In a recent article I discovered the Roman system for the patronage of art and science. Successful business people, politicians, or wealthy families would subsidize artists, thinkers, and writers to produce works of art, or to perform tasks, in exchange for protection, food, and gifts. One of these tasks was the role of the anteambulo, literally “one who clears the path.” The anteambulo would proceed in front of his patron as they traveled through Rome, making way and communicating messages.

When our family arrived to Manila, almost two years ago, we did so without a Canadian team in the city, starting ministry from the ground up, sent with a mandate for exploration. These were challenging beginnings, something we refer to as the white space, the empty page yet to be filled. There were lonely times, and times where we have lacked clarity, but there has also been times of great blessing as God has brought us people to journey with and opened doors for us to walk through, sometimes in the most unexpected places. It has been a time of discovery, having our eyes opened to new cultures, and new ideas. It has also been a time of sharing, telling the stories of what we have seen as we have moved forward. In many ways our family has been filling the role of anteambulo, travelling ahead, communicating a message and clearing a path.

Focusing on the marketplace, we were, in essence, developing a new approach to ministry that CBM had been dreaming about for the past several years. We were sent to pioneer an idea. When we think of pioneers we often imagine images of early settlers or cutting through jungles, images that don’t really line up with the Mega City reality of Manila. Ray Bakke, a global leader in Urban Transformation, has described Manila as “the greatest lab in the world.” The presence of a strong church, combined with the various religious, social, and economic groups that teem the city, Manila is a microcosm of the world. It is here that we have an opportunity to try out new ideas, shape new vision, and work through early challenges in order to launch new ministry that has potential to impact the rest of the region and beyond. Manila, as it turns out, is an ideal place to be a pioneer.

So far our exploration has taken us to some of the poorest locations in Manila where we have participated in business development training. It has taken us the rice fields of central Philippines where we have begun to work on ways to help small plot farmers increase their sustainability. It has even taken us to some of the wealthiest districts imaginable where we have worked with young entrepreneurs seeking to engage their faith through their work, in the tech industry of all places!

There are more stories to come, stories from the trail, memories made while we clear the path, explore new ideas, and search for new expressions of ministry. We long to see the Gospel in action, within the context of “the other six days;” integral mission at work, within workplaces around the globe. It is for this reason we are relaunching our blog in a new location; We want to have a place where we can more deeply share the journey and our discoveries. We hope to use this space to capture our reflections and encourage a conversation, a conversation in which we invite you to participate. Therefore, we also invite you to join the conversation. You are all welcome to subscribe, comment, and share what comes to mind. We love hearing from you!

As we approach our two year anniversary in Manila we would also like to pass on our gratitude for your continued support for our work and for our family. It is truly an honour and a privilege to serve with CBM. Thanks for helping to make that happen!

So go ahead and jump on over to and check us out, subscribe, share with your friends, and if you are a mega fan, then please do print hand outs for your church, office, or curling team…

Thank you!

Food for Life

When crossing cultures there is always fascinating discoveries to be made about how others view the world. One of the areas we have always found interesting centres on food. This is summed up perfectly in the Filipino expression, “if there is no rice there is no meal.” It would not be overstated to say that rice is life. Enter any local market or chain grocery store and you will find rice, in bags, in bulk, from many various venders and varieties. It fills the baskets, and the stomachs of millions every day. Rice is most definitely life. There is however a certain irony in this. Every day, as rice is being placed on millions of plates, small rural rice farmers are being placed under pressure, finding their livelihood increasingly unsustainable. For the growers of our food, rice is becoming less life giving every year…

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Duane & Carin Guthrie

Duane and Carin have been working with CBM since 2008 in the area of Sustainable Community Development. Starting out in Bolivia, Duane and Carin were catalysts for the establishment of a ministry movement to the marketplace, involving business and church leaders throughout the country. Through a series of events, Duane and Carin, in consultation with CBM leadership, began to explore the global movement of marketplace ministry and began to receive requests to work in S.E. Asia.