2024 Strategic Giving Program – A New Thing – written by Helena Bergen

“I am about to do a w thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

MISSIONS | Funding goal: $56K
Partner Missions
We delight to mark 150 years of mission together with CBM (visit caba150.ca for special commemorations). In 2024, we will continue to support the Emmanuel Foundation Children With a Future in Bolivia where child exploitation is rampant. Through this outreach work, children who are at risk receive holistic support and hope for a different future. We will also continue to encourage women preparing for ministry as students at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Cochabamba through the Muriel Harrington Scholarship Fund.

With funds raised through the Great Canadian Bible Study, we will empower health and wellbeing for youth in Kenya in a mentoring program to reduce pregnancy rates and domestic violence.

We will also continue to support women leading in ministry in international settings through CBW’s International Scholarship and Leadership Development funds (you can meet the current recipients at canadianbaptistwomen.com). Lastly, we will join thousands of Baptist women for the 2024 World Day of Prayer to pray and raise funds for global ministry projects.

Hands-On Mission
One of the areas we discerned as a priority in our strategic plan is Hands-On Mission. We believe in the priesthood of believers – that God has designed for all to take part in the work he desires to do in our world so this is our desire, also. In addition to our continued support of the Friendship House in Brantford, Oasis Dufferin Community Centre in Toronto, and Matthew Houses in Ottawa, Windsor, Toronto, and Fort Erie, here are two new doors God has opened up for mission.

Bring Them to Safety
Last spring, I was among a small group of Baptist women who became aware of the plight of two young Christian women. Because of their faith, they had suffered harassment, beatings, and death threats in their home country of Pakistan. Ten years ago, they fled, seeking refuge in Thailand. Since then, the only constant in their lives is the daily fear of their already fragile circumstances crumbling. The other is their prayers for sponsorship – their only hope for a different life. Our hearts were gripped by their story. We realized that we were well-positioned to answer their prayers. One woman in our group voiced what we were all thinking: “We must do something.”

We cautiously anticipate a 2026 arrival. Over the next two years we will seek to raise $20K ($40K in total, approximately). These funds will provide for their living expenses as they adjust to life in Canada in their first year here. Donations to this initiative should be clearly marked “refugee ministry.”

Towards the Flourishing of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Relations
We have been blessed this year as women have come forward to give their time and expertise to developing a CBWOQ ministry focus on Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations. In response to the TRC calls to action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and with a sense of God’s calling on us, we are committed to prayerfully developing and maintaining godly relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women, seeking to share together with minds and hearts that are focussed on listening and learning about our past and present.

We anticipate learning opportunities through 2024 and a “hands-on” experience later in the year in which we will build into a foundation of healthy, respectful and flourishing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women. As we celebrate our similarities as God’s people and honour our differences, we look forward to the varieties of experiences and work that will be done in His Name.

REVITALIZATION | Funding goal: $45K
The other area we discerned as a priority in our strategic plan is Revitalization. To be clear, we have seen alarming decline in our women’s groups and our churches over the last several decades. Many groups are also lacking any presence of younger generations. To address this, we made a bold and prayerful decision that with God’s help and blessing we would change this trajectory. Our desire is to see a community of empowered, Spirit-filled women in every church – women who know themselves to be deeply loved by God and by each other, and whose love and irresistible witness overflows and brings transformation to the world around them.

Towards this end, we want to (re)claim our young women. So, we will launch a new ministry in 2024 that is devoted to creating space for young women in their 20s and 30s where they can grow in their faith and connect with others for encouragement, support, and discipleship.

In addition, in 2023 we expanded our staff team to include Tracey Bagley as a part-time Director of Leadership & Discipleship. Tracey is an experienced ministry leader and a certified spiritual director. Through her programming we are already seeing women experience renewal. In 2024 we will continue to develop this role and expand our reach to connect to more women across the regions.

Will you join us? The Apostle Paul tells us, “You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity” (2 Corinthians 9:11, NRSV). We can be assured of this: we will not become poorer in giving, but we will become infinitely richer as we join with, witness and experience the new things that God is doing in our midst.