CBM Update: Tim and Diane Bannister

The Bannisters

Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) is pleased to announce a new partnership in Africa with the Liberian Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (LBMEC) and the redeployment of CBM Global Field Staff Tim and Diane Bannister from Kenya to Liberia to work with our new partners.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to help churches in Liberia contribute to their country’s efforts to maintain peace and rebuild after years of conflict, as well as renew Canadian Baptist involvement in this region,” says Rev. Blair Clark, CBM’s Associate General Secretary, who was in Liberia on February 5, 2012, to sign the new, three-year Memorandum of Understanding.

After 25 years of service in Kenya, seven with CBM, Global Field Staff Tim and Diane Bannister look forward to their new assignment in Liberia where they will assist the LBMEC in the strategic areas of education, sustainable agricultural development and community healthcare, as well as facilitate Short-Term Mission (STM) teams with expertise in these fields from Canadian Baptist churches. The Bannisters will make an exploratory visit to Liberia in late March and anticipate moving to Liberia in June 2012. They will be based at Ricks Institute, a LBMEC school located just outside the capital city of Monrovia.

In a recent email update, Tim said, “Any of you who know where our hearts lie know that we have been moving more and more in these directions for years. Diane is now wrapping up courses and about to begin her research for a Masters in Public Health Leadership. I am about to be certified as a trainer in a recognized form of conservation agriculture known as Farming God’s Way.” “In many ways, this is a bigger move than when we first came to Kenya from Canada. All of our children were raised here, and we have developed many, many close friends here…and we are very sad about leaving. But we are so excited about heading to Liberia.”

Canadian Baptists were first involved in Liberia back in the 1970s when the Canadian Baptist Federation, under the leadership of Dr. Fred Bullen, began ministry that culminated in the appointment of Bob and Anne Swann to work in the development of the Kwendin Technical and Vocational School in 1979. With the assassination of President Tolbert in April, 1980, the Swanns had to be evacuated from the country, which descended into anarchy and eventually a brutal civil war that lasted from 1989-2003.

Liberia becomes the fifth country in Africa where CBM currently works in partnership with churches in integral mission – sharing the love of God through word and deed to transform a wounded world. The other African countries include Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Rwanda.

To read the complete press release from CBM, follow this link: www.cbmin.org/cbm/news-archive?news_id=184.

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