CBM Responding Issue 11

I S S U E 11 | Fall 2023

“So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”

~ Romans 14:19 ESV

It is such a privilege that God uses CBM as a catalyst for pursuing peace and for building up the Church. We accomplish this by being a bridge between what God is doing in Canada and what He is doing around the world.

Mission has often been viewed as being from the north to the south and from the west to the rest of the world. Over the last couple of centuries, this type of outreach helped foster and preserve the witness of the Church in the majority (non-western) world. The Baptist community in Lebanon, where I grew up, is a product of the faithful work of this kind of mission objective. However, things have significantly changed in recent times. The mission of the Church has become polycentric, with the centre of gravity shifting more towards the south.

With a polycentric global witness, we now have the opportunity to appreciate and experience the richness of various cultural expressions of faith. We get to observe local leaders as they are empowered to take ownership of their own ministry activities. You have faithfully partnered with us to see different churches and ministry partners east and west, north and south, become equal participants in the sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The beauty is we all have something to learn from one another. Collaboration and cooperation have become key factors across different cultural groups as well as across denominational lines. No single culture or region, or even faith tradition, can hold a monopoly on theological insights or spiritual experiences anymore.

This is an important shift for us here in Canada. The Church in the majority world has been growing and learning its own lessons while some parts of the West now need to be reclaimed for Christ. As we invest our resources in building up the Church in the world, we stand to learn valuable lessons from our international partners and from their ideas, practices, and approaches.

These are exciting times to be involved in the ministry of God globally. As our Canadian Baptist churches participate in God’s work around the world, they can listen to what God is doing in other cultures and regions, and our own churches can grow and be edified through this experience. I am sure many of you have already encountered how transformational it is to be engaged in God’s mission. It is a beautiful picture when the global body of Christ works together to accomplish His purposes.

As you read through the pages of this issue of CBM Responding, you will get a sense of what God is doing in the Philippines, in the Middle East and North Africa, in Ukraine, in Guatemala, in India, and in other parts of the world, as well as in Canada. We praise God for the global Church and for its faithfulness and responsiveness to His call.

We praise Him for giving us the privilege of being front-row witnesses of Jesus building up His Church.

Your faithful support and prayers make a lasting impact all around the world. Because of your generosity, CBM’s partners are able to provide much needed training for leaders to effectively serve their communities.

Phoebe is the Hospital Chaplain at the Capiz Emmanuel Hospital located in the Philippines. Her daily interactions bring her face-to-face with those struggling with difficult health issues. Within the hospital, she preaches at Sunday services, conducts devotions, facilitates prayers, comforts patients, and offers counselling. Whether it’s a patient, medical practitioner, hospital employee or stakeholder, she knows her role is to represent Christ in this environment to everyone.

In all her active ministries, she has a strong desire to better hone her skills and understanding of how God can work through her as chaplain. To accomplish this, Phoebe enrolled with the Centre for Continuing Theological Education Program (CCTEP) administered by CBM’s partner, Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM). The CCTEP aims to facilitate community transformation and development by working with local churches to minister effectively to marginalized populations and local communities.

As pastors receive theological training from Bible schools and seminaries, they often encounter the need for continuing education and development to better serve their congregations and communities. The CCTEP hopes to bridge that gap and offers practical theological training on all aspects of ministry including budgeting, pastoral care, and community development. As times change, they offer a wide range of topics to address current issues in governance, interfaith relationships, gender studies, and the integration of faith & work among others.

“This program allowed me to gain new insights and a better approach towards my ministry. I have a new understanding in how to become a more effective Hospital Chaplain and better influencer for Christ to the people around me,” says Phoebe.

“To my Canadian Baptist brothers and sisters, thank you for providing us with the resources we need to access this program. I am grateful for all your support in establishing a sound theological foundation as we continue to do God’s work and care for others. May God continue to bless your ministry and your family abundantly by His love, goodness, provisions and protection.”

Your faithfulness enables pastoral leaders like Phoebe to update and further her skills so she can better support those in her community. Thank you for your commitment in investing in leaders.

CBM’s partners know that sharing God’s love in practical ways ultimately builds the Church. Here are two such examples among many that demonstrate how the Church is built by being the hands and feet of Christ.


Millions of people continue to need humanitarian assistance as the war in Ukraine rages on. Canadian Baptists alongside Baptist groups around the world faithfully work to respond amid the devastation and tragedy.

CBM joined with the Baptist Forum for Aid and Development and the European Baptist Federation to provide winterization supplies as was needed in the colder seasons, as well as the German Baptist Aid in facilitating the delivery of necessities such as hygiene kits and food. Baptists all over the world responded in prayer and in generosity to help those in need with more than 600,000 receiving aid, hospitality and care in Ukraine and in the bordering countries where many have sought refuge.

Ukrainian Baptist Churches became safe havens for those fleeing the violence. Beyond the physical needs, they ministered to the guests that came through, including the facilitation of children’s programs. While bordering countries provided services with Ukrainian translation.

Despite the numerous challenges and risk to their own lives, Ukrainian Baptists continue to provide hope. These brave acts of love have led many to Christ. Over 3,000 have been baptized and around 25,000 have begun attending Baptist churches in Ukraine. As reported by the EBF: “For as many church members who have fled, new ones are coming. Most churches are full, and many have had to begin holding numerous services to accommodate the number of people…After a year of suffering, of uncertainty, and of challenges, Ukrainian Baptists are resolute to continue their service and sacrifice no matter how long the war continues. Churches are energised by the new members and the ways God is using them to serve so critically.”


“Jesus is the great example who teaches us integral mission of the Church. We can move forward and fulfill our call as a church to go forth, be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, created by God for good works,” shares Pastor Fernando who ministers at the Final Trumpet Church in Guatemala. He is also the Director of Roca, a non- profit organization providing care for the elderly.

He knows what being the salt and light means by living out the Word of God in action. Crime is rampant in the neighbourhood where he ministers, and many families often struggle financially. The community severely lacks resources like public transport, schools, and clinics. The challenges with the global economy also affect the cost of living, making it more difficult for families to access basic needs, including food.

CBM’s partner in Guatemala, ENLACE, initiated a Church and Community Program that equips and resources local churches to serve and engage the local population holistically. The Program provides church leaders with coaching on topics that include leadership development, community engagement, project management, and forming networks to transform neighbourhoods like Pastor Fernando’s.

With this training, he and his wife learned how to approach community leaders and have since developed meaningful relationships. The result of which is the coordination of responses that have brought about important changes to key issues plaguing their communities.

“ENLACE has been a timely program for us in determining the community needs. It has helped bring together leaders in partnership to address local concerns in a cooperative way,” says Pastor Fernando. Through biblical foundations, his congregation has gained a greater understanding of why the church must serve the community.

“I look forward to a broader environment of help and cooperation with other organizations for the transformation of our communities. United with area pastors and community leaders as well as with the community itself [we have hope for] a more stable economic situation, [healthier communities], and a deeper revelation of Jesus Christ in people.”


Q: Where were you before joining CBM?

Before joining CBM in January, I had served at Acadia Divinity College (ADC) for just over five years. I started as Manager of Recruitment & Admissions. My work included producing promotional materials in various formats, which resulted in the addition of the communications portfolio to my role, including managing a full visual rebrand of the organization in the first 6 months of added responsibilities.

Q: Can you tell us about the award you received for your work at ADC?

As part of my communications role with ADC, we presented stories in new formats that were visually appealing. At the prompting of ADC’s President, Rev. Dr. Anna Robbins, we submitted several pieces of our work for the Canadian Christian Communicators Association Awards in which we won three awards in 2021 and another five in 2022. One of these was in the Social Media Marketing Campaign category, showcasing that ministry looks different for everyone and exists outside the walls of the church as well as inside, a topic I’m very passionate about.

Q: How did your relationship with CBM begin?

In 2016, I was asked to lead a Kamp Tumaini team in Kenya with CBM. It was one of my first real leadership experiences where I was responsible for multiple aspects of an international trip while traveling with an intergenerational team. That was my first exposure to the integral model of mission, which was eye-opening in how to serve the global church in partnership. It was also my first sense of a call to tell stories and understand the privilege of having someone share and trust me with their story.

Q: What do you hope to bring to this current role as team lead?

I truly feel that God has called me to CBM and am trusting that there is purpose for the skillset I’ve been gifted with for this particular season. My greatest hope is that I will be able to help further CBM’s mission in that. There are so many incredible things that God is doing through CBM’s work around the world that’s been shared effectively by the storytellers before me. I want to be able to continue to tell great stories. And I hope to try new and creative ways to reach a broader audience. Good storytelling, through both words and visuals, is an invitation for others to consider how they can also participate and partner with what God is doing.

Q: What makes CBM unique as a ministry organization?

CBM emphasizes the local church and being able to support them well in partnership. Mutual learning and understanding are aspects people sometimes overlook. Yet CBM prioritizes partnership and collaboration through an integral mission model. One of CBM’s strengths is inviting different voices to the table to collaboratively determine the best way forward.


I’ve made a big move from Nova Scotia to Toronto to be situated closer to the CBM office. With this major transition, I’d like prayer in finding community.

Pray that I can tell stories well and invite people into something that’s so much bigger; our small part has a huge impact on what God is doing in the world.

I’m grateful to be here. CBM is doing incredible work, and this role is daunting but also exciting at the same time. Please pray that I’m able to confidently step into what God is calling me to.

It was an honour to witness the incredible work of God’s people in India when I travelled to our local church partners earlier this year. As we visited many homes and churches from the bustling city of Kolkata to the mountaintops of Nagaland and Mizoram, the passion of our partners in sharing the Gospel – through both word and deed – was evident.

On a sunny Friday afternoon, we met with Ria, the project coordinator working with Circular Road Baptist Church (CRBC), in Kolkata. She led us to India’s ‘red light district,’ and introduced us to the women there.

CRBC’s project invites these women to receive skills training so they can earn income as beauticians or tailors. Visiting the women showed me how important these few hours of classes are to them. It’s an opportunity to learn a new skill, gain a source of income, and be together in community by socializing and attending sermons.

When I asked if they could show us their work, they proudly displayed their sewing projects in turn. It was beautiful to see their excitement!

In Kolkata, the gospel is shared by stepping into the lives of vulnerable women. Many who are trapped in human trafficking are offered friendship, hope, and a chance at a brighter future through vocational training.

In the mountains of Nagaland, the church is built by caring for the poor, the widows, and those struggling with alcohol addiction within the community.

At Alempang Baptist (ABC), CBM’s local partner, the church is a vibrant hub for the community. One of the programs the church spearheads is the Alcoholics Rehabilitation & Transformation Project. Participants shared their stories of transformation and healing through this holistic support program led by the local pastors. Income-generating projects, such as pig and chicken farms, provide them with a renewed sense of purpose and support for their families.

One participant shares, “Before, I felt like I was nothing, useless, worthless. But after starting the program, I went to church and attended every sermon. I have learned a lot about Jesus Christ. I am happy going to church and being in community with the other men. With God’s help, I have overcome my difficulties. I am living with no fear, doubts or problems. My family is so happy together, by the grace of God.”

We rejoice with Alempang Baptist Church as this project move towards long-term sustainability in 2024 (no longer requiring outside funds to continue their program). “The journey towards sustainability is the product of the partnership between CBM and ABC for six years,” notes Suraj Komaravailli, CBM’s Asia Team Leader.

Each of CBM’s projects in India is designed with community input to involve an income-generating component. Participants donate a share of their profit back into the program so that more community members can learn new skills and start businesses. A sense of pride and ownership in the collective process fuels these projects. Community members are invested in seeing each other succeed.

“This has also led to CBM introducing new partners and projects from 2024,” continues Suraj. These projects include support for victims of human trafficking, livelihood programs for low-income pastors, and leadership training and capacity building for leaders of the Soura Baptist churches.

As CBM forges ahead with new partners and projects, the transforming power of the gospel continues, touching lives and bringing hope to many in India. The dedication, love, and resilience of God’s people in India have shown me that building the church is not just about bricks and mortar but about restoring lives, healing wounds, and transforming communities through word and deed.

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

CBM celebrates 150 years of local and global mission next year. Many staff and volunteers have come and gone in that time, and we honour the legacy each have contributed to fulfilling God’s call. What began as a commitment to formally train leaders for local ministry branched out to community development in what was known as The Sharing Way. Over time, our response and reach developed into our five key causes addressing issues of Poverty, Justice, Kids at Risk, as well as to Build the Church and enact effective Crisis Response.

Of our current staff, Darrell and Laura Lee Bustin are CBM’s longest continuously serving Global Field Staff with 21 years of uninterrupted service. They discovered their shared call to the mission field while studying at Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick (formerly Atlantic Baptist University). After Darrell completed his Master of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, they eventually returned to Canada to pastor at Hillside Baptist Church for several years. Their ministry was thriving, but they never forgot God’s call.

When their two children, Bronwyn and Caleb, were seven and three years old respectively, they knew it was time to make the transition. They began their work in 2002 with CBM’s partner in Indonesia, the Convention of Indonesian Baptist Churches, where Darrell taught at the Kalimantan Theological Seminary in Pontianak. Laura Lee taught music and helped with ministering to women as well as caring for the needs of their children. “It was such a joy for me to spend time with the students and to see them learning and growing,” shares Darrell.

When it was time to leave Indonesia, as the partnership came to a close, Darrell reflects: “God had been so good in letting these two partners work and achieve so much together. It was sad to say goodbye on a relational level, but it was also a reason to celebrate because the goals had been met and God had accomplished these things through us.” By the time the Bustins left, CBM’s Indonesian partner was fully staffed by nationals teaching and ministering Christ’s message on their own.

This is the goal for many of our partnerships as we seek to empower them for ministry in their own context. Our partner in India, Elim’s Compassion Ministries for child and youth development, is our most recent example of a transition to
a self-sustaining model.

After much prayer and consideration, Darrell and Laura Lee felt led to continue their ministry in Rwanda where they have been actively serving these past 11 years. Although the bulk of their time is with the AEBR in Rwanda, Darrell has an expanded role in theological education and leadership development with all CBM’s African partners including Central Africa (CBCA), the DR Congo (CEBCE), South Sudan (FEBAC), and Kenya (ACC&S). While Laura Lee is involved with the logistics of the SENT teams in Rwanda alongside Africa Team Leader, Andre Sibomana.

For more than 20 years, the Bustins have seen a shift in how Leadership Development and Integral Mission has evolved, particularly in how effective this change has been with local churches and communities. “Our partnerships, creation care, and the new faith & work initiative is all centred in integral mission,” says Darrell.

“With CBM’s partnership, pastors here share how their ministry is beyond evangelizing, but also helping people be healthy in all aspects of life…from literacy programs, kitchen gardens, village savings and loans, and peace and reconciliation groups. And
so many of them have continued on in a self-sustaining manner,” shares Laura Lee.

Since the Bustins began with CBM they’ve seen many changes, but noted how CBM’s direction remains focused on where God is leading. “[CBM is] constantly evaluating the concept of partnership,” says Darrell. “By taking a more collaborative approach with the partners the relationship is more collegial as we make decisions together.”

We give glory to God for 150 years of service as we help develop leaders all around the world. CBM continues to look forward to where God will lead in the next 150 years.

Share this page