CBM Responding Issue 6

I S S U E 0 6 | Spring 2022

Photo of Jennifer Lau in duotone

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)

Spring is a time to remember God’s faithfulness and rest in the hope that God is doing a new thing. While we witness the new life springing up around us, our hearts are also heavy as we witness the destruction and chaos unfolding in Ukraine.

In times of desperation, Jesus’ Church has the opportunity to provide hospitality, relief and comfort to those fleeing and help demonstrate God’s loving kindness. Churches all around the Ukrainian border are doing just that. In this crisis, we trust that God’s redeeming power is at work. Please continue to pray for the people affected by this violence and turmoil.

We also continue to carry on our other work, as we embrace a broken world through word and deed. In this issue, we provide you with a snapshot of the work that was accomplished in 2021. Through your generosity, over 200,000 individuals worldwide directly benefitted from CBM programs and projects last year. During these unprecedented times, the support of Canadian Baptists has allowed us to grow and expand our programming, impacting even more individuals and families in Jesus’ name. Find more impact numbers by turning to the centre pages of this magazine.

Also inside, we provide an update on the results of our Fall appeal in 2021, in support of church planting, evangelism and leadership training efforts around the world. One of those initiatives is in the mountainous region of Myanmar amongst the unreached Lahu people. The Lahu Villages Project is an inspiring work that has been made possible because of your support.

Providing education for kids at risk is one of CBM’s priority focus areas as the world emerges from COVID. The long-term effects of the global pandemic are putting millions of children’s hopes for a brighter future at risk. Access to education should not be regarded as a privilege, but a basic human right. (UN Universal Human Rights – Article 26). It is the single best tool to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty.

That is why the 2022 Active in Mission – Run – Bike – Walk-a-thon will once again focus on education and helping to keep kids in school. You can read more about this successful effort last year, learn how churches across Canada raised funds, and see the goals we have set for this year.

As we grow our reach and expand our programs, we must also increase our staff capacity to respond to those in need. I invite you to meet our newest Global Field Staff, Kathryn Scott. She is joining the Latin America team, as she faithfully responds to the calling God has placed on her heart to serve.

Empowering women is another important part of CBM’s work. We know that a better and more just world means working together to create gender equity for women in all areas of life. Inside, we share with you two stories from CBM’s Empowerment of Soura Widows program in India, which trains women with income-generating skills that can help lift them out of poverty. CBM has multiple projects around the world that benefit and empower women to improve their own lives and subsequently their families and communities.

On March 8, we recognized International Women’s Day by hosting a special episode of Mosaic where I spoke with Cynthia Westfall, Abby Davidson and Renée MacVicar. We had a meaningful conversation on women in leadership and why representation matters. You can watch our discussion on CBM’s YouTube page. In addition, we also heard from three of our Field Staff – Lilian Yang, Patty Nacho, and Laura Muema – as they shared updates from their region and gave encouragement to women and girls.

Thank you for your ongoing partnership in the work of God’s mission. Your commitment continues to help bring transformation to the lives of so many.

Grace and peace,
Jennifer Lau
Executive Director

Q. You had the opportunity to travel to Romania and witness the work of our church partners on the ground. What are the needs and how are the churches responding?

There is a multitude of needs, but the biggest right now is providing safe places for people to rest and sleep and receive warm meals. Baptist churches in Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Georgia have opened their churches to refugees, providing beds, food, and clothing to those in need.

In Romania, our friends at All4Aid have set up multiple ‘Houses of Grace.’ One is a warehouse that was donated by a local developer. South of Bucharest, the mayor of the municipality has generously offered a local kindergarten as a space for 40 Ukrainian refugees to stay long-term. In return, All4Aid will complete the work and leave a legacy for improved education in the community going forward. A small team of volunteers from Canada helped with the renovations needed. It is inspiring to see innovative partnerships such as this as people offer what they have to meet the needs of people in Jesus’ name.

Q. CBM is working with our partner, the European Baptist Federation to respond to needs in Moldova and Ukraine. Can you tell us more about this?

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and the refugee crisis has had a huge impact on its economy. Still, Moldavians have come together to respond to the needs of Ukrainian refugees. Since February 24th approximately 330,000 refugees have arrived in Moldova, many of whom later moved on to Romania. The Moldova Baptist Union is receiving refugees from Ukraine and responding in numerous ways. They are providing emergency shelter for 1,600 refugees in churches and Baptist camps. These shelters provide space to sleep, meals, and personal hygiene supplies. The Moldova Baptist Union is also providing care at a medical clinic and offering transportation to those who wish to travel onwards from Moldova to another destination.

The Ukrainian Baptist Union is currently operating about 600 emergency shelters in Baptist churches all across the country. These shelters are spaces for internally displaced persons to stay for a few hours or a couple of nights before moving on to another part of the country, or out of Ukraine entirely. The shelters provide food, a place to sleep, and personal hygiene supplies. Some shelters are also able to offer access to showers as well as clothing and other basic necessities. As food access within Ukraine becomes increasingly difficult, the Baptist Union has established channels for transporting food into Ukraine and eligible people out of Ukraine. A logistical centre has been established and includes a warehouse for storing goods and food before transporting it to shelters around the country.

GIVE NOW

CBM’s immediate and near-term goals are to reach as many people as possible and relieve the needs of those suffering. More projects are already being planned to sustain and scale these efforts. We will remain committed to this work and will not waver in doing all we can to empower these local churches to live out the gospel in full during this time of crisis.

These are the days that future generations will know as history. In the uncertainty of this time, we must continue to live and be a witness to God’s loving embrace for the wounded and the weary. Please keep praying for peace and the shared work that we are empowered to do through your generosity.

In the fall of 2021, CBM invited Canadian Baptists to ‘Empower the church in a Time of Crisis.’ We asked for you to join us in supporting our global partners as they continue to share the gospel and proclaim God’s love in their communities.

Through your generosity, over $120,000 was raised to help support pastors and lay leaders shepherd their churches well. One way these funds are being used is through the Lahu Village Project.

CBM began reaching out to the Lahu villages by providing medical support to the villagers. The hope was that within 10 years, the gospel would be proclaimed to 100 Lahu villages. We knew this was a big vision and we prayed that God would provide us with a mission partner to accomplish it. God answered our prayers, and in 2017, we began a partnership with Pastor Duodu and his team.

Through this partnership, CBM is helping communities improve their quality of life by building clean water supply systems, purchasing buffalos for farming, and constructing multifunctional church buildings. Since we began this project in 2017, Pastor Duodo an his team have visited over 40 villages.
Three years ago, one of the pastors came to Jar Ha Ko’s village and preached the gospel to him and the villagers. Jar has a family of five and earns his living through farming and working as a shaman performing religious ceremonies for the villagers. He refused to accept Jesus during this first meeting, but the team continued to visit the village to provide medical care and preach.

During one visit, Jar approched the team and shared he was having nightmares and feeling afraid. After the pastor prayed for him, he felt peace inside and experienced God’s power. After years of visits, jar accepted Jesus into his life. “It was not easy for me to change my religion,” said Jar. “Fortunately, the pastors didn’t give up on me. I gradually open my heart to Jesus. After accepting Jesus as my savior, I feel safe and free.”

Since 2017, 500 new Christians have been baptized and we have completed building four churches with the fifth one now underway. The Lahu communities hope that the cross on their churches will show that their lives are different now that they have become followers of Christ.

Beyond this, we are also financially supporting three local pastors in these communities. With the support of Canadian churches, CBM and Pastor Duodu will continue their work to proclaim the gospel to the Lahu communities. Please pray that these remote and unreached communities will be transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ.

Kathryn Scott is our newest Global Field Staff, and is joining the Latin America team, contributing to CBM’s overall ministry in the region. Her role will initially focus on language learning, while also supporting CBM’s partners in Central America.

Kathryn has extensive experience overseas and has participated in multiple learning and short-term mission trips. In 2016, she participated in Kamp Tumaini in Kenya with Canadian Baptist Ministries and was a SENT intensive team member in the Philippines from May to July of 2019 with CBM.

Kathryn is a graduate of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, holding a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. She has also taken two master’s level courses at Acadia Divinity College. Kathryn is currently an afterschool coordinator at Fredericton Christian Academy in New Brunswick.

INTERVIEW

Q: How did you navigate the decision to work for CBM as Global Field Staff?

Since childhood, I have been interested in seeing how God is at work around the world. I have been privileged to be a part of different faith communities that have given me opportunities to grow as I served here in Atlantic Canada and also supported me as I participated in different short-term missions experiences. In university, I started to feel that the Lord was calling me into ministry and as I continued to serve, I came to realize that my passion was for global discipleship. Each opportunity to learn and serve overseas brought more clarity to what I felt God was leading me into. My experiences with CBM’s SENT Intensive program and Kamp Tumaini helped me to grow in a deeper understanding of the work that CBM does. Learning about and seeing their ministry model in action helped me in my discernment process.

Q: What are you looking forward to in your role?

I am looking forward to meeting and working with CBM’s Latin America team and connecting with CBM’s partners in Central America. I am excited to form these relationships and seeing how God has been working in their lives. I love getting to know people and journeying with them. I am also excited about stepping into what God has been placing on my heart and to learn and grow as I continue to serve.

Q: What is one thing God has been revealing to you as you prepare to leave for the field?

God has been teaching me about the kind of heart He is looking for. God has plans and assignments for all of us, no matter our background, occupation, talents, and abilities. I think of Micah 6:8 which says “and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” It is easy to get caught up in all the things I don’t know how to do yet or the feeling of being unqualified, but I have felt the Lord reminding me that what He is looking for is a heart that is willing, open, and mouldable. If I keep myself in a posture of seeking to love God with all that I am and all that I do, then He has the room to move and equip me for the things He is calling me to.

Watch Now

Watch an introductory video of Kathryn Scott. 

Prayer Points

  • Pray for a greater aptitude in acquiring language.
  • Pray for a smooth transition into Kathryn’s new role. Pray for Kathryn’s friends and family in this transitional time.
  • Pray for clarity and wisdom for Kathryn as she continues to listen to the Lord’s leading in all things.

  Learn More about Kathryn Scott

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’S PROGRAMS
BENEFITTING WOMEN

  • Empowerment of Soura Widows, India
  • Eagle’s Wings – Mother’s School, Bolivia
  • Mising Tribe, India
  • Livestock for Widows, South Sudan
  • Literacy and Family Ministry Project, Rwanda

Women living in low-income countries around the world often struggle with gender biases, illiteracy, and little access to the job market. These factors often keep them in the grips of poverty, struggling to provide for themselves and their families.

Lila and Sirati are both 35-year-old Soura widows belonging to one of the oldest tribes in India. Living in remote villages in East India, the Soura have little access to good medical care. Sadly, something as common as a fever often turns deadly, and both of their husbands died.

Being illiterate and only owning small plots of land, both these women were struggling to provide for the needs of their children. Recognizing their situations, the local church invited Lila and Sirati to enroll in the Empowerment of Soura Widows program. Since joining the program, Lila has received financial assistance to start rearing goats.

With two goats, Lila’s life has been transformed. She can now provide for herself and her children and is able to pay for their schooling. “I want to be an example for my community,” said Lila. “I want to show the other widows that they can be a part of this program. I am thankful that I can provide quality education for my children.”

Sirati was given financial assistance and training to start a tailor shop in her house. Now, by stitching clothes she can earn a daily income! “Within two years, I had saved enough to open and bank account and start depositing my earnings,” said Sirati. “Because of this new income, I can send my daughter to school. I am very thankful that I can sustain my own future.”

Both Sirati and Lila have become an inspiration in their communities. Attitudes have changed and the widows are living a dignified life. Villagers are even showing concern and helping widows, instead of looking down on them. Other widows are seeing that change is possible and are looking to Sirati and Lila as role models in how they can develop their families.

The Empowerment of Soura Widows program is aiding widows like Sirati and Lila in finding ways to break the cycle of poverty and better care for their children by earning an income. By using locally available resources, widows receive the tools and training to begin small business enterprises such as purchasing and selling local goods, creating handicrafts and raising animals. Microenterprise, savings support and training are provided for up to 40 widows a year, with many of the women under the age of 40.

RECOGNIZING INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY -MARCH 8

Image of pink Mosaic logo

International Women’s Day is a day that commemorates the social, political and economic achievements of women, while also highlighting the barriers and biases that have affected women for many years.

International Women’s Day is a day that commemorates the social, political and economic achievements of women, while also highlighting the barriers and biases that have affected women for many years.

Women in different parts of the world use this day to come together to celebrate one another and rally for equity and representation. At CBM, we interviewed Patty Nacho, Lilian Yang, and Laura Muema, three of our Field Staff, on how the pandemic has affected women and girls in their regions, how CBM is working in their region, how they have seen progress on gender equality, and what advice they have for women and girls.

CBM also produced a special edition of Mosaic, where Jennifer Lau discussed women in leadership and the importance of representation with Dr. Cynthia Westfall, along with Pastors Abby Davidson and Renée MacVicar.

Watch the Playlist

The World Bank reports that “At the peak of school closures in April 2020, 94 percent of students – or 1.6 billion children – were out of school worldwide, and, still, around 700 million students today are studying from home … In the vast majority of countries, there is no end in sight to this uncertainty.”

We have all experienced this feeling of uncertainty through the many waves of COVID-19, and for those living in the global south, the uncertainty is even greater. As the pandemic drags on into a third year and we see statistics about the impact of education, we have learned that the scale of the number of children who have lost out on their schooling is “nearly insurmountable”.

Our field staff and partners have seen first-hand the impact of the pandemic on children’s education and have worked tirelessly to ensure kids have a future full of opportunities. Here’s a window into the ways CBM’s partners through the local churches in Guatemala, India and Bolivia are bringing hope through word and deed into the issue of ‘learning poverty’.

In Bolivia, the omicron variant halted the return to in-person learning, pushing all instruction back online. We’ve experienced the challenges with online learning here in Canada as children have tried to connect virtually and stay engaged at home. For those in Bolivia, there are the added challenges of inconsistent wifi access and a lack of devices. Many children must share the one family cellphone among siblings to attempt to receive online instruction. Local churches have responded and opened their buildings, providing computers and a quiet place for children to learn.

Can you imagine sending your child to work in the early morning hours before school each day? That’s the reality for Jose Luis, a 10-year-old boy living in rural Guatemala. His school day begins at 10am, but before that, he spends 5 hours in the fields picking tomatoes. The pandemic has put increased pressure on his mother, a single parent, to make ends meet and his labour is needed to bring in income. Both Jose’s mother and his 8-year-old sister Adelaide are illiterate because the pandemic has kept Adelaide out of school for much of the past two years. Yet, there is hope for this family. A tutoring program at the local church welcomes children in to receive educational support and instruction, as well as meals. Jose’s mother also benefits from parenting classes offered at the church to gain tools for supporting her children in healthy ways.

Maybe you’ve experienced how devastating it can be when your first years in school are difficult. Perhaps you struggled as a child, or one of your children had a negative experience at the start of their education journey and you know the difficulty in turning that negativity around. This was the situation for 7-year-old Swami living in a rural village in India. His parents are illiterate and so were unable to help him when he began to struggle and fall behind his classmates academically. Their family lives on $110 a month through the father’s work as a rickshaw driver, and $30 of the monthly income goes to provide medications for Swami’s grandmother. Their economic situation means they are unable to provide school materials for him, and Swami often goes to bed hungry. Quickly, Swami became uninterested in school and his grades continued to drop. 

A local church decided to help meet Swami’s need, along with many other children, through a free tutoring club. Swami receives the support he’s unable to get at home, and it’s making a real difference. Not only are Swami’s grades improving, but he is also excited about his future and wants to be a doctor when he grows up so he can help the people of his village. 

We are cheering on Swami, Jose Luis, and Adelaide and all the students who have had so much taken from them. As One Campaign’s Executive Director David McNair said, “This virus has taken enough from us already – it must not take the futures of millions of children as well.” 

Thankfully, through CBM’s partners and local churches, many of those students will not be left behind. It’s in the margins, the places that are overlooked, where the church is present and caring for those often pushed to the sidelines. 

In 2022, Active in Mission is back! From June 19-26, we will be walking, biking, running and more to raise funds to support education for children. Education is a powerful tool to fight intergenerational poverty, and you can get active this year to bring children around the world the education they deserve.

Will you help these children along a path to a brighter future today?

Let’s say YES and get Active in Mission together!

Sign up Now!

Share this page

2022-05-03T15:20:03-04:00

Title