And just like that, it’s June, and our second issue of Word & Deed is here! At CBM, we are ramping up for our third annual Active in Mission run-bike-walk-a-thon for education fundraising event. Be sure to read our article titled “Get Moving For Education” to see why we’re so motivated to help kids at risk through education. We hope you are inspired to get involved!
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Get Moving for Education
Active in Mission 2022
Louise Hannem · Team Lead, Global Discipleship
The World Bank reports that “At the peak of school closures in April 2020, 94 percent of students – or 1.6 billion children – were out of school worldwide, and, still, around 700 million students today are studying from home … In the vast majority of countries, there is no end in sight to this uncertainty.”
We have all experienced this feeling of uncertainty through the many waves of COVID-19, and for those living in the global south, the uncertainty is even greater. As the pandemic drags on into a third year and we see statistics about the impact of education, we have learned that the scale of the number of children who have lost out on their schooling is “nearly insurmountable”.
Our field staff and partners have seen first-hand the impact of the pandemic on children’s education and have worked tirelessly to ensure kids have a future full of opportunities. Here’s a window into the ways CBM’s partners through the local churches in Guatemala, India and Bolivia are bringing hope through word and deed into the issue of ‘learning poverty’.
In Bolivia, the omicron variant halted the return to in-person learning, pushing all instruction back online. We’ve experienced the challenges with online learning here in Canada as children have tried to connect virtually and stay engaged at home. For those in Bolivia, there are the added challenges of inconsistent wifi access and a lack of devices. Many children must share the one family cellphone among siblings to attempt to receive online instruction. Local churches have responded and opened their buildings, providing computers and a quiet place for children to learn.
Can you imagine sending your child to work in the early morning hours before school each day? That’s the reality for Jose Luis, a 10-year-old boy living in rural Guatemala. His school day begins at 10am, but before that, he spends 5 hours in the fields picking tomatoes. The pandemic has put increased pressure on his mother, a single parent, to make ends meet and his labour is needed to bring in income. Both Jose’s mother and his 8-year-old sister Adelaide are illiterate because the pandemic has kept Adelaide out of school for much of the past two years. Yet, there is hope for this family. A tutoring program at the local church welcomes children in to receive educational support and instruction, as well as meals. Jose’s mother also benefits from parenting classes offered at the church to gain tools for supporting her children in healthy ways.
Maybe you’ve experienced how devastating it can be when your first years in school are difficult. Perhaps you struggled as a child, or one of your children had a negative experience at the start of their education journey and you know the difficulty in turning that negativity around. This was the situation for 7-year-old Swami living in a rural village in India. His parents are illiterate and so were unable to help him when he began to struggle and fall behind his classmates academically. Their family lives on $110 a month through the father’s work as a rickshaw driver, and $30 of the monthly income goes to provide medications for Swami’s grandmother. Their economic situation means they are unable to provide school materials for him, and Swami often goes to bed hungry. Quickly, Swami became uninterested in school and his grades continued to drop.
A local church decided to help meet Swami’s need, along with many other children, through a free tutoring club. Swami receives the support he’s unable to get at home, and it’s making a real difference. Not only are Swami’s grades improving, but he is also excited about his future and wants to be a doctor when he grows up so he can help the people of his village.
We are cheering on Swami, Jose Luis, and Adelaide and all the students who have had so much taken from them. As One Campaign’s Executive Director David McNair said, “This virus has taken enough from us already – it must not take the futures of millions of children as well.”
Thankfully, through CBM’s partners and local churches, many of those students will not be left behind. It’s in the margins, the places that are overlooked, where the church is present and caring for those often pushed to the sidelines.
In 2022, Active in Mission is back! From June 19-26, we will be walking, biking, running and more to raise funds to support education for children. Education is a powerful tool to fight intergenerational poverty, and you can get active this year to bring children around the world the education they deserve.
Will you help these children along a path to a brighter future today?
This article was from CBM Responding Issue 06.
To read the whole article Click Here.
New Staff Spotlight
By Jessica Banninga · Communications Specialist
Kathryn Scott is our newest Global Field Staff, and is 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.
Kathryn has extensive experience overseas and has participated in multiple learning and short-term mission trips. In 2016, she participated in Kamp Tumaini in Kenya with Canadian Baptist Ministries and was a SENT intensive team member in the Philippines from May to July of 2019 with CBM.
Kathryn is a graduate of St. Thomas University in Fredericton, holding a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education. She has also taken two master’s level courses at Acadia Divinity College. Kathryn is currently an afterschool coordinator at Fredericton Christian Academy in New Brunswick.
Q: How did you navigate the decision to work for CBM as Global Field Staff?
Since childhood, I have been interested in seeing how God is at work around the world. I have been privileged to be a part of different faith communities that have given me opportunities to grow as I served here in Atlantic Canada and also supported me as I participated in different short-term missions experiences. In university, I started to feel that the Lord was calling me into ministry and as I continued to serve, I came to realize that my passion was for global discipleship. Each opportunity to learn and serve overseas brought more clarity to what I felt God was leading me into. My experiences with CBM’s SENT Intensive program and Kamp Tumaini helped me to grow in a deeper understanding of the work that CBM does. Learning about and seeing their ministry model in action helped me in my discernment process.
Q: What are you looking forward to in your role?
I am looking forward to meeting and working with CBM’s Latin America team and connecting with CBM’s partners in Central America. I am excited to form these relationships and seeing how God has been working in their lives. I love getting to know people and journeying with them. I am also excited about stepping into what God has been placing on my heart and to learn and grow as I continue to serve.
Q: What is one thing God has been revealing to you as you prepare to leave for the field?
God has been teaching me about the kind of heart He is looking for. God has plans and assignments for all of us, no matter our background, occupation, talents, and abilities. I think of Micah 6:8 which says “and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” It is easy to get caught up in all the things I don’t know how to do yet or the feeling of being unqualified, but I have felt the Lord reminding me that what He is looking for is a heart that is willing, open, and mouldable. If I keep myself in a posture of seeking to love God with all that I am and all that I do, then He has the room to move and equip me for the things He is calling me to.
Watch an introductory video of Kathryn Scott.
Pray for a greater aptitude in acquiring language.
Pray for a smooth transition into Kathryn’s new role. Pray for Kathryn’s friends and family in this transitional time.
Pray for clarity and wisdom for Kathryn as she continues to listen to the Lord’s leading in all things.
Learn More about Kathryn Scott
Are you interested in joining CBM as Global Field Staff?
Are there other people you know who might?
If you are passionate about how God’s love transforms people’s lives, and want to join our team, contact Member Care: email@example.com OR call 905.821.3533. We welcome the opportunity to talk with you.
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In this “Kids Care Just B-Cause” lesson we learn about a Swami, a Kid at Risk in India. His story, alongside the discussion questions and other activities will help your Kids understand why it is important to remember that we can join God in caring, protecting, and loving vulnerable children around the world.
In this “Kids Care Just B-Cause” lesson we learn about a Marta, a mother with Kids at Risk in Bolivia. Her story, alongside the discussion questions and other activities will help your Kids understand why it is important to remember that we can join God is ending poverty by showing compassion to those in...
In this “Kids Care Just B-Cause” lesson we learn about the people of the Lahu Villages in Myanmar. The story of the church at work there, alongside the discussion questions and other actives will help your Kids understand why it is important to remember that we can join God in building the...
In this “Kids Care Just B-Cause” lesson we learn about a Sandrine, a Kid at Risk in Rwanda. Her story, alongside the discussion questions and other actives will help your Kids understand why it is important to remember that we can join God in restoring relationships.
In this “Kids Care Just B-Cause” lesson we learn about Estela, a mother with Kids at Risk in Bolivia. Her story, alongside the discussion questions and other activities will help your Kids understand why it is important to remember that we can join God by responding to emergency situations with compassion.