Monday, June 25, 2018

Myers family visit

Exploring the wonders of Kenya with our friends, the Myers family.

This past weekend, we hosted our friends the Myers family who have travelled to be with us from New Brunswick, Canada. We had an amazing few days of sightseeing, shopping, and just being together.

This is Andrew's third trip to Kenya as he was a part of the CBM certificate of ministry team that first brought Erica to Kenya in 2004. He also joined Aaron on his first exploratory visit in the spring of 2006, when we were discerning where we would live and serve in Africa. He and Kelly have supported and encouraged us throughout the journey of these past twelve years. It is so good to have them here.

Over the years, Andrew and Kelly have anticipated one day coming with their two daughters, Lauren and Leah. We are so excited that this time has finally come. Along with joining us for work this week, they will be taking their girls on safari in the Masai Mara and travelling with us to the coast next weekend to experience the Indian ocean.

A family of hippo checking us out

Zebra wading along the shores of Lake Naivasha

A pelican keeping his eye on the nearby fisherman

The Myers near Cresent Island, Kenya

There are more than a few musts when you travel to Kenya. You must try Stoney, the fizzy ginger beer. You must experience an open-air market and try your hand at bartering. You can't miss out on the amazing tea and coffee -- yes, even Kelly our non-coffee drinker indulged! You have to enjoy the local fruit, including the creamy avocado growing in our backyard. You must get out of the city and crest the great rift valley and explore at least one of the dozens of national parks and wildlife reserves.

You must get stuck in traffic. You must be scared at least once by an oncoming bus or lorry. You must get startled by at least one curious monkey, ornery giraffe, charging hippo/elephant/buffalo, creeping safari ant or wayward bird. You must try the Kenyan edible playdough also known as ugali. You must be rattled by at least one of Kenyan's numerous and cleverly hidden speed bumps.

And of course, you will be struck by the beauty and grandeur of this place. You will be touched by the warmth and kindness of its people. You will be charmed by the adorable children. You will savour the stunning moments of sundown. And, if you are truly fortunate, you will experience the rains.

A determined warthog marching past us in Karen

Emma and Lauren at the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

Feeding time

Getting up close and personal with the giraffe in Karen

Fun at the giraffe centre

Andrew meeting Daisy
Kelly about to be kissed

It is a blessing to have friends that are like family and to be able to share with them such a special part of lives. We know that it is a great privilege to be able to live and serve in Africa. Thank you for walking with us and Canadian Baptist Ministries.

Andrew, Leah, Kelly, Lauren, Erica, Ava, Emma, and Aaron

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day

Every day thousands of people become refugees. Driven from their homes and communities by war and violence, these innocent families leave behind everything that they have to seek safety for themselves and for their children.

Now more then ever, the world needs to embrace the fact that we are all children of God. Every life matters. Every person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Every child, woman, and man bears the image of our creator.

As Canadian Baptists we are engaged in front-line work with refugees in Canada and around the world. This World Refugee Day we stand together in solidarity with families and individuals who are desperate for peace and a future. We move beyond self-interest to serve the interest of those who are most vulnerable. From relief projects in places like South Sudan to interventions with refugee families in places like Kenya to sponsoring families coming to Canada, we are proud to be a part of the Canadian Baptist community.

We can all be a part of building a better world. 
To learn more about what CBM is doing please click here

Friday, June 1, 2018

Transforming Mission: Expectancy

John Chan, (CBM alumni) Chuck French, and Aaron 
at Rosslyn Academy, Nairobi.

This past week, we have had the joy of hosting Rev. Dr. John Chan, Canadian Baptist Ministries' new director of international partnerships, on a tour of CBM's partners and programming in Kenya.

We told a lot of stories, as we shared with John the history of CBM's work in Africa. At times we got a little nostalgic as we remembered good times with past colleagues and dear friends. As a couple, we have lived most of our married life together in Kenya. This place and community have become home to us and our children. We are so thankful for the experiences of laughing under the umbrella tree in our backyard with friends, dodging through the chaos of Eastleigh streets, singing with congregations in village churches, and traveling with visitors through the beauty of this country. Life and ministry in Kenya are rich experiences.

It has been sixty years since CBM first began work in Africa, and in that time hundreds Canadian missionaries and volunteers have invested their lives in contributing to the redemptive story of God among his people here.

Our friend Rev. Jeremiah Ngumo says that we need to treat the past as a rear view mirror -- "you bounce a look from time to time, but you dare not stare into it. You must keep your eyes ahead on the road before you!"

More than good driving advice, Jeremiah's words remind us that God's story is not finished and that we must live expectantly. As the prophet Isaiah wrote of God -- "Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth."
John with ACC&S leaders, Julius, Jeremiah, and David.

As we work with emerging leaders like the new executive members of the African Christian Church and Schools, there is no question in our minds that the best days are ahead. There will be new challenges, new encounters, but also new growth, new joys, and new triumphs. God is continually leading his Church into new things. Living expectantly is about leaning into that hope and recognizing that in Christ the best is yet to come. 

Patrick Ndugo and John in Kariobangi
In many ways, 2018 is a year of major transition within CBM. There are many changes in leadership and roles both within our Africa team and partners, but change is good and healthy. Growing things must change. We look forward with great anticipation for the fruit that will come as God moves through his people to bring transformation in areas of brokenness.


Please join us in praying for our colleagues Ken and Wendy Derksen, who will be concluding their work in Rwanda and returning to Canada this July. The Derksens have had a tremendous impact upon the Association of Rwandan Baptist Churches where Wendy has been leading them through a process of strengthening financial management and Ken has been supporting their ministries in community development. As the Derksens return for family reasons, they will be greatly missed by us all.

We pray for John Chan as he gives leadership and strategic direction to CBM's international ministries. We pray for him and his wife Ruth as they adjust to life and ministry in Toronto.

We give thanks for the work of our CBM colleagues Ruth Munyao, Laura Muema, Patrick Ndugo, Aisha Hussein, Andre Sibomana, Gato Munyamasoko, and Laura Lee and Darrell Bustin. Please remember the family of Ruth Munyao. Her husband and son were involved in a traffic accident this past week. We pray for the healing and recovery of everyone involved in the accident.