She Matters 2017-08-23T18:51:24+00:00

She Matters

She Matters is a multi-year campaign for gender equity – to educate, equip and empower girls and women who have the potential to be the greatest influencers for change in their families and communities, through raising funds and awareness. By addressing social injustices like gender bias in education, equal opportunity for skills and job training, as well as enhanced learning and leadership opportunities to empower women leaders, we are helping transform her life and her family’s future through She Matters.

We are pleased to report that over $329,000 has been raised by you and the nearly 300 church champions of She Matters across Canada! Here are just a few highlights in this global campaign. (do we want a map to mark countries where projects supported? Or a list of projects and countries supported?)

Hey! It’s Not Fair! – Get Well Soon

It shouldn’t matter where in the world you are born, but it does! The poor in developing countries bear a disproportionate burden of communicable diseases and health issues. They have increased exposure and risk through malnutrition, lack of affordable health care services, poor health and unsafe living conditions. Ultimately, it results in a much shorter life, for so many. Chagas Prevention and Treatment (Bolivia) Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in South America, has the largest number of cases in the world with about 10% of the population infected with Chagas disease. It is transmitted by the Vinchuca insect, which thrives in adobe walls and thatched roofs used in poorer homes. The parasite enters the victim’s bloodstream and can live undetected for decades while quietly destroying internal organs, especially the heart. If caught in time, Chagas can be treated and home renovations can protect families. However, the costs for medical care and construction supplies are far beyond the means of the poor who are most affected. CBM’s Chagas project provides awareness education, blood testing campaigns, supervised medical treatment for those in early stages of the disease, and renovation of homes. CBM also sends short-term mission teams to work with Bolivian families and volunteers in this program. HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care (Guardians of Hope, Africa) There were approx 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2016 and an estimated 5,000 new infections per day. Sub-Saharan Africa remains most severely affected, accounting for nearly two-thirds of people living with HIV worldwide. They face social stigma, fear and isolation, as there is no cure. There is, however, medical treatment that can improve health and prolong life. CBM’s Guardians of Hope (GOH) program supports partner churches in Africa who are working to break the stigma and provide care for those most impacted through support groups that help children to go to school; help families earn income with goats and other livestock, seeds & farming tools, and skills training; as well as prevention and awareness education, access to testing and medicine and spiritual counsel. One GOH project is in Kenya’s coastal community of Kwale County, where 1 in 20 people are infected by HIV - one of the highest rates in the world. It was one of the sites of last year’s Kamp Tumaini, an opportunity for orphans and vulnerable children/youth impacted by HIV and AIDS to come together and talk about the challenges they face, receive awareness education, counsel and encouragement. Youth from Canadian Baptist churches raised project funds and participated in the camps to encourage youth in Kenya. Meet Jon and His Family Meet John and his family. They live all the way over in Bolivia. Let’s hear his story. I live in a small village surrounded by mountains. Most of us are poor. Our house has just one room where all nine of us in the family sleep. We have no electricity. This makes it hard for me to do my homework at night. I

Pastor Gang in Germany

Xiaodan Gang serves with CBM's Chinese Ministries in Germany. Pray that the students whom she ministers among will find her presence an encouragement, as many of them are homesick and lonely. Pray also for her physical, spiritual and emotional strength as she shares God's love with them during their years of study in Germany. Meet Pastor Gang

David & Suzannah Nacho in Costa Rica

One of the challenges facing CBM’s Global Field Staff is navigating the bureaucracies and minutia of obtaining visas. David and Suzannah Nacho are facing a visa application process that has not been smooth and is currently still unresolved. This Wednesday is an important day in the process. Please pray for them as they meet with immigration officials. Pray that they will not become discouraged and that the issues will be successfully worked through. Learn about the Nachos

Christian Students in the Middle East

CBM’s partner, Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) in Beirut, Lebanon facilitates training for Christian leaders all over the Arab world. Pray for ABTS staff as they design a blended program that meets the needs of both part-time and online students. ABTS believes that online training balanced with face-to-face learning is very important. Pray for God’s guidance and provision as they build programs that are effective, accessible and financially sustainable so that more leaders can be trained for ministry within the Middle East and North Africa region. About ABTS

She Matters for Canada

Please pray for the newest member of CBM, Dr. Cheryl Bear of the Nadleh Whut’en First Nation. Cheryl joins CBM as Indigenous Relations Specialist. For the past year she has been the spokesperson for CBM's ongoing She Matters Campaign. In story and song Cheryl has been a great resource to our churches who wish to learn how best to build authentic relationships with Indigenous people in their own communities. Please pray for Dr. Bear as she builds on the responsive hearts of our churches and provides leadership in this new role. She Matters


The Bolivian Baptist Union (UBB) churches are preparing for their national convention later this month. Please pray for unity and vision as they gather together. May they find renewed energy in their mission to be a witness to the love of God. The UBB's development arm, OBADES, runs numerous projects supported by Canadian Baptists. Please pray too for CBM Field Staff and National , as they work alongside the staff of both UBB and OBADES, to facilitate SENT teams to Bolivia. Bolivia

Virginia Keith

Please keep the family of former CBM General Secretary John Keith in your prayers following the passing of his wife Virginia Keith on March 6. She passed peacefully as John and their three children, Carol, Shirley and John Gordon sang hymns, read scripture and prayed her into eternity. Virginia leaves behind her husband John with whom she shared 62 amazing years of life and ministry on five continents in over 20 countries, three children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Read the full tribute to a remarkable woman and a remarkable life here. Virginia Keith

Hey! It’s Not Fair! – Food Fight

The prevalence of hunger is the painful evidence of global inequity and the harsh reality of poverty. CBM is committed to addressing hunger with projects that range from direct food assistance in times of crisis to longer-term food security - helping families to become confident in their ability to either produce or earn enough money to purchase the amount of food necessary for a healthy and active life. India has one of the world’s highest rates of child malnutrition. One of the hardest hit areas is Odisha State where many tribal people live, like the Kui, who in the early 1900s, were considered to be even lower than “untouchables” in Indian society at the time. Today they continue to live in marginalized villages with limited access to government services, schools and health care facilities. Illiteracy and malnutrition rates are high. Thanks to a nutrition program supported by CBM, families in remote and neglected villages receive a nutritional supplement to add to their infant’s food for a healthy start in life as well, as seeds and training to plant gardens for fresh fruit and vegetables. They also receive chickens and goats, immunizations and health awareness programs, including the use of bed nets to reduce the high incidence of malaria. Meet Sunamami Meet Sunamani and her children. They live all the way over in India. Their village is in the hills, so remote that they do not yet have a road to get to their village. Sunamani has to walk a long way down the hill to get to a road that will take her to a town that has a market to buy food. But what happens if she does not have any money? Let’s hear her story. "We are all farmers in my village. Some have a small piece of land, but most of us also work in fields owned by other people. It is a struggle to grow enough food, like rice and bananas, to eat. We do not have any other jobs here so it is hard to earn money. Our children help us work in the fields. This is how life has been for generations. It makes me sad to see my children not have enough to eat. Many times we go a whole day, and sometimes more, without a meal. This happens when our crops fail. The weather has become so unpredictable. I worry about my baby who is often sick. I have no money to go to the closest hospital. It is in a town far away. I was happy when our church started a nutrition project in our village. I liked learning about how to start a kitchen garden. I got some seeds and started to grow fruits and vegetables. My favourites are cucumbers and tomatoes. Some families also received chickens and goats. Best of all, I was given a nutrition mix for my baby. It is a great joy to see my children have healthy food. I want to help

Tribute to Virginia Keith (1930-2018)

Just before noon on Tuesday, March 6th, Virginia Keith went to be with her Lord, surrounded by her husband and her three children. Her final week was spent in hospital struggling with several health issues. Her homegoing was peaceful as John and their three children Carol, Shirley and John Gordon sang hymns (in 4-part harmony!), read scripture and prayed her into eternity. Virginia leaves behind her husband John with whom she shared 62 amazing years of life and ministry, three children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Virginia met John at Gordon College where he was studying theology and she was teaching French. Their marriage in 1955 was predicated on God’s promise to them from Psalm 2:8, “Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.” God was faithful to His promise, as they served with Canadian Baptist Ministries for 40 years, on five continents and in at least 20 countries. Both Virginia and her husband,  John taught in English, French and Portuguese. At different periods of their ministry they lived in Portugal, Angola, DR Congo (Zaire), Kenya, Yugoslavia, Slovakia and Croatia. Shorter term assignments during the decade that she and John oversaw all of CBM’s international ministries also took them to Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Russia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Ukraine. In addition to her work as a CBM missionary, Virginia has also taught at elementary, secondary and university levels, has been a reference librarian, and in her retirement has hosted ambassadors and diplomats from countries such as Turkey, China and Indonesia at their lakeside home. But the roles she loved the most were as a wife, a mother, a grandmother and most recently, a great grandmother. Two of Virginia’s more memorable experiences were these. Being evacuated from Angola at the outbreak of the civil war, traveling with her two young daughters and pregnant with her son, at times lying on the floor of the vehicle as bullets were flying around them. The second was decades years later, traveling with John to scout out future ministry in Albania, when it was not permitted for them to even carry their personal English Bibles into that closed atheist country or to mention the name of God, and then several years later being there in the capital Tirana as former US President Jimmy Carter formally opened the Baptist Centre in the heart of the city. Virginia’s other love was baseball. While she was born and raised as a Boston Red Sox fan in Massachusetts, she fully embraced her adopted country and became an avid Toronto Blue Jay’s fan. Just two days before her death, in her hospital room, she even spent some time discussing with her children some of the Blue Jays new acquisitions and their prospects for the 2018 season. Virginia will be deeply missed by many, but our loss is heaven’s gain. Hers was a remarkable life,

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

CBM Executive Director Dr. Terry Smith is in Washington, DC this week meeting with our international denominational partners from across the globe within the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). Together they are seeking opportunities to be more integrated for effective and efficient response to emergency situations around the world. These meetings are important for our global witness in word and deed. Pray for a spirit of co-operation, and that they may they be united on behalf of those who need our help in times of crisis.

El Salvador Growing Opportunities

Adrian Gardner, Discipleship Programs Facilitator is in El Salvador with a team from Lancaster Baptist Church (Saint John, NB.) Pray for Adrian as he meets with partners to explore opportunities for more service-oriented trips. Pray that those interactions would be fruitful. Pray also that local churches have a clear vision for bringing the good news to their communities, as well as for Canadian Baptist churches who are uniquely able to provide assistance with willing hands and hearts eager to serve. Go and Learn

Pastors in Thailand

Please pray for CBM Western Representative Dennis Shierman, and his wife Judy (Lead Pastor at Altadore Baptist Church in Calgary) as they lead a SENT trip to Thailand. The team is made up of six pastors from across Canada. While in the country, they will participate in the graduation ceremony at Bethel Bible Institute in Chiang Rai and have the opportunity to lead workshops for students. Also, pray for safety as they visit the outreach work of the seminary in Myanmar. Pray that thegraduating students would be encouraged by these interactions and that they, together with the Canadians, would be re-energized for mission locally and globally. Be SENT

Putting a Face to Faith

What does a faithful life look like? The men and women in these portraits have lived out their faith in God with courage, love and obedience, often at great personal cost. We hope you are inspired and encouraged by their faithfulness. They are part of the Global Church who demonstrate how they put their faith into action. ELIE HADDAD left his home country of Lebanon near the end of a brutal 15-year civil war. So, too, did Mireille. They met in Canada, married and started a new life together. “We had many bad memories from the war. We felt that we had wasted our prime years hiding from shells and bombs. We never wished to return,” remembers Elie. Over the years, they became strong believers, active in ministry. “We loved our church family. We loved our life here. This was home,” he says. Sensing a call from God to something else, Elie enrolled in seminary while continuing to work as a senior IT consultant. After completing his studies, an email arrived asking the Haddads to consider going to Lebanon to work at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS). “If it’s from God, we can’t say no,” says Elie. Elie left his well-paying job. They sold their house and bought plane tickets. “We were going to Beirut not knowing how God was going to do it.” Conversations with CBM led to their appointment as Field Staff. “It was a tough time disengaging from Canada,” says Elie. “Usually when missionaries go to a new place, they are afraid of what they don’t know. For us, we were afraid of what we knew, what we had run away from.” Twelve years later, they continue to serve in Lebanon. As President of ABTS, Elie oversees a strategic seminary in the heart of the Arab world, training leaders for the growing church in North Africa and throughout the Middle East. Mireille has her own meaningful ministry, serving among the large number of refugees who have fled conflict in Syria, Iraq and other places in turmoil. “We’re very blessed. It’s exciting to be part of ministry here,” says Elie. “People think that this is the time to run away from the Middle East. This is the time to be here. This is the time to make a difference; the time when the Church can have an impact.” MURIEL BENT grew up in a large family in the Maritimes. “I was 13 out of 15 children,” says Muriel. “Those were the days without electricity and indoor plumbing. We worked hard, but we learned ethics and good values.” She ended up working in several countries around the world, faithfully serving as a CBM missionary for almost 40 years. Her calling came early. “I was only nine or ten at the time when I told my parents that I wanted to be a nurse and go to India as a missionary,” says Muriel. “At the end of nurse’s training I had to decide whether

Theological Education

We hope this update finds you well. Thank you for your continued prayers and support of the work God is doing in Latin America through theological education and academic discipleship. We believe that this year’s courses will be life giving to our students. A lot of the teaching we do is online. Just the other day I overheard David saying, “The reason Pharaoh killed only the baby boys is because he feared one day they would pose a military threat.” Last week he started teaching a course with Chris Wright, which explores the book of Exodus as a framework for understanding God’s redemption and the life and witness of God’s people. This story of a strong empire threatened by a growing marginalized population helps us understand who God is and how he acts in our circumstances. It is a gift for us to work with students to allow those truths to capture their hearts and imaginations. We are excited by the challenge God has given us of fostering mature discipleship through theological education. Visit to El Salvador In January David traveled to El Salvador where he was invited to be the speaker for the National Evangelical Assembly. He spoke on Ephesians: Clues for radical discipleship in Latin America. The conference went well and we are excited to see how CETI Basic is a growing resource for churches in El Salvador and Guatemala. Creation Care We continue to grow in our practice and theology of care of God’s creation. The move to Costa Rica has encouraged us in this exploration. We are hoping to open new connections with local churches and in global discipleship around this theme in the coming year. Prayer Requests Continued and deeper connection to the local church here in Costa Rica. Getting our permanent residence visa, we hope to present in these next two weeks! CETI faculty, we have undergone restructuring as an institution and hope that our work will be more productive and strategic. David will concentrate primarily in his role of Academic Dean and professor. Gratitude that the kids have begun a new school year and are enjoying their friends and routines. Last year David taught a few new courses which we call open courses. These classes are available to people even if they are not pursuing a master degree, and have helped students receive resources and biblical understanding for their faith. The themes explored were: Theology as Praxis; Ecclesiastes, Latin American popular wisdom and the meaning of life. For the master level David taught: Church (Canada), and Narrative theology (Columbia, Bolivia and Brazil). Suzannah taught Spiritual theology and discernment (Bolivia). We are excited for this year’s courses. About David & Suzannah Nacho David and Suzannah serve with CBM in Latin America. They are based in Costa Rica where they work with CETI (Community of Interdisciplinary Theological Studies). CETI provides students a missional understanding of the church and tools to live out integral discipleship through work, family and society. Learn more about the Nachos

Chinese Ministries in Germany

This week CBM’s Director of International Partnerships, John Chan will be traveling to Germany with his wife Ruth, who is serving as the Interim Chinese Ministries Team Leader. The staff and partners engaged in Chinese ministries there look forward to their return. Pray that the Chans presence will be an encouragement to the team. Pray also for the seminary students who are graduating from the Seminary "On The Air" program. Continue to uphold CBM’s partner, the Forum for Mission to Germany, in your prayers as the Chans help mentor and encourage the staff during their visit.

In India with Suraj Komaravalli

Please pray for India Team Leader Suraj Komaravalli as he continues to lead CBM’s work in India among our church partners. There are many challenges facing Christians who seek to minister in the name of Jesus to the needs of their communities. Pray that they will continue to be effective witnesses even in the midst of restrictive circumstances and limited resources. Suraj oversees ministries in a large geographic area, including many remote villages that are difficult to reach. Please pray for safety during his travels while he is away from his family. Meet Suraj

Syria and Lebanon

A 30-day ceasefire in the ongoing Syrian conflict was negotiated by the United Nations on the weekend to allow aid agencies to assist the civilian population. However, a new ground attack and aerial bombings took place the next day east of the capital city of Damascus. Pray for those who were injured as a result, as well as those who live within the conflict zone. Pray also for our partner, the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development, and their outreach ministries to the refugee population in Lebanon. May they continue be a powerful witness to the Gospel of Jesus, sharing peace and demonstrating love for those fleeing the devastations of war. Read more

Returning To Canada…

This past fall, Deann and I were informed by Canadian Baptist Ministries that our time in Prague and with the EBF must come to a conclusion after sixteen years of a fruitful and rewarding partnership. The primary reason for this decision is due to a core value of CBM, which believes in establishing healthy partnerships, and yet allowing, after a period of time, for a natural movement from interdependence to independence. This is simply good missiology. Tony Peck (EBF General Secretary) has been most affirming and supportive along with ALL the staff and national leaders across the EBF.  We could not hope to have left the ministry in better shape than now. First, it must be said that we have not found it easy to accept this decision. As a family, we have put down deep roots in our beloved Europe, both with our lives and ministry. We have deeply appreciated how completely embraced by the EBF family of Baptists we have felt over the past sixteen years. It is equally amazing, to me, as the youth leadership training coordinator, how my cooperation was embraced with such enthusiasm with nary a conflict, this in itself is something I consider a miracle and of God’s doing. Secondly, I (Jeff) have already begun proactively working on a proper transition plan, and I have committed to building a team to continue the work of equipping youth and children’s workers in particular as it relates to Horizons in the care of the EBF Youth and Children Committee. This is my one of my chief concerns and I will be working on this until our departure this summer for Canada.  There is still much work to be done over the next six months; there are Horizons Live events in various countries, seminary courses to teach and languages to complete, and a Summit to prepare for in April of the mentors of the EBF Horizons program.   As a family, we understand and accept the rationale of our mission (CBM) to wind down our time with the EBF, and therefore we are willing to consider moving on and embracing the possibility of a new and exciting ministry, currently being worked on by CBM.    This new ministry will enable an even broader context and scope for influencing and equipping youth and children leaders in the global setting. Finally, we are asking you, our faithful financial supporters and prayer warriors, to consider continuing your partnering with us through this transition.  At the very least we will be in Europe until this summer.  Beyond that, we will inform you in the weeks to come. As we look forward to the future and the doors God will open for us it is our prayer that you will become excited with us for what lays ahead.   In due course, CBM will be making an announcement to this effect, regarding our new role, and we will be able to share more of that vision as it unfolds in the weeks to come. Prayer

Kids Care – Hey! It’s Not Fair!

We all know what it feels like to have the short end of the stick sometimes. Maybe you’ve been treated unjustly and don’t think you’re getting what you deserve. Have you ever wanted to just shout out, “Hey, it’s not fair.” Whatever the situation, God calls us to cry out to him, but he also challenges us to cry out on behalf of the poor. As we read the news or our social media feeds, it becomes more and more apparent that global economic inequity is a growing problem. It appears that the rich are getting richer and the poor even poorer. The gap seems to grow wider every day. It seems unjust that in a world of abundance, nearly one in nine people do not have enough to eat. Twice as many girls as boys will never be given the chance to go to school. It's not fair! Kids Care – Hey! It’s Not Fair! is an opportunity for our children to look at the issues caused by inequity in our world. This five lesson children's resource will help you to look at these problems from a biblical perspective and encourage your children’s group to engage the idea of global disparity through prayer, games, activities, stories, and fundraising suggestions. You can download the lesson package as a PDF from the link provided or email us to order printed materials. Be sure to share photos of your fundraisers, activities and times together if you would like to share your ideas with other churches! E-mail us at with your photos or feedback. Order Kids Care 2018 Resources CBM’s annual children’s educational mission resource gives kids the opportunity to learn about children in another part of the world through fun activities, crafts and games, Bible lessons, and to respond to God’s love through giving. Children will expand their notion of community in the world, and be moved to action.  Hey! It's Not Fair! Kids Care 2018 Download this package Kids Care Resources

Our Shared Story

“If you wish to move mountains tomorrow”, says the African proverb, “You must start by lifting stones today.” The daily responsibilities and routines of lifting life’s stones can seem to blur together. It is startling to stop and realize just how quickly those days go by and before you know it, the entire terrain has been transformed around you. Featured Image: A beneficiary in the Africa Brotherhood Church Guardians of Hope, Machakos, Kenya The labour of the Church in Africa is such a story of faithfulness and the blessing of God that has reshaped the people and places of this great continent. Canadian Baptists have played a small but significant part in this story. Today the Church of Africa is vibrant, diverse, and bearing witness to the joyful hope of Christ for the entire world. 2018 marks a significant milestone in the history of Canadian Baptists as we celebrate 60 years of ministry in Africa. Along with celebrations that will be taking place in Angola marking the coming of Canadian Baptist missionaries in 1958 to the Evangelical Church of Angola (IEA) there are two other important anniversaries this year. In Kenya, we will be marking 40 years of partnership with the Africa Brotherhood Church. We will be participating in special times of worship this May in Ukumbani. And we are thanking God for the remarkable journey of ministry among the Muslim people of North Eastern Kenya that also began in 1978. There is much reason to give thanks! Image: Worship in Garissa. To read more about CBM's 40 years of outreach in Kenya's Muslim majority communities, please use this link Prior to 1958, Canadian Baptist missionaries had only served in India and Bolivia. The partnership with the Evangelical Church of Angola was not only the beginning of the ministry of Canadian Baptists in Africa but the start of an entirely new way of engaging in world missions. God used the invitation of the IEA as the first steps for CBMs journey in Africa and toward mutual partnerships of interdependence. The impact of those first three years in Angola continues to be remembered to this day, but the work was cut short. With the outbreak of the Portuguese colonial war in 1960, the early Canadian missionaries moved to neighbouring Zaire where hundreds of thousands of Angolan refugees had fled. In the decades that followed, these relationships would move CBM to establish new work in partnership with African churches across the continent. In the words of past CBM general secretary, Rev. Dr. John Keith, "Angola put Canadian Baptists on a new continent, in an undertaking of a significantly different nature than before." Unlike the endeavors in India and Bolivia, in Africa CBM would serve under indigenous churches in order to help local Christians respond to the brokenness of their communities holistically. CBM had come to realize that God was calling us to serve local churches and to help them bear witness in their own unique setting. The

Movement of The Holy Spirit in Lebanon

For the 15th year in a row, the Institute for Middle East Studies (IMES) is holding the annual Middle East Consultation with the purpose of equipping the Church to respond in prophetic and Christ-like ways to the many challenges facing Christians and Muslims in and beyond the Middle East. Again this year CBM will send a delegation to attend. Please pray for the continued leading of the Holy Spirit amongst those planning the event and in the hearts of those Canadians who are considering attending in June 2018. LEARN MORE