Fall 2018 A publication of Canadian Baptist Ministries
Embrace What You Believe
cover & inside cover photo: Johnny Lam
Fall 2018 contents
4 Grounded in Love: Our Most Excellent Way 3 Terry Talks: Constrained by Christ’s Love 9 Faith, Hope and Love in a Broken World: A Theology of Life 12 A Love That Moves Mountains: Reaching a Remote Tribe in Myanmar 14 Portraits of Love: 1 Corinthians 13 18 The Latrines That Love Built: A Healthy Change for a Community in El Salvador
Generations of Love
21 Because We Have Songs: Covenant Partners for 40 Years
tephen and his wife Ruth farm in Kenya’s Rift Valley where climate change and deforestation have intensified the severity and frequency of droughts.
Several years ago, the couple suffered from the devastating effects of drought – they lost crops, livestock and even hope. “I couldn’t find work. Life was so hard, I felt like running away,” recalls Stephen. Ruth also felt despair. “When there is drought, women suffer because there is nothing in the kitchen. You feel humiliated because your children are going without food,” she says. But things began to change when the African Christian Church & Schools, CBM and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank stepped in with emergency relief and food security support. At a time when they needed it most, love was extended to Stephen and Ruth through the support of local churches and generous donors. Now, Stephen and Ruth aim to share that same love with others who are also in need. “I am so happy to God that he has given me enough that I am able to also share food with a suffering neighbour,” says Stephen, whose grandchildren are pictured on the cover.
7185 Millcreek Drive Mississauga, ON l5n 5r4 Tel: 905.821.3533 email@example.com www.cbmin.org Mosaic is a community forum of local and global voices united by a shared mission. Mosaic will serve as a catalyst to stimulate and encourage passionate discipleship among Canadian Baptists and their partners. Mosaic is published three times a year by Canadian Baptist Ministries. Copies are distributed free of charge. Bulk quantities available by request. Managing Editor Jennifer Lau Art Director Gordon Brew
Constrained by Christ’s Love As
a youngster, all I knew about church architecture was the austere interior of our little Plymouth Brethren assembly. But I sure learned a lot, living in Europe for 20 years. During that time, my wife Heather and I explored majestic cathedrals, quiet monasteries and quaint chapels throughout France and beyond. I was struck by their beauty and ingenuity. We visited hundreds of such places of worship, from Paris’ Notre Dame to St. Peter’s in the Vatican, from the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. One of our favourite churches is the Sainte-Chapelle, on Île de la Cité in Paris. Built in the 13th century, it is a hidden gem in the heart of the city. Its 15 stained-glass windows, towering 15 metres high, depict over 1,000 Bible stories. The light floods into the chapel. Its ceiling towers above its very narrow nave. How, quite devoid of interior walls except for the stained glass, was the whole structure held up, especially with the weight of the leaded roof? The answer, of course, is the buttresses. Deep, yet simple. Built by design. Those powerful supports control, carry and constrain the downward force of gravity, allowing the light to pour in. In 2 Corinthians 5:14, describing the ministry of reconciliation with which the Church has been entrusted, the Apostle Paul writes these words: “The love of Christ constrains us …” Translators have rendered the word ‘constrains’ (συνέχει) as carrying, supporting, compelling or urging. It literally means ‘to hold together’ or ‘to press upon’. In this passage, it means that the impelling force that supports and carries the Apostle is Christ’s love. His mission was both held up and held together, and he was urged forward, because of the agape love of Jesus for a broken world. (I love Mark Buchanan’s use of ‘unprovoked love’ for agape, described in his book Hidden in Plain Sight.) Within our Canadian Baptist family, Rev. Roland Grimard was both embraced by and demonstrated such love. Roland was the head of the Union d’Églises Baptistes Francophones du Canada for many years. An astute businessman, counsellor, pastor and friend of many, Roland led with love, for his family, his church and his denomination. His warmth and smile were tireless, even as he bore the weight of the exhausting pressures of leadership. And as
his body faded under the weight of a debilitating cancer, he never stopped embracing the love of Christ. It is what held his life and his mission together. (Roland went to be with the Lord on November 25, 2017.) Over the past year, the pages of Mosaic have reminded us that our mission calls us to be both ‘embraced by’ and ‘to embrace’ faith and hope. This time around, we invite you to be embraced (let’s say constrained!) by love – Christ’s love. Jonathan Wilson, CBM’s newest Field Staff and one of Canada’s most noteworthy Christian thinkers, draws us into a deeper understanding of the intersection of love and mission. Kathleen Soucy describes how God’s love helped build latrines in El Salvador. Aaron Kenny shares how a partnership, borne out of a shared love for God and His people, drew CBM into a 40-year partnership with the Africa Brotherhood Church. You will enjoy and be challenged by each page. Because of the buttress of Christ’s love, the light pours in.
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Gal. 5:6) Let me conclude with a comment from Mother Theresa. Explaining the sacramental service of even the smallest gestures of compassion offered to the sick and dying in the streets of Kolkata, India, she said this: “We are not social workers… We do this (all) for the love of Jesus.” Or even more fittingly, these words of the Apostle Paul say it all: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Gal. 5:6)
Terry Smith CBM Executive Director
Grounded in Love
O U R M O S T E X C E L L E N T WAY by Jonathan R. Wilson
nd now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
This marvelous declaration is the crescendo of Paul’s poetic vision of “the most excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:30b) That way is the way of love. Today, though, love seldom reaches this marvelous crescendo and most excellent way. “LOVE” is diminished. Favourite music. Movies. Ice cream brands and flavours. Automobiles. Football teams. Leisure activities. Coffee shops. Family. Friends. God. We “love” all these things and more. When we use the language of love in this way, we diminish the meaning of “love” instead of magnifying it. Yes, these may be good things, but should we use “love” so promiscuously? “LOVE” is impoverished. One of our problems is that English does not have a rich variety of words for relationships. In the Old Testament, various Hebrew words may be used for different relationships that we reduce to one word – love – in English. And the deeply significant Hebrew word hesed is so rich that no one word or phrase in English can fully communicate its meaning. (We’ll return to this word later!) In the New Testament, four different words may be used for “love”, each of which conveys differing relationships and actions: philia, storge, eros and agape. (C.S. Lewis explains the meaning of these in his book, The Four Loves.) Since the word “love” is diminished and impoverished in our language and lives today, I have a radical proposal for recovering the magnitude and riches of LOVE:
phrases for relationships that are not on the same level as your relationships of “love”. Disturb yourself and annoy your friends and neighbours by saying you have “mild affection” for pralines and cream Häagen-Dazs ice cream, that you have a “moderate commitment and loyalty” to your favourite hockey team (I don’t dare name one, because your commitment and loyalty may be more than moderate), or that the coffee shop you “tend to prefer” is Great Dane. And as you disturb yourself and annoy friends and family, affirm the deeper relationships of love that mark your life. If you really want to be annoying, you could learn and use the Hebrew and Greek words for “love”! “LOVE” is a story. Well, really, it’s more than a story; it is the story. Israel’s gospel centres on the proclamation that Yahweh is “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” (Exodus 34:6-7) This proclamation is the summary of God’s relationship with Israel that we know through the God-Israel story. We know that God is “abounding in love and faithfulness,” because we know the story of God’s actions in covenant with Israel. Yahweh’s actions teach us what faithful love is.
Hesed-Love teaches us that love is not a momentary surge of emotion or affection, but persistent, sacrificial action that sustains relationships.
Let’s stop using the word love! Seriously, place a moratorium on using “love” as part of your vocabulary. Begin a 40-day fast from the word “love”. And just like a fast during Lent, only use the word on Sunday. And be very, very conscious and intentional about how you use the word on Sunday. Then, after 40 days, carefully and thoughtfully reintroduce “love” into your everyday speech. Think about alternative words and
Both hesed and ahavah (another Hebrew word that we translate as “love”) are relational, action-oriented speech. As we reclaim the word “love” after fasting from its use, these two Hebrew words can help us deepen our use of the word and our practice of love. HesedLove is the way Yahweh sustains his covenant with God’s people. Yahweh does so by being steadfast (thus, hesed=steadfast love or “love and faithfulness”) and by forgiving Israel’s disobedience to God and unfaithfulness to the covenant (thus, hesed=mercy).
Hesed-Love teaches us that love is not a momentary surge of emotion or affection, but persistent, sacrificial action that sustains relationships. This Hesed-Love is fulfilled in the climax of the God-Israel story – Jesus the Messiah: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one
another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4: 10-12) When we read “God so loved the world” and “God is love” (John 3:16; 1 John 4:16) we are being drawn into the STORY that is love. We are being drawn into THE story that is love. We are being drawn into the story that is LOVE. Steadfast because it is who God is. Merciful because that is who God is. As Ruth Padilla DeBorst reminds us, “through . . . God’s sacrificial love, God breaks the ropes that bind us to death and sin and injustice and oppression.” (Mosaic, Spring 2018) This “freedom in hope” liberates us from our fears and divisions and rulers and authorities that oppose God, so that we may love as God loves in Jesus the Messiah. Ahavah-Love teaches us that giving is the heartbeat of love. Again, this is action-love. But it is action-love that arises from the depths of God’s life as Father, Son and Spirit. “A mature faith is trinitarian in nature.” (Gordon King, Mosaic, Winter 2018) Although our confession of God as “triune” often seems abstract and impractical, our confession of One God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit is also our confession of “God so loved the world.” At its deepest, the language of Father, Son and Spirit is relational. The first person of the Triune God, the “Father”, only lives in relationship to the second person of the Triune God, the “Son”. There is no “first person” apart from the “second person”. And the relationship of the first and second persons is sustained by their mutual relationships with the third person, the “Holy Spirit”. Yes, this is deep and difficult to understand – and we will never
Ahavah-Love teaches us that giving is the heartbeat of love. Again, this is action-love. But it is action-love that arises from the depths of God’s life as Father, Son and Spirit. fully understand the Father, Son and Spirit. But remember three things. First, if we could fully comprehend God, then God would be “human-sized” and not God! Second, the God whom no one has seen has made Godself known to our senses in Jesus Christ: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1) And this appearance of God’s life and love in the Word made flesh is “true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20) Finally, even if we only grasp this trinitarian teaching a little bit, it enwraps us in the reality that Ahavah-Love, gift love, is simply who God is: the One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Greek word for love that brings together Hesed-Love and Ahavah-Love is agape. But even with this word, we need to keep in mind and in practice, that this word gets its meaning and practice
from the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. He, as the Messiah of Israel, Redeemer of the World and Lord of all creation, fulfills the God-Israel story and the Hesed-Love and Ahavah-Love that is Israel’s good news. Agape-Love is Yahweh’s steadfastness and mercy in covenant with God’s people and the giving life of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which frees us from death and death’s secret agents in the world, restores us to right-relationship with God and heals our alienation and woundedness. This is LOVE. “LOVE” is life. Since love is, simply and profoundly, the life of the Father, Son and Spirit in covenant with humankind and all creation, then Love is LIFE. Indeed, since God is the Living One: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, then to be in right-relationship with God is to be alive – eternally. “The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.” (1 John 1:2) Jesus is “the true God and eternal life.” (I John 5:20) So, then, what does it mean for us to be “the disciple community” who follow Jesus and are caught up by the Spirit into the life of the triune God? To ask it differently, what does it mean for us to manifest the love of neighbour and of God – love that is Hesed-Love and Ahavah-Love and Agape-Love? After we have fasted from our cheap and easy uses of the word “love” and carefully reintroduced love into our lives, how may we delight in the practice of love and be formed in it as those called to follow Jesus
the Messiah and bear witness to the gospel? First, we could begin right here: understanding our “love” as a continuing act of discipleship – in our love we seek to “follow” Jesus – to put into practice what he teaches us. Our practice of love is grounded in the God-Israel-Jesus story, not in our desire for power or recognition or self-fulfilment or fear and anxiety. We have been set free, let us live into that freedom. Second, we could begin right here: understanding our (practices of) love as witness. We do not love in order to save the world or influence the world. We love in faithfulness to Jesus in order to make visible the eternal life that is ours through the love of God in Jesus Christ. It is too small a thing to think that we are called to “influence the world.” And it is too big a thing to think that we are called to “save the world.”
Our practice of love is grounded in the God-Israel-Jesus story, not in our desire for power or recognition or self-fulfilment or fear and anxiety. We have been set free, let us live into that freedom.
“LOVE” is life. Since love is, simply and profoundly, the life of the Father, Son and Spirit in covenant with humankind and all creation, then Love is LIFE.
The One God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit has already saved the world. Jesus has defeated death and the powers that serve death. Jesus has shown us that the love that is life is stronger than death. We, then, are disciples and witnesses: “Despite uncertainty, fear and pain, followers of Jesus continue to bear faithful witness to God’s love.” (Gordon King, Mosaic, Winter 2018). “We are free to love God and all our neighbours, no matter what, because our hope is grounded in who God is; in Jesus’ final victory over all forms of oppression and in the Spirit’s constant presence with us.” (Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Mosaic, Spring 2018)
LOVE is “the greatest of these” because we who are followers of Christ: •
live by this LOVE,
come to the fullness of faith by this LOVE,
remain steadfast in hope by this LOVE and
look toward everlasting ecstasy by this LOVE.
“We are the Revealers… We are not so much called to incarnate the good news as to reveal it… ” (Terry Smith, Mosaic, Winter 2018) “Our hope, as Christ-followers, is rooted in the Eternal One, who is himself the hope of the world. All the cosmos cries out for the King and his rule of peace and justice to appear.” (Terry Smith, Mosaic, Spring 2018) The greatest…is love. Love is “the greatest of these,” because LOVE is the act by which God is the Living One, because LOVE is the act by which the Living One created the cosmos; because LOVE is the act by which Creator covenants with the cosmos for its redemption; because LOVE is the act by which Christ died so that all things, including humankind, may be reconciled to God; because LOVE is the act by which God will consummate the work of Christ in new creation.
Jonathan R. Wilson is Senior Associate for Theological Integration with CBM and Teaching Fellow at Regent College. He develops some of the thoughts in this article in his books, Gospel Virtues, chapters 7-8; God So Loved the World: A Christology for Disciples; and God’s Good World; Reclaiming the Doctrine of Creation, especially Part 2. He is also author of several other books, including Why Church Matters and Living Faithfully in a Fragmented World.
photo: Ruby Gatiera
Faith, Hope and Love in a Broken World A T H E O LO GY O F L I F E by Gordon King
Gordon King interviews Jonathan R. Wilson, one of North America’s most respected theologians and authors. He is the newest CBM Field Staff. Jonathan shares some
GORDON: YOU BRING A RICH BACKGROUND TO YOUR NEW ROLE AS SENIOR ASSOCIATE FOR THEOLOGICAL INTEGRATION AT CBM. CAN YOU BRIEFLY DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCE TO THE CBM COMMUNITY?
of his life experience and thinking on discipleship.
I learned the simple joy of loving people.
JONATHAN: Until I was 10, my father pastored churches in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Michigan. Then he was appointed General Director of Foreign Missions for the National Association of Free Will Baptists. He went from small towns to world traveller very quickly. During these years, we always had a guest bedroom that was often occupied by missionaries who were home from the field. The dinner conversations focused on the challenges of missions, especially cross-cultural communication of the gospel and the development of indigenous leaders. Those conversations made me a theologian – and made me the kind of theologian that I am. I carried these questions with me through an undergraduate degree in Bible and Missions and into my studies at Regent College. While at Regent, I began to hear a call to be a pastor rather than a professor. I also met, fell in love with and married Marti Crosby, who was from Nova Scotia. We met when I became a volunteer on the staff of the street ministry that she led out of Frist Baptist Church (FBC) in Vancouver. With guidance and support from Marti and FBC, I accepted a call to Edmonds Baptist Church in Burnaby, B.C. Our years there were rich in learning – heart, hands and head learning. I learned the simple joy of loving people. The church grew spiritually and numerically. Our daughter, Leah, was born.
The conversations around my family’s table continued to guide me. My doctoral research was specifically focused on theology of culture.
Our small congregation, which had grown from 25 to 125, represented 14 ethnic backgrounds and continued to teach me the power of the gospel and the Spirit in bringing together people across many cultures. But again with Marti’s counsel, we discerned that God was calling us from Edmonds for me to study for a Ph.D. at Duke University. The conversations around my family’s table continued to guide me. My doctoral research was specifically focused on theology of culture. My later books have been about “making disciples” and strengthening the witness of the Church. For me, my writing is simply an extension of my teaching in a classroom and online. When I left my pastorate of Edmonds Baptist Church in order to study for my doctorate, I thought that I would return to Western Canada to spend my life in a pastorate while also doing some teaching and writing. But God directed us to Westmont College, where I taught undergraduates for 14 years. Since I had spent five years in business in my twenties, I found it fulfilling and challenging to teach Christianity to these students, most of whom were not going into parish ministry. Then, after 14 years at Westmont, God called us to accept a position at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia. Our short three years there were marked by wonderful faculty colleagues, the best teaching experience I have had and a wide ministry in churches. We also faced some significant disappointments. So when Carey Theological College extended an offer to me, we recognized it as God’s call to return to where Marti and I had both been grounded spiritually. Shortly after we arrived in Vancouver, Marti’s health began to deteriorate. She had a hereditary disease, Gaucher disease, that had led to one brother’s death at age 12 and another at age 59. This disease had prevented our serving outside North America and restricted my travel. But we built a life of service within our limitations. After several illnesses and surgeries, Marti died on September 16, 2010. In 2013, Soohwan Park and I married. Soohwan was born and educated in South Korea but has lived outside of there since 1995, working with Food for the Hungry International in various roles. She worked with Dalit communities in Bangladesh, and then pioneered a local church training network in Korea with which she is still involved to this date. She later directed global human resources for Food for the Hungry International while based in Thailand. In 2007, she moved to Vancouver to study at Regent College and completed her MCS in Marketplace Theology. She then worked as a consultant and senior staff with the Marketplace Institute until 2012. After the triple disaster in Japan, she also worked with local churches in Fukushima. In 2016, she joined the board of A Rocha International. She continues to speak at retreats and conferences on spiritual formation and people care, as well as holistic, local church-based mission.
GORDON: SO, HOW DO WE “DO THEOLOGY” IN WAYS THAT CONSIDER THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH IN A WORLD OF DISPARITY, VIOLENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION? HOW DO WE KEEP THEOLOGY FROM BEING A THEORETICAL DIALOGUE BETWEEN ACADEMICS?
J O NATHAN : The first step in learning to “do theology” is to recognize that God precedes us in mission, from Genesis 3, when God comes looking for our first parents in the garden, to Genesis 12, when God calls Abraham and makes promises, to Exodus 3, when God comes down to free God’s people, through the prophets, to the fulfillment of God’s promises in the coming of the Messiah, to the descent of the Spirit and equipping of the Church until all things are reconciled in Christ through his cross. It’s the mission of the Father, Son and Spirit. And we are commissioned to participate in that mission. Wendell Berry says, “Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.” To that I would add that the Church is to also “be faithful though we see all the sorrow, sin and death,” and see it more clearly than anyone. We are faithful witnesses in the face of “disparity, violence and environmental degradation” because we know that those things are caught up in a larger story: the story of the redemption of all creation through Jesus Christ. And the Spirit guarantees the reality of that story and equips us to live in that story and bear witness to it. We are people of faith, hope and love because we know the purpose, the end for which this world is created: to be the “home” where God dwells with us in peace forever.
We are faithful witnesses in the face of “disparity, violence and environmental degradation” because we know that those things are caught up in a larger story: the story of the redemption of all creation through Jesus Christ. In order for theology not to be merely a theoretical dialogue among people who have learned an esoteric language that no one else can understand, we need to reconnect theory and practice. Best understood, “theory” is the study of what and how people “see.” And how people see the world determines how they act. We can also turn this around: how people act in the world reveals how
they see the world. Do we see the world as a “dog-eat-dog” world where the rule is survival of the fittest? Then we will seek to be strong and powerful and regard others as our enemies. Do we see this age as “all that there is”? Then perhaps we’ll try to get as much pleasure as we can and avoid suffering and sorrow. We who are followers of Jesus are called to see this world as God’s good creation, which he has redeemed through Jesus Christ. All things are “through him and for him” (Col 1:16). This is why we care for the poor, feed the hungry, work for God’s justice, love our enemies, baptize believers and make disciples: because we see the world a particular way. And when we act as the disciple community we begin to see the world as God’s world.
Jonathan Wilson led sessions at CBM’s Africa Leadership Exchange earlier this year in Kenya.
GORDON: JONATHAN, TWO YEARS AGO WE WERE PRAYING FOR YOUR HEALING DURING A SERIOUS HEALTH CRISIS. WE
GORDON: YOU HAVE ENCOURAGED AND SUPPORTED
REJOICE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN NEW LIFE TO YOUR BODY.
CBM’S WORK IN THE PAST – AND HAVE TAUGHT SEVERAL
HOW HAS THIS “BRUSH WITH DEATH EXPERIENCE” GIVEN
CBM STAFF MEMBERS IN MASTERS AND DOCTORAL
A NEW PERSPECTIVE TO YOUR LIFE OF SERVICE TO GOD’S
PROGRAMS. WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT THIS NEW ROLE
AND CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH CBM?
J O N AT H A N : For many reasons, I have always lived with an awareness of death in the midst of life. And I have always assigned my students the task of developing a “theology of death,” after which I proclaim to them a “theology of life” that cannot be overcome by death! So that health crisis provided me with an opportunity to discover if my theology and my character had been well-formed by the Spirit. I am happy to report that by God’s grace, my theology of death and life was a source of comfort and confidence. It reinforced my commitment to focusing my teaching and writing on a “theology of life” in the midst of a global culture of death. This is the good news of Jesus Christ.
J O N AT H A N : My best learning has come when I teach “visionary-practical theology” to practitioners, especially when we are crossing cultures. The reality of the gospel comes even more alive for me and for them. So I am excited that I will be more consistently engaged by such occasions for learning and entering more fully into the reality of the Gospel.
SOME OF JONATHAN R. WILSON’S BOOKS
Gordon King most recently served with CBM as a Resource Specialist until early 2018. He is now serving part-time as Pastor of Community Outreach at Westview Baptist Church in Calgary.
A Love That Moves Mountains
R E AC H I N G A R E M OT E T R I B E I N M YA N M A R by Nicolette Beharie
razy. It’s the word that came to mind when Conrad Kwok heard the ambitious goal of Myanmese Pastor Duodu: to bring the gospel to 100 remote Lahu villages in the next 10 years.
Lahu people. With limited resources, he took a step of faith and began leading a small team from his church up into the mountains. Since that initial trip, more than 300 Lahu people have expressed faith in Christ and have been baptized.
“I thought he was pulling my leg or something,” remembers Conrad, who serves as CBM’s Chinese Ministries Team Leader. He first met Pastor Duodu, a visionary with a heart for the Lahu tribe in eastern Myanmar, when a colleague spontaneously invited the pastor to join them for lunch.
“Because of love for the Lahu people, I am able to serve them, be generous and sacrifice for them,” says Pastor Duodu.
Although Conrad initially thought Pastor Duodu’s vision was unusual, he was intrigued and wanted to learn more. “I could feel the love from him,” Conrad recalls of their encounter at Operation Dawn, a Christian drug rehabilitation centre. At the time, Pastor Duodu was visiting his teenage son who was recovering from addiction.
Conrad felt compelled to see the work first-hand. A few months after his chance encounter with Pastor Duodu, Conrad found himself doing something “crazy”, too: embarking on a dangerous three-hour trek up the mountains to reach the Lahu people. Although parts of the region are accessible by motorbike, much of the journey must be done on foot. “It was beyond my imagination,” Conrad remembers of his fourday trip with Pastor Duodu. “There was no electricity, no water and no sanitation. They just seemed hopeless.”
Seated outside under a bamboo shelter, Pastor Duodu shared more of his incredible story. In 2014, he was serving as a local pastor when he sensed a call to reach the Lahu people – an ethnic minority group that maintains a traditional farming lifestyle. The Lahu people live in the remote, mountainous region of Myanmar’s Shan State. They have a poor supply of food and water. They also have no access to education or medical care.
The Lahu villages in Shan State are situated in the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia. This region – where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet – is a hotspot for large-scale drug production and trafficking. Armed militia are also present in the area. As a result, the Lahu people are often at risk of violence and exploitation. But Pastor Duodu offered them something very different: unconditional love.
Since Pastor Duodu was trained in medical mission through a leprosy organization, he decided to offer free medical care to the
“When Conrad came back, he told me that people would just line up when Pastor Duodu was providing medical services,” says
13 [left] Pastor Duodu has a vision to bring the gospel to 100 Lahu villages in 10 years. [below] CBM’s Chinese Ministries Team Leader Conrad Kwok (wearing black shirt) is working alongside Pastor Duodu to meet the needs of the Lahu people.
“Because of love for the Lahu people, I am able to serve them, be generous and sacrifice for them,” says Pastor Duodu.
Fiona, Conrad’s wife. “People just love him so much. I think it’s because he loves those people, so in return they love him.” While economic growth has renewed hope in recent years, Myanmar still faces many challenges. Civil unrest and violence continue to threaten parts of the country. Chronic poverty and a lack of access to essential services are also prevalent, particularly among isolated communities like the Lahu tribe. “These people are ignored and forgotten,” says Fiona. “We would like to help these villages.” Last year, CBM began partnering with Pastor Duodu to support the needs of the Lahu people. While the Myanmese pastor works toward bringing the gospel to Lahu villages, CBM is bolstering his efforts by supporting community development – to share the love of God in both word and deed. “Our goal with the villages that accept the gospel is to make an integral mission project where the whole village can be transformed sustainably in the long term,” says John Chan, CBM’s Director of International Partnerships.
Although primary education is free in Myanmar, children living in remote areas struggle to access local schools in neighbouring towns. According to information from UNICEF, only half of Myanmar’s children reach adulthood with a complete education. Through the Lahu Village Project, CBM aims to build a church in each village that would serve as a church, school and medical clinic. The building would also be used to host training programs and community development projects in the future. “These church buildings are not just for Sundays,” explains Conrad. “They will be multi-functional community centres.” To the Lahu people, these buildings will also symbolize the transformation that has taken place in their lives. “If they build a church high up in the mountains, with a cross up there, this is a witness to all the other villages that they are different,” says Fiona. Conrad agrees, adding it will show others that they have “love and hope because of the gospel”.
Before launching the Lahu Village Project, CBM staff consulted with community members and leaders. “We asked them how we could best help,” says Fiona. “Surprisingly, they told us that they want us to help them build a church.”
With the support of generous donors, CBM helped construct the first building for the Lahu people last year. The next phase is to further community development initiatives. Plans are underway to improve their water supply, farming techniques and access to medical assistance.
The Lahu villages have no public buildings. That means there is no communal place to congregate, provide medical care or education.
“My hope and dream is for the Lahu people to be saved – to progress physically, mentally and spiritually,” says Pastor Duodu.
mosaicâ€” fall 2018
Portraits of Love 1 Corinthians 13 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Always Protects Chagas-Proofing, Bolivia
Renovating homes to help prevent the vinchuca bug from infecting people with Chagas disease while they sleep.
Always Trusts Leadership Training, Lebanon
Equipping leaders with theological education to share the gospel in the Middle East and North Africa.
mosaicâ€” fall 2018
Always Hopes Girl Education, India
Providing opportunities for education that would otherwise be inaccessible due to gender bias.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is
Always Perseveres Food Security, Rwanda
Offering seeds, tools and training to small-scale subsistence farmers who struggle to feed their families.
The Latrines That Love Built
A H E A LT H Y C H A N G E FOR A COMMUNITY I N E L S A LVA D O R by Kathleen Soucy
early half of El Salvador’s rural population suffer greatly from problems related to inadequate waste disposal that contaminates the water supply and causes sickness. This leads to low school attendance, loss of work days and, in far too many cases, death. One project is making a difference.
are common. They deal with bouts of diarrhea and face the fear that their young children may not recover from the most recent infection. They worry over dehydration, even as they boil water for household cooking. They also worry about the money they spend on clinic visits and medicine when family members get sick.
Maria is a 49-year-old, single mother of five daughters. She and her family have struggled to make ends meet for as long as Maria can remember. Like most of her neighbours in Sirigual, a remote village located in the dramatic mountainscape of El Salvador, she has only a third grade education and lives a subsistence life. Her family lives in a small, simple home and collects water from a nearby river for drinking and bathing, which is also where they wash their clothes.
The problems and complexities of poverty are often overwhelming. It’s a hard and arduous life. But the flipside is that even small changes can make a huge impact.
For Briselda, a 23-year-old newlywed who lives nearby, life has also been a constant struggle. She grew up very poor, and even though her husband works as a security guard – among the fortunate few to have a job – he is often absent from home, and his wages do not always cover their monthly expenses. She is now seven months pregnant and worries about the challenges their growing family will face. For both Maria and Briselda and their families, intestinal illnesses
In Sirigual, the regular use of shallow pits and open waste disposal had contaminated the water table, making intestinal diseases rampant. Through CBM’s new partner in El Salvador, ENLACE, the church and community leaders spearheaded a latrine project that replaced pit latrines with composting latrines, which prevent waste from contaminating water sources. Stored in a cement container, the waste in a composting latrine is removed once it breaks done. The community can then safely use it to fertilize their crops. The latrine project also provided waste disposal education, health awareness training and technical support to the community. Within months, illnesses were down and they had a renewed sense of community pride.
mosaic—fall 2018 BENEFITS BEYOND HEALTH: INCOME LEVEL AND RESTORED RELATIONSHIPS
While the health of residents (especially children under five) is the primary concern of this project, the benefits of proper waste disposal don’t end there. According to Maria, since access to a clinic is difficult, not having to pay for transport and medicine immediately impacted her income. Additionally, the project also mended and strengthened relationships. “In the past, we have not been helpful to each other. We have often confined ourselves to help only ‘our people’, and we often have shown indifference to the needs of others… [Now] we are organized by teams to build all the latrines together… This opportunity has allowed me to understand that I can’t be distant or be indifferent to my neighbour, especially as a Christian. I am now motivated to collaborate in whatever way I can, in every moment, with any need that might come up in others’ lives.”
This opportunity has allowed me to understand that I can’t be distant or be indifferent to my neighbour, especially as a Christian. Along with feeling much more confident about the environment into which she is bringing her soon-to-be-born child, Briselda also noted the impact the project has made in her heart. “What has impacted me the most is the way people, without knowing much about me, have been very interested in helping me, and that inspires me to do the same with others.” Restored relationships between people in poor and marginalized communities are fundamental to creating long-term solutions to poverty. Latrines, water systems, clinics, home gardens, tilapia ponds, bridges, roads, etc., are all appropriate solutions and vital elements in the transformation process. However, the process by which these projects are implemented is just as important as the projects themselves. Together with ENLACE, we come alongside church and community leaders to help them identify viable opportunities to serve and create a process that resolves needs while building unity and strengthening relationships. “I am proud [that the church has been involved],” says Juan Ramírez, Pastor of Casa del Alfarero. His church teamed up with local health workers and others in the community to also work on a latrine project. “God’s love can come in many ways. Here we are building latrines that turn waste into fertilizer and don’t leak into the water table. The impact is very great! We just need to build more.”
[top] Shallow pit toilets contaminate water sources, causing disease. [middle; bottom] Composting latrines improve health and sanitation, as waste is stored in a cement container.
Kathleen Soucy and her husband Bruno are CBM’s Latin America Team Leaders. They previously served as CBM Field Staff in Rwanda, helping Baptist churches develop an integral mission approach to ministry that included programs in food security, care for orphans and vulnerable children, women’s literacy and more.
Traditional Akamba dancers at the 40th anniversary celebration of the CBM and ABC partnership, May 19, 2018.
Because We Have Songs C O V E N A N T PA R T N E R S F O R 4 0 Y E A R S by Aaron Kenny
“Birds sing not because they have answers, but because they have songs.” ~ An African Proverb
hen most people think of Africa, the picture in their minds is Kenya. The vast sweeping savannah filled with wildlife, serpentine rivers stained red with clay, children playing in coastal villages, thatched farms perched on terraced hills, tightly packed cities, gritty slums and massive refugee camps. It is all here: The colonial past, the independent spirit and the hopeful future. As Canadian Baptists, our image of Africa has also been formed in no small way by our partner churches in Kenya. Swahili choirs swaying in worship, Guardians of Hope caring for AIDS orphans, teams working in arid lands to improve food security and access to water, trainers equipping pastors and congregations for integral mission, and Canadian and Kenyan missionaries building relationships of love and compassion with refugees. This has been the ministry of CBM and our partners in Kenya since 1970. A major part of that story has been the Africa Brotherhood Church (ABC). Over the past 40 years, Canadians have travelled into the green hills of Ukambani and experienced the hospitality and fellowship of the ABC of Eastern Kenya. Through the ups and downs of this long-term partnership, we have grown in our understanding and practice of God’s mission in the world. Together, we have benefitted from this journey of interdependence, mutual learning and sharing. The partnership was born out of a strong friendship formed between Rev. Dr. John F. Keith (CBM General Secretary from 1970-1980) and the late Bishop Nathan Ngala (ABC Bishop, 1951-2007). Their mutual trust and respect opened a door for Christians from Canadian Baptist and Africa Brotherhood churches to work together in education, evangelism, agriculture and in responding to health issues like a lack of clean water and HIV and AIDS.
CBM Executive Director Terry Smith spoke at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Africa Brotherhood Church in Kenya this year.
John Keith, pictured in the 1980s, with sisters (from far left) Mary, Mulwa and Annah, as well as Bishop Alice Mulandi (far right).
The first team of Canadian missionaries to work with the ABC arrived in the community of Mitaboni in 1978. Two couples – Randy and Elizabeth Legassie, and Hans and Alison Van Nie – joined the ABC Bible School to provide pastoral training and leadership development for the Church. This focus on education and capacity building represents the greatest single investment of CBM with the ABC throughout the past four decades of partnership. The emphasis on education has been carried throughout the years by champions committed to investing in leadership like Brian and Caryn Stelck and Gordon King.
The legacy of the CBM/ABC partnership is also found throughout the communities of Ukambani where roads, water weirs, farms, schools and clinics have provided a sustained impact upon the people of Kenya. Throughout the ABC, people are grateful for the commitment of people like Marilyn Smith, Judy Webb and Sam Mutisya, who each played a part in bringing participatory rural development into their communities. Today, the ABC Community Development program continues this work of helping people find sustainable local solutions to overcome poverty and vulnerability.
It is inspiring to see the ABC continue to build on this success by working to empower young people in faith and professionalism. “This journey we are celebrating,” shared Archbishop Timothy Ndambuki, “is a moment to reflect back and see what our forefathers did in laying a foundation for our generation to build upon... Their long-term goals have been fulfilled today through a spirit of unity and the sustainability of the church.”
Over the 40 years of partnership, there have been many CBM staff members who were either embedded with, or worked closely with, the ABC. Some came for a year or more, while others remained for over a decade, and some continued to return to guide and support key initiatives that have stretched over many years.
One of the most successful In the early 2000s, Carla Nelson community development projects “This journey we are celebrating is worked with CBM and ABC to of CBM and the ABC has been a moment to reflect back and see develop a teachers’ training program the Guardians of Hope program that has had an immense impact on (GOH), which has assisted local what our forefathers did in laying a the denomination and the schools of churches in responding to HIV foundation for our generation to build and AIDS in their congregations Kenya. The counselling component of the program has now become a communities. Patty Card was upon... Their long-term goals have been and standard for educational training instrumental in launching this fulfilled today through a spirit of unity program across several countries in Kenya. The counselling training for teachers was later used to in Africa in 2004 and managing and the sustainability of the church.” strengthen pastoral counselling in the GOH until her return to the church. During the anniversary Canada in 2009. In the past decade, celebration of our partnership held on May 19, 2018, pastors who had Erica Kenny carried this ministry forward, working to enable completed this program were asked to stand. Immediately hundreds groups to be self-sufficient, and building on the GOH program of pastors rose to their feet applauding the work of Carla and leaders by establishing Kamp Tumaini, a camp program for children of the teaching program. impacted by HIV and AIDS.
During the May 19th celebration, CBM Board President Rev. Dr. Malcolm Card and Executive Director Rev. Dr. Terry Smith shared about the value of the partnership, recounting the work and sacrifice offered by so many people in the course of 40 years. The celebration shone a light on the transformation that has happened in the lives of countless people through the shared ministries of our two communities of faith. As we look back on key people who have walked with the ABC, we want to recognize and honour the following CBM staff: John and Virginia Keith, Dan and Doris Weibe, Donald and Peggy Bustin, Eric and Merle MacKenzie, Doug and Kathy Loden, Phil and Ruth Brown, Randy and Elizabeth Legassie, Hans and Alison Van Nie, Judy Webb, Marilyn Smith, Muriel Bent, Bob and Grace Berry, Elwood and Myrtle Bannister, Bryan Hagerman, Brian and Caryn Stelck, Gordon and Nancy Patterson, Aubrey and Diane Trail, Patricia Smith, Robert and Ann Swann, David and Cathie Phillips, Gary and Carla Nelson, Anne Drost, Robert and Sarah Patterson, Alden and Tracy Crain, Gordon King, Sam and Pauline Mutisya, Malcolm and Patty Card, Timothy and Diane Bannister, Aaron and Erica Kenny, Sam and Cindie Chaise, Ruth Munyao, Pauline Kariuki and Terry and Heather Smith. Beyond this group, there have been hundreds of short-term volunteers who have come to assist in the dozens of ministries, projects and training programs that the ABC has been a part of over these many years. These include pastoral training, the certificate of ministry program, teachers’ training programs, agronomist exchanges, food security projects, the diploma of integral mission, the Carey
John Keith with the late Bishop Nathan Ngala (centre) of the Africa Brotherhood Church.
The celebration shone a light on the transformation that has happened in the lives of countless people through the shared ministries of our two communities of faith. Theological College Master of Divinity and Doctor of Divinity programs, the Certificate of Integral Mission, Guardians of Hope, Praxis, Kamp Tumaini, Women in Focus and many others. Under the leadership of Archbishop Ndambuki, the ABC has been intentional in reclaiming its Akamba ethnic heritage and strengthening its identity as an indigenous African Church. Over the past decade, the embracing of Akamba traditional music, oral history and values has brought great pride to the church. The ABC has become a model for other indigenous African denominations as it has demonstrated sustainability, selfgovernance and its unique identity. We are so thankful for the journey of the past decades and the knowledge that God will be faithful as we seek the good of others. Please join us in praying for the ongoing ministry of the ABC as it leverages its experience and influence to strengthen other indigenous denominations in East Africa and walks with our network of CBM partners that are struggling in areas of war, conflict and humanitarian crisis. As we move into the future, CBM and ABC will continue to seek to encourage and invest in other African denominations that are struggling in areas of great need. We still have much to learn about what Integral Mission needs to look like in the rapidly changing societies of Africa, but trusting God in the unknown is what faith is all about. We have a song to sing and a part to play in the great redemptive mission of God bringing hope, healing and salvation to all people.
Aaron and Erica Kenny are CBM’s Africa Team Leaders. They first began their service with CBM working with the large number of refugees in Kenya, especially Muslim women and children who are among the most marginalized groups in Africa.
The Hopeful Gifts for Change catalogue offers meaningful ways to give that affirm faith, hope and love. Whether you choose school supplies or clean water, your loved ones will be touched that you made a gift in their honour to help those in need around the world.
This year, you can also choose gifts that align with the causes that move you. Look for these icons as you browse through the catalogue:
KIDS AT RISK
BUILD THE CHURCH
Spread the Word
ORDER ONLINE: All gifts available at
Use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to challenge your friends to give meaningful gifts this year that will truly last. Take a “Fight for the Cause” selfie that represents what you would like to purchase from Hopeful Gifts and share it on your social networks. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @CanadianBaptistMinistries and use #HopefulWithCBM.
FREE CHRISTMAS CARDS
When you purchase Hopeful Gifts items on behalf of your loved ones, we’ll send you FREE Christmas cards to go along with your gift.
Smart Gifts for Teachers Tired of giving your child’s teacher a box of chocolates for Christmas? Skip the long lineups at the mall this season and purchase teacherfriendly items from Hopeful Gifts instead.
School Uniform For many children, the cost of a school uniform is beyond the means of their parents. Help remove the barriers to education. Give kids the chance to learn and thrive.
School Supplies Help provide materials like bags, notebooks, calculators, pens and pencils for orphans and vulnerable youth in Africa who have the opportunity to go to school.
FREE TEACHER’S CARDS This year, we’re offering free teacher-friendly Christmas cards that kids can personalize. This special card is designed with colourful images that focus on education around the world. Your thoughtful gift and card will make a lasting impact on your child’s teacher – as well as a child in need across the globe.
Making Room and Going Deeper “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” ~ Luke 2:7, NRSV At Christmastime, we are reminded of Christ’s entry into the brokenness of our world. There was no room for him in the inn. His mother laid him in a manger. And strips of cloth were used to swaddle him at birth. God showed his unconditional love by coming alongside us in our poverty. As you celebrate the birth of our Saviour, take time to remember the poor this season. Encourage your loved ones to volunteer at a local food bank, donate supplies to a women’s shelter or bring a meal to a newcomer family. There are many ways to reach out to those in need. To deepen your reflections during this season, consider introducing a symbol of Christ’s solidarity with our poverty into your home. You can tie a strip of cloth to your Christmas tree, add it to your table setting, or hang it from your doorknob. To support your efforts, we’ll send you the Make Room Ribbon kit when you make an additional $20 donation toward projects that help fight poverty. May it serve as a reminder to make room for those who are shut out, left out or put out this Christmas season.
CBM 7185 Millcreek Drive Mississauga, Ontario L5N 5R4
Warm Hands & Hearts This Christmas The 323 Collective store offers handcrafted, mission-motivated gifts. Mittens, scarves, quilts, stained glass and more. Shop online at:
As partners in the Canadian Baptist family we exist to serve the local church in its grassroots mission. Together we impact our communities and beyond through the love of Christ.
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Over the past year, the pages of Mosaic have reminded us that our mission calls us to be both ‘embraced by’ and ‘to embrace’ faith and hope....
Published on Sep 27, 2018
Over the past year, the pages of Mosaic have reminded us that our mission calls us to be both ‘embraced by’ and ‘to embrace’ faith and hope....