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 email@example.com. We’ll be happy to share it with you and grateful for the opportunity to share with your church family.
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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.
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.)