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Laura Muema Ministry Update November 2022

Ministry Update

I am grateful for all the support, love and prayers from churches in Canada and my colleagues at CBM. I am sincerely blessed and encouraged to have your prayerful support of my ministry serving at CBM and your prayers for my personal and family needs. May God’s blessings always be with you!

Yuanchuan&Ming Ye Update July 2022

Ministry Update

As the mission strategies changes, the organizations that support us have mobilized our ministries and moved us to another city Kassel in Germany, to serve. We will cooperate with several missionaries from the same CBM mission organization and in the nearby cities of Göttingen and Marburg to form a team to work together in the fields.

BUGANA Livelihood Center

Poverty

BUGANA Livelihood Center, a livelihood initiative of Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM), in collaboration with the association of Baptist churches in Capiz province, Philippines, aims to improve the lives of vulnerable women, out-of-school youth, and their families by providing support, training, and equipment, and by establishing equitable and sustainable markets for their products to be sold. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer. 

Bustin Ministry Update October 2022

Ministry Update

It has been a while since we checked in with everyone. So we thought it was time to get people caught up with all that has been happening. 2022 has been the year of the suitcase! We began the year in Rwanda, with Darrell making quick trips to Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was wonderful to spend time with long-time partners such as CBCA (Congo) and ACC&S (Kenya), especially after travel had been so limited in 2020 and 2021 with the pandemic.

Sibomana Ministry Update November 2022

Ministry Update

Hello, brothers and Sisters in Christ. Greetings from Rwanda. I hope and pray that you and your beloved ones are keeping well. Thank you for continuously supporting me and the work we do together through prayers and finances. The world is full of brokenness, and God is calling you with me in our means and capabilities to join in His mission of restoring Shalom. I am very pleased to update you on what has been happening in the field.

Gato Munyamasoko Ministry Update October 2022

Ministry Update

It is now two years and ten months since CBM sent me to work with a new partner in Congo called* Baptist Churches Community in Eastern Congo. But since January 2022, I was also asked to work with other CBM partners, like CBCA in Congo, AEBR in Rwanda and FEBAC in South Sudan. Today, I am working with 4 CBM partners in three countries; DRC, Rwanda and South Sudan.

CBM Fall Update Video

Global UpdateResources

Executive Director Jennifer Lau gives an update on CBM’s work over the last few months and announces a new partnership.

Forced Displacement on the Rise

CBM Responding

Ongoing and newly developed conflicts have driven displacement across the globe. According to the UNHCR, 89.3 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide. Sixty-nine percent of refugees and displaced people originated from just five countries (Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar). Children, who account for 30 percent of the world’s population, account for 41 percent of all forcibly displaced people.

Helping Kids Get Back to School

CBM Responding

The ads for back-to-school shopping were everywhere, and while I tried to ignore them in the middle of summer, my daughters were thrilled with the idea of picking out their school supplies in early August!

Get Ready to be Sent

CBM Responding

For over 40 years CBM has sent individuals and teams from Canada to visit our global partners. These experiences were put on hold in March 2020 due to the pandemic. However, we are excited to be planning SENT experiences again for 2023.

The Power of Ordinary Work

CBM Responding

We hear a lot about the value of hard work. Our parents, grandparents, and teachers all promote the message. My husband’s grandfather always asked only one question: “Are you getting enough work?” My paternal grandfather was a teacher, boatbuilder and pattern maker who worked into his mid 80’s, still building boats. Both men lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. They both had a deep-rooted faith and knew that living it out through their work and in all aspects of life was integral and essential to life itself. But somehow this has gone astray, and our lives reflect the unbiblical sacred/secular dualism where what happens at Church on Sunday is ministry, and Monday to Saturday are for secular activities.

Xiaodan Ministry Update September 2022

Ministry Update

We have started to plan for the welcome project in October for newly arriving students. Pray for good preparations, ideas and that we will have unity and love in planning together. Pray that God will lead new students into our community

Soucy Ministry Update August 2022

Ministry Update

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
Greetings from Guatemala!
We are so thankful for dear friends and supporters who participate in this work. We consider it a great
privilege to be in this part of the world, accompanying churches and communities working to build the Kingdom.

Dyck Ministry Update Sept 2022

Ministry Update

Meeting virtually is better than virtually meeting, but it’s still not the same as meeting people face to face. I’m reminded of I Corinthians 13:12 where Paul says, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.” Since the beginning of the pandemic most meetings have been virtual, but since we last wrote you, we have been meeting people more face to face and that’s been wonderful.

Bridi Ministry Update Sept 2022

Ministry Update

Thank you for following my news. In this newsletter, you can read about a couple of highlights from the ministry in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) through graduates from the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS). Last April we visited Sudan, this trip aimed to spend time with our partners after the disruption in travel caused by the pandemic. It was important for us to be there to encourage them and show them our support. It was also a good time to evaluate the projects we supported in 2021 and talk about their plans for 2022 trying to figure out how we, at CBM, can offer meaningful and strategic support to the ministry of the Church in Sudan.

Shared Hopeful Gifts Campaign 2022

CBM Responding

At Christmas, churches around the world celebrate God’s gift to us – the Word becomes flesh. This Christmas, CBM wants to help your church community offer this gift of hope to others through our local church partners around the world.

Rob Sellitto

CBM Responding

Rob lives in Ottawa with his wife Jill, son Isaac, daughter Nevaeh and two dogs. They moved to Ottawa so that Rob could serve as the pastor of Bromley Road Baptist Church. Previously, Rob served at Heart Lake Baptist Church in Brampton as their associate pastor, West Edge Community Church as their youth pastor, and at Yonge Street Missions Evergreen Youth Center. Rob completed his undergrad at Tyndale University College and received a master’s degree from Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto and another master’s degree from Tyndale Seminary. He also went through the Arrow Leadership Program a few years ago, which was a transformational experience. Rob is currently a student at Acadia Divinity College in their Doctor of Ministry program.

Re-igniting Passionate Ministry Leaders

CBM Responding

One of CBM’s key causes is to Build the Church around the world. We believe that God brings healing to a broken world through local churches. That’s why we aim to equip and empower congregations to share the gospel and proclaim God’s love in their communities.

Expanding Our Reach

CBM Responding

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13) 

Raju Ministry Update June 2022

Ministry Update

“ Do not let your heart be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1
We praise God for His assurance, protection, and blessings amidst difficult and adverse situations. As the Covid infections reduced, I could make visits to all the partners as usual, and I could see the full swing of activities taking place in all the projects.

Fall Appeal 2022

Appeal

In our global ministry context, leaders are sharing how a lack of pastoral training and resources to navigate the needs of their communities have left them feeling burned-out and exhausted. Will you help us to re-energize these important ministry leaders? Your gift will provide new opportunities for discipleship training, pastoral coaching, workshops and leadership training – building leaders up to be a sustaining witness to those they serve.

Lilian Yang Ministry Update Sept 2022

Ministry Update

This year, Thailand opened up the country to welcome more tourists from all over the world. Airports have become busy, hotels have had more guests, and many shops and restaurants reopened. Schools are filled with students again, and churches hold in-person services. People are happy to be able to see each other again in person.

Get to Know the Soucys

Staff Update

Bruno and Kathleen have served with CBM since 2006, first in Rwanda and now as Latin America Team Leaders, since 2014. They support CBM’s Field Staff, church partners, and programs in Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. Bruno and Kathleen are passionate about working with local churches in Latin America to develop sustainable growth and transformational impact in their communities.

Get to Know Michael Waddell

Staff Update

Michael has taken on a new role of Senior Associate, Faith+Work and Philippines, where he will provide leadership to the overall strategy and initiatives of CBM within the area of marketplace ministries. He will continue to liaise with CBM’s partners in the Philippines in order to implement, monitor and evaluate joint programming between CBM and local church partners.

Get to Know Kathryn Scott

Staff Update

Kathryn will be 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.

Lam Ministry Update August 2022

Ministry Update

Providing support to other meeting places: Germany has been short of Chinese missionaries for a long time. In addition to the churches that we currently nurture, we also provide support to Bible Study Classes that are not led by pastors. Please pray that the Lord will keep us safe during our travel, so we may be a blessing to others.
Online Ministry: Thanks to the Lord as the online platforms can overcome geographical restrictions. This allowed us to provide training to overseas Chinese missionaries, and to share our visions and missionary work with different churches.

Polisi Kivava Ministry July 2022

Ministry Update

After Covid-19 regulations were alleviated, I have been able to visit all partners since the beginning of this year.

Visit to ACC&S in Kenya
I visited Kenya in March to take part in the ACC&S peer capacity assessment. On the same occasion, CBM signed a new partnership agreement with ACC&S. On the same occasion, together with John Chan and Laura Muema, I attended the meeting of one of the VSLAs in the framework of the food security project. The project reaches out to school pupils to train them on CA as a way to reach also their parents, most of whom live on farming

Visit to AEBR in Rwanda
I took part in the research evaluation, which was organized jointly by AEBR and PDN, both partners of CFGB I also visited some farmers and appreciated the ownership of kitchen gardens.

Visit to FEBAC in South Sudan
The third visit took me to South Sudan, where I accompanied the implementation of two activities. First, I took part in the situation analysis for the new food security project in South Sudan implemented by FEBAC. Afterwards, I conducted a two days training workshop on leadership, resource mobilization and management for 39 pastors and leaders of FEBAC, after which the church held its second general assembly, during which they renewed their leadership. Rev. Saphano was re-elected as Church Moderator.

Get to Know the Huttons

Staff Update

The Huttons serve alongside CBM’s partners, the Bolivian Baptist Union (UBB) and its development arm OBADES, to build and support effective ministries. These include caring for vulnerable children and women, promoting local economic development, health care initiatives, food security, and responsible environmental practices.

Get to Know the Bustins

Staff Update

The Bustins joined CBM in 2002 to teach at the Kalimantan Theological Seminary in Pontianak, Indonesia, where they helped to train and mentor future leaders for local churches. They moved to Rwanda in August 2012 to work with CBM’s church partner, the Association of Baptist Churches of Rwanda.

Work as Worship: Service Resources

Sermon

Work as Worship Service Resources
Inspire and motivate your church members to reflect God’s image through creative and innovative daily work. Through these resources, Vennture supports you as you mobilize every person in your congregation to join God’s redemptive mission in the world through work.

Get to Know Byron Velásquez

Staff Update

Byron serves alongside the Latin America team, supporting CBM’s overall success in the areas of Integral Mission and Global Discipleship by facilitating venues for instruction & dialogue, and by organizing and facilitating SENT trips in Guatemala & El Salvador, to reinforce partnership agreements and local ministry strategies.

Get to Know Joe Bridi

Staff Update

Based in Beirut, Lebanon, Joe Bridi works with CBM’s local partners to develop strategies for ministry and provide support to graduates of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary who are launching ministries in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

Get to Know Gato Munyamasoko

Staff Update

Gato joined CBM in 2018 as a Peace and Reconciliation Specialist in Africa, having worked for CBM from 2007 to 2013. Gato supports CBM’s partners in peacebuilding in the region and has developed a Peace & Reconciliation curriculum that is the basis for his work.

Everyone Deserves to Eat

CBM Responding

Food. We all need it – yet around 768 million people in the world experience hunger. At the start of the year, CBM invited Canadian Baptists to feed the hungry through a matching grant opportunity. We asked for you to join us in giving hope to the hungry in places like South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya and Lebanon.

Walking Together in a Good Way

CBM Responding

As we look towards Canada’s second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, CBM wants to offer resources, articles, songs and the space to reflect as we prepare our hearts and minds for a time of listening and lament on September 30, 2022.

What is Vennture?

CBM Responding

If you are like me, you sometimes need to just make words up, combining two or more common words. They might look a bit strange, but they somehow just seem to fit together rather nicely.

Laura Muema

CBM Responding

Laura serves alongside the Africa team, contributing to CBM’s overall ministry in the areas of family ministries, social support for vulnerable children, gender equity and empowering women.

Responding in Times of Need

CBM Responding

According to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR), more than 6.2 million people have fled Ukraine; the vast majority of these are women, children and the elderly. There are more than 3.3 million refugees in Poland alone, along with more than 924,000 in Romania, more than 610,000 in Hungary and more than 464,000 in Moldova. Inside Ukraine, roughly 7.7 million people are internally displaced as a result of the conflict, which is equivalent to 17.5 per cent of the entire population.

Summer Reading

CBM Responding

Summer is a busy time for us as we complete campaigns that will roll out in the fall and winter seasons. Yet, each of us will find an opportunity to close down our computers and set aside work for planned summer vacations. What are your plans for the summer? Whether on a plane or on a dock, summer provides the time and space for reading. Here are some suggestions from my CBM colleagues for what books to pack in your bag this summer.

Get to Know Suraj Komaravalli

Staff Update

Suraj Komaravalli serves as Team Leader for CBM’s ministries in India, helping develop integral mission strategies in CBM’s priority areas of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, and Nagaland.

Get to Know Laura Muema

Staff Update

Laura serves alongside the Africa team, contributing to CBM’s overall ministry in the areas of family ministries, social support for vulnerable children, gender equity and empowering women. In this video, learn more about her ministry.

Kwok Ministry Update May 2022

Ministry Update

The situation in Myanmar is still difficult. We continue to receive reports from the field. So many of our students, pastors, and alumni have contracted COVID. The high inflation and political unrest still affect daily life. People have no jobs, therefore no money to bring food on the table.

Botros Ministry Update March 2022

Ministry Update

It has been a long time since we sat down to write to you, but you are in our hearts and prayers. Many of you have written to us, and we are sure of your prayers for all us. We are grateful!  

Lam Ministry Update May 2022

Ministry Update

The Covid-19 safety protocols in various states within Germany were gradually lessened since the beginning of March. The Chinese community, in general, continued to follow all the safety measures, though many still became infected.

Patty Nacho Ministry Spring 2022

Ministry Update

This year started in a very different way. As a family we were getting ready to celebrate the first Christmas and New Year without my dad. My dad’s absence has been felt so hard over the past year.

CBM Responding Issue 6

CBM Responding

Hear from Adrian Gardner about the work happening to help relieve the Ukraine crisis. Meet our newest Global Field Staff, Kathryn Scott. And learn about how Fiona Kwok is Building the Church in Myanmar. All in this issue of CBM Responding.

Dyck Ministry Update Spring 2022

Ministry Update

Since our last update, I would say that our attitude has been cautiously optimistic, or rather, one of vacillating between optimism and caution. We made optimistic plans to return to Bolivia in February to set discipleship ministry plans in motion for the year and bring closure to some of our involvements (in person), but caution caused us to postpone our trip.

Solidarity Sunday 2022

To say ‘Thank You!’ for all the amazing work that, you,  our Canadian church partners do, we’ve put together a brand new Solidarity Sunday for 2022. This service and it’s parts are completely free to download and use however you like as part of your church gatherings.

Read More >

Waddell Ministry Update Spring 2022

Ministry Update

Here in my small community in New Brunswick, signs of Spring are starting to emerge. The snow is almost gone, birds are returning, warmth is returning to the sun, and our days are getting longer. All of these signs point to new life emerging from the ground that was once covered by snow and ice

Collective Cup

Justice

As a community of Christ-followers who believe actions are an expression of faith, you, through the Collective Cup house blend, can empower local farmers who are able to realize the equitable benefits from their labours. This is coffee served with dignity & justice, which makes your private label coffee truly delicious. All while supporting CBM’s projects in El Salvador!

Matching Appeal

Appeal

Give today and have your gift matched to make a deeper impact on the lives of hungry people in South Sudan, Rwanda, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Lebanon. Your support empowers the local church to demonstrate that God’s love reaches all corners of the globe.

CBM Responding Issue 5

I would like to take a moment to thank you for your continued generosity and support. Whether through the Hopeful Gifts for Change Catalogue, The Christmas Match Campaign or the Hopeful Gifts Church Campaign, your giving through 2021 is impacting lives around the world.

Read More >

Get to Know André Sibomana

Staff Update

CBM Field Staff, André Sibomana, has been working with CBM since 2011 and now serves in Rwanda as Africa Team Leader. In this video learn more about his life and ministry.

A Lunch Date in Lebanon

CBM Responding

Joe and Alexi Bridi chop parsley and mince garlic in their kitchen at home in Lebanon. It looks like any other day preparing food for their family, except for two computers on their kitchen table – one computer camera facing Joe and Alexi and a second pointing toward their kitchen counter.

A Thrill of Hope

Sermon

We at CBM are grateful for you and your church. We know it’s been a difficult season, and so we wanted to offer you a gift- a prerecorded online service for you to use on Sunday Dec 26th or Jan 2nd. We hope this will give you a much needed break, and be a gift to you and your church.

Hutton Ministry Update Winter 2021

Ministry Update

It is hard to believe that December is here already. The Christmas season is a time of waiting in eager expectation, followed by joy and celebration when our hope in Christ is realized. For us, this period of waiting has defined our past year.

Empowering the Church in a Time of Crisis

CBM Responding

One of CBM’s key causes is to Build the Church around the world. We believe that God brings healing to a broken world through local churches. That’s why we aim to equip and empower congregations to share the gospel and proclaim God’s love in their communities.

Soucy Ministry Update December 2021 English

Ministry Update

This is love: not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – 1 John 4:10
In the season of Advent, we remember to anticipate the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. While we wait, we do not have to be passive! We can move and act in love, even when it seems the good that we do will not change the outcome.

Soucy Ministry Update December 2021 Francais

Ministry Update

Voici en quoi consiste l’amour : ce n’est pas nous qui avons aimé Dieu, mais c’est lui qui nous a aimés ; aussi a-t-il envoyé son Fils pour expier nos péchés. 1 Jean 4:10
Au temps de l’Avent, nous nous rappelons d’anticiper la naissance de Jésus, le Messie. En attendant, nous n’avons pas à être passifs ! Nous pouvons bouger et agir dans amour, même s’il semble que le bien que nous faisons ne changera pas le résultat.

Staff Spotlight: Byron Velásquez

CBM Responding

Byron serves alongside the Latin America team, contributing to CBM’s overall ministry in integral mission and global discipleship by facilitating training for church partners, organizing and facilitating SENT trips in Guatemala and El Salvador, and strengthening partnerships and local ministry activities.

Gato Munyamasoko Ministry Update November 2021

Ministry Update

It is now one year and eleven months since I was sent by CBM to work with a new partner in Congo which is called “Baptist Churches Community in Eastern Congo”. This denomination had been split in two since 1997 until 2018 due to ethnic conflict where one group was called the majority and the second group the minority.

Kakuma Camp Peace Building Project

Justice

The ABTS Alumni Initiatives project provides support to graduates of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary as they serve their communities through their local churches.The Kakuma Camp Peace Building Project (KCPBP) involves peacebuilding workshops that promote peace, encourage peacebuilding, and train participants to actively seek reconciliation. Certified Sudanese church leaders who have been trained to lead peacebuilding and reconciliation programs will facilitate these workshops.

Staff Spotlight: Joseph Lee

CBM Responding

Joseph serves with the Chinese Ministries Team, supporting ministry opportunities within the Golden Triangle region. His role also supports existing partner relationships and helps create new connections with Canadian churches.

Beekeeping & Small-Scale Farming

Poverty

The Beekeeping and Small-scale Farming project addresses food security issues among the rural poor in Bolivia. The project provides new skills and supplies for families to grow orchards, plant kitchen gardens and raise small animals. It also provides beehives to families and teaches them how to produce honey for consumption and marketing.

Support for Pastors and Bible School Students

Build the Church

The Support for Pastors and Bible School Students project helps gifted Bible leaders in the Golden Triangle region by providing them scholarships for continued education, assistance in church-planting, and support for workers in community services.

Xiaodan Ministry Update November 2021

Ministry Update

Living with students, practicing discipleship and evangelizing at the same time – that’s what we do! Jesus invites people to share in his life and to live together with him. In our work with Chinese students, there are many such opportunities to share life with people, to be a role model, and to bear witness to God.

Dyck Ministry Update November 2021

Ministry Update

There they go, and I’m their leader. This is what comes to mind when I think about what’s been happening with Discipleship and Pastoring of Pastors (DPP) in Bolivia. It could mean that I’m not leading at all, or, as is the case, they’re taking initiative and doing exactly what I’d want them to.

Minority Tribal Lahu Village Project

Poverty

In partnership with CBM, Pastor Doudu is improving the living conditions in remote Lahu villages and shares the transforming power of the gospel. The project supports emerging Christian communities and establishes churches.

Center for Continuing Theological Education Program (CCTEP)

Build the Church

Center for Continuing Theological Education Program (CCTEP) equips pastors to effectively minister to their communities in Capiz Province with practical training in the areas of pastoral care and counseling, leading meetings, managing budgets and community development. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Literacy Training

Justice

In partnership with CBM, Soura Baptist Christian Mandalli Sammiloni (SBCMS) is raising awareness of the value of education and empower individuals to be agents of change in their communities. This initiative begins with teaching children, many of whom are living in impoverished families, how to read and write.

Bustin Ministry Update November 2021

Ministry Update

The year 2021 was very much like its predecessor – full of COVID-19 twists and turns. This led to lots of challenges for CBM and its partner in Rwanda, the Association of Rwandan Baptist Churches (AEBR). Many activities were planned for this year through the different projects which CBM and AEBR do together.

Standing in Solidarity

CBM Responding

As we enter the fall season, it is with renewed excitement that we share another issue of CBM Responding with you. Another year is almost upon us, and this is already our fourth quarterly issue for 2021 – we aren’t slowing down now!

Baptist Children & Youth Ministry

Kids At Risk

BCYM gives hope to vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian children in Lebanon by inviting them to encounter the love of Jesus Christ, and play and learn in a positive environment. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Alcoholics Rehabilitation and Transformation

Poverty

The ART program aims to rehabilitate and transform the lives of people who engage in alcohol abuse and supports the Ao-Naga community in North-East India by promoting alcohol addiction prevention and awareness. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Literacy and Family Ministry Project

Justice

AEBR addresses issues of illiteracy, poverty, and gender imbalance. Through literacy classes, coordinator training, and the support of self-help groups and parenting clubs, both men and women are empowered to transform families and communities. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Pastereo de Pastors

Build the Church

In partnership with IBAREDO, CBM supports the ministerial development of pastors in rural and impoverished urban communities of the Dominican Republic. The project offers pastors regular meetings, mentorship, and essential resources to develop Christian leadership. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Chagas

Poverty

The Chagas project seeks to bring attention and intervention to a preventable disease affecting the rural poor and improve food security by providing new skills and supplies for families to produce in orchards, raise small animals, and produce honey for consumption and marketing. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Walking Together in a Good Way

This booklet is a compilation of articles that have been run in previous issues of Mosaic magazine, as well as other thoughts shared by former CBM Strategic Associate Field Staff Cheryl Bear. Our hope is that this guide will be a clarion call to our Canadian Baptist church family to become “other”.

Read More >

Mising Tribe

Poverty

Helping to transform the lives of disadvantaged youth, women, and children living in the Mising tribe community by addressing pressing vocational and economic needs through quality education. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Zheng Zhu Student Center 

Kids At Risk

The Zheng Zhu student center is in the border town of Tachileik, between Thailand and Myanmar. Since 2020, schools in Myanmar have been closed due to the pandemic. At the student center, the pastors and staff continue to educate the children there. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Missioning Through the Lord’s Prayer

CBM’s Director of Strategic Initiatives Delivers a four part sermon series diving deeper into how we look at the Lord’s Prayer. We invite churches and small groups to watch, study and discuss this engaging series, whether in-person or online.

Read More >

Livestock for Widows 

Poverty

The Faith Evangelical Baptist Church aims to supply vulnerable widows in Baliet County with livestock to increase their household assets. The cattle’s milk will provide income and nutrition for the family and household. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Jireh 

Kids At Risk

Jireh works with children and adolescents who have been victims of violence and aims to provide children and families a safe place to find restoration physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The centre helps provide support, counselling, and teaches valuable life skills. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Forum of Mission to Chinese in Germany (FMCD)

Build the Church

CBM works in partnership with a local organization called Forum of Mission to Chinese in Germany (FMCD), ministering to Chinese students in university towns to offer support and community to those studying abroad. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Peace and Reconciliation – Rwanda

Justice

CBM partners with the Association of Baptist Churches in Rwanda (AEBR), offering support and assistance to tackle the issues of an over-burdened society coping with reconstruction and reconciliation. This project promotes positive change, and peace groups help overcome racism and prejudice and strengthen unity.

ENLACE

Build the Church

ENLACE equips local churches in El Salvador, Nepal, Guatemala, and Nicaragua to transform their communities. Working with the local church, CBM aims to develop sustainable growth and transformational impact in their communities. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Food for Life 

Poverty

The Food for Life cooperative aims to improve the lives of local rural farmers, farmworkers, and their families by establishing an equitable market for their products and by reinforcing safe and efficient farming. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Alas de Águila (Eagles Wings) – Mothers’ School

Justice

The Eagles Wings project aims to support vulnerable women through the challenges their families face. Women with their husbands in prison receive sewing training and life skills workshops to start their businesses. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

True Vine Education Project 

Kids At Risk

The True Vine learning center and the Fayda ITS learning center provide displaced children who are unable to access Lebanese education with the opportunity to learn basic subjects, life skills and gain psychosocial support. Sustain this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Peace and Reconciliation – Democratic Republic of Congo

Justice

This sustainable peacekeeping project for young people in Goma targets youth vulnerable to unemployment and violence. CBCA and CBM aim to empower young men and women and promote peace in communities through practical and entrepreneurial skills training. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD)

Build the Church

CBM’s partner, the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD), seeks to build bridges between communities. Each of their ministries offers a unique opportunity to build relationships, share the gospel and demonstrate the reality of the Kingdom of God. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) 

Kids At Risk

The Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) project aims to protect and improve the lives of kids at risk by securing their access to education through educational assistance, mentorship, and financial support. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Sustainable Development Goals

In 2000, the United Nations proposed eight Millenium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. These goals were revised to create the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. All 17 goals propose a universal call to action to protect the planet, eradicate poverty and improve the lives of all people.

Read More >

Africa Christian Church and Schools

Build the Church

The Africa Christian Church and Schools (ACC&S) envisions communities enjoying life in abundance. It is committed to proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God and equipping people to realize their full potential. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Fall Appeal 2021

Appeal

Vaccine access continues to be a challenge for many of our global partners. They have struggled to access proper PPE, food supplies and other essential items. Consequently, hundreds of pastors within CBM’s global church partner networks have died from COVID-19 this past year.

Waddell Ministry Update Fall 2021

Ministry Update

As the Fall season comes to a close, and as the realities of Winter begin to set in, I’m taking time to pause and reflect upon the past few months and all that has unfolded.

Yang Ministry Update October 2021

Ministry Update

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Greetings! As we step into this last season of the year, I thank God for his love and his protection. It is time to count his blessings and move forward by the strength that he has granted me. I would also like to thank all of you for being so supportive to me and my ministry. Through this update, I would like to share with you what is happening in my ministries and prayer items. Your prayer and support are always my strength.

Baptist Children & Youth Ministry

Kids At Risk

BCYM gives hope to vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian children in Lebanon by inviting them to encounter the love of Jesus Christ, and play and learn in a positive environment. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Alcoholics Rehabilitation and Transformation

Poverty

The ART program aims to rehabilitate and transform the lives of people who engage in alcohol abuse and supports the Ao-Naga community in North-East India by promoting alcohol addiction prevention and awareness. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Joseph Lee Ministry Update October 2021

Ministry Update

Greeting from the Golden Triangle, Thailand. This is my very first newsletter as Field Staff of CBM. I joined CBM on April 1st of this year. Currently, my family is living in the Golden Triangle Region in Thailand. Despite some inconvenience due to the pandemic, everything is going well by the grace of the Lord. My wife, Lilian, and I work from home and our daughter, Sophia now in grade 6, is also learning online at home.

Literacy and Family Ministry Project

Justice

AEBR addresses issues of illiteracy, poverty, and gender imbalance. Through literacy classes, coordinator training, and the support of self-help groups and parenting clubs, both men and women are empowered to transform families and communities. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Pastereo de Pastors

Build the Church

In partnership with IBAREDO, CBM supports the ministerial development of pastors in rural and impoverished urban communities of the Dominican Republic. The project offers pastors regular meetings, mentorship, and essential resources to develop Christian leadership. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Hutton Ministry Update Fall 2021

Ministry Update

While leaves change colour in Canada, spring has sprung in Bolivia. The days and nights are getting warmer, and the Jacaranda trees are bursting with purple flowers! As the seasons shift, we reflect with gratefulness on the past months and all that God has done in our lives and ministry.

Missioning Through the Lord’s Prayer

Sermon

CBM’s Director of Strategic Initiatives Delivers a four part sermon series diving deeper into how we look at the Lord’s Prayer. We invite churches and small groups to watch, study and discuss this engaging series, whether in-person or online.

Botros Ministry Update August 2021

Ministry Update

In the middle of all that is happening in Lebanon, we thank God for the opportunity that he, and you, our friends, gave us to live in this country for more than 5 years now. Though it has been challenging at times, we still experience God’s presence and goodness, and most importantly, we feel that we are growing as a family at every level. So we praise God and thank you for your continuous prayers and support.

Chagas

Poverty

The Chagas project seeks to bring attention and intervention to a preventable disease affecting the rural poor and improve food security by providing new skills and supplies for families to produce in orchards, raise small animals, and produce honey for consumption and marketing. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Mising Tribe

Poverty

Helping to transform the lives of disadvantaged youth, women, and children living in the Mising tribe community by addressing pressing vocational and economic needs through quality education. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Livestock for Widows 

Poverty

The Faith Evangelical Baptist Church aims to supply vulnerable widows in Baliet County with livestock to increase their household assets. The cattle’s milk will provide income and nutrition for the family and household. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Food for Life 

Poverty

The Food for Life cooperative aims to improve the lives of local rural farmers, farmworkers, and their families by establishing an equitable market for their products and by reinforcing safe and efficient farming. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Zheng Zhu Student Center 

Kids At Risk

The Zheng Zhu student center is in the border town of Tachileik, between Thailand and Myanmar. Since 2020, schools in Myanmar have been closed due to the pandemic. At the student center, the pastors and staff continue to educate the children there. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Jireh 

Kids At Risk

Jireh works with children and adolescents who have been victims of violence and aims to provide children and families a safe place to find restoration physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The centre helps provide support, counselling, and teaches valuable life skills. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) 

Kids At Risk

The Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) project aims to protect and improve the lives of kids at risk by securing their access to education through educational assistance, mentorship, and financial support. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Peace and Reconciliation – Rwanda

Justice

CBM partners with the Association of Baptist Churches in Rwanda (AEBR), offering support and assistance to tackle the issues of an over-burdened society coping with reconstruction and reconciliation. This project promotes positive change, and peace groups help overcome racism and prejudice and strengthen unity. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Alas de Águila (Eagles Wings) – Mothers’ School

Justice

The Eagles Wings project aims to support vulnerable women through the challenges their families face. Women with their husbands in prison receive sewing training and life skills workshops to start their businesses. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

True Vine Education Project 

Kids At Risk

The True Vine learning center and the Fayda ITS learning center provide displaced children who are unable to access Lebanese education with the opportunity to learn basic subjects, life skills and gain psychosocial support. Sustain this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Peace and Reconciliation – Democratic Republic of Congo

Justice

This sustainable peacekeeping project for young people in Goma targets youth vulnerable to unemployment and violence. CBCA and CBM aim to empower young men and women and promote peace in communities through practical and entrepreneurial skills training. Support this project through financial contributions and prayer.

Forum of Mission to Chinese in Germany (FMCD)

Build the Church

CBM works in partnership with a local organization called Forum of Mission to Chinese in Germany (FMCD), ministering to Chinese students in university towns to offer support and community to those studying abroad. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

ENLACE

Build the Church

ENLACE equips local churches in El Salvador, Nepal, Guatemala, and Nicaragua to transform their communities. Working with the local church, CBM aims to develop sustainable growth and transformational impact in their communities. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD)

Build the Church

CBM’s partner, the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD), seeks to build bridges between communities. Each of their ministries offers a unique opportunity to build relationships, share the gospel and demonstrate the reality of the Kingdom of God. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Africa Christian Church and Schools

Build the Church

Kenya: The Africa Christian Church and Schools (ACC&S) envisions communities enjoying life in abundance. It is committed to proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God and equipping people to realize their full potential. Support this project with financial contributions and prayer.

Dyck Ministry Update July 2021

Ministry Update

As I’m writing this, we’re in the middle of a heat wave in Western Canada. I see some of the Bolivian pastors in my Zoom conferences wearing thick jackets and complaining of -8-degree mornings in Oruro, Bolivia, while I need a fan in my office to stay cool.

Soucy Ministry Update July 2021

Ministry Update

We continue to work from home, connecting regularly with the 10 partner organizations and denomination in the 5 countries where CBM has partners in our region. Like all of you, we have adapted to Covid-19 imposed restrictions, and are getting tired of it.

Waddell Ministry Update Summer 2021

Ministry Update

It’s amazing how many beautiful places there are in New Brunswick that we have never visited. Last summer we had the opportunity to visit Deer Island for the first time, and this summer we finally visited Grand Manan Island.

Polisi Kivava Ministry Update June 2021

Ministry Update

On Saturday 22 May 2021, the Nyiragongo Volcano, about 15 km North of Goma erupted and destroyed more than 200 houses, occasioning the death of 35 people, some caught by the lava, others in accidents and even some more by gas from the lava trying to cross. The eruption was followed by violent tremors of earthquakes, which damaged a lot of buildings.

Sustainable Development Goals

Resources

In 2000, the United Nations proposed eight Millenium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015. These goals were revised to create the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. All 17 goals propose a universal call to action to protect the planet, eradicate poverty and improve the lives of all people.

Bustin Ministry Update May 2021

Ministry Update

Since the beginning of 2021, like so many other affected by this global pandemic, we have lived through long periods of limited movement and even three weeks of full lockdown. But we are happy to finally be able to say – or even sing! – On the Road Again!!

Yang Ministry Update April 2021

Ministry Update

Myanmar, has stepped into a dark and chaotic period because of the military coup on February 1. As the rising of conflict  was threatening the safety of lives of the people in Myanmar, being a Myanmar born Chinese, I watched the sad news of my county everyday and wept for my country.

Waddell Ministry Update Spring 2021

Ministry Update

Since 2016, our family has been honoured to work alongside our Philippine partners, Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM), in serving poor and marginalized communities throughout Capiz province in the western Visayas region of the country.

Soucy Ministry Update March 2021

Ministry Update

Ministry Update March 2021

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Greetings from Guatemala!

We are just beginning Semana Santa or Holy Week, an important time in the calendar for Christians world wide as we reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Historic, nearby Antigua typically has religious processions several times per day for the entire week, with many thousand visitors from Guatemala, and from all over the world. Smaller villages celebrate Semana Santa with their own meaningful processions and activities. Many of this year’s events have once again been cancelled due to Covid-19 but this hasn’t stopped businesses and neighbours from displaying purple cloth decorations in doorways and windows to signify the suffering and royalty of Jesus. One of our neighbours has a display filling their front yard depicting Jesus washing his disciple’s feet! Can you imagine seeing that in your neighbourhood! We hear criticism of those who celebrate these days while having no outward signs of being Christ followers. However, we are thankful for the openness of people to talk about faith and their own spiritual journey especially during Semana Santa. May we live in this world as ones who offer evidence of God’s glory.

We are grateful for good health and meaningful work from home, connecting regularly with CBM partners (through Zoom, Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.). We have visited some of the church work in Guatemala but must be extra cautious. As our friends here often remind us, if God wills it, we hope to travel to El Salvador later this year.

We are encouraged to see almost all of our churches moving into the community to be the neighbour to the most vulnerable. The story of the Good Samaritan is being implemented in a way that often speaks louder than words, as in Luke 10:36-37 Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert in the law replied, The one who had mercy on him. Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Covid-19 Vaccinations (March 20, 2021)

While access to vaccination Canada may be slower than you might like, vaccination is another thing altogether in most of the Southern world. As you know, Covid-19 is a world-wide issue – it is not enough for everyone in Canada to be vaccinated. Most of the world must be vaccinated for us to overcome this pandemic. Access to vaccines is a question of justice as well as wealth. In Latin America, only a very small percent of the population has been vaccinated and no one has received the 2nd dose (fully vaccinated) except a small number in Bolivia.

CBM is a signatory to a letter from several Canadian Faith-based organizations urging our government to honour commitments to COVAX, ensuring that everyone has access to vaccines regardless of their wealth or lack of it.

Cuba update

In recent conversations with the leaders of our partner FIBAC we are hearing of especially challenging times brought on by Covid-19 restrictions, and Monetary reform, where the currency (CUC) used by most of you who have visited Cuba, is being eliminated so that there will be only one currency, the Cuban Peso, pegged to the $USD. This has caused great hardship for most people as prices rise without a corresponding rise in income. CBM has been able to encourage our friends by adjusting or reducing the expectations of program results due to the increased costs and travel restrictions which at present make it impossible to move between provinces to support programs. The church is largely “off the radar” of the government so not receiving any effort to restore their work. Since 80% of FIBAC churches meet in pastors’ residences the high cost of utilities and operations is a great burden to them, especially since there are no in-person gatherings, and therefore little income for the church.

Dominican Republic Update

Our friends at IBAREDO are coping with the challenges of Covid-19 with most churches holding in-person services, with protocols around distancing and masks. A serious challenge is the 7 pm curfew which means business must close earlier than normal, and workers must find their way home often without public transportation. Our good friend Pastor Miguel Bonnet of Bethel Church in La Romana tells us that their children’s afternoon homework club is operating again, and 148 people received treatment at a recent medical clinic outreach. They are beginning a children and youth outreach in the community, aptly named The Great Adventure.

Gratitude and Prayer Requests

Please pray:

  • For our partners in all 5 Latin America / Caribbean countries where CBM works – for health, and wisdom as each local church seeks to hold in-person services in a safe and meaningful manner. While the context is somewhat different than for Canadian churches, meeting online remains a challenge as each local church and denomination looks for effective ways to engage with their community and develop a meaningful sense of community for those who engage online.
  • For CBM partner programming to have impact in the lives of people during this second year of the pandemic.
  • For CBM colleagues around the world, where preexisting challenges around poverty and justice, are now much more acute because of Covid-19.
  • That the vaccines get to Latin America / Caribbean and to the people who need them the most as soon as possible.
  • For the leaders in CBM partner churches to have energy and vision as they support the local church to be present and active in their communities.
  • For us, that we can continue to be effective in encouraging our partner church leaders, learning from them, and strengthening new partnerships.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25:34-40

As Reinhold Niebuhr said, may you “Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.”




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Dyck Ministry Update March 2021

Ministry Update

Ministry Update March 2021

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In motion, but never quite there, seems to describe many aspects of our lives these days. We’d like to get back to Bolivia, but they are experiencing a second wave of Covid infections. We’d like to get vaccinated before we go back, but that’s not happening just yet. We’d like to be able to make firm plans and see people in person, but we’re not quite there yet. Meanwhile, we stay in motion; we keep busy.

In Motion in Bolivia

We had been hoping to be back in Bolivia by this time, but it appears that more plans need to be made for virtual meetings. I started the year by calling Baptist pastors and leaders to inquire about how they are, what their needs are, and what plans they have for discipleship and Pastoring of Pastors ministry. This was followed up by a Zoom meeting with Alberto Coarite, the President of the Bolivian Baptist Union, and three other key leaders. We went through all the needs and what could be done to facilitate ministry. We put together a time schedule of all training events we could promote, new groups we would start, who would start them, who would do the trainings. Access to internet seems a major obstacle, so we will provide cell-phone time, where needed. Another idea that came up was that we include the discipleship/Pastoring of Pastors groups in the denomination’s 5-year strategic plan. As it turns out, the new President of the National Pastors’ Union, leads a Pastoring of Pastors group, understands their value and how they work, is totally on board, and asked me to share the vision for implementing the ministry through the national and regional groups. Our emphasis right now is on micro-groups and churches that intentionally make disciples.

We are actively making plans, but the “not yet” moment came when Pastor Juan Goytia, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Cochabamba, a flagship church, passed away from Covid-19, on the same day as our ministry planning meeting. He was one of four key leaders that passed away in a couple of weeks. We keep going, but with constant threat, grief, and disruption, in the background. In motion, but not there yet.

Janice continues to be in touch with the Emmanuel Foundation in Bolivia, which ministers to children in the “red light” district of Cochabamba. Because of the close relationship of Foundation staff to the children, and private funding from outside of Bolivia, they have been able to adapt—delivering food to the families, setting up a whiteboard and conducting classes in the street, dressing up a van festively to celebrate Christmas and holidays with colour, balloons, and music. So, we remain in motion, although everything still seems to be “not quite there yet.”

In Motion at CBM

Plans at CBM, stay in motion as well–evolving and changing. CBM started inviting all staff, worldwide, to weekly chapels. I (Bill) am now in the group organizing those chapels and lead one of the groups. We’re working through a 24-7 prayer course by Pete Grieg. I’d highly recommend it. Both Janice and I have attended and taken part in CBM training events where we have been able to learn from other staff, especially around workplace ministry. CBM created interest groups and I have joined the Creation Care, and indigenous rights groups. While in Canada I have also been involved in mission events in churches, and even invited to preach in Bolivia. Janice looks after a lot of correspondence, with the office and supporters.

In Motion in Canada

While in Canada, we have been invited by churches to record an update, do interviews, and even preach and be present at a missions conference in Swift Current, but we consider it providential that we’ve been able to be closer to our daughter Marigan as she has been dealing with Covid-19 and longhauler’s symptoms. It would have been hard being in Bolivia, for us concerned about Marigan and family, and for family concerned about us in a country with higher risks. We have yet to be able to visit most family members, including Janice’s Mom, but are thankful for having been able to be here for our children.

In Motion, Back to Bolivia

The main question many people probably have is, “When are you going back to Bolivia?” CBM leadership directed us to stay in Canada until after we have been vaccinated for Covid-19. We were in total agreement with that decision and happy that they made it for us. We still don’t know when that will be. Realistically? October, maybe? Mentally, we’re ready to go back, although Janice would like to see her Mom before we go. In the meantime, we are getting more comfortable with staying in motion while not being there yet.

Praise and Prayer

  • Health. Bolivia is experiencing a second wave of Covid-19 infections. Restrictions are not as tight, the media doesn’t pay much attention to it, but the first words of recent conversations have been, “People are dying here.” Pray especially for our CBM colleague, Patty Nacho, who recently lost her father to Covid-19. In all, 13 of our Baptist pastors have passed away from Covid-19 this past year. Pray for prudence, safety, medical help, recovery, healing for those who have not totally recovered, and God’s peace for those who have lost loved ones.
  • Denominational and Seminary leadership as they seek to carry on routines while promoting safety and caring for those affected by Covid-19. Pray that these organizations can overcome the challenges of doing ministry and training virtually and even thrive.
  • Pastors. Pray for their finances, for family, for health, for perseverance in ministry as it might be without financial support, for their ministries, creativity, and for mental health.
  • Vaccines. Pray that Bolivians get needed vaccines quickly and fairly.
  • Janice and Bill. Health. Safe travels. Adjustment to working from home in Canada. Ongoing concerns in Bolivia. That we get our vaccines soon and can begin making definite plans to return to Bolivia.

Thank you so much for your continued support!
Bill & Janice

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Waddell Ministry Update Winter 2021

Ministry Update

Ministry Update Winter 2021

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This month (March) marks 5-years since our family officially joined CBM’s Global Field Staff team. Although we were appointed in August 2015, we needed to raise enough financial support for our ongoing family and ministry needs before officially joining CBM’s staff. The process of raising enough financial support is difficult and can take a very long time, but thanks to God’s provision through the generosity of His people, we were able to raise enough support in just 6 months. We are so humbled and thankful to everyone, and every church, who has given financially to support our family over the past 5 years. Through your generosity you are participating in God’s mission to embrace a broken world through Word and Deed.

This month also marks the 12th month since we returned to Canada at the request of the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines, and the support of CBM’s leadership, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. When we left our home in Roxas City we never expected to be in Canada this long.  What’s worse is we are still uncertain about when we will be able to return due to ongoing challenges related to travel restrictions globally and in the Philippines, and vaccine distribution challenges.

Despite this difficult reality, that we are unable to be in the Philippines at this time, we remain committed to the work that God has given us with our partners, KPM. Although our work looks very different from what it would if we were in Roxas City, we give thanks to the Lord for technology and reliable internet connections that are enabling us to connect and support our partners throughout these many months.

We’re also thankful to all of you, for continuing to pray for us and financially supporting us during this uncertain and challenging season of global work. Your commitment to our family, to CBM, and to our work in the Philippines is humbling and fills us with gratitude. We thank God for each of you and pray God’s blessing upon you.

Below is a bit of an overview of the activities we’ve been involved with over the past number of months. We hope that you will find these updates both informing and encouraging.

As a family, we have really been trying to embrace winter and have been getting outdoors to experience winter activities such as skating, sledding, and hikes. These are activities that we were not able to enjoy while living in the Philippines.

We were pleasantly surprised to learn, that like most other provinces in Canada, New Brunswick now has a ‘Family Day’ holiday in February. We took advantage of this new holiday set aside for families to hike to the Midland Ice Caves and then went skating on the Belleisle Bay.

We hope that you are having opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy God’s creation this Winter. It really is good for the mind, soul and body.

CCTEP – Year 3

Capiz Continued Theological Education Program (CCTEP) began the third and final year of courses in early February. Due to a relaxing of some of the covid-19 restrictions in Roxas City, Capiz, participants were mostly able to gather together in one place. The space was set up in a way to provide proper physical distancing with hand sanitizing stations, and participants were required to wear face masks through the duration of the course.

The latest course focused on the topic of ‘Worship and Liturgy’ in the Philippine context. The participants were eager to share and learn together about incorporating indigenous and contextualized forms of worship and liturgy, rather than adopting or continuing with western forms. The next course, which will focus on pastoral ethics, will take place later this month.

The ability to gather the participants together in a central space in Roxas City also allowed for our BUGANA team to make a presentation to the pastors about BUGANA Livelihood Center, and display products that are being produced and available for sale. The feedback and support from the CCTEP participants was very encouraging to the Bugana team.

BAM Global Congress

Last April 2020, Michael was scheduled to attend the (Business as Mission) BAM Global Congress in Thailand, along with our colleague Brenda Halk. As you might expect, due to the pandemic, the congress was postponed in hopes that it could be held this April 2021. With the pandemic still raging, however, the congress organizers quickly realized it was not going to be possible to host an in-person gathering in Thailand (or anywhere for that matter). So, they made the decision to make the BAM Global Congress a virtual gathering and added monthly webinar series’ each month leading up to the main virtual event in April.

Although it’s disappointing to not have the opportunity to visit Thailand for the congress, and to not have the same opportunities that a live in-person event provides, it has been wonderful to engage with others from around the world through this virtual event. In addition, since the entire event is now a virtual event, participation in the event is much easier, and the cost is significantly more manageable.

At CBM, we have organized a CBM BAM Team consisting of 17 people with representatives from every region where CBM works (Africa, Asia, India, Latin America, MENA, and Canada). We also have a few special guests, from outside CBM, journeying with us through each of the monthly webinar series and the upcoming main event.

Our CBM team is meeting each month to discuss and collaborate together on things that we are hearing and learning throughout he series of webinars. We’ve been discussing things like poverty alleviation through business development, discipleship through business, social impact and change through business creation, and much more. As we discuss these important topics we are asking the question, ‘how does this impact our work (CBM’s) with partners around the world, as we seek to integrate Christian faith with work in the world’.

The Church and the Marketplace

Alongside our colleague, Brenda Halk, we have been working at increasing opportunities for conversations and learning about faith and work, within the broader CBM family. One of the ways we are doing this is through a unique partnership with the Institute for Marketplace Transformation (IMT) and Dr. Paul Stevens, which provides us with excellent content to offer courses on a wide range of topics related to a proper biblical understanding of work (theology of work).

Since Mid-January, Brenda and Michael have been joining with CBM’s Africa team each week, to journey alongside of them in completing a course on ‘The Church and the Marketplace’. The intention of the Africa team is to learn more about theology of work, while at the same time, thinking through how the content of the course can be effectively introduced and taught within the African context.

The discussions of the Africa team have helped us as we consider the course material for the Philippine context. It is our hope and plan to begin facilitating this course with our partner in the Philippines within the next several months.

‘Essentials’ Small Business Training

Michael has begun a weekly training on the essentials of small business management with KPM’s business development team who are overseeing both FOOD for LIFE and BUGANA Livelihood Center. This course has six modules on the ‘essentials’ of running a small business. For now, the team is working on module 2, which focuses on things like sales & marketing, advertising & promotion, and customer service & quality control.

As the team goes through this training material we will be applying what we are learning to the business operations of BUGANA and FOOD for Life. Both of these initiatives have been doing fairly well given the circumstances, but with more training and more frequent discussions about current business activities we hope that they will experience further growth and greater sustainability.

Family Updates

Despite the continued uncertainty for our family, we are all healthy and doing well. Kyla is just months away from high school graduation and has her sights set on her post-secondary education.  She has been working hard to fill out university applications along with scholarship and bursary applications. She recently turned 18 (Feb 2nd) and decided that it was time for her to get a part-time job. She began working part-time at Shoppers Drugmart in Sussex, NB a few weeks ago.

Sean is just days away from turning 16, so as you might guess, he is focused on obtaining his driving learners permit. We think he is far more ready for this next step in his life than we are as his parents. Sean is doing extremely well in school and recently won the student-of-the-week award for his grades and attitude towards learning and towards his teachers and classmates.

Carter is also doing really well in school and especially enjoyed a recent project he had to complete in his shop class, which was making a ring out of an old stainless steel nut. Carter has also rediscovered his love for ice hockey. He isn’t playing on an organized hockey team, but he has been enjoying lots of opportunities to play pick-up hockey on the bay or community rink.

Allie continues to thrive in her homeschooling and, if she keeps up her current pace, will complete grade 7 by the end of April or early May. Allie doesn’t have a lot of opportunity for activities outside the home, but she has been enjoying horseback riding lessons at a horse ranch near our house. Her teacher says she is a natural and in just the past couple of weeks she has begun jumping.

Melanie is also keeping busy providing private counselling therapy to people in our region and overseas through her work in the Philippines. She is working towards fulfilling the required hours to obtain her full New Brunswick Counselling Therapist licence. On top of that, Melanie recently had the opportunity to lead a learning session with our CBM colleagues on anxiety and depression providing several copping strategies.

Prayer & Praise

  • Please be praying for Indigenous people groups (Tumandok) in Capiz and Iloilo province whose livelihoods and homes are being threatened by large infrastructure projects of the government.
  • Please pray for our partner, Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM) and Rev. Job & Phoebe Santiago as they continue to provide leadership and support for people in need throughout Capiz province.
  • Please pray for BUGANA Livelihood Center and FOOD for LIFE (Faith+Work initiatives in the Philippines) as they continue to make adjustments to their business activities due to the covid-19 pandemic.
  • Please pray for our family as we continue to navigate living and working in two places.




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Raju Ministry Update January 2021

Ministry Update

Ministry Update January 2021

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I thank God for His showers of blessings during these adverse situations. Though the year started with fear, it has ended with hope and joy. All our partners (excepting a few) continued their programs and completed their activities taking all precautions amid Covid-19.

Accomplishments

Meetings With Office Bearers

Meetings were held with the office bearers of ECM, UBCA, SBCMS, ABC, CRBC and CTC during this quarter. These meetings included discussions on the ongoing programs and plans for the new programs in 2021.

Workshop on Market Place Ministry

A workshop was held at Mokokchung, Nagaland state for youth on “Market place ministry” (Faith + Work) on 25th November 2020. The workshop was organized for the unemployed youth and the following topics were discussed.

  • Biblical understanding of Market Place Ministry (Faith + Work)
  • Business and the value of being a Christian.

World AIDS Day

World AIDS day has been observed at Christian Medical Center, Pithapuram on 1st December 2020. On this occasion a gathering was organized in the Chapel and nearly 100 beneficiaries suffering from HIV/AIDS participated. The meeting was started with a devotion and prayer and ended with fellowship dinner.

Partners Workshop

A partners workshop was organized at YMCA, Visakhapatnam for the UBCA, SBCMS and ECM on 7 & 8 December 2020. All the partners actively participated and presented their plans using power point presentation.

Inauguration of the Street

The ECM have with special interest cleaned, repaired, and planted trees on both sides of the road leading to the church. With the permission of local government officials and political leaders they named the street, “TEMPLE STREET”. I had the privilege to open the street on 3rd January 2021 after the church service. The ECM has arranged a love feast to the entire village on this occasion.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for peace in the world and country.
  • Pray for our partners and their ministry.
  • Pray for the healing touch of God on the nations especially on the people suffering from Covid-19.
  • Pray for my safety and health during partners’ visits.




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Haddad Ministry Update December 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update December 2020

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Greetings from Lebanon

2020 has been quite the disorienting year globally, but even more so in Lebanon. When the pandemic hit early this year, Lebanon was already reeling from an economic crisis and a political uprising. People were already hurting as a result of the hyperinflation and the loss of purchasing power experienced by all Lebanese. The lockdowns because of the pandemic added more stress to an already broken infrastructure. Then on August 4, 2020, a big explosion hit the port of Beirut destroying a good portion of the city and causing devastation of a scale that has not been experienced before.

In the midst of all of this, the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) continues to serve God, despite the many challenges and obstacles. As we went through one crisis after another, we had two types of responses at ABTS, an emergency response and a strategic response.

ABTS Emergency Response

No different than any other educational institution around the globe, ABTS had to respond to the lockdowns and closures caused by the pandemic. By mid-March, we had to close our classrooms and send our students back to their home countries. We were able to benefit from our years of investment in the online program to complete the academic year remotely.

Not only our classrooms were affected, but we also switched all our programs and initiatives to some form of an online platform. Even our Middle East Consultation that we usually hold at ABTS in June, we replaced that with a series of monthly webinars lending Middle Eastern voices to the global discourse on urgent matters of faith and witness. You can read all about these webinars and watch them here.

One of the effects of the pandemic is that the ABTS guesthouse and dormitory facilities became empty. No conferences were being hosted and no students on campus. This has opened up the way to another emergency response. Since April, ABTS has hosted hundreds of first responders who were caring for Covid-19 patients. And after the August explosion, ABTS was immediately able to host families that suddenly became homeless. The work with these families became a significant ministry. Unsolicited, partners from all over the world sent ABTS monetary support to help the families. This included CBM church partners as well. With all of that support, ABTS was able to care for the families on campus as well as help them repair their homes or get settled in new homes. It was a true blessing to be able to bring hope and healing at a time of deep suffering and despair.

ABTS Strategic Response

The big question facing institutions like ABTS is: What happens after the pandemic, will life go back to normal? It would be unfortunate not to think strategically at a time of great disorientation like this. As the saying goes, “don’t waste a good crisis”. This is precisely what happened at ABTS. The leadership went through a period of intense reflection, trying to discern what God is calling ABTS to do going forward. What does the future of theological education and leadership formation look like in the MENA region? Is a residential program still the ideal method of meeting the training needs of the Church in the region? These are the questions that ABTS leadership grappled with. The answer was to move from a fully residential program to a hybrid program that gives a lot more flexibility for training and increases accessibility for leaders who are so immersed in ministry that they cannot leave for 3 years to be trained in Beirut. There is a lot to consider when moving from a monastic model of training to more of an apprenticeship model. Figuring out the best way to provide the formative elements and the informal components of the curriculum is challenging. ABTS faculty members are still busy exploring these areas of the curriculum in depth. With all these changes, ABTS is going through a restructure of its operation to be well positioned to service the new offerings. This has been quite a journey for ABTS, and it is still not finished. You can follow ABTS’s journey of change here.

ABTS 60th Anniversary

Last month we celebrated ABTS’s 60th anniversary. ABTS has evolved significantly during the past 60 years, building on its strong heritage yet expanding to serve a growing Church in a drastically changing region. The celebration event was streamed live as ABTS faculty took the time to explain the core of our curriculum and how each component prepares the Church for a more effective prophetic voice. You can watch the celebration here.

Mireille’s Ministry

Mireille has concluded her years of ministry with Heart for Lebanon, most recently writing 48 lessons of discipleship material that are utilized in the ministry with the Syrian refugees.

Mireille has started a new chapter of ministry, volunteering with ABTS in tutoring online courses in the Certificate in Ministry program.

Mireille is excited about this new ministry as she gets to invest her time with ministry leaders from all over the Arab world.

CBM Ministry in the Region

CBM’s work in the MENA (Middle East – North Africa) region continues. Not much travel was possible this pandemic year. However, CBM’s involvement through ABTS graduates is growing every year. You can read more about this work in Joe Bridi’s ministry updates.

This Christmas shines yet brighter
Than all the ones before.
Though darkness seems quite darker,
The Light will stand out more.

May we then not abandon them
Who dwell in grey remains.
May we not just be passersby;
Shrug at the scene unchanged!

Our hearts ablaze with passion for
The lost, the poor, the lame.
This Christmas, we remember
That it’s for such He came.

Poem by Teresa Sfeir, ABTS Communication Officer




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Yang Ministry Update December 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update December 2020

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Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Greetings from The Golden Triangle. At the end of this special year of 2020, may you and your family experience the peace in the Lord. I am very grateful that my family and I are safe and healthy in Thailand.

Our Distance on the Internet

“Distance” has become a key word in our social life this year. We are not able to meet each other in person. Our fellowship, ministries and meetings have to be done in “the air”. However, I thank God that I can still get things done and able to share my joy with you.

The Distance of Teaching Online

I have completed teaching ‘The Book of John’ at Thailand Bethel Theological Institute (TBTI) in November. This course has to be taught both inperson and online. There are 4 students in class and 20 online. The experience in teaching this semester has been better than last semester. By studying the ‘Book of John’, we are deeply touched by the love of God through meditating on Jesus and how He care for His disciples. We were comforted by the word of God especially in the days of loneliness.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…

John 1:14

As Jesus make His permanent stay among us, we are no longer far from Him. Praise God that there is no “distance” between Him and us anymore.

The Distance of Serving Online

Churches in Thailand has resumed the physical Sunday service since July. My weekend ministries include preaching at different churches and leading bible study resumed as normal. However, we still record daily devotional videos for brothers and sisters who are not able to attend church regularly. Now we have brothers and sisters from Thailand, Myanmar and other places watching the videos and gave us very positive feedback. It has been very encouraging for us to move on. The recording is not an easy task for me because I do not have the experience at all. But I have witnessed the importance of team work to make things happened. As:

In Him the whole building is joined together…

Ephesians 2:21

We can work together to accomplish His work and to learn new things. We learned to overcome the distances, various obstacles and also our limitations. When the distance online became a new normal, let us embrace and make it work to serve God and the people in needs.

The Distance of Meeting Online

Thai-Myanmar border was closed since March 23 due to the pandemic. Since the second wave of outbreaks began in Myanmar in September, the whole country is greatly affected. People have to face greater poverty; churches and schools are closed and children cannot attend neither physical nor online classes. The outbreak not only challenge people’s health, but also affected the economy, education and food supplies. Although our mission projects in Myanmar can still be continued during the outbreak, but our mission partners have to face various constraints and challenges. We can only be connected by online meetings. Our plan for visiting our mission projects was cancelled. Nevertheless, the online meetings allow us to have fellowship and pray for each other. Through the reports from our mission partners, we can see the gospel is still able to be proclaimed in different places.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for God’s mercy upon Thailand and Myanmar since the COVID-19 cases are rising every day in both countries.
  • Please pray for the safety of teachers and students of Thailand Bethel Theological Institute. Pray for the students who are not able to return to campus to preserver through their studies.
  • Please pray for God’s provision for our mission partners in Myanmar, Zheng Zhu student center and Lahu mission project.
  • Please pray for me and my family to have wisdom and strength to serve God in Thailand efficiently and also be pleasing to God.




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Kwok Ministry Update December 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update December 2020

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Dear friends,

Seasons greetings from the Golden Triangle! We hope this ministry update finds you well wherever you are!

2020 is a special year, a chaotic year, a challenging year, but still a year to be grateful. As we enter the last month of 2020, let us count our blessings of this year and give thanks to the Lord, for our Lord is a great and awesome God.

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all the His benefits.

Psalm 103:2

Covid – 19 Updates

In Northern Thailand, the Covid-19 cases are in good control, as the government has a very strict 14-day state quarantine. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have had just over 4,200 confirmed cases and 60 deaths.

As the government is doing the best to control the infection, there are, however, leakages through the land border. The land border is still closed, and no entry is allowed. Unfortunately, there are people illegally entering the country through this land border, therefore, it brings risk to the country. Currently in our neighboring country Myanmar, the Covid cases are surging (1000+ confirmed cases everyday, as of today 108,000 confirmed cases and 2,258 deaths), as the medical system in Myanmar is not very good. As a result, many Thai people would like to come back to Thailand for safety reasons. It puts the city of Maesai (where we are) more risky because we are one of the main border cities.

Just at the end of November, there were 4 illegal entries to the country from Myanmar through Maesai. All 4 were caught and all tested positive. The government is now trying to let Thai people return through the land border, but they must register ahead of time and must go through 14-day state quarantine. As of today, 49 confirmed cases were linked to the Thai returnees from Tachileik, Myanmar.

Praise the Lord, we are doing fine in the Golden Triangle. Thank you for your continuous support. In the last few months, we have had a lot of opportunities to share and report to churches through recording and online video conferencing. Thank you for your partnership with us in different ways.

Ministry Updates in the Golden Triangle

The following are some updates on the ministries in Golden Triangle as well as CBM Chinese Ministries around the globe.

1. Christian education – Our partner, BBI, continues classes both in-person and online. As we have mentioned in our last updates, challenges for students to study online were unstable and limited internet access, sometimes with no electricity. Praise the Lord, when we send out prayer requests to churches and mention the need, a number of churches were willing to receive these students to their location which has more stable internet and electricity. They even provide them with free meals and accommodation.

2. Pastors and alumni – With all the limitations during the pandemic, we have still been able to visit alumni and pastors in the last few months, especially in the month of November. It was Thanksgiving month for churches in N. Thailand, we joined our brothers and sisters to give thanks to the Lord. This month we are ready to celebrate Christmas together.

3. Drug rehabilitation – We are still teaching at Operations Dawn Discipleship Training Centre. In the recent couple of years, there were a few brothers who have finished their 4 years training at the Discipleship Training Centre and then came to BBI for further study, they are ready to serve the Lord in different ministries.

4. Children in poverty – The student centre we are partnering with is located in Tachileik, Myanmar (Tachileik is currently the hotspot for Covid). Unfortunately, with the border closed, we are not able to visit them, we can only communicate with pictures and online messages. Please pray for God’s protection on the co-workers and children in the centre.

5. Community Lahu Villages – Our partner, Pastor Duodu continues his vision for the Lahu villages. His access to the villages is more difficult because of the pandemic. We would like to praise the Lord as we summarize the outcome since we partnered with him in 2017. 451 people were baptized, 5 multifunctional churches were built, 1 water system was installed, and 30+ villages were reached.

6. Chinese Ministries Team – Praise the Lord, all our members and families are well and healthy. Germany continues with a joint online worship service for the 4 cities. Hong Kong and China still have restrictions. May God give us wisdom to have creative ways to share the good news in the communities.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for our physical health. As we write this newsletter, Conrad has been suffering from very bad ear infection for almost 2 weeks. We went to see a doctor 3 times. We are praying that this last antibiotic will help.
  • Please pray for BBI students, especially those in Myanmar. May they have the perseverance to continue their studies online and lead them not into any temptation.
  • Please pray for our Chinese Ministries Team and our families. Protect us day in and day out, so that we are able to serve our community with strength and courage.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Conrad & Fiona Kwok




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Waddell Ministry Update Fall 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update Fall 2020

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As the Fall season ends and the winter season begins, and as the year 2020 comes to a close, we are spending some time looking back over the past year. Of course, 2020 will go down in the history books as possibly the most difficult year in over a century due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite the challenges of the past year, there is still so much to be grateful for. We are grateful for the sustaining grace of God, and thankful that, although very different, our work with our partners in the Philippines, and with CBM, has been able to continue.

We have been back in New Brunswick for 7 months now, which is 4 months longer than what we had originally planned for our Home Assignment. We are grateful, however, to be here and for the extended opportunities we’ve had with our family, friends, and supporters.

In this Waddell Family Ministry Update – Fall 2020, we won’t be sharing specifically about our work in the Philippines. If you are interested in reading more about that, we recently wrote a 4-part series of updates titled ‘Pressed but not Crushed’ on our blog (www.waddells.ca), that share all about CBM’s current work in the Philippines with our partner, Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM).

In this ministry update we are taking the time to share more personally about our family, as well as, answering some FAQ’s regarding our future. We hope you find this update informative.

Once again, we want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for your prayers, encouragement, and support throughout the past 12 months We are only able to continue the work that God has given us because of faithful people like yourself.

Advent blessings and our warmest wishes to you and your family this Christmas season!

After having a small artificial Christmas tree in the Philippines for the past number of years, we were really excited to visit the local Christmas tree farm this past weekend to hunt for the perfect tree.

We went early Saturday morning, but didn’t have a lot of time to search, because a heavy rain storm was forecasted to arrive at some point on Saturday morning. Thankfully, we found our ‘perfect’ tree quickly and made it home before the rains began.

We enjoyed setting up and trimming our tree on Sunday afternoon while watching one of our favourite Christmas movies, Elf.

Family Updates

Kyla

Kyla is thoroughly enjoying her grade 12 year at Belleisle High School.  She has a fairly light course load due to all the hard work she put into school at Faith Academy and homeschooling.  Kyla, who loves being active, was thrilled to make the high school soccer team earlier this fall, although they didn’t play a lot of other teams because of the pandemic.  She has also recently been selected to play for the schools high school basketball team (a sport she’s never played before). Kyla is also serving as co-editor of the high school year book, which she is really enjoying.  Kyla is still working on her plans for after graduation, but plans to take a degree in residential design.

Sean

Sean is currently in grade 10 at Belleisle High School and is really enjoying the opportunities for social interaction, which he has really missed over the past 2-years of homeschooling. Sean is excelling in all of his classes and had a fantastic report card at mid-term. He is also enjoying opportunities for sports, making both the high school soccer team and basketball team.

Carter

Carter is also in grade 10 at Belleisle High School and is also really enjoying hanging out with his class mates. Carter was a little nervous to return to public school, but thankfully, their friend group and other students welcomed them back. Carter is also doing very well in his classes and also had a great report card at mid-term. Like Sean, Carter made the high school soccer team and basketball team.

Allie

Allie is currently in grade 7. Unlike the other 3 kids, Allie made the decision to continue with homeschooling through Tree of Life. Allie has very high academic goals and is a model homeschooling student, self motivated, self directed, and hard working. Allie has a deep love for animals and has wanted to be a veterinarian for many years. As a homeschooling student, Allie doesn’t have the same opportunities for socialization or sports, which she definitely misses. She is, however, taking horseback riding lessons every Friday afternoon at a local ranch, which makes her really happy.

Melanie

As you may know, Melanie is a trained counselling therapist and uses her training and skills in the context of our work. In 2017, while we were in the Philippines, our province established The College of Counselling Therapists of New Brunswick (CCTNB) to provide accountability and regulation to the profession. In order to gain accreditation with the college, Melanie needed to complete a certain number of counselling hours. She did that in the Philippines and is now a “Candidate.” While being in New Brunswick, she needs to complete her post-admittance hours and be supervised by a licensed counselling therapist here. So, since we are in New Brunswick while waiting for the pandemic to end, Melanie has decided to begin providing private counselling on a part-time basis, beginning in January. This will give her the necessary hours that she needs to receive her full counselling therapist license for the province of New Brunswick.

Prayer & Praise

  • We praise God for a great time of Home Assignment connecting with many of our church partners and supporters.  Although the pandemic changed our home assignment, we were still able to make good connections.
  • Please pray for our children as they finish up the final couple of weeks of school before Christmas break.
  • Please pray for our partner, Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM) and Rev. Job & Phoebe Santiago as they continue to provide leadership and support for people in need throughout Capiz province.
  • Please pray for BUGANA Livelihood Center and FOOD for LIFE (Faith+Work initiatives in the Philippines) as they continue to make adjustments to their business activities due to the covid-19 pandemic.

FAQ’s

Question 1 – Are you home for good or do you still plan to go back to the Philippines?

Answer – Although we are grateful to be home in New Brunswick during this pandemic, and will enjoy spending Christmas closer to family (although that will likely look different), we do still intend to return to the Philippines. There is still a lot of uncertainty around our travel plans due to a number of factors, including existing travel restrictions, but we do intend to return to the Philippines when it is safe and approved for our family to do so.

Question 2 – When do you plan to return to the Philippines?

Answer – Currently, the Philippine government is not allowing entry of foreigners into the country, except for special circumstances. There have been some reports indicating it could still be several months before this changes, perhaps not even until a vaccine is widely distributed. We, alongside our CBM leadership, continue to monitor the situation so that we can make an informed decision that is right for our family.

Question 3 – What is the covid-19 situation like in the Philippines?

Answer – The number of cases in the Philippines continues to rise (455,000 at the time of writing this), including in Roxas City and Capiz province. The larger issue at this point is the lack of access to testing. Additionally, the government is charging for covid testing (approx. $125CAD) so many poor or lower income people who are sick cannot afford the test. Hospitals, including Capiz Emmanuel Hospital, are struggling with caring for covid patients, as well as, offering other essential health care services to patients who need them.

Question 4 – What are you doing for work while home in New Brunswick?

Answer – We continue to work with CBM and are mainly focused on three key areas. First, we continue to work with our partners in the Philippines with ongoing support for existing and future programming, and Faith+Work initiatives. Secondly, we continue to connect with our church partners and supporters to share about our work in the Philippines. Lastly, we are working closely with CBM colleagues to further develop Faith+Work within CBM and our network of global partners. This involves both the education and discipleship aspect of Faith+Work, as well as, the practical development and implementation of Faith+Work initiatives.

Question 5 – How are your kids doing with the transition?

Answer – We are so proud of our kids. In many ways, they are doing far better with the transition and adjustments to life back in NB than we are as parents. They are all excelling at school and are enjoying the increased social interaction that they get while attending public school again. Although they are really enjoying this extended time of being ‘home’ they understand and support our return to the Philippines when the time comes.




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Gang Ministry Update September 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update September 2020

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Dear mission partners,
Greetings from Marburg in Germany!

During the last months we heard a lot of bad news. All around the world the pandemic caused unparalleled changes. In Marburg it’s no different: Public events are shut down. Chinese students who live alone are attacked mentally and by feelings of loneliness. Some students are so frightened by the virus, that they decided to return to China.

But there is also some good news.

Supporting Each Other

Since the end of March all our events need to take place online. However, this gives us the opportunity to hold our church service together with the churches in Göttingen, Kassel and Heidelberg. By the help of the internet we are enabled to overcome the boundaries of our areas and to use community platforms and other resources to encourage each other.

Caused by the well taken measures in Germany, by the end of May it became possible to open church buildings and services to the public again under certain hygiene measures. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of restrictions. For example, events that take place in buildings are not allowed to take more than hour. Group meetings like bible study and Sunday school are not allowed to take place in the church building. As a result, we decided to continue to hold our services and bible study online, for now.

Looking to the Interests of Others

More and more Chinese students who mostly spent time alone at home during the pandemic, experienced a great measure of mental pressure, emotional instability and even mental breakdowns. We give thanks to God that at the end of May the Federal Government changed the ban on public meetings, which until then only allowed people from no more than two households to meet each other. Because of this change we organized our first outdoor activity since the beginning of the epidemic: sandbag throwing. We greatly enjoyed the freedom to be outside and refreshed mind and soul. Sighing, we realized that it was the grace of God that enabled us in the past to freely assemble.

We realized that it would become very difficult for the students to stay isolated in their housings until the end of the year. So we started to meet in small student groups at their respective residences. Every group of 3 to 5 students participates in the online bible study and online worship. This way, we are able to enjoy our fellowship online and offline at the same time. It’s truly beautiful to see that some Christians are willing to open up their houses to serve lonely students. The epidemic made everyone learn to care for each other and not only for themselves.

I hope that by this method we can supply the spiritual wants of believers and spiritual seekers. But we also wish for a normalization of the situation in order for the church-related restrictions to be eased, so that we can soon return into our church building. We want for the students to have the opportunity to come out of their student dorms, experience something different and to be able to better focus during service.

Philipp and I are Engaged

This is another good news. At the end of December, after more than half a year of getting know and learning to understand each other, Philipp and I felt led by God concerning our relationship. We want to travel life’s journey together from now on and wish to serve the Lord together!

We thank God for providing Philipp during this epidemic with a job and apartment in Marburg. At the beginning of July, he moved from South Germany to Marburg, so that the distance doesn’t keep us apart anymore and so that it’s easier for us to prepare our wedding in December. We also thank God for giving us opportunities to learn more about and from each other, so that we can prepare well for marriage.

When Philipp moved to Marburg he often visited the Chinese students together with me. During this time, he felt led by God to care for the need of some students to improve their German language skills. So, we decided to launch a German reading group and to read “The Purpose Driven Life” together. The students are learning German and at the same time discussing the purpose of life. Last week, the group met for the first time. Some students engaged actively and are looking forward to the next meeting of the group. We are thankful for God giving us opportunity to serve him together. May God also give us wisdom in projects like this to help students to get to know God and begin to believe in him.

Moon Festival and Welcoming of the Newly Arriving Students

The epidemic makes it difficult for us this year to hold an orientation event, but the newly arriving students are very dear to our hearts. After discussing this in church, we decided to stay confident: Even with many factors of uncertainty during this pandemic, we still want to organize an orientation event at September 26 at the day of moon festival. May God use us in this city to spread the Gospel to the Chinese.

Thank you all so much for your care and encouragement in different ways in this exceptional time!

Thanksgiving and Intercession

  • We thank God for giving us a positive attitude to make various changes. May God use these changes to encourage people and let them grow in faith.
  • Pray for God to free the students from their mental problems and for them to experience God in all of this.
  • We thank God for giving us passionate hearts for the newly arriving students. Please pray that we are able to celebrate the Moon festival on September 26 and for the new students to be blessed by it.
  • Thank God for bringing Philipp and I together. Pray for God to lead our way into the future and to prepare our ministry.




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Hutton Ministry Update September 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update September 2020

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BY |

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Greetings from Tim and Kallie

These past months have been filled with highs and lows as we have navigated the effects of the pandemic. Here are a few updates on Bolivia and our current ministry.

Accomplishments Worth Celebrating

Kallie served as a thesis supervisor for Eluid Mamani, guiding him as he researched, edited, and polished his final work amid all the Covid19 restrictions. One of the biggest challenges for seminary students has been the cut off from the physical library and learning to depend more on digital resources. This September, after months of working in lockdown, Eluid successfully defended his thesis, achieving his theological degree!

Ready for 2021… Kind of…

Every year during July to September, we as CBM work with our national partners to develop project proposals and budgets that will shape the ministry we hope to undertake together in the coming year. This is always a challenging and exciting process but naturally 2021 is an unusually difficult year to plan for as we’re not quite sure what ‘normal’ will yet look like. We continue to trust that God and our innovative partners will surprise us despite the uncertainty that lies ahead.

Medical Checkups

The inability to gather has been difficult on project beneficiaries, yet the incredible staff of Casa and Jireh are continuously working hard to connect and care for children, youth, and their families. We recently went with the staff to visit families in their homes, deliver food baskets and perform health checkups. The majority are malnourished with about 30% severely underweight. Recent lab work also revealed that more than 90% are suffering from parasites. We hope to provide treatment and more food baskets (including weight gain supplements) in coming weeks.

Connecting with families one-on-one helps staff to identify and address the needs of each family, taking the time to listen to their concerns, encourage, and pray with them.

Pandemic & Postponed Election Update

Bolivia appears to be slowly resurfacing after six months under strict regulations. March to May saw extreme measures which only allowed citizens out of their homes one day a week for 4 hours. June opened up, allowing for vehicle use and two outings a week; however, July went back into strict lockdown including an 11 day full quarantine stretch before returning to the 4 hour a week model. August allowed for two days a week and September is now largely open on weekdays with an evening curfew.

Bolivia has experienced some of the highest deaths per capita globally from Covid-19, as many health services have been overwhelmed. Many of our friends and ministry partners have contracted the disease, and sadly, some have succumbed to it.

Amidst this pandemic, the attention of many has been on the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming election. The 2019 election was disqualified due to suspicion of electoral fraud, resulting in an interim government since November. A new election was twice announced, only to be postponed due to concerns regarding Covid-19, upsetting many who feel a full year is far to long for an unelected president to govern.

This has provoked further conflict amongst various political factions, instigating several periods of protests and blockades, including the restriction of sanitary services, all further complicating the already severe pandemic crisis.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for us and our partners as we care for the sick and mourn the loss of friends.
  • Pray for our Bolivia team as we undertake ministry planning for the coming year.
  • Pray for Bolivia, its national election October 18th, and the general health of the nation.

Peace be with you,
Tim & Kallie

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Soucy Ministry Update September 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update September 2020

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BY | min read

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14

Greetings from Guatemala!

These words were spoken to the Israelites by Moses as they had escaped Egypt and faced uncertainty in what lay ahead. Through our weekly chapel time with our CBM colleagues, we have also been challenged to enter into this stillness, to practice being in the presence of God and to “hear” how and what He may be speaking into our present situation. This past 6 months of living with a pandemic has created challenges way beyond our ability to manage on our own. During this time, we want to focus on the fact that God is in control and that he has not left us on our own.

While we may be physically separated from our supporting churches and friends, from our colleagues, and global partners, we have experienced very close connections as we share struggles or losses and brainstorm together on how to provide immediate support while re-evaluating future plans during these uncertain times.

To bring you into our Latin America (LA) context, we share some of the present challenges, how our partners are managing and adapting and what we are collectively learning during the reality of the pandemic.

Dealing with Food Insecurity

Much of LA is facing food insecurity mostly due to prolonged restrictions on transportation and business. While food is available, not everyone has access. Malnutrition and hunger have been present for years, but the pandemic has caused the most vulnerable to be much worse off. Our partners initially have been supporting those most affected with food basics, water and sometimes cash for several months and are now shifting to consider how they can promote agricultural activities as well as help revive small businesses (70- 80% of people live from small enterprises in the informal economy). CBM has been able to augment the local churches’ resources to provide immediate assistance and we are now working alongside our partners to prioritize activities, and develop strategic thinking and flexibility around project activities. In all the LA countries where we partner, Covid-19 cases continue to increase even while the lock downs and restrictions are being relaxed to start up economies. Our partners are shifting priorities, for example in El Salvador, our partner FEBES has shifted some CBM funds to purchase video equipment to allow the churches to continue to communicate when there is no access to the internet. Our Cuban and Bolivian partners are in the process of looking at all their programming to see where they can adapt and be better prepared to support the recovery from the pandemic in 2021.

Lessons Learned

CBM takes a long-term approach to partnership and programming, working at the invitation of the local church. We have seen the power of the local church being close to the most needy, providing a volunteer base in the community, connecting with local authorities and as a result being able to do good work and be a very present witness of God’s love for all people. We are privileged to be a trusted partner in some of these initiatives.

We are thankful that our Canadian churches continue to be faithful supporters, allowing CBM to support partner efforts to be salt and light in their communities.

Going Forward

We are focusing on communicating regularly with our partners, walking with them to reassess their projects and build capacity, and to move from Relief to Recovery. As we have the privilege of knowing partners in 5 LA countries, we are also looking at how to connect partners with one another to share their experience and encourage each other. We so look forward to when we can once again host Canadian church teams to experience SENT opportunities for mutual learning and engagement with the LA Church. In a recent conversation with the Gladys Ortiz, president of ABES, El Salvador, we asked specifically how she sees Canadian Baptist Women being engaged with our Salvadoran partner. I have taken liberty with her response to include all Canadian Baptists, “I see Canadian Baptists contextualizing the reality of the Salvadoran people, getting involved in the work of the Integral Mission of the church and in the midst of despair showing that God has plans with them and that they have a lot of work to do from their trench. I see the presence of Canadian Baptists bringing hope to the hearts of men, women, children and adolescents.”

Gratitude and Prayer Requests

A silver lining of this Covid-19 challenge has been that many churches that have had very limited connections with community members outside of their church family, have stepped up and out, serving the most vulnerable, regardless of their church membership. We pray that this will continue even when life returns to “normal”!

Please pray:

  • That we will be able to safely host SENT team from Canadian churches in 2021 (we have made plans, but are holding them loosely)
  • For the sick and bereaved families in all our partner communities.
  • For wisdom and integrity on the part of government leaders as restrictions lift even while Covid-19 continues.
  • For our CBM colleagues in Bolivia, who continue to face significant restrictions, and political unrest while trying to respond to the daily physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those who come to them often in desperate need. Unofficially, as much as 50% of Bolivia’s population has contracted Covid-19  and over 100 evangelical pastors working on the front lines have lost their lives.
  • For the two of us, that we remember to claim the verses, Be still, and know that I am God (Psalms 46:10) and that He has us in His hands, I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46:4)

Blessings!




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Bridi Ministry Update August 2020

Ministry Update

Little did we know by the beginning of this year what to expect, so many of our plans were altered due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The way we do church and ministry have seen a drastic change, and though at first glance things looked negative, we thank God for the opportunities he has given us to care for the needs of the most needy and vulnerable in our communities.

Waddell Ministry Update Summer 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update Summer 2020

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Although Summer is not ‘officially’ over, most of us recognize the coming of September as the ‘unofficial’ end to Canada’s Summer season. Despite the fact that this Summer has been very unusual, we are grateful for the many opportunities that we’ve had to spend quality time with our family and close friends here in New Brunswick.

On many levels, it’s been a wonderful Summer, but if we’re all being completely honest, it’s also been very difficult because of the Covid-19 pandemic. And, on top of that, many others around the world are struggling with additional crisis’, disasters, and natural calamities.

Although the stresses and uncertainties that we are facing as a family are nothing in comparison to what many are facing, we admit that we have found them tiresome and overwhelming at times. One thing that we have done to help is reflect on the ‘silver linings’ that have risen out of these uncertain times. According to the dictionary, the definition of a ‘silver lining’ is “a sign of hope in an unfortunate or gloomy situation; a bright prospect. i.e. every cloud has a silver lining”.

This reminds us of the words written by the Apostle Paul while he was struggling under the heavy weight of persecution and hardship. In his second letter to the Corinthian church he said:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Cor 4:16-18

We give thanks to God, that in the midst of all the hardship this world throws at us, we have an eternal hope in Christ Jesus, and we need not lose heart. As we continue to work with our partners in the Philippines, we are encouraged by their resiliency and are grateful for opportunities to share this sustaining hope with those in need.

We pray that you too, in the midst of these challenging times, would experience the eternal hope of Christ Jesus of Lord, and would be renewed day by day.

Thank-you for your continued prayers and support! We hope you enjoy the updates shared below!

In Canada it is fairly simple and easy to get a face mask for yourself and/or your children. In places like the Philippines, however, this is not such an easy task. Many individuals and families, especially those from the most vulnerable sectors of society, struggle to find and afford face masks to keep themselves and their children protected from the Covid-19 virus or other airborne germs.

For this reason, CBM is partnering with KPM and the BUGANA Livelihood Center, to manufacture and provide face masks for those in most need throughout communities in Capiz province. Please be watching for the release of CBM’s Gift Catalogue for your opportunity to purchase a face mask, which will provide one for someone in need.

Home Assignment 2020 – Travelling From Church to Church… Virtually

Well, it won’t come as a surprise to anyone reading this, but our home assignment has been very different this time around, due to Covid-19 and the restrictions placed on travel and large group gatherings. Our last home assignment, in 2018, was marked by long periods of time traveling from church to church throughout the Atlantic provinces and Ontario. This time around, we are spending the vast majority of our time participating in online meetings with pastors, church gatherings and individual supporters, and recording videos to be shared with our church partners.

The restrictions on travel and large gatherings, however, have certainly not stopped us from ‘gathering’ with our church partners. We have thoroughly enjoyed every opportunity to connect with our church partners in a variety of ways including, pre recorded interviews, live Zoom interviews, pre recorded presentations, and live Zoom presentations, where we’ve been given the opportunity to share about our work in the Philippines. In addition to these online gatherings, we’ve also had a few opportunities to gather ‘in-person’ with a few churches in NB and NS, as a result of the easing of restrictions on larger gatherings and the ‘Atlantic Bubble’.

We officially started our home assignment on June 14th, and to date, we have connected with approximately 20 church partners through online or in-person Sunday services. Most recently, we enjoyed being at Bridgewater Baptist Church in Nova Scotia, with our good friends and former CBM colleagues, Aaron & Erica Kenny, for a pre recorded online service, as well as, a parking lot service. This was our first parking lot service and although it felt a bit awkward to talk to a bunch of windshields, we really enjoyed it.

Our home assignment is scheduled up until the end of September, and we are looking forward to connecting with several more of our church partners over the next several weeks. We do have a pre recorded presentation overviewing CBM’s work in the Philippines with our partner, KPM, and if your church would like to share it with your congregation please let us know by sending us an email at mwaddell@cbmin.org. We’ll be happy to share it with you and grateful for the opportunity to share with your church family.

If you would like to stay up-to-date with our life and work, both in Canada and in the Philippines, please consider subscribing to our blog.  Simply click here to visit our blog and then enter your e-mail address to receive our blog updates in your e-mail inbox.  It’s that simple!

Updates From the Field

The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly impacted a number of CBM’s programs with our partner, KPM. For much of March, April, May, and June, the Philippines was under a strict lockdown. This meant that all of our regular programming was placed on hold or rescheduled. Since mid-July, however, restrictions in Capiz province began to ease, which has meant that some activities have been able to resume under strict public health guidance.

Among some of the activities that were allowed to resume were our business initiatives, namely, Food for Life and BUGANA livelihood Center. The negative impact of the lockdown on these two business initiatives has been significant. CBM has taken measures to ease some of the financial burden on our partner and we continue to work with them to overcome these economic challenges and business set-backs.

We’re excited to report that Food for Life has completed the construction of their laboratory and are now beginning to produce their own chemical free/organic farm inputs, which will have a great impact on Food for Life and the individual farmers as they transition their farms to chemical free production.

We’re also really excited that the BUGANA Livelihood Center has mostly been able to continue producing their products, including these upcycled paper and Coconut shell jewelry.  As you can see, the products and packaging look very attractive and we are praying that God will bless the works of their hands.

GoodWork Webinar

Every Wednesday for this past 4 months, we have been gathering together, as a CBM team (Canadian and global staff), for the GoodWork Webinar, to learn more about faith and work; more specifically, the integration of our Christian faith with work in the world. Our colleague, Brenda Halk and I (Michael), have thoroughly enjoyed working together to organize and facilitate this series of webinars and are looking forward to more opportunities to work together to advance CBM’s involvement in the marketplace.

The GoodWork Webinar has been a wonderful time of learning, sharing, and discussing the tremendous potential for mission engagement in the marketplaces of society with our network of global partners. We were so blessed to have Dr. Paul Stevens as our special guest to field our questions and share more about certain topics related to marketplace ministries.

Prayer & Praise

  • Please pray that we would continue to make good connections with our church partners and supporters, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Please pray for our children as they prepare for the upcoming school year. Our kids have had a very eclectic education over the past 4 years and this year will be no exception.  Pray that they would settle well into their new daily routines and classes.
  • Please pray for our partner, Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM) and Rev. Job & Phoebe Santiago as they continue to provide leadership and support for people in need throughout Capiz province.
  • Please pray for the Philippine people as they struggle against rising cases of Covid-19 and all the challenges that this brings (economic, financial, psycho-social, political, etc.)




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Botros Ministry Update August 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update August 2020

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Family News

What a year to be living in Lebanon! It began with the October 2019 Revolution, the collapse of the economy, the instability of the political situation, Covid-19 breakout, and finally the massive explosion of Beirut. It is overwhelming!

As you have heard in the news, the explosion was tragic: over 5000 people are injured, close to 200 people are dead, some are still missing, thousands of cars and homes are destroyed, major hospitals are completely damaged and out of service…etc. The whole country is mourning; people feel disoriented, hopeless, and very angry at authorities because of their carelessness and corruption. Just yesterday, the government stepped down, and it will take sometime until the country is able to form a new government due to its sectarian system.

For us as a family, we strongly felt the explosion, though it is about 30 minutes away from where we live. We are safe, but we are mourning like everyone else in the country. Indeed, it is devastating emotionally and mentally. Our kids are observing what is happening, and of course nothing is making sense to them as well. They have lots of questions, and we are trying our best to respond.

It was very helpful to take the boys to give a hand to one of the destroyed hospitals for two days. They were able to see the damage done to many places in downtown and also help during this time of disaster.

It is our prayer that God will build the ruined cities, comfort all who mourn, give a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

Isaiah 61:1–4

Completion of PhD Studies

Though it has not been any easy year, we have been able by God’s grace to press on. The good news is that Emad used the time of the quarantine to focus more on finishing the long marathon of his PhD. He successfully defended his dissertation at the end of April with minor changes, which he completed by the end of June. We praise God for this milestone in our life as a family. We celebrate and witness to God’s goodness in the middle of all what is happening.

Arab Baptist Theological Seminary and CBM Response to the Lebanese Crisis

The Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) has opened its doors to welcome people who have lost their homes and is helping with clean-up and food distribution for workers who are deployed to the explosion site. Local churches will also be needing support as they serve affected congregation members.

A New Ministry Season for ABTS

With the breakout of Covid-19, the Seminary made the decision to send all students home for various reasons. However, this in itself was not an easy process, because we had about 26 students on campus who could not travel due to travel restrictions. We praise God that they were able to make it back home safely about two weeks ago.

With this sudden disruption from the pandemic, we had extensive conversations, discussions, and times of reflection and discernment to discover how God wants us to serve his church in the region in light of this new reality. Here are the words of our President and CBM Global Field Staff in Lebanon, Elie Haddad, describing the future of ABTS:

“It has become obvious that we cannot maintain this full-time residential program in which we invested so much and that has worked well for our students and the churches that they serve. We cannot maintain this program because of new realities. There is no doubt that distancing and travel restrictions will prevent us from bringing students to Lebanon for at least the next academic year. In addition, a new funding reality is presenting itself. No one knows what that will look like post pandemic, but we do know that we need to become a lot leaner and more cost-effective in order to survive.

The first reaction is lament and disorientation. We did that. Actually, we are not yet over the lament of what cannot continue. The second reaction, however, is moving forward with a new strategy, a renewed vision, and a creative solution that takes theological education and leadership formation in the region well into the 21st century. Our new strategy for our core ministry is to transform our full-time residential program into what we are currently calling a modified residential program. The shape of this new program is becoming clearer. Our academic team and faculty are in the process of completing the details of the design. The new program will consist mainly of distance components with short annual residencies on campus. The reason that we still have the word residential in the name of the program is to stress the fact that we are maintaining the same curricular shape of our old program. This will not be an online program. We have that. This will be a blended program that preserves all the key features of what was successful in our residential program. We are still committed to the high-quality training that our constituency is used to. We are preserving the holistic, contextual, and integrated dimensions of the curriculum, also in a modular format. We also remain committed to the same quality research component that marked our residential program. Basically, we will be offering our same distinctive curriculum but with a new delivery method.”

Prayer Requests

  • As a family, we need your prayers for comfort, strength, peace in mind and heart during this time.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit comforts those who are injured, lost their loved ones, and their homes.
  • Pray for the local churches as many have been damaged but also are reaching out and responding to needs.
  • As demonstrations continue in the next few weeks and the hope of forming of a new government, pray for the future of the country of Lebanon.
  • Pray for our students as they are settling back home. They need to re-adjust to new realities in their countries at various levels: economy and politics, job and ministry opportunities, and dealing with Covid-19 regulations.
  • Pray for the Leadership Team of our Seminary as they lead during this difficult time. Pray for wisdom, discernment, and strength. Pray also for the ABTS community as they continue faithfully serving God in the middle of this challenging time.




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Yang Ministry Update July 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update July 2020

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Greetings from Thailand

Dear brothers & sisters in Christ,

May the peace of the Lord be with you all! Today, our life and work has greatly changed under the influence of Covid-19 all over the world. We have been forced to make various adjustments to deal with this change. I would like to share with you the impact of these changes on me and my ministries and also how God’s grace has helped me to continue on.

An Unprepared Change

Like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.

Deuteronomy 32:11

This Bible verse reminds me of our current situation. 2020 has been a very special year, as the unexpected pandemic strikes people’s health and lives. We were unprepared for this change. We are like young eagles who don’t seem ready to fly, but we are forced to leave our comfort zone and face new challenges. We have no choice but to face it with our bare hands and our poor performance shows. This challenge is not only for the medical and government departments. Schools, churches, seminaries and mission organizations have all been forced to make adjustment to face this crisis. Although it seems we are not facing the most difficult circumstances in Thailand compared to other countries, it is still enough to let people worry and panic.

The first change I have made is in regards to my working schedule for this year. There were several trips and SENT teams planned for this year that have been cancelled one-by-one due to the rising pandemic. But some unexpected ministry opportunities have been added to my personal ministry plans. There are extra courses for me to teach at Thailand Bethel Theological Institute (TBTI), our mission partner in the Golden Triangle Region, because teachers from overseas who were planning to come have cancelled their trips to Thailand. The weekend ministries that I have been participating in have moved worship and other ministries to online services. I have to preach before the camera, recording Bible study lessons and devotional video clips, which I am not familiar with. During this time, we were unprepared for this change, but at the same time we have a chance to learn new and exciting lessons. We are like the young eagle leaving their safe nest who is forced to spread their wings to learn to fly. But it also leads to a new journey.

For some courses, I have to teach online, which is new to me. Although I have to adjust my teaching content and teaching methods, the internet has made it possible for me to reach students who are in different places. The internet brings us closer together. I can experience God’s presence even when I am teaching on the screen. In all the changes that we made, we are walking with God in different ways. In churches, co-workers are working together to overcome obstacles like network and technical problems. We become more united in serving the church together. It is a new journey that we have never been on, but God is leading us. He is not letting us face these changes alone. He hovers over us and brings us on His wings like an eagle. He shows us that he is still in control of everything.

Go Back or Keep Moving Forward?

Recently, a phrase that I have heard frequently is, “After the pandemic, I will …” People are planning activities for after the outbreak, expecting life to return to its original way and hoping work and ministries will go back to its old model again. As the Covid-19 and economic situation in Thailand has become more stable, Thailand has gradually reopened to let specific visitors enter the country. Thailand has opened schools, allowed churches to hold normal services, and various work and factories have gradually resumed. People hope the outbreak would be like a nightmare that would be forgotten the next morning. They just can’t wait to live their old lives. However, with the reopening of the country, Thailand is facing new challenges. These include new cases of Covid-19, political issues, and the recent peak of the dengue fever season. People have lost confidence as they step into the unknown future.

Our mission partner, Thailand Bethel Theological Institute, started in-person classes in July, but more than a half of the students are still not able to return to the institute because the Thai-Myanmar border remains closed. Therefore, we have to conduct both physical and online classes. The church also resumed Sunday services, but we have to limit the number of attendants by separating the service into Chinese and Thai. I am continuing to teach at TBTI and I’m also involved in preaching and teaching at local churches. The ministries have continued, but we all know that everything is no longer the same. As the nest of the eagle is stirred up, the young eagles no longer return to the original safe nest. The only thing that we need to do is to try our best to keep moving forward. Our lives and work need to overcome obstacles and move on.

Many students of Bethel who remain in Myanmar can only attend classes online. They shared that a lot of them are not used to this way of studying online. They also have difficulties accessing the internet sometimes because some of them are living in remote places. They can’t wait to return to the institute. But it is time for every one of us to put down the desire of going back and putting in our effort to keep moving forward with courage. The important point is that God will carry us on his wings and lead us to new heights where we can have the new sight of the world and reach the further destination. I wish that every one of us won’t resist the change, which is uncomfortable for us. We can reach the better goal with God’s help. So instead of longing to go back, let’s keep moving forward!

In the time of Covid-19 outbreak, although there have been great adjustments to our schedules, life and work, I surely believe that God did not let us face this alone without his help. He has prepared his guidance and grace which will come to us in time.

Thank you for your support and prayer during this difficult time. Please continue to remember us in your prayers.

Prayer Items

  • Please pray for the outbreak, the economy and politics of Thailand. May God show his mercy and his love to people here in Thailand.
  • Please pray that Thailand Bethel Theological Institute can overcome the shortage of overseas teachers and have wisdom in teaching and managing the institute. Pray that the institute can overcome the difficulties of running in-person and online courses at the same time.
  • Please pray for the students who remain in Myanmar to have a positive attitude toward studying online and would be able to fix any internet problems.
  • Please pray for me and my family. Pray for my teaching at Bethel Institute and serving at local churches. Pray that I would have wisdom and strength from the Lord. Please pray for my 11-yearold daughter as she has started a new school year. May God protect her and bless her studies.

Blessings,
Lilian Yang




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Kivava Ministry Update June 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update June 2020

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Easter Holidays in Confinement

Easter holidays used to be a time of celebration for young pupils who had the opportunity to spend two weeks without having to wake early to go to school. Now Covid-19 has turned it into a time of confinement, where they are now eager to go to school. Social media has remained the only means of contact.

“I never thought I could spend a whole week without leaving this compound”, exclaims one of 5 students who live with us at home. But the number of cases keeps increasing. Schools and churches remain closed. We still celebrate our Sunday devotions in families or online. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to celebrate the Holy Communion. But only the pastor had to stay 3 hours waiting for members to come one by one, take the Holy Communion and go back home.

At least we are grateful that the Ebola epidemic that reappeared in the East of the DRC in April has been officially declared over by the Minister of Health last Thursday. Meanwhile a new Ebola epidemic has started in the North-West of the country.

What has Been Going on in the Area of Relief and Food Security Among Partners?

Relief Work Among Partner Churches

As if Covid-19 were not sufficient, some parts of the continent have been affected by floods and land sliding, causing casualties and loss of property. In Uvira, with support from CBM, the CBCA was able to assist the victims of floods with food, mattresses and iron sheets while providing counseling to survivors living with trauma. In Rwanda and South Sudan, partners are working on projects to assist people deeply affected by the lockdown due to Covid-19, especially elderly pastors and widows, who have no alternative to survive during this time of confinement. Another project is in the pipeline to provide food assistance to returnees in South Sudan both in terms of food assistance but also as a first step towards food security and livelihood activities.

Ecological Farming and Vocational Training

Despite Covid19 restrictions, cocoa nurseries in Buyinga have produced their first seedlings and they are ready for distribution to pygmy farmers. On the other hand, vocational training provides also the opportunity to sensitize project beneficiaries on preventive measures against Covid-19. People living with disabilities develop good abilities when they commit themselves to some professions such as cooking as they can help them to develop their own enterprise or work in restaurants.

Village Saving and Loan Associations, an Opportunity for Access to Small Credits

The VSLA program has been wholeheartedly adopted by most of our beneficiaries and during the last quarter, many associations have distributed the result of their savings and interest. This has helped them to cope with this time of confinement. The challenge is that they cannot meet as usual during this time of Covid-19.

Food Security Projects

The introduction of kitchen gardens and small animals such as rabbits and chicken in Muku has contributed to improve food diversity. Small animals not only facilitate access to proteins and money for small needs but they also produce manure which helps in soil fertilization. Our staff visit farmers regularly to provide advice and treatment to fight against animal diseases which very often discourage our farmers. Cassava and sweet potatoes harvest in Uvira was very encouraging as the fields were not much affected by the floods. The food security projects in Rwanda and Kenya came to an end this year. Despite the confinement, we have been able to conduct end of project evaluation online and we have started planning need assessment for forthcoming initiatives.

Meetings and Visits

With Covid-19, all movements have suddenly come to a stop. However, new technology of information has made it possible to keep in contact with all our partners and co-workers. We had our Africa regional team meeting last week and even though we could not meet face to face, it was a real occasion of updates and new planning with readjustments taking into account the current situation. Our weekly chapel with colleagues in Canada helps us to feel part of the CBM family despite the distance and the confinement. We are developing our network of development officers from partner churches which will help us to exchange experiences while waiting for the opportunity to meet face to face. That network will help us to get access to field activities in Rwanda, Kenya and South Sudan.

Perspectives for 2020

We keep praying that the situation may come back to normal so that we may pursue our dreams around the following activities:

  • Create a network of development officers in the partner churches to facilitate mutual learning and exchange of experiences for the sake of capacity building in project management in the context of Covid-19.
  • Visit to South Sudan and FEBAC projects.
  • Accompany AEBR and ACC&S and CBCA in need assessment and new project development.
  • Remain alert on situation of vulnerability among partner churches.

Word of Appreciation

We are grateful that in a situation where the whole world is affected by Covid-19, CBM is still committed to hold the hand of its partners so that they may grow together and go together through the dark times.

Concluding Remark

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 5:9




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Hutton Ministry Update May 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update May 2020

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“Quedandonos en Casa”

“Staying at home.” This has become the automatic response when people ask us what we’re up to, since Covid-19 restrictions have kept us mostly inside these past few months. However, we’ve learned that the quarantine doesn’t mean rest and relaxation as life has, in many ways, become busier!

United at a Distance

As the lockdown continues, we are all looking for ways to stay connected and show love to one another. Bolivian Baptist churches have mobilized themselves to reach out to the most vulnerable in their neighbourhoods.

In a massive collaborative effort CBM is partnering with about 90 churches in 5 distinct regions of Bolivia. These networks of churches are discovering creative ways to purchase and deliver groceries to some of the country’s most at risk families. This is particularly challenging amidst strict lockdown regulations and the prohibition of private vehicles.

Yet, it’s beautiful to see and hear stories of church volunteers bringing good news of love and compassion to several thousand people who are currently navigating extremely difficult circumstances.

CBM has also been able to support the national denomination in providing care packages to some of their pastors who are particularly struggling right now.

Distance Ed. & Discipleship

The seminary has also made a major push to continue courses online. Many professors feel most comfortable using video conferencing but there is a growing interest in online education platforms which may mark a shift in the longterm. Kallie was able to quickly transition her in person course online but has found some students struggle with access without the ability to use on campus resources.

Moreover, we have both been able to continue virtually connecting with our discipleship groups and student mentees during the lockdown. Its been great to see these ministries continue and even thrive as many have expressed an increased desire to connect and grow during this unique time.

Covid-19 Situation in Bolivia

While Bolivia doesn’t have significant numbers of confirmed cases, national restrictions have been heavily imposed since the first cases appeared. Concerns regarding the capacity of the health system to accommodate spikes in hospital admissions has prioritized preventative measures.

Since March, we have been under strict lock down. For instance, each person is only allowed outside their home one morning a week from 7 until noon to purchase supplies. Your day is determined by the final number of your ID card. No one over the age of 65 or under the age of 18 are allowed out at all. All public and private vehicles are prohibited, making mobility very difficult as everything must be done on foot.

With these restrictions in place and the suspension of all non-essential work, many of the most vulnerable families have fallen into extreme poverty. Violence against women and children has also risen, as many are without support systems or options for leaving.

Continued Political Unrest

This all comes after significant political unrest that occurred several months ago, when previous election results were contested, leaving the country under an interim president. A re-election was planned for early May but was postponed due to the pandemic. The inability to move forward, in addition to the stress of quarantine measures, has resulted in the rise of protests and blockades in the past few weeks.

Please pray for the country, its many churches, and the active ministry leaders who are seeking to provide council and leadership during this challenging time.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for us as we explore new ways to serve and stay connected during these unusual times.
  • Pray for the 90 churches who are working to care for those in their communities. There are many moving parts to this initiative, and it is new territory for many.
  • Pray for Bolivian Baptist leaders as they seek to serve others amidst a challenging and evolving context.
  • Pray that Bolivia would experience peace as they navigate the realities of both this ongoing pandemic and political unrest.

Blessings,
Tim & Kallie

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Dyck Ministry Update May 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update May 2020

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After the tsunami of 2004 in Indonesia I was a key translator for an expert on disasters. What I remember from Dr. Jonathan Olford’s workshops is that he talked of phases. The first phase was the “Hero Phase.” After a disaster, volunteers might instinctively step into danger, self-sacrificially — heroically. Victims sometimes endure heroically. In Indonesia there were incredible stories of survival. But this phase only lasts for about three months. Then things get a lot more difficult, not just because heroes run out of energy, but because small problems grow to a breaking point, and recovery gets complicated.

The Hero Phase

I think we’ve been in the hero phase up until now. The Covid crisis in Bolivia didn’t hit like an earthquake, tsunami, flood, hurricane. At first it was just a break, a chance to catch up. But it didn’t take long to realize that in a country where people depend on daily wages, most can’t afford a break. Some had already anticipated this and started with relief hampers right away. I realized that even the helpers were vulnerable. Most of the pastors in our denomination depend on weekly offerings and supplement that with work — they couldn’t afford for their church to be closed and not to have work. So, we heroically stepped in to provide hampers for 21 pastors around the country. This week we organized hampers for another 50. When one pastor’s wife passed away from Covid-19, we provided some help for the cremation expenses.

It occurred to me that pastors would be needing more than food, so I started calling the pastors listed in the UBB directory. I might have tried to call all 321 pastors myself, but one of the pastors in my Pastoring of Pastors support group suggested, “Why don’t we divide up the pastors in the directory, call them, and find out how we can pray for them?” Each pastor in my National Leadership Team accepted the challenge of calling about 40 pastors and praying for them. We’ve met weekly via Zoom to pray for each other and the pastors we’ve been contacting.

The Wall Phase

I don’t think it was actually called the Wall Phase, but Jonathan Olford noted that after about three months, relief efforts run into a wall. Heroes are tired. Victims are complaining. Problems are complex. I think this is where we’re at now. The first pastor I called confided, “It’s hard to have been without income for five weeks.” This past week one of my pastors reporting on calls couldn’t hold back the tears as she shared what a pastor had shared with her, “Children don’t understand when there’s no bread,” and of another pastor, “He’s not buying medicine because there is not enough food.” Another regional leader with tears of compassion for his pastors and frustration with the church said, “The church leaders are ‘cold.’” Coldly letting their pastors go. Denominational leaders want to help where churches aren’t or can’t, but are having to let staff go as well. Yesterday I was in a seminary Board meeting where we’re making difficult staffing decisions. Tough realities are setting in. They hit like a wall and leave people in desperation.

Renewed Hope

I can’t remember exactly what the next phase was, but I just know that you can’t leave people without hope. Isaiah 40:31 says:

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles…

Isaiah 40:31

One of the ways that our national leaders have been able to stay in contact, even with those who can no longer access the internet, have no data, nor phone time, is through radio. Last week I was invited to preach on the radio. It was a chance to share some hope. People are also hopeful that strict quarantine measures will work and will be able to be lifted soon. Maybe at the end of the month. People are hopeful that courses, like the online course on church planting being taken by 32 potential church planters, will result in new churches after the crisis, or even before. People are hopeful that the world will not forget them in a time of desperation. Even a little bit of outside help can be a great encouragement as it lets people know they’re not alone.

Hope for the Future

One of the major concerns is how this will affect children. I’ve actually heard that memories of the pandemic might become a sociological dividing line between generations. You probably know that Janice had been teaching music to vulnerable children from the “red light” district. The good news is that their mothers are being provided with food, weekly, on the morning that they are allowed out. They are still being helped with their schooling as far as possible. The concern is for their safety and psychological well-being as their homes, which they are confined to, are usually small, sometimes one room and possibly no window.

Praise and Prayer

  • Health. There has been one Covid death among people we know but another pastor asked for prayer for his son. He’s been graduated early, as a new Doctor, so he can serve Covid-19 patients. He’s expected to provide his own PPE but can’t afford it. Bolivia’s strategy is to prevent the spread of Covid through strict quarantines because availability to treatment is limited. Pray for our health as quarantine is our best defense. Pray also for the health of our children and Janice’s Mom back in Canada.
  • Denominational and Seminary leadership as they face difficult staffing decisions and have limited resources with which to support those under their leadership.
  • Pastors, especially those who were relying on weekly offerings and other work to support themselves. Pray for their finances, for family, for health, for perseverance in ministry as it might be without financial support, for their ministries and creativity, and for mental health.
  • Children and families. Food for those who have been relying on daily wages. Protection for those quarantined in abusive situations. Schooling as classes have been suspended and as online options only favor those who have that option.

Thank you so much for your continued support!
Bill & Janice

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Lam Ministry Update May 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update May 2020

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He is the one we proclaim, admonishing & teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

Colossians 1:28

New Lifestyle Under the Pandemic

The novel coronavirus has brought an unprecedented change to the world. Germany began implementing the “Stay-at home order” in mid-March, & the situation is roughly the same as in Canada: closing schools & various public facilities, prohibiting groups & religious gatherings, maintaining social distance, & most people need to work from home.

Under the pandemic, the sun shone brightly throughout March & April in Germany. The flowers & trees added some new colors to the scenery. Lewis would choose to go out for a run when the weather was good; while Felain would choose to stay at home fighting pollen allergies.

During this time, most of the brothers & sisters stayed home obediently. Fortunately, there were a lot of sunny days this spring to sweep away any depressing mood from the long period of social distancing.

The German states gradually lifted the prohibitions in early May. This applied to schools, shops, & certain public activities. People were still required to wear masks in public areas & to keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from each other. Restrictions in religious gatherings will also be lifted, but churches must continue to comply with various regulations, such as: social distancing, discouraged hymn singing, no group activities other than worship service, etc. However, the Chinese are generally more conservative. Many friends & family likely will not attend worship gathering immediately. Therefore, we will maintain the online gatherings in May, hoping that there will not be a second wave of outbreak. We will also continue to observe the situation & then decide when to resume the physical church gatherings in the two cities.

New Ministry Under the Pandemic

The pandemic does not solely put our immune system to the test, but also our mental well-being, our plasticity, our resilience to deal with stress, & definitely the adaptability of our church ministry. We observed 2 extreme situations:

  1. Students/Singles: The university cancelled the exams due to the pandemic & dismissed students for early vacations; many office employees transitioned to working from home. This group of people were mostly idle during the social distancing period, they have a lot of time to spare.
  2. Families: Children had no school to attend. Parents were taking care of their children while working from home. It was as if parents & children were trapped playing gladiator at home every single day. They were going mad. Through it all, on top of maintaining our regular gatherings, we also had to be ready for other ad hoc pastoral needs. As frontline missionaries, there was no opportunity to sit idle, we had to respond to the increased demand.

Church Meetings Done Fully Online

On March 13th, the state government mandated the closure of religious sites starting March 14th. Fortunately, we had started to transition our gatherings online a week prior. Meetings of Kassel Fellowship & Göttingen Fellowship were successfully held online on the 14th & 15th respectively, without major disruptions. Afterwards, we invited 2 other fellowships – Marburg & Heidelberg (the mission field of Pastor Gang Xiaodan & Pastor Ye Yuanchuan of CBM missionaries) to join our four regions virtual conference for worship & Sunday school. Other activities, such as prayer meetings, Bible study groups, workshops, training, etc., are now delivered online as well.

Christian Retreats Waived Their Fees & Offered Free Virtual Sessions

Including the German-wide Chinese Christian Discipleship Camp in April & the North Germany Joint Retreat during Pentecost at the end of May. Physical interaction in a traditional retreat setting was replaced by gatherings held in the comfort of one’s own home. For many years, families with young children may have found it difficult to attend church retreats, but this year, thanks to virtual meetings, they have an opportunity to fill up spiritually! If we consider the Discipleship Camp, in the past, the retreat was usually held over 5 days with 300+ adult attendees. However, the virtual retreat was simplified into 4 days this year & it is estimated that over 600 participated. Seeing how willing the German Chinese missionaries are to share the resources, & to serve the flock with a united heart, we give thanks to God wholeheartedly!

Daily Spiritual Feeding – A Psalm A Day / One Proverb Every Day

We have tried different programs in the past to encourage regular daily reading of the Bible. We were able to tap into a variety of Bible Study resources, but they did not yield effective result. This time, Lewis challenged himself & encouraged the congregations to read with him. As of mid-March, we proposed a daily reading of five Psalms. Lewis shared his devotion on one of the five Psalms by posting to various social media groups of the fellowships daily. Based on the reading plan, brothers & sisters read through 150 Psalms within one month. In the beginning of May, we started the reading plan of one Proverb per day. Similarly, Lewis will read & share his devotion on the Proverb each day, encouraging our flock with God’s Words.

Joint Adult Sunday School – The Online Challenge & The Cycle of Redemption

The Sunday school series – “Sexuality was originally Holy” launched in March & coincided with the challenge of a new gathering format – online learning. At first, there were struggle & hesitation as to whether this topic was suitable for online delivery. The content touched on a number of sensitive topics. Unexpectedly, Felain found that her sharing delivered through a monitor lessened the sense of embarrassment, & encouraged a more regular participation from brothers & sisters. It actually seemed more appropriate to be teaching this topic online; as many could reflect on whether their past & present ways of living were pleasing to God, in the comfort of one’s own home. The days of social distancing could easily make one feel empty & bored. It could also be a dangerous time when sins & temptations occupy one’s time & overtake one’s mind. The series consisted of 8 teachings that directly tackled a number of hot topics: World’s View of Sexuality vs. Christian’s View of Sexuality; Premarital Cohabitation; Premarital Sex; Date Rape; Long Distance Relationship; Masturbation; the Entrapment of Sexuality & the Redemption through Grace; Setting Boundaries before Marriage & Establishing Commitments after Marriage, etc. The series guided believers back to the Biblical perspective of sexuality, filtering through the secular views brought by the pop culture. The message emphasized again & again: whether sin was committed before or after believing in the Lord / past or present, we are not to stop at conviction or remain in a state of shame, but to turn back & be redeemed! There were about 60 to 70 participants each week; they included believers from other regions. The feedback from the congregation said that such bold & comprehensive teaching on the subject was rare. The series busted many myths of believers who were singles, changed past values on sexuality & corrected unhealthy beliefs influenced by the pop culture. Couples who were dating repented & chose to discontinue premarital sex or cohabitation. There were also singles & married couples who vowed to distance themselves from temptations & devoted to living holy lives.

Online Teaching – “My Family of Origin”

The online course was structured for believers in Göttingen & Kassel. It consisted of two lessons per week, a total of eight lessons; 20 hours of teaching. There were a total of 20 students from different places of origin: China, Taiwan, Malaysia & Hong Kong. As they uncovered the root cause of problems stemming from their families of origin; inevitably, they had to address issues such as divorced families, domestic violence, suicide, sexual assault, left-behind children, mental illness, family grievances, & various addictions, etc. We did not stop at theoretical analysis or case discussions; rather more importantly, we learned to be a companion to one another on this journey through prayers. The in-depth sharing revealed vulnerabilities with such honesty & trust, beyond the typical spiritual connections experienced in any Bible study groups or prayer meetings. Where it was impossible for man to do (forgiving those who had hurt you; overcoming self-pity / blind spots, interacting with wounded family members in mercy & grace), the believers leaned on God. Submitting to His presence, they denied their old selves, broke away from the influence of their past, & headed towards a wholistic person development.

Calling Out to the Brothers – “Men’s Circle”

The men are the largest number of “missing people” during the pandemic! Women tend to seek help proactively when they experience emotional challenges or problems in life. They may meet online (to complete an essay together, or even to simply enjoy a meal together), to reduce the chances of any psychological issues by being in an extended period of physical isolation & losing touch with other people. It’s not that men don’t experience struggles. They’re just more subtle, passive & hidden! It was the first time that Lewis called out to the brothers in Göttingen to form the “Men’s Circle”. There were 10+ brothers ended up joining the Circle to discuss topics relevant to them. Men typically displayed an image of reason, strength, dominating, bravery, competitiveness; hesitancy in sharing feelings or to shed a tear, etc. It would not be easy to establish the “brotherly love” in the Circle. Deep inside, the brothers yearned to connect through encouragement & sharing, and to build friendships with one another. Keep up the good effort, Brothers!

Self-initiated – “Bible Study Group, Devotion Sharing”

In these days of self-isolation enforced by the “order to stay-at-home”, believers from both cities self-initiated Bible Study Groups & Devotion Sharing as a mean to watch out for & encourage each other. These small gatherings continued until the start of the new academic semester in early May.

A Variety of Counselling, Mentoring, & Pastoral Challenges

The pandemic revealed some critical issues of believers, which were overlooked when they were occupied with busy schedules during the normal days. When life’s pace slowed down, many believers thought they were experiencing psychological issues; in fact, they were confronted with neglected life problems that snowballed over the years. God used this opportunity to knock & disclose the innermost issues in the hearts of new & also long-time believers. He even took them through a complete transformation, tackling issues head-on, & uprooting the causes! As the servants of our Lord, we were thankful to have witnessed His grace, faithfulness, mercy & power on brothers and sisters, as they addressed issues stemming from their family of origin; uncovered sexual sins & wounds from years ago; confronted by the double-edged sword of God’s Words; or entangled in a spiritual warfare with demon possessed. These amazing cloud-like testimonies would take us beyond the page limit of this letter. We will share them on our next newsletter. The past two months of “online ministry” was not only a change in format, but also a challenge in content – “never a dull moment”! Though we were exhausted physically; our spirits were being renewed day by day.

Prayer Requests

  • Pandemic in Germany: As of early May, Germany has taken gradual measures to re-open services & businesses to the public. May God protect & guide all in establishing proper preventive measures, to avoid a second wave of community outbreak in Germany.
  • Status of Believers: The actual date of returning to physical church gathering is still unknown. May God guard the spiritual well-being of believers, so they won’t allow the comfort of online gathering to replace their commitment & ministry at church.

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Nacho Ministry Update April 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update April 2020

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Wow, it is difficult to start this letter, the worldwide situation with COVID 19 has changed our lives in many ways. It is incredible to think of everything that is happening, so much uncertainty, so much desolation for the pain of the people who have left. It is a time where we are surrounded by uncertainty and doubt, but at the same time it is a time when we can fill ourselves with the only thing totally certain and true, which is GOD, our good Heavenly Father.

This is such a great opportunity to talk about how grateful I am. I want to share with you some of the good that happened last year and the beginning part of this year.

Highlights from 2019

We had 8 groups from different places in Canada, and with each of them we have been able to serve in the different projects that we are blessed to support as CBM.

With some of them we have served at Casa de la Amistad, Jireh, Chagas and / or IMI. Each team is so unique and special, each team brings endless skills and virtues.

It is nice to see how we can serve side by side with the brothers and sisters of Bolivia, since each team has Bolivian volunteers who accompany us during the team’s stay.

Being part of the body of Christ is something I have been meditating on a lot, particularly on what is mentioned in 1Corinthians 12:26 “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it”.

With thanks to God, during 2019 we have managed to live this biblical passage. We have cried together; we have laughed together and we have reflected on God’s purposes together.

We live in a broken world and in constant pain, and in the midst of that, we must be intentional in understanding that we can do something, we can be that bridge that many need to overcome their tribulations.

Of course, for all the SENT teams, it has been a blessing to be part of the different activities carried out. We have supported: Health Checks, Medication Provision, filling in at Casa Amistad, Jireh and the Seminary. We also had English teachers who spent two months in Bolivia teaching in the programs and with our partners. Also, in the middle of the year we hosted a Camp with the teenagers from Casa Amistad and Jireh.

On a personal level, I was able to travel to Canada for some vacation time. It was an experience of great blessing to be able to travel with a very dear friend (Goretty) and her mother and be able to share the Emanuel ministry with our friends from First Baptist Church in Listowel, ON.

This Year…

We have had a visit from John Chan (CBM Director, International Partnerships), and it was good to continue reflecting on how we can work and walk together with our partners in Bolivia. We have had several meetings that allow us to continue projecting the work for the next five years.

Although everything was pointing that we would have another good year with several teams, to date we have only had the visit of one team (Whyte Ridge Baptist from Winnipeg, MB) in March, and while it was nice and great to be with them, I am very grateful that they were able to leave Bolivia just in time, since the partial quarantine began two days after they left.

Covid-19 Quarantine

As many know, I am originally from the city of La Paz, and although my residence is in the city of Cochabamba, to pass the quarantine dictated by the Bolivian government, I came to my hometown. I am currently with my family hoping that this situation will pass soon.

In Bolivia, no one is allowed outside, and in all our cities absolutely every person without government permission is required to be inside their home by law. According to our government, people would be allowed out one day a week according to their national ID card number, in my case Tuesday, so I can go and try to buy some groceries for my family.

I also have a special permit to be able to drive my family’s car and thus be able to take my mom to work, she is a nurse, so like thousands of other people, she is a front line worker in combating Covid-19.

During this time in my personal reflection it is clear that I cannot/do not want to return to what we are called “normal”. There are things that were not right within that “normal”, and I think this is a good opportunity to put our lives completely at the feet of God and I want to let his light shine on my dark spots.

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Bridi Ministry Update April 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update April 2020

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Greetings from Lebanon

Thank you for following my news. In this newsletter, you can read about a couple of highlights from the ministry in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) through graduates from the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS).

As you already know, I was appointed by CBM as of January 1, 2019 to help build and implement a strategy for CBM’s work in the region. I thank God for this amazing opportunity to be part of the work He is leading in this region of the world. Our main target was to start working in Sudan, and with God’s grace and your generous support we were able to do so, as well a couple of projects in Morocco and North Lebanon.

Sudan

Pastor Philemon Hassan is a graduate from ABTS and leads the River of Life Baptist church in Khartoum, the church is very active in terms of discipleship and equipping young leaders. We had the opportunity to partner with them by providing full financial support towards a five days leadership training conference that took place in October 2019. 105 young men and women attended from various denominations and states in Sudan. They received teaching on “Visionary leadership”. They were also able to discuss in groups, practical ways to apply what they have studied together in their churches and ministries. This is a very important ministry, as the church in Sudan is in dire need for a young, trained generation of leaders.

Visit to Sudan

In December 2019, I had the opportunity to travel to Sudan. This trip had two goals: Visit the graduates and get to know more about their respective ministries, build connections with some of the ministry leaders in Khartoum. The trip was successful as I met with different pastors from various evangelical denominations, it was very inspiring to see the Church there being very active despite the great challenges it faces. After meeting with the different ministry leaders, it has become obvious to me that the following are the most urgent needs for the Sudanese church:

  • Training and development of young people in the church, who are eager to be involved in ministry. The positive thing is that churches are willing to work with each other on this.
  • The Christian kids who go to public schools in Sudan have to attend a class on religion and since the government doesn’t have the willingness to support Christian education, they are forced to attend Islamic courses, as a result to this many of them turn to Islam or simply become atheist. The need is to support teachers who can give Christian education courses.

Morocco

Said and Salima* are ABTS graduates. They are a high caliber couple and key leaders in Agadir, Morocco. They are seeing many Muslims come to faith through the different parts of their ministry as well as training new leaders in the hope of reaching more people in different parts of Morocco. We were able to come along with them and help fund a three days conference attended by 20 young women and men. This program addresses their spiritual needs and is a very important training for them as they get ready to lead home cells, the church in Morocco meets in houses and evangelism is done one to one.

North Lebanon

Fadi* is ABTS graduate serving among Syrian refugees’ in North Lebanon. In a conversation with him, Fadi states: “Our vision is to win, build and send believers. We aim to support churches and plant new ones. In addition, we aim to prepare missionaries from our refugee brothers and sisters, who feel called to return to their country Syria and serve there. Our team has become bigger. We are also multiplying disciples, and we have a big group of volunteers. We are looking forward to starting a new church soon.” Fadi and his team have a ministry for 225 Syrian refugee children; It also includes a literacy program, focusing on the Arabic, French and English languages. They also provide food for the kids at the center. It is very important to keep the children of the streets as they run the risks of becoming gang members that are present in the camps, the danger of radicalization is always a threat specially that it comes with offers of financial help, as well as child labor. We were able to come along this meaningful ministry and contribute to its funding.

*Names were changed for security reasons.

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Kwok Ministry Update April 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update April 2020

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Dear friends,

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give away and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging…Be still, and know that I am God…The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46:1-3, 10 & 11

Isn’t this what we are facing today? The whole world is in trouble. Every day the news is filled with updates on Covid-19. The more you read, the more you feel depressed. No place on this earth is “safe” anymore. There’s no human being who can handle or keep control of this pandemic. We can only turn to God, who is our strength and refuge. That’s why at the end of this Psalm, God is telling us to be still, and know that HE is God. He is with us and He is our fortress.

The Golden Triangle

In the Golden Triangle, there is no exemption from the virus. As of today (April 8, 2020), Thailand has 2369 confirmed cases, Myanmar 22 and Laos 14. There are a few cases in Maesai, the city where we live, but we’re both healthy and safe.

The Thai government has announced a state of emergency since March 26. Now the whole country is under curfew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. The land border between Myanmar and Thailand is also closed until further notice.

This year became a very special year for Bethel Bible Institute (BBI). It was the very first time we had to cancel graduation. Every year, graduation day is a huge event for the school. It usually attracts 1,000+ people. Typically, a graduate’s whole church or village will come to see them graduate. So, it was a little bit disappointing for the graduates this year. However, we arranged a very creative inhouse graduation with no guests, no outsiders, but only teachers and students of the school. The ceremony was held outdoors on the beautiful campus. The ceremony was very warm and creative. It felt like a family holding a special ceremony together. We prayed for each other and a big banquet followed. Praise the Lord, in the midst of the Covid-19, HIS name is lifted high.

BBI has also cancelled all the summer mission trips. There were three teams altogether, one to Myanmar and two in Thailand. We were originally going to join the Myanmar team with a SENT team from Canada. The team planned to go to the Northern Shan State, but it had to be cancelled. At that point, we suggested that the SENT team from Canada postpone their trip to a later date. After praying, the team members decided they were still coming as planned. A pastor came to teach and two members came to do other work (of course we changed the whole schedule accordingly). After they arrived, the Covid-19 situation became more serious. The rules and guidelines from the government developed every day. In the end, the pastor managed to finish his teaching and leave, but the two members needed to cut their trip short by six days. They needed to change their flights and re-book air tickets. Their last 24 hours in Thailand made them feel as if they were fleeing the country. Praise the Lord, they have now arrived in Canada safe and sound!

BBI is currently on summer vacation (mid-March to midMay). Most students have gone home. This is the very first time in 50+ years that students could go home during the summer months. Normally, they would need to fulfill their internships during this time. Due to Covid-19, the school decided to cancel all the summer internships. There are about 15 students staying at the school and including all the teachers and family, we have around 40 people still on campus. We have locked up the front gate and have suggested that no one comes in or goes out of the school unless it’s really necessary. Thank God we still have a big campus to walk around if needed. We spend most of the time in our residence. The students are still assigned to do chores around the campus. This is the time to do maintenance around the school campus. We’ve also started to grow our own vegetables – thanks to the students doing all the hard work. On Sundays, we hold a worship service on campus.

The recruitment of new students was supposed to take place next week. Due to the circumstances, we’ve postponed it to a later date. The new school term will begin on May 12, 2020. We’re not sure if we can start the school year on time. The teachers from overseas who were scheduled to come and teach in May and June have already cancelled. The school will soon decide how to handle the classes. It’s not easy for us to teach online because a lot of students may not have the internet or the internet isn’t stable in their hometowns, especially for those who come from Myanmar.

Other than BBI, Covid-19 has also affected other ministries here. Operation Dawn and other drug rehabilitation villages will not be accepting new people into the village for the time being. Some bigger churches have also started online Sunday worship services. However, churches located in remote or mountainous regions aren’t able to hold online services. The internet isn’t stable in those regions and many seniors don’t have cell phones or other media devices. Therefore, pastors may need to visit individual families to do worship with them during the week.

Other than Covid-19, the air pollution in the northern part of Thailand has been very bad for the last couple of months. Today in Maesai, the air pollution is at “368”, while Toronto is at “17”. The air quality is so bad because in January and February, farmers (both in Thailand and Myanmar) burn their farm fields to prepare to plant new crops. Also, there has been no rain for the last 4-5 months. The land is dry and a lot of places are short of water. We’re praying for heavy rain so the air pollution may clear up. The rain is also much needed for the crops.

Chinese Ministries Team

As for our Chinese Ministries Team, Germany’s confirmed cases have escalated and now have exceeded 85,000 so all meetings and Sunday worship for the 4 locations where our CBM field staff are all joint and online. Conrad will have the opportunity to share at one of the worship services at end of April.

As for China, CBM started a relief fund for China in February. Praise the Lord, with the love from our Canadian brothers and sisters, we’re able to help China deliver food and daily necessities to 180+ families. May God use these circumstances to make people turn their hearts toward God.

Our Personal Family

In regards to our family, our son and daughter-in-law (Terrance and Michelle) are now in Edmonton. They have returned from Asia and have just finished their 14 days of quarantine. They will stay in Edmonton for a few months before they move back to Toronto. Our daughter and son-in-law (Elaine and Michael) are in Toronto. Michael is working from home and Elaine is applying to new jobs, since schools are closed and substitute teachers aren’t needed at the present moment. All of them are safe and healthy.

CBM Calling

We also invite you to watch the CBM calling either on Facebook (Canadian Baptist Ministries) or CBM website (cbmin.org), you will hear the latest updates from our colleagues around the world.

Prayer Items

  • Pray for God’s mercy. May this Covid-19 be over soon.
  • Pray for heavy rain in Thailand, especially for the northern regions of Thailand. It will clean up the air pollution.
  • Pray for BBI and all the teachers and students, especially for those students who went home for the summer. Pray for the new school term. May God’s will be done.
  • Pray for our physical, spiritual and mental health, that we stay strong and steadfast in God’s love, so that we can help other people when needed.
  • Pray for all the field staff of our Chinese Ministries Team. May God grant them good health and energy when they are providing support to their communities.

May the peace of God with you all.

In Christ,
Conrad and Fiona Kwok

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Munyamasoko Ministry Update April 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update April 2020

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Greetings From a Locked Down Gisenyi, Rwanda

Greetings to you brothers and sisters in the name of our Saviour and Lord Jesus. It is now two months and fifteen days since we relocated from the East Province (Rwamagana), where we spent 10 months after our relocation from Kampala, to West Province in Gisenyi/Rubavu near the border of Democratic Republic of Congo in the purpose of joining my new Ministry assignment with Community of Baptist Churches in Eastern Congo (CEBCE) in Goma, DR Congo.

Since March 20, we have been confined in our home due to the Corona Virus and are living with our children who have come from their different schools and universities. We praise the Lord for having them with us so that every evening we are having Bible study with them and on Sunday we organize an at home church service.

Today in our country, 138 people are infected by Covid-19 and are under treatment while another 60 people have recovered from this virus and are back at home. As it becomes a serious problem, we leave ourselves in His hands for we know He will deliver us from this pandemic. We pray also for those who are in hospitals so that God will deliver them and heal them. Song of Songs 2:10-12

What has Been Going on With Peace and Reconciliation Ministry in DR Congo?

Introduction to a New Workplace with Community of Baptist Church in Eastern Congo (CEBCE)

Since mid-December 2019, CBM’s Africa team Leader, Andre Sibomana, and I have met several times with the Leadership of CEBCE to finalize the Memorandum of Understanding between CBM & CEBCE and on Dec 26, 2019 the MoU was signed by CBM representative John Chan, Director of International Partnerships and two Leaders of CEBCE. On January 23, several Leaders of CEBCE received me.

CEBCE began through the evangelism of American Missionaries which came from Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society started in 1928. The actual CEBCE were divided in two groups in 1997. Most of the cause of their division was along tribal lines and a lack of strong leadership. They identified themselves as Majority and Minority. It was 21 years of division with two parallel leadership. Many people have worked for their reconciliation, even I took initiative to meet the two sides separately for their reconciliation. By God grace, they have come to reunification. During their Celebration of Reunification in December 2018, they invited me to preach at this big meeting of more than 7000 people. Last year, Terry was invited by our partner CBCA in Goma to address 700 pastors. It was where the CEBCE leaders met Terry and told him about their desire for reunification and their need for assistance to reach this goal. They asked Terry if CBM could find it possible to send me to aid in this process. For the different meetings, CBM sent me to be their representative, in that ministry of sustaining this reconciliation of CEBCE.

After our first day of meetings with the CEBCE Leaders, I was next introduced to the CEBEC office staff which is around 26 people. After a time of devotions, a group of Reverends brought me to my new office which was well prepared with all the necessary equipment. Their prayer was a blessing for me and to do good work but also build good relationships and to achieve good results in this new role with them. They prayed for a fruitful partnership with CBM.

Basic Assessment with Different CEBCE Departments in Purpose of Having the Clear Understanding of the Causes of 21 Years of Their Division and What They are Expecting to Their Reunification

I met with five groups to begin to understand the causes of the division of CEBEC. The photo above is one of the groups which included on my left the Director of Development, who has a lot of activities on his job description. On my right, the Director of Education with more than 560 schools (primary and secondary schools) but with a lot of problems in infrastructure. The other person is the Director of Health, with more than 85 medical structures (hospitals and Health centers). It was helpful to talk with them and receive the questionnaires on which they responded. At the end of our assessment we had a meeting to present the findings from all the different groups who responded. From their responses they agreed to the findings.

Those are the Major Findings of Their Division Which Need to be Addressed for Sustaining Their Reunification

They identified they need to:

  • Address Tribalism as a serious problem among the brothers and sisters of CEBCE.
  • Provide training for strong Leadership and good governance
  • Provide education for the good management of funds and resources
  • Respond to moral and spiritual questions
  • Identify Poverty as part of their division

We are now discussing the way forward, looking for lasting solutions to address those 5 findings.

Facilitating Retreat of CEBCE Executive Committee and Districts Youth Leaders in South Kivu/ Bukavu, 200kms from Goma

After reunification of CEBCE in 2018 between what they called majority and minority came the first time for the President of the denomination and his deputy to be together in that area. The area was mostly led by the minority, the actual Vice President. The Executive Committee went there to this meeting but at the same time I was invited to join them as Chaplain of that meeting and facilitate some topics related to Peace and Reconciliation. The group was 60 people who attended that executive committee. The two former sides were represented. I facilitated two topics in which I encouraged them to celebrate our differences and then to understand being used as humans in God’s purpose. In both workshops participants really were excited and people repented their behavior in the period of division. It was really a good time.

The 2020 Plan in the Perspective

We believe that the one who triumphed over death will finish this Corona Virus. Let us continue to trust our God and Saviour.

Among the activities we are planning:

  • Finish writing the different topics of the Peace and Reconciliation curriculum and then edit them for the use by CBM’s partners in Africa.
  • Work with CEBCE leaders to find a sustainable solution from assessment findings.
  • Working with different CEBCE Departments, encouraging them to be catalyst of Peace.

A word of Appreciation

Your prayers and financial support have enabled CBM in accompanying Africa partners’ churches to accomplish their mission through different programs. CBM works in the areas of Poverty, Kids at Risk, Building the Church, Emergency Relief and relating to my work, the area of Justice. The Peace and Reconciliation work is needed at this critical time of war, ethnic division, oppression between social classes and poverty.

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Kivava Ministry Update April 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update April 2020

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April 1980 – April 2020: 40 Years of Marriage

After 40 years of marriage, this year began with the wedding of our second son, David. His elder sister Zawadi has 3 children, and his elder brother Samuel has one child. Our youngest, Victor, is still single and is studying in the Philippines. This wedding was an opportunity for the whole family to meet again after 8 years. Fortunately, in Africa there are always relatives to fill the empty nest. We were blessed by the presence of CBM co-workers, Darrell and Laura Lee Bustin at the ceremony.

There is stress in the increasing number of cases of COVID-19. Most are not in our area as 95% are in Kinshasa.

The shocking news is that two days before the government announced the end of the Ebola crisis, two more cases were identified in Beni. This issue is raising a lot of controversies on the reality of the case. With the support of CBM, the CBCA has been very active in the fight against the pandemic through general education and the distribution of prevention equipment and materials. Pastors are particularly involved because they are the ones who are directly in contact with the population and who are a trusted source of information.

As a family, we can’t help worrying about the risk: my wife is a nurse, my daughter and her husband are medical doctors, all of them are in regular contact with patients. We need your prayers so that God may keep them safe while they are struggling to heal others.

What has Been Going on in the Area of Relief and Food Security Among Partners?

Vocational Training for People Living with Handicap

People living with handicaps have capacities that need to be explored to enable them to improve their livelihood and gain dignity in the society. That is what we do at Katwa vocational training Centre with the support of CBM. We visited this tailoring workshop with Eugene Akondeng, CBM Program Officer. “This workshop has changed our status from beggars to self-reliant people”, said the group president with much confidence.

Ecological Farming for Food Security

Traditional farming techniques have spoiled the soil. CBCA, with the support of CBM, train farmers on conservation agriculture and ecological farming. In Buyinga, some pygmies have decided to change from hunting to farming. This includes food and cash crop farming (cassava and cocoa). Training time is also the opportunity to educate farmers about preventive measures against Ebola and Corona viruses.

Farmers’ Field Day, an Opportunity for Exchange of Experiences

Farmers from different locations met in Muku to gain more experiences about better farming techniques in the demonstration field. As most of them testified, “CBM has helped us to increase our production of potatoes and we are now able to sell potatoes to the city and meet our basic needs”. Further research is still needed to fight underground rats which damage fields in the area.

Kitchen Gardens for Food Availability and Food Diversification

Théoneste is a lead farmer in Gahara in Rwanda. Like other farmers in his group, he has a kitchen garden behind his house, which helps him to produce vegetables for his family even during the dry season.

Farmers are also structured into cooperatives, which help to increase production with joint efforts. Pineapples are drought resistant crops which help households to increase their income especially in dry areas like Gahara.

The visit to AEBR food security project in Gahara, Mahama and Nasho together with Rev. Sibomana, the Africa team leader was really impressive, and the farmers are grateful for the change the project has brought up in their lives.

Visit to ACC&S

In March, I was introduced to the ACC&S church leaders by the Africa Team Leader and took advantage of that opportunity to visit Embu food security project and Guardians of hope project but also to meet a team from First Baptist Church Prince George during their visit to ACC&S. I was impressed by the way farmers manage to harvest rainwater water for watering their crops despite water shortage in the area.

Visit to South Sudan

The visit to South Sudan was planned for the end of March, together with Rev. André Sibomana. I went to Kampala and got the entry visa to South Sudan, but the Covid-19 situation suddenly worsened and the trip was postponed. We are very much concerned about our brothers and sisters who have been experiencing famine for a long time and who have now to face the challenge of the COVID-19.

Perspectives for 2020

Despite the critical situation, we have faith thatGod will intervene so that we may be able to pursue the dreams we have for our ministry. The following activities are in perspective:

  • Visit to South Sudan and FEBAC projects.
  • Accompany AEBR and ACC&S in project evaluation and designing a new project.
  • Assess the consequences of COVID-19 and reflect on relief measures.
  • Accompany development officers in developing projects and activities for 2021.

Word of Appreciation

We are grateful for the support, which enables CBM to reach out to hungry farmers living on unproductive and overexploited fields, people living with handicaps and trauma, who need socioeconomic integration, poor households that have no secure income. This is a precious contribution to the mission of Jesus Christ, who came to ‘preach the good news to the poor’ (Lk. 4:18).

Concluding Remark

“The harvest is plentiful…” (Mt. 9:37). Let us keep together in laboring in the Lord’s ministry for the glory of His name.

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Raju Ministry Update April 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update April 2020

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We praise God for His protection and blessings during this period of fearful spreading virus Covid-19. By the grace of God and your prayers in India all the partners and staff are safe and praying for the people and the families suffering directly and indirectly from Covid-19. All of them are taking necessary preventive steps and creating awareness in all the project villages through the churches.

We are happy to inform that, though the Covid-19 created havoc, all our partners have successfully completed their first quarter’s activities successfully.

Empowerment of Soura Widows Training Program

Empowerment of Soura Widows Program has been conducted at Bethany Bungalow at Serango on 28 January 2020. Nearly 40 widows took part in this program. The local government Block Development officer, Government Zilla Parishad chairman, Mr. Eliazer Mondol and I have attended as resource persons and have given lectures on Business skills and marketing skills.

Tutors Training Program (Literacy Program)

Tutoring training program has been conducted at Serango for the 30 tutors on teaching methods. The local government literacy program officer and I have participated and took sessions on importance of literacy, Teaching methods.

Empowerment of Youth Staff Training Program (Computer Training and Tutoring Program)

The training program for the program staff, Utkal Baptist Churches Association (UBCA) has been conducted on 28 January 2020 at UBCA church building at Parlakhemundi. I have imparted knowledge to the staff to bring “CHANGE” in the society.

Inauguration of Computer Training Center at Kurada

The computer training center of the Eleem’s compassion Ministries has been inaugurated at Kurada on 8 February 2020. The ECM has renovated the old church building with the partial help of CBM and made it available for running the program. On this occasion I spoke on the importance and necessity of youth acquiring computer skills in this present world scenario. Nearly 100 youth and 150 villagers including local political leaders and informal leaders participated in the function.

Workshop at No.14 Magoni, Assam

A workshop has been organized at No.14 Magoni in Assam state on 27 February, 2020 by the Alempang Baptist Church on “Integral Mission”. Forty-six participants from the nearby villages took part in this workshop and acquired knowledge on Integral Mission. I have attended as resource person and given lecture on Integral Mission.

Soura Baptist Christian Mondali Sammelani (SBCMS) Annual Conference

The SBCMS annual conference has been conducted from 21-24 February 2020 at Chintmanu colony. Nearly 130,000 Soura people took participation in this conference. I have attended the conference and conveyed greetings on this occasion. Dr Suraj shared the word of God on this occasion and the topic was “The church performs all in Love.”

Let all that you do be done in Love.

1 Corinthians 16:14

Utkal Baptist Churches Association Annual Conference (UBCA)

UBCA annual conference was held at Torongda from 1-4 March 2020. Nearly 25,000 people attended the conference and were blessed. I have attended the conference, conveyed greetings and shared the word of God on “Beyond the bounds.”

For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Mathew 5:20

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for India and its partners to continue the ministry and programs in this difficult situation.
  • Pray for the healing touch of God on the nations especially on the people suffering from Covid-19.
  • Pray for the ministerial support for me to continue to serve the down trodden and marginalized people through CBM in India

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Komaravalli Ministry Update April 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update April 2020

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A Few CBM Ministerial Highlights in India

So the Word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.

Acts 19:20

On 12 Mar 2020, the Convention of Baptist Churches of the Northern Circars (CBCNC), Andhra Pradesh, India, celebrated 146 years of CBM mission work among the Telugus. Baptist Theological Seminary (BTS), Kakinada, and many Baptist churches remembered CBM’s initiation and sacrificial services of CBM Missionaries in bringing the gospel on 12 Mar 1874 to the Dalits (crushed or suppressed people). Special prayers were offered at the CBM Cemetery, BTS chapel and Baptist churches for CBM, the families of CBM Missionaries and the Baptist churches in Canada. Today the CBCNC church has grown mightily and is prevailing although some of their challenges are schisms.

Elim Compassion Ministries (ECM) Computer Center was dedicated to the Lord on 8 Feb 2020. ECM has set up this computer center under the CBM-ECM project TD2600 – Women and Children Empowerment Program, to train youth to earn a PG Diploma in Computers. The intention is to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ in creating jobs and businesses for the less privilege youth of the Christian fold and people of other faith. Kindly note old to new building in 3 weeks.

I visited Churachanpur, Manipur, from 28 Feb – 2 Mar 2020, for possible partnership with Gangte Baptist Association. We pray and wait upon the Lord’s direction.

Covid–19: A Test of Humanity

One of the virtues of Humanity is the ability to love and have compassion, which for Christians is faith and witness – Do to others as you would have them do to you (Lk 6:31); . . . Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another (Jn 13:34). This virtue of humanity was put to test in India when “India lockdown” from 22 March – 14 April was announced without prior notice, although my State started from 12 March. Social distancing became the norm – not just prescribed physical distance measurements but self-isolation from one another except for family members. We are only allowed to go out within two kilometers radius during specific times for essentials (groceries and medicines). India took this strong decision with good intentions, as the country with limited medical facilities would face gigantic challenges if they had to cater to a large affected number. Remember India has 1.3 billion people.

Lockdown, especially shook most of the rich and the middle class of their belief in worldly securities – power, authority, money, consumerism, the “I” and so on. However, millions of poor daily wage migrant workers were the worst affected. The sudden halt of public transportation turned the lives of the migrant workers upside down. They had no other way but to travel back to their villages on foot for days with very little food, not before many facing State border-crossing hardships. They were more like refugees in their own country! Some were lucky to get buses and private transport. Many fell sick, many probably exposed to COVID-19, few died and many carry the trauma, fear and uncertainty of living after the lockdown.

Prayer Requests

  • To value commitment, faith, family, fellowship, discipline, humility, love and compassion; and to prune our limitations of laziness, indiscipline, ego, arrogance, false securities, casual and taken for granted attitude.
  • For India Partners whose Project Activities have been rescheduled and for their protection when, for example, many families in Odisha due to poverty do not even have access to soap.
  • To thank God for creation healing – we are able to see new species of birds, animals and repair of ecological imbalance. A realization of taking over their space!
  • To thank God for the medical staff and other personal who serve the COVID-19 positives and that our Lord would continue to protect them.
  • For the value to worship God in Spirit and Truth.
  • For the Indian Church to show love and compassion to the poor migrants and daily wageworkers who are broken.
  • For my ministerial support so that I could continue to serve through CBM in India. If the Lord leads you, please directly contact CBM Mississauga office for details.

Thank you – stay home and God bless.

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Gang Ministry Update March 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update March 2020

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BY |

min read

Dear mission partners,

Chinese New Year began with the news about the Coronavirus. Many Christian events in Chinese churches worldwide have been and are still being cancelled. Many people are in fear of being infected by the virus. Still, we can experience great peace from God among us! We are happy that we had the opportunity to hold the dumpling celebration as usual, together with the students that couldn´t return to their families during that time. We are thankful for 32 people that joined us at the celebration, among whom were 16 first-time visitors. During the event we prayed for the people in Wuhan. We are thankful that the peace of God filled our hearts instead of fear, and that the love of God warmed our hearts and brought us hope. After the celebration some visitors stayed with us to ask us questions about the meaning of life. We talked for hours into the night. May God soften their hearts, so that they´ll join us again, get to know Jesus Christ and receive real peace and hope.

Chinese New Year Dumpling Feast

I’m also thankful for the mission team of four people from Hong Kong. I’m thankful that we could distribute about 250 invitation cards for the dumpling celebration in student dorms, in the canteen, in the street and on the bus. We met students who were open to talk about the Gospel. One member of the mission team met a student on the bus who seemed especially interested in hearing the Gospel. When they got out of the bus the member of the team said that he felt that this student wasn´t feeling well. He felt the desire to continue to pray for him, so that he would soon come to visit the church. One month later he appeared in our bible group meeting!

One of the challenges this year was to let go of three core team staff members, who had grown in faith during the last two years. They couldn´t find jobs nearby after finishing their studies, so they had to move.

Among those was a female student who I have known ever since I first came to Marburg. Back then she was still Buddhist, very unhappy and was struggling with her studies. That was why she started to come to our meetings. One year later she decided to receive Jesus. She takes her faith very seriously and has served diligently in our church. She has a big heart and cares a lot for the new students that join us.

It’s hard to let her go, but the cycle of working among students is: getting to know new students, building up friendships, give them an understanding of faith, discipling them, training them to be staff members and then letting them go.

I wish for them to grow in faith, to give honor to God and serve people, wherever they are.

Prayer Item

Considering these changes, the tasks among the staff members need to be redistributed. Please pray for me to have wisdom to organize the church under these new circumstances. Please also pray for me to be able to see the positive about this situation. Pray that I might find joy to meet new students, even though I know that every year 70% of our attendants will leave this city.

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Wilson Ministry Update March 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update March 2020

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Theological Integration

As most of you know, in July 2018 CBM and I agreed to work together for two years. These two years have been immensely fulfilling and rewarding for me as a follower of Jesus and in my calling as a teacher. I look forward to more years of partnering with CBM –and with you!—in serving Christ and his disciples around the world.

Highlights of 2018 – 2019

Canadian Baptist Ministries (in Canada)

Most of you, I hope, are familiar with the writing that I do for Mosaic: The Canadian Baptist Magazine, for which I write an article integrating our Christian convictions with the commitments of CBM. In addition, I am leading a small team to create an educational and formational program in “integral mission” to be used in Canada and with our partners around the world. As you may know “integral mission” has been a long-time commitment of CBM that informs all we do. It’s the focus of my work in “theological integration.” Simply put, integral mission is a commitment to joining with God in all the work that God is doing through Christ to redeem all creation— including healing our relationship with God, with other humans, with the rest of creation, and with ourselves. In the coming year, we will be completing the first version of this “program” for testing with some of our partners.

Africa Leadership Exchange

This three-year project has been a partnership among CBM and four Baptist denominations—from Kenya, South Sudan, DR Congo, and Rwanda. A cohort of 16-17 leaders of these denominations (including at least one woman from each denomination) has gathered for an “exchange” of leadership challenges and formation. I have been privileged to lead a daily one-hour Bible study at the gatherings and also give 1-3 hours of continuing formation and theological integration. We have learned to read the OT as a spiritual guide; we have read the Psalms as the way God’s people keep in touch with God’s reality in the midst of trauma and tragedy; we have explored the wisdom teaching of the OT and NT for leaders in tough places; and we have contemplated the call to “abide and go” as the rhythm that sustains life on mission with God.

Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (Beirut, Lebanon)

What a privilege it was for me to visit and learn from this creative, courageous community! This is the only Arablanguage, graduate level theological education in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa). The faculty, staff, students and graduates quietly and faithfully witnessing to the gospel throughout MENA. The students that Soohwan and I met there have a passion for returning to their homes equipped to be faithful followers of Jesus in contexts where every step as a disciple of Jesus may lead to danger. I was grateful for the opportunity to preach in the chapel at ABTS and to lead the faculty in a seminar on “Missional, Theological Ethics.” We had extended times with the three CBM staff couples who are serving at ABTS—all of them with roots in the MENA.

International Baptist Theological Seminary Centre (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

This is another innovative, missional community. In this context I work with doctoral students and prospective doctoral students at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam—a world renowned university. During the year I convene an online seminar to discuss an important book in theology and baptist studies. Each January, I gather with students and the faculty and staff of IBTS as well as professors from VU. Recently, I sat in a seminar room listening to a very sophisticated research proposal from a Brazilian Baptist who is pastoring a church in Northern Italy. Also in the room were students and faculty from Lithuania, Jordan, Lebanon (2), Russia, Sweden, Netherlands, Scotland, England (a man who has spent most of his life in South America), Egypt, and the Czech Republic. In other seminar rooms nearby, are students and faculty from Central Asia (I am leaving the specific countries unnamed), Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Northern Ireland, Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Romania, Germany, Austria, Ghana (working with refugees in Europe), and of course, Netherlands! These students are the leaders and future leaders of the Baptist movement in their countries. All of the work here is directed toward the mission of the church. It’s an intense, instructive, illuminating week.

Pray

  • ALE: All the participants over the past three years.
  • ABTS CBM staff: Elie and Mireille Haddad, Emad and Almes Botros, and Joe Bridi. And all the students, faculty and other staff.
  • IBTSC: Students, faculty, and staff.
  • Integral mission project: Darrell Bustin and David Nacho.
  • Travel health and safety as I attend the Middle East Consultation in Beirut at ABTS, June 14-20.

I am overwhelmed by God’s grace in calling me to this work at this time in my life. And I am grateful for your support.

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Sibomana Ministry Update March 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update March 2020

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Greetings From a Locked Down Kigali

Muraho? Greetings to you brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, our King and Savior. Like elsewhere, in the world, in Rwanda we are living in the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our city and country have been completely locked down since March 14 when the first case was discovered in Rwanda. After 10 days, 41 cases have been identified and they are receiving treatment and care by the government health services. Our children are used to being at home, doing some work but also reviewing their lessons. Since Christmas, as a family, we have been also challenged by the care needed as a result of our aged father having a stroke, impacting many parts of his body. He spent 2 months in the hospital, and we were advised to bring him home, for him to receive palliative care by brothers and sisters living around and in our home village. We learned that this transition from Life to Life is challenging, but in all these things, we continue to see God’s faithfulness.

As we navigate these realities as a family and at a country level, we are mindful for thousands of people who are in different isolated hospitals, around the world including Canada, combatting this disease, and we are praying that they get well soon. We are also mindful of the thousands of people who have succumbed to this Pandemic; may their families find comfort and hope in Almighty God, who manages our days and destinies.

What Has Been Going on With CBM Team in Africa?

The beginning of the 2020 was full of much of enthusiasm because we were exploring very new opportunities in different areas below:

CBM Team Retreat & Launch Africa Field 5 Years Strategies

In January, we had our team retreat to reinforce our team spirit but also to discuss our overall, 5 years field strategies.

We were blessed to have our spouses with us, so that they can learn a bit of what we do, as we depend very much on their support and encouragement. They do great work with us, serving behind the scenes, supporting us. Carla Nelson from Canada, joined the retreat via zoom for 3 days.

Launch of Gisenyi Covenant Advisory Committee (GCAC)

As we concluded the Africa Leadership Exchange (ALE) conference, the 4 executive ministers and CBM co-signed a covenant to encourage more multilateral initiatives, where churches in Africa can share resources and experiences as they carry on their God given mission. CBM, will facilitate rather than lead these initiatives. Each partner including CBM will have 2 people and a committee of 10 people meet every month via video conference to discuss ways of implementing that covenant.

Our Colleague Gato Embedded With the New Partner in DR Congo

With 2020, CBM entered in new partnership with the Community of Baptist Churches in Eastern of Congo (CEBCE), where Rev Gato Munyamasoko, our CBM Africa Peace and Reconciliation specialist is serving as an embedded resource person to reinforce unity and reconciliation in the communities affected by wars, division and ethnic conflicts.

Our Colleague Polisi Kivava was Introduced to the Partners, as Africa Relief and Community Development Specialist

After being introduced to the CBM partner in Rwanda, in February, he was in Kenya to be introduced to the Africa Christian Church and School (ACC&S) the CBM partner in Kenya. It was an opportunity for him to visit the Guardians of Hope and the Food Security projects, to meet the staff and the members of the communities there. He brings to this role 30 years of experience and passion in working with Communities in Congo and in Tanzania.

The Team From Prince George Baptist Church, BC Visited the CBM Partner In Kenya

In February, four people including the senior pastor from First Baptist Church, Prince George BC, were connected to different ministries with CBM’s partner in Kenya (the ACC&S) including women ministries, Bible college, Guardians of Hope and the Food security project.

During the visit we were amazed by the story of a farmer from the Embu community, who for several years, had abandoned her land because she thought it was not fertile anymore. After receiving different trainings on conservation agriculture, she learned how to take care of her land, and as she returned forthis last season, she was able to harvest more than 5 bags of maize, enough to feed her family for the next 12 months.

Exploring Opportunities with Africa Francophone Baptist communities

In the beginning of March, I travelled to Togo, to meet the leaders of the Baptist convention in Togo, and the Baptist seminary that train students from Togo,  Benin, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. More conversations are still to come after COVID-19, to identify some partnership possibilities.

The 2020 Plan in Perspective

In looking at the 2020 plans, the current world situation can create confusion and uncertainties. We are, however, inspired by the story of Israelites, who, being led by Moses, headed to the Red Sea with faith and trust in God, that He would make a way. And yes, God made it. These plans include:

  • Partnership visit to CBM Partner in South Sudan: We praise God that Peace and stability is being restored, after the government of unity was installed, we need to encourage them but also strategizing together for the future.
  • Celebrating 50 years of partnership between CBM and the Africa Christian Church and School in Kenya (ACC&S) in June.
  • Hosting the SENT Teams from Calgary and Grande Prairies. (If they are still able to come)
  • Our Colleagues, Darrell and Laura Lee Bustin are in Canada for Home Assignment (March – July)
  • Hosting a face-to-face meeting for the Gisenyi Covenant advisory committee.
  • Organizing a Partnership meeting with our CBM Africa church partners.

A Word of Appreciation

Your prayers and financial support have enabled CBM accompanying Africa partners’ churches to reach out the needy children who need education, women who need to learn how to read and write, to the rural farmers to have enough food for their families, but also to ministers to be equipped to carry on the church ministries. Thank you for trusting in CBM’s work in Africa and investing in a holistic transformational change. May God richly bless the work of your generous hands. May He keep you healthy and at peace.

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Lam Ministry Update February 2020

Ministry Update

Ministry Update February 2020

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He is the one we proclaim, admonishing & teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

Colossians 1:28

Everyone in China, Hong Kong, & Canada must be following closely with the news update on the Novel Coronavirus. There were a lot of people traveling between China & Germany during the Lunar New Year, therefore, in mid-January, our church already provided health/hygiene awareness guidelines to the congregation. Instead of the dumpling festival that usually took place on the Lunar New Year, we changed the gathering to a fasting prayer meeting. There were already 12 confirmed cases of nCoV in Germany. On one hand, we must do our due diligence to prevent the spread of the virus; on the other hand, we must continue to strengthen believers to stand firm in our faith despite the many trials in life. Let’s continue to pray earnestly together; praying for all the patients & their families; praying for all the front line health care professionals; may the Lord heal & have mercy on us; may the Lord bring peace & guard our spirits!

When a Strong Academic Commits to Christ…

Studying theology because she has an interest in it

Believers often perceive seminary students as having a special, intimate relationship with Christ. However, she has a different story. Initially, she was a student in China, who pursued a variety of studies in literature, philosophy, & science. She was looking for an answer to life, but couldn’t find it. After graduation, she applied to an evangelical Bible college oversea, searching purely for the truth in life. At the time, she was the only non-believer at the school. In the beginning, she felt awkward & pressured to become a believer. However, the teacher told her, “No rush, when you understand more, & hear His calling, you can respond then.” After one year at the school, she finally decided to commit to Christ. She returned to China for awhile. She wanted to pursue the study of the Bible further, so she applied for religious studies in a German university. In the beginning, she was intrigued by the many scientific based, philosophical debates. However, she later discovered that the debates did nothing in terms of spiritual growth. (Note: Religious studies in Germany are mostly non-evangelical.)

Thankfully, she has a seeking heart. When she arrived at our fellowship, she has a goal in mind: Commit to Church, Grow in Christ! Though she was a green believer, her background as an academic in theology was intimidating to some brothers & sisters. They were afraid of discussing topics of faith with her. However, instead of the analytical sharings & discussions in class, she actually cared more about practising faith in the church community, to share about the triumphs & the defeats in life’s journey. What we appreciated most was her humility: she was willing to attend the classes in Felain’s program for early believers, and joined other brothers & sisters in the many training sessions instructed by Lewis. In her serving (cooking for others in the kitchen), she learned to retreat to a less apparent position. At the same time, she humbly learned to lead Bible study, to further develop her gift. When a strong academic committed to become Christ’s disciple, what she aimed for was beyond the academic knowledge, she wanted to respond to Christ’s calling, & live out the truth in faith!

The Challenge from an Academic Critic

Another brother who also began to reflect on the meaning of life during his undergraduate studies, has a desire for the Truth like the deer who panteth for the water. Although, spiritual resources were limited in China, he still managed to read a large number of spiritual books by authors oversea. Moreover, he has an amazing memory & can recite verses referencing the direct source easily. He even left his country to pursue further theologian studies, as he has a strong interest in this area.

His first year of masters studies in Germany included language courses in Greek, Hebrews, & Latin. Adding to the challenge, all courses were instructed in German! The first semester was certainly difficult, but the most painful part wasn’t learning the languages, rather, it was having to listen to a non-Christian professor criticized the Old Testament. He was laughed at when he reviewed the Bible in class… Thankfully, the Spirit guided him through the experience & reminded him to reflect on his journey of faith: What is the foundation of my faith? How is my relationship with Christ? Was my faith built upon academic knowledge or spiritual growth? When a strong academic commits to the Lord of life, he discovered that he actually yearned for more than what the books can bring. He surrendered to the Lord, seeking His will: instead of “I want to study Theology.”, he learned to ask, “What does God want me to study?”; restarting his journey by seeking Him first!

PhD Graduate’s Journey Back to China

One PhD graduate returned to China 1.5 year ago, due to tension in the country, it took several referrals before she could find a spiritual home to settle. She spent 10 years studying oversea, & returned to China to become a University instructor. The cultural shock of her return was immediate, she shared, “Deceitful relationships, misleading conversations, & unethical politics; academics can also be corruptive & sneaky in practice – competing to release thesis paper ahead of others… May the Lord deliver me from temptations, & teach me how to be wise as serpent but innocent as doves.” As a recent believer, she has yet to learn to lay her burdens on Christ & pray to Him for all things. Praise the Lord, for all of His love & faithfulness flow to those who need them, despite the spiritual state of the believer. She heard the Holy Spirit in many instances, e.g. (1) “You must go to Bible study today.”At the same night, her apartment caught fire, & her unit was damaged. She escaped from a fire! (2) “Bring your dad to see the specialist”, then she found out that her dad who’s a chronic-diabetic patient received the newest pharmaceutical treatment, & greatly improved his health.

At the end of an academic semester, one student came & showed appreciation, “Our class sees the passion in your teaching. You are different from other professors, as your lectures have depth, & you taught with your heart.” Not only did our Father gave her a solid confirmation, He also guided her to a mission as an educator: share her gift as an educator, love the students, & practice the love of God.

Although circumstances only allowed her to be a hidden Christian, yet when a strong academic committed to Christ; God will use her to bless those around her. Her profession allowed her to reach out to different academics. Through the sharing of life experiences & the transfer of knowledge, she would refer them to other local family churches to further explore the faith. The greatest grace of all was the fact that she guided 3 family members to Christ herself!

Germany is of no shortage of excellent academics, doctorals, & visiting faculties. We are seeing God’s work in them, raising a generation of Paul’s & Apollo’s (people with great knowledge & great gifts). However, when God molds His workers, He will chisel & hammer to shape them up for the journey. Göttingen & Kassel may only be a small part of their growth journey, but May God use & equip those who belongs to Him, in His timing.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me & I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:5

Prayer Requests

  • New Ministry Coworkers & Small Group Leaders: Both locations have a total of 4 new co-workers on the ministry team. May the Lord unite all in one Spirit, so the new & old members can adjust & learn from each other, in preparation of those who will be graduating & leaving in the later half of the year.
  • New Year, New Direction: The limited resources in the field, the high turnover of people in the congregation, & our limited time & energy, made it challenging when prioritizing amongst the many initiatives: Evangelical programs, Follow-up courses, Student/Family/Children Ministry, & Individual mentorship. We don’t want to be drained out; we need our Heavenly Father to give us strength physically, emotionally, & spiritually.
  • Believers’ Commitment to Christ & Church: Many members are working on their graduation paper & will start job searching soon. May God give them wisdom to glorify Him on their academics, & may the Lord prepare the appropriate jobs for them. Most importantly, may the Lord guard their hearts & minds, so they may prioritize their time correctly for God & for Church, despite the stress & high workloads.
  • Upcoming Series for Adult Sunday School – “Sexuality was originally Holy” Through this series, may the Lord takes believers back to the Bible teachings, to correct the wrong social values on sexuality. those who are married, in a committed relationship, or in general personal life are weak & have sinned against God, may they come to realization & repent. May they have strength & grace from God to live a life of holiness.
  • 4/9-13 Easter Germany Chinese Christian Discipleship Camp: May God motivates believers from each city to rise up, & commit as disciples, responding to Christ’s calling in their young years. Felain will be leading a workshop in the Retreat – Discernment of Spirits. Each time she prepares sharing on this topic, she faces spiritual attacks. Please remember her in your prayers, may the Holy Spirit guard & protect, be present to remind the congregation of reverence towards God.
  • Start of a New Semester Beginning in mid-April, may the Lord lead new believers & those interested in our faith to church, & use our brothers, sisters, & fellowship to bless the students in Germany.

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