelical Baptist Church (FEBAC), that is able to reach areas that large NGOs are not gaining access to because of insecurity. As CBM resources these relief efforts we need ongoing prayer and financial support.

Next week, we will be traveling back to the South Sudanese border to meet with refugees that have been received by the FEBAC churches within the Kakuma Refugee camp. 

Stefanie Glinski, a contributor to IRIN News, shares the story of Mary Mabior, a 37-year-old mother that has fled the violence in that has come to her village. Mary's story illustrates the plight of millions of people struggling to survive in the midst of this grim conflict.

Mary Mabior a mother of six from Wau, South Sudan
Photo IRIN
"After my village was looted, I decided to take my two youngest children away. We now live between Wau and Aweil, but there isn't a nearby market and we receive no help here. My other children stayed in Wau with my blind mother. They receive food there, but it isn't safe. When I get money, I want to bring my whole family here. I go to the forest every day to collect wild fruit. My children are always hungry and I barely have any of the sorghum left that we brought. I don't feel safe going back to Wau or to my village. There's nothing left. I'd rather starve than go back."
Please help be an advocate for South Sudan. Click here to download information for your church.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Prayer Update: CBM Africa Team

Our CBM colleague Aisha Hussein helping members of the 
Hormud Self Help Group in Eastleigh, Nairobi.

March has brought much-needed rain to Kenya and most of East Africa. It is custom here for farmers to start planting immediately. "As soon as the rains begin, seeds go in!" chimes our friend and colleague Andai. The mood shifts when people see good rains in Africa.

The rains also bring relief from the long hot days of January and February. Our colleague Ruth Munyao, CBM's food security specialist, shared how the rains make life so much easier in her home area where the first few months of the year feel "so long and unbearable".

March has also been a great time of spiritual refreshment as we have had time with all of our CBM team in both Kenya and Rwanda. It has been encouraging to share successes and challenges and to come together for prayer and fellowship. 

Visiting the home of SHG members in Eastleigh, with CP Raju.

It has also been a gift to have our colleague CP Raju visiting with us from CBM's India program. A highlight for us was bringing CP through the labyrinth of muddy streets and alleys to visit with one of the Self Help Groups that Erica works with, in Eastleigh. 

Hormud group members making tye-dye scarves.

As one of the contributing groups in the CBM 323Collective, Hormud is hand dying and creating hand twisted fringe on their beautiful scarves. Along with selling the scarves in Canada they have found other local markets from Nairobi to the Kakuma refugee camp for their creations.

Erica with Aisha and Laura.

It was wonderful to hear from the group members about the impact that this simple business has had in increasing their household incomes and improving the health of their families. Witnessing the pride on their faces was such an incredible gift!

Visiting with the Hormud SHG.

You can learn more about this program and find the creations 
of Hormud and other self help groups at 323collective.org

A great few days with our colleagues in Rwanda.

We are also very grateful for the opportunity to be with our Rwandan field staff Andre Sibomana, Laura Lee & Darrell Bustin, and Wendy & Ken Derksen. During our two days of strategic planning, we spent significant time evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the CBM program in Rwanda and seeking God's direction for the next steps of the work here with the Association of Rwandan Baptist Churches.

Please join us in praying for the upcoming denominational elections that will be taking place within the AEBR at the beginning of this April.

We also pray for the over 714 local churches that had their doors chained shut by the Rwandan government this past week. An unannounced closure of churches was executed by government officials that accuse many churches of lacking respectable facilities with proper soundproofing, hygienic toilets, or running water. After the initial closures, more churches were shut down yesterday. A close friend of ours who pastors a small church in Kigali received a call at 4:00 am informing him that his church would be locked in the second wave of closures.

We pray for our colleagues they work with local churches to address social and spiritual needs in their communities.

Erica, Laura Lee, and Wendy.

Please join us in praying for our colleague Ruth Munyao and the work she oversees helping farmers and churches overcome food insecurity in Eastern DR Congo, Rwanda, and Kenya. We also pray for the current food relief projects that Ruth is assisting with our partner in South Sudan. 

We pray especially for the community of Narus that suffered an attack by armed raiders this past weekend. We thank God for the courageous security guard that repelled the three gunmen and are thankful for the additional security that is being provided for the community. We pray for peace and for renewed resiliency for the people of Narus and all of South Sudan.

CP, Ruth, and Aaron in Thika, Kenya.