CBM Responding Issue 10

I S S U E 10 | Spring 2023

Photo of Director, Canadian Partnerships Adrian Gardner

Spring is often a time of new life and renewal as the last chill of winter gives way to warmer days and a fresh start. These last few years of the pandemic along with a series of catastrophic events around the world, in a way, have been like an extended and brutal winter.

Yet, you have helped bring new life and hope to those left out in the cold. Your faithfulness has enabled us to share the comfort and love of a Saviour who can mend wounds and heal the broken hearted.

Together we can usher in a new season and bring the radiant love of God to those in need. Your support has never wavered during this difficult time where Covid-19, economic hardship, and uncertainty dominated the headlines. You have sown the seeds to bring an abundance of the hope we have in Christ. Your solidarity in responding to global crises and ongoing afflictions has ensured the Gospel is shared in both word and deed.

In this issue, we are happy to report on the significant ways you have helped us move forward into new opportunities for ministry, expanding our reach into places like Thailand and Togo. We are excited for what the future has in store for these new regions. CBM is currently active in 21 countries, partnering with local churches in the areas of building the church, addressing poverty, promoting justice, caring for kids-at- risk, and responding to crisis.

Your generosity has proven unparalleled through the continuing war and hardships in Ukraine and in the aftermath of the devastating Türkiye/Syria earthquake. With our partners on the ground, CBM has been able to respond with practical items such as food and hygiene kits, as well as warm winter clothing among other urgent needs.

Our Vennture series explores Mobilization by developing global networks of people who are passionate about integrating faith and work for the transformation of communities. It is the final pillar in this series after previous CBM Responding issues examined Formation and Creation.

As we initiate new programs, Suraj Komaravalli who has been our long-time India Team Leader, has taken on an expanded role as Asia Team Leader. He is part of a

much larger team that spans across the world as well as in Canada. I am inspired by the commitment and grace our field staff have demonstrated alongside our global partners in the heartbreaking context of human suffering in our world today. You have helped us in each challenging situation through your continued giving.

With summer around the corner, we can hardly wait to see what the new Active in Mission campaign will look like in your communities! This year, we are excited to partner with the Canadian Baptist family – Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada, l’Union des Églises Baptistes Francophone du Canada, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, and Canadian Baptists of Western Canada. Together we will make local and global impact by raising funds for the hungry both around the world and here at home. I am looking forward to lacing up alongside my fellow Active in Mission participants! Don’t forget to post at #AIM2023 and #AEM2023. Or share your story with us at communications@cbmin.ca.

Summer may also be the time your church or association engages with this year’s Kids Care Curriculum as we explore the concept of Peace. Children will explore what it means to be a Peacemaker here at home and in other countries. Peace is something we can all strive for and can be active in regardless of our age, where we live, or what our role is in the world.

Thank you for journeying with us towards renewed hope as the hands and feet of Christ.

Exciting new initiatives are in progress with our partners around the world. Because of your faithfulness, we are able to reach farther and more strategically to bring hope for a better future.


CBM has worked peripherally with Operation Dawn in the past, a Gospel-based drug rehabilitation ministry in Thailand. We are pleased to be formalizing a partnership to help with existing services.

The Golden Triangle is an area in Southeast Asia that encompasses regions bordering Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. It is widely known for being one of the world’s leading producers of opium and heroin. As a result, drug addiction is a major issue in this region. The support and ministry Operation Dawn provides includes drug rehabilitation, discipleship training, vocational training for recovered addicts, and a place to house and feed addicted women and their children (Samuel’s Home).

Those who are rehabilitated have an opportunity to grow in their faith and obtain employable skills towards a productive future. Some attend Thailand Bethel

Theological Institute (TBTI) and may go on to serve in local churches or drug rehabilitation ministries, sharing from their own experiences. Your support helps ensure textbooks are provided, student scholarships are available, as well as farming tools and seeds to supply food and a means of income.


In Togo, we are partnering with the Togo Baptist Convention to provide capacity building to staff, directors and missionary pastors. These leaders will learn more about field evangelism and integral mission with the hopes of bringing more people to faith and transform local communities through biblical faith in action.Associated activities include evangelism campaigns and improving the living conditions of new Christians in local communities.


Many women in the Mokokchung District have lost their husbands to political violence, alcoholism, substance abuse and other health issues, particularly cancer.
As widows, they face social stigma and discrimination, and are often unwelcome in cultural activities. Without rights they are not able to access resources left by their husbands (property and inheritance). These women have very few prospects for their future. Without being able to afford sending their children to school, these kids end up participating in activities that later result in anti-social behaviours within society.

The pandemic was especially hard on this community. An imposed curfew, meager harvests and struggles with mental health negatively impacted many widows and their families.

With your help, CBM seeks to bring transformation into the lives of these widows and their children by sharing the Gospel and instilling a new hope for their future. Working alongside our partner, spiritual, economic and social issues will be addressed so that children can get an education and women are able to sufficiently provide for them.


Over the course of the civil war in Syria, Lebanon has been a place of refuge for those fleeing the violence. According to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), Lebanon houses the most refugees per capita with 1.5 million Syrian refugees making up the bulk of that number. Children are the most vulnerable as they deal with trauma and uncertainty in their lives among a host of other issues.

CBM is investing in Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) with our partner, the Lebanese Society for Social and Economic Development (LSESD), so children can have a physical space that offers protection where they can learn, play and socialize with one another. Rented from the local community, such as a church, this space will
help improve their psycho-social well-being by encouraging a sense of routine and normalcy where they can process difficult experiences within a secure environment. It will also help reduce the risk of abuse through child labour, early marriage or sexual exploitation.

In the midst of an unrelenting crisis, this space will allow children to be children. They will be able to participate in games, arts and crafts, music, sports and drama. The CFS team will also help parents support their children with proven curriculum and resources.


Millions have been displaced and an estimated 50,000 have lost their lives in the wake of the destructive earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. The damage is catastrophic as people have lost their homes, livelihoods, and loved ones beneath the rubble.

Even before the earthquakes in this region, Syrians had already been in a precarious humanitarian situation with millions fleeing from the ruinous civil war. CBM works in partnership with the LSESD’s Middle East Revive and Thrive (MERATH) community and development arm to provide much needed aid. Strategically positioned with a

network of churches and organizations through the main local implementing partner, shelter has been offered in local churches and larger venues like schools and stadiums where assistance is provided. One staff member stated, “The situation is horrific. There is way more need than resources available.”

Your quick response to this disaster has enabled us to support our partners in providing much needed resources to those in need. Your generosity has ensured that emergency food baskets, blankets, warm clothes, diapers and emergency hygiene kits are distributed. The needs will continue beyond the initial crisis, and we will be present with our partners on the ground to supply as much support as possible.


CBM has been working with the European Baptist Federation (EBF) to provide much needed support for Ukrainian refugees. 600 Ukrainian Baptist churches have housed the internally displaced, channelled aid to those in need and ferried people to safety.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, millions of refugees have fled to neighbouring countries. Millions more are internally displaced as infrastructure continues to be destroyed and ongoing bombardment threatens lives, as well as disrupts routine and recovery efforts.

Your help has ensured that the most basic needs of shelter, food and winterization to get through the cold months have been provided. Refugees and the internally displaced are too often victims of violence or exploitation. Your support includes finding ways to combat these risks with adequate coping mechanisms as well as a means to sustain themselves without compromising their human dignity. You have helped them know they are not alone in these difficult times.

We know we can only continue our work and bring greater impact through partnerships with faithful churches and individuals, like you. Thank you for trusting us to be your mission partner as we embrace a broken world through word and deed.

CBM is pleased to be developing new and existing partnerships in Asia beyond India. Since these areas do not fall under previously existing field oversight, CBM has appointed Suraj Komaravalli to extend his leadership responsibilities to encompass these exciting initiatives in Central Asia and the Philippines, thereby expanding his role as the Asia Team Leader effective February 1, 2023.

In this role, Suraj hopes to bring a sustainable approach to existing and new projects with our partner in the Philippines, as well as to new partnerships unfolding in the area. He asks for your prayers as he seeks God’s wisdom and guidance in these added responsibilities and for the Team Leaders meeting which will take place in Canada in May.

In 2008, Suraj first joined CBM as a theological education consultant with the India Strategy Team. He was named Team Leader for CBM’s ministries in India in 2013. In this role, he helped develop CBM Integral Mission strategies while managing partnerships.

John Chan, Director of International Partnerships says: “We are thankful for Suraj’s dedicated service and leadership within CBM and his willingness to take on new responsibilities that will enable the expansion of ministry opportunities across the organization.”

Suraj has been a lecturer and teacher at several colleges and universities. He has a Bachelor of Science from Calcutta University, a Bachelor of Divinity from Serampore College, a Master of Theology from United Theological College and a Doctor of Philosophy in New Testament from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Suraj lives in Hyderabad with his wife Prasanna, and two daughters, Selina and Mounica.


Pray for wisdom and guidance to strategically move the projects in the Philippines to a more sustainable approach.

Pray for the on-going projects in India and the Philippines as they serve people by empowering and transforming their lives.

  Learn More about Suraj Komaravalli

Are you interested in joining CBM as Global Field Staff?

Are there other people you know who might?

If you are passionate about how God’s love transforms people’s lives, and want to join our team, contact Member Care: membercare@cbmin.org OR call 905.821.3533. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you.

For more details, visit cbmin.org/job-opportunities

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ (NIV) Jeremiah 29:11

Children need special care and attention in the best of circumstances, but amid tragedy and devastation, their needs are much greater. Children are resilient, but they require our help to ensure true and lasting healing from the traumas of war, disaster and loss.

Jesus has a special heart for children. He did not want us to hinder the children from coming to Him. You have helped our partners remove some of the barriers in this world that would hinder a child from receiving the Lord’s blessings.

Lebanon is home to over a million refugees, particularly from Syria – a country gripped in civil war and steeped in crisis from the recent Türkiye/Syria earthquake. Lebanon itself has endured great hardships with the 2020 port explosion in Beirut, rampant inflation and collapse of health care. More than 80% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Sareena* is 13 years old and attended one of several BCYM (Baptist Children & Youth Ministry) camps offered to refugee children or those who have suffered neglect or abuse. The camp provided spiritual and recreational activities that inspired Sareena. Even though she comes from a Muslim background she was especially affected by the prayer time saying, “Something inside me changed, even though I knew Christ.” Along with the other participants, Sareena found more hope for tomorrow by attending the camp.

Another program in Lebanon is the True Vine Education Project which helps refugee children access education. The project provides a safe environment, psychosocial support, basic literacy and numeracy, training on health and hygiene, interpersonal skills and self-discipline.

Before the Syrian war, Alma* and her family were financially secure. After the war broke out, the family witnessed unimaginable destruction and death and lived in constant fear. When their home was destroyed, Alma’s family fled to safety leaving everything behind. They faced an uncertain future. They found refuge in Lebanon and for a while, their basic needs were met until Lebanon fell on hard times. Alma found her family having to choose between food, shelter or medicine with the little resources they had. They were grateful for the church that assisted them through these difficult times.

The True Vine centre became a second home for Alma’s daughters. She says, “If it wasn’t for this centre, my children might not be able to read and write today. There are a lot of people benefitting from this place. I have deep respect, love, and gratitude for everyone who works there.”

Alma hopes that she and her family will be able to live peacefully in their future. She is glad her children can dream again of what they want to be when they grow up.

There are many more children around the world that need your help. In the upcoming Spring Appeal letter, you can learn more about how to support these Kids at Risk and make a lasting difference in word and deed.

*Names changed for security and privacy purposes

I love to watch the joy and excitement of parents as their baby develops from that first rollover to crawling, walking, climbing, running and eventually getting into all kinds of shenanigans. Throughout this journey, parents teach, encourage, and cheer them on through countless tumbles and setbacks. It’s a natural inclination for babies to gradually reach new goals giving them the ability to get hold of a distant toy, snack, or a parent for a hug.

As a grandmother, witnessing these milestones brings back memories of my own children as they grew as individuals. Being part of a group was a natural next step. Sports were an important factor in this process. Team sports were especially critical for them to learn how to collaborate while receiving encouragement and support. My own daughter was very shy, but by being part of a team and church youth and ministry groups, she was able to develop as a person in a safe environment where she could share her gifts while being reassured.

In a way, Vennture’s final pillar of Mobilization provides the same benefits. In earlier Issues of CBM Responding, we looked at the Formation and Creation pillars where we examined the Theology of Work and our God-given ability to be creative. These are often explored in isolation as we work out our understanding about our relationship with God and who we are and how we work. As we establish these, we can also mobilize and be part of the larger team. Vennture works through Formation, Creation and Mobilization. Intertwined and mutually supportive, none of these stands alone.

Mobilization is: envisioning, informing, enlisting, involving, encouraging, empowering, entrusting, equipping, enabling, supporting; preparing for a purpose and taking action.

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Vennture is building global networks in order to mobilize God’s people to see their

work as mission and accept their role to help heal a broken world in word and deed through their daily work.


Mobilization can take many forms from leading a small group Bible study in your church to training and networking with pastors, people in the workplace, and around the world. Pastors can learn how to equip their congregation to go out and teach others about faith and work; workplace networks can be specific groups like Faith and Technology or meet generally about how to share their faith; and business leaders can discuss how to run their enterprise according to Christian principles.

In December, CBM’s Africa team met in Rwanda and introduced a new Theology of Work curriculum written for the African context, entitled Integral Mission in the Workplace. CBM’s five African partners from Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and DR Congo came together for the very first Africa Vennture conference and shared various elements of the curriculum. The team received valuable input in preparation to finalize and launch the curriculum with our partners in the coming year. Over three years, the team committed to study and learn how faith and work are part of integral mission. The result is a course that addresses questions and concerns specific to the African context. Their formational activities have moved to mobilization as they prepare for the next step. In 2023 they will engage and train pastors, church leaders, workplace leaders, business people, and various influencers to train others in mobilization of Faith meets Work integration.

In Canada, we were thrilled to partner with Crandall University to hold the first Vennture/Crandall Conference in March 2023. Dr. Paul Stevens, a major innovating voice, author, and professor in the forum of Faith and Work, shared his decades of knowledge around the topic of which he has written over 30 books! We look forward to an ongoing partnership with Crandall and, in particular, their Business faculty. Business students are a key networking group as they graduate and move into the secular workplace.

left: Field Staff, Gato Munyamasoko [photo: Randy Vanderveen] right: Africa Team Leader, Andre Sibomana [photo: Randy Vanderveen]

Africa Vennture Conference in Kigali, Rwanda

Partner with us!

Here are just a few ways you can get involved.


Connect with: Business graduates, pastors, business coaches, entrepreneurs, learning and support groups
Book Clubs: Study with a like-minded cohort
Small group Bible studies: Learn the basics


Credited Courses: IMT (Institute for Marketplace Transformation imtglobal.org) partners with CBM in their work and courses
Events: conferences, workshops, networking

Join Us!

Anyone interested in exploring the intersection of faith and work, and is passionate about whole-life discipleship, should consider joining Vennture. Belonging to a network of like-minded people is life changing. Vennture’s mobilization theme provides unique opportunities to participate in God’s mission in the world through work and accountability.

Create and innovate with us as we share and support one another in the integration of faith and work. Contact Michael or Brenda to find out more.

Thank you for making Active in Mission 2022 a great success! You ensured we reached our goal of raising $60,000 towards children’s education in 9 countries around the world.


The global disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic generated the worst education crisis on record. However, with your active participation, you helped provide educational opportunities for children in nine different countries where CBM partners.

By meeting the learning needs of the next generation, you helped highlight how education is a human right and one of the most powerful tools to fight generational poverty. Because of you, these kids have a brighter future ahead of them.


Statistics show that a staggering 10% of the global population are going hungry. The pandemic, economic hardship, climate change, ongoing conflicts, and natural disasters are just some of the factors contributing to wide-scale food insecurity. Closer to home, 1 in 7 Canadians are food insecure. Food banks and other food-related programs served over 5 million Canadians per month last year.

These numbers are expected to rise in 2023.

Together with your help, the Canadian Baptist family – Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada, l’Union des Églises Baptistes Francophone du Canada, Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec, Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, and CBM – has set a new goal of $100,000 to help ensure people have access to food in 13 different countries, including right here at home. Your support will feed people in Thailand, India, the Philippines, DR Congo, South Sudan, Togo, El Salvador, Rwanda, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan, Ukraine, AND Canada.

Let’s get Active in Mission this summer!
  • Register – Build or join a team of people who will take steps to end hunger
  • Choose a Date – We’re dedicating the entire summer to this! Your team can choose a timeframe in July or August that works best for you!
  • Fundraise – Invite your community to support you financially
  • Get ACTIVE! – Walk, run, dance, bike, swim, rollerblade, horseback ride, kayak, etc. Take photos and videos and post on social media using #AiM2023 and #AEM2023
Support local & global food security programs:
  • Providing food in Ukraine
  • Training on conservation agriculture in Rwanda
  • Skills training and goats to earn income in India
  • Nutrition workshops and small farm animals in the Philippines
  • Better farming methods for vulnerable populations in DR Congo
  • Canadian food programs in your neighbourhood!

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