As we sit to write this update letter, we find ourselves reflecting on our family’s time serving as Global Field Staff in the Philippines. 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. Together, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been both proclaimed and demonstrated through a wide range of integral mission programs. These include early childhood education centers, student aid & discipleship programs, practical theological education for pastors, interfaith gatherings and dialogue, Faith+Work initiatives, and various relief and rehabilitation projects due to natural calamities. All of this has been possible thanks to your faithful and generous financial support. We count ourselves blessed to have you as our Partners-in-Mission and are thankful for your participation in the work that God called us to in the Philippines with CBM.
Since returning to Canada last April 2020, at the request of the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines, we have continued to support our partner while wondering when we would be able to return to the Philippines. There are still many factors preventing us from returning including the Philippine governments restriction on foreigners entering the country, surging covid-19 cases throughout the Philippines, a lack of access to vaccines, an over extended health system, and increased militarization of the region where we work.
Considering these ongoing factors, we have made the difficult decision to remain in Canada. Although this is not the path we thought we’d be on, nor is this the plan we had set in our minds when we went to the Philippines 5 years ago, we have sensed God’s guidance throughout this decision making process. As Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, “A man’s heart devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” and we trust God’s direction for our family.
You may be wondering what all of this means for our family. We are excited to inform you that Jennifer Lau, CBM’s Executive Director, and the leadership of Canadian Baptist Ministries have asked Michael to continue serving our Philippine partner as a Global Field Staff based in Canada. In the new role as Senior Associate, Faith+Work and Philippines, Michael will continue to support and oversee CBM’s programming in the Philippines while also providing collaborative leadership for CBM’s growing involvement in the marketplace. This will involve journeying alongside people and partners, both within Canada and internationally, in discovering the Kingdom impact and transformational power of work and business.
Our time in the Philippines provided Michael with wonderful opportunities, and has prepared him well, to provide strategic leadership for CBM involvement in Faith+Work. KPM, our partner in the Philippines, has been an integral part of the development of Faith+Work for CBM, providing opportunities and spaces for us to explore, test, learn and walk alongside people as they sought to integrate their faith with their daily work in the world. We are thankful for these opportunities and experiences that God is now using to lead Michael into this new chapter.
As a family, we will be residing in New Brunswick, which will allow our three youngest children to continue their education in our community’s local public school, and Kyla, who just graduated from high school, will be able to live with us while she begins her post-secondary education (which will be online). Melanie, through her own private practice, will continue offering private counselling therapy for individuals and families in need of care.
While our family will no longer be living in the Philippines, we remain committed to the work that God continues to set before us through CBM. Michael will begin his new role on July 1st, 2021 and will continue to rely on your prayers and financial support. Considering this, we invite you to please continue financially supporting Michael as he begins this new opportunity with CBM. Your monthly, annual, or one-time donations to CBM will continue to be directed toward ‘Waddell Team Support’.
In closing, we want to express our heartfelt and sincere thanks and appreciation for your faithful prayers and financial support for our family.
In His service,
Michael & Melanie Waddell
Kyla, Sean, Carter, and Allie
If you are interested in becoming a Partner-in-Mission with our family, please contact Barb Keys (firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-905-821-3533) at Canadian Baptist Ministries. You can also go to my page to give online or for more information. We are only able to follow God’s leading in our lives thanks to the monthly support of generous individuals and churches.
All donations of $10.00 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt at year-end.