Pathway Camp Ministries Update: Garden Hill First Nation

An excerpt from a recent Pathway Camp Ministries Update:

Our week in Garden Hill First Nation has come and gone and we were happy to serve an average of 75 children/day (even with the holiday Monday factored in). It is hard to believe that 2016 was our 10th summer of ministry in Garden Hill.

Pathway
The logistics for the week went really smoothly – thank you for your prayers. We were able to fly and also cross the lake in good weather on both weekends.

The majority of our team was from Whyte Ridge Baptist Church and we are grateful for their energy and passion. So many of the children were happy to see familiar faces again. Even though the weather was a little unsettled, the team was able to mix indoor and outdoor activities and everyone had a great time. The children in this community are also amazing at Chapel time and they love singing! It’s great to see their enthusiasm.

One of the councilors brought thanks from Chief and Council for coming to teach their children and it was hard for everyone to say good-bye.

We praise God for the opportunities of the week.

 

For additional information on Pathway Camp Ministries, visit pathwaycampministries.com

Update – Selina Giesbrecht, Leadership Director, Camp Nutimik

Camp Nutimik

Good Day!

It was not that long ago that I was on the Manitoba lakes with my 7 CITs on our canoe trip as we begin our summer camp season here at Nutimik. I am currently buried in piles of schedules, sessions to prepare, team building activities to finish planning, emails from campers and parents and staff, paperclips, highlighters, etc. and it is fantastic! I was praying this morning about camp and I felt the excitement God had towards what was going to happen this summer. I created a team building activity for CIT (we call them GITs – Group Initiative Task… we really like acronyms here at camp…) which is basically an escape room where some of the campers are blindfolded and they get to work on communicating well and problem solving to escape! It was quite a challenge to create but some of the other spring staff were gracious enough to let me test it on them and it worked very well.

Prayer is very critical right now as we are all running around getting things finalized before camp begins. I am excited for all that God is getting ready to do (as well as all he has already done in us with school groups and spring preparation)!

A couple of weekends ago I got my boaters licence (technically my pleasure craft operators card… sounds less exciting though) and yesterday evening one of the fellas on maintenance embarked on the rocky journey of not only teaching me how to launch, operate, and retrieve the camp boat, but also how to hook up the boat trailer, back it down the boat launch, and back the boat trailer back at angle down some narrow roads into the bushes where it lives while not in use. No one was injured and our friendship is still intact. I call that a success!

This year we have bonus staff (or family of staff) at the camp. Kim and Adam (as well as their 3 boys) were leaders on my DTS in Alberta/Philippines in 2012, and on their sabbatical this year, they ended up here in Manitoba operating as Camp Pastor (Adam), and Worship Team Lead (Kim). They have settled in well and taken on the role of full time encouragers of the rest of us staff. This morning they lead a session on how to spiritually prepare for camp season and it was very practical, refreshing, and a great way to lead us into staff training and the beginning of CIT.

Peter, the Camp Director was in the hospital for about a month and a half, diagnosed, and with limited mobility as well as other serious symptoms. He recently was released and returned home to camp, but still is not working and recovering. Please pray for continued healing and that whatever caused the paralysis of his legs would not return and he would be able to fully serve here and engage in camp this summer.

Please pray for unity among staff and patience as we organize, teach, mentor, make schedules, and communicate with one another.

Pray for CITs and campers that God would already be challenging them, loving them and speaking to them and that we would be able to encourage them and help their faith grow and be strengthened.

Pray that we would have many non Christian campers, that they may come here, feel safe and loved and accepted. May their hearts be open to learning about who God is and desiring a relationship with him.

Selina Giesbrecht
Leadership Director, Camp Nutimik

My God Story – Katy Hollander

291573_10150801668450346_1780175920_oHi, my name is Katy and I’m a missionary with Youth for Christ Winnipeg. I work as a counsellor at Turning Point Youth and Family Counselling Services. YFC is a non-profit organization that exists to help young people reach their full potential by combining healthy relationships and faith-based programs and services. As an extension of YFC’s mission, Turning Point offers professional and affordable counselling to teens and their families.

I have always been interested in connecting with people, hearing their stories, and walking alongside those who find themselves in difficult times. I have had a long time interest and involvement working with youth in ministry settings. It is as a youth leader in the church that God lead me into counselling several years ago.

Photo Collage Spring 2016I started my ministry at Turning Point YFC as a student intern in the spring of 2012, while working on my Masters in Counselling degree at Providence Theological Seminary. In addition to the counselling ministry, I also help run after-school and evening clubs for teen girls; a sewing club and an art club. Both clubs emphasize building relationships with peers and mentors and developing a positive sense of self through activities and meaningful conversations on influential topics relevant to the girls’ age and development.

As a missionary with YFC and as a counsellor at Turning Point, I have a unique opportunity to minister to teens and
families through counselling as well as through our girls’ club programs. I have a passion for connecting with young people and seeing lives changed and restored by the power of Christ. I consider it a privilege and an honour to journey with teens and their families on the road towards hope and healing.

Check out Turning Point’s website at www.turningpoint-yfc.com to learn more about this ministry.

Update from Seră Project (Romania) – Christina Cooper

Sera Project

Dear friends,

Thank you so much for your financial and prayer support for my service trip to Romania with Segue and Reaching Out Romania. This trip was an amazing opportunity to serve and learn from others whose experiences and lives are very different from our own.

Sera Photo 1While we were in Romania, we were working with a shelter for girls who have been rescued from the sex trade. Our task while we were there was to prepare the site for a greenhouse we had bought for them through fundraising efforts throughout the school year, and to help put up the greenhouse. This greenhouse will be used to provide food for the shelter, increasing food sustainability and food security, as well as providing a source of income as any excess can be sold, and an opportunity for the girls to be a part of the process of growing and caring for something. This task was a little more complicated, and more involved, than we had anticipated. The site that we had to work with was on the side of a hill, and the area that had been previously flattened was not big enough for the greenhouse. In addition to this, the greenhouse did not arrive while we were there, and is scheduled to arrive shortly after we came back to Canada. So instead of simply putting up the greenhouse, we had to hire an excavator do dig out and level a significant portion of the hill, while our team worked to build two retaining walls to keep the large amounts of disturbed soil from falling onto the house. It was a lot of hard work, but we had an amazing team, and the girls from the shelter were also very excited to help us in whatever way they could. These girls did not cease to amaze and impress us with their determination, strength, and desire to help. As a result, over the course of the week, we were able to not only build both retaining walls, but also to buy the supplies and show them how to build garden boxes for the plants in the greenhouse, as well as spend some time doing teaching on effective planting in a greenhouse.

Sera Photo 2Although we spent most of our time on the work site, we were blessed to also have some time to spend with the girls at the shelter, either eating together or just simply hanging out. In meeting these girls, who were all between the ages of 14 and 21,  we were struck by the fact that they were just that – girls.  These were not abstract ideas, nor simply victims or projects, but girls – who lived and teased and cried and laughed and loved Justin Bieber, who asked if we would sing Hillsong worship songs with them – girls who have seen and experienced many terrible things, things that defy even imagination, but who are still living and in and through whom God is working. In spending time with these girls, God reminded me of his heart for them and for others who society has abused or forgotten – the truth that these are His beloved children. My heart was broken for these girls again and again, and God showed me even more clearly His heart for restoration -bringing each of these girls back to Himself and showing them that they are loved and worth fighting for, and for bringing healing. He showed me the beauty in each of these girls, and the transformation that has been taking place especially in the lives of the ones who have chosen to trust in Him and put their faith in Him.

During our time in Romania, we had the opportunity to bless this organization and these girls with a greenhouse-to-come, with all the preparations taken care of in advance. But our time spent with these girls has also been a huge blessing and a learning experience for me, one that I will not forget and, I believe, one that will play a part in shaping who God is making me into as a person. Again, thank you so much for your prayers and support – without you this trip would not have been possible.

– Christina Cooper

Sera Photo 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syrian Refugee Project Update – May, 2016

A Syrian Refugee Project Update from Soul Sanctuary and WRBC Syrian Refugee Project Coordinator, Heather Warkentin:

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Many of you have been asking for an update on the Syrian refugee family that is being sponsored by Soul Sanctuary, with support from Whyte Ridge Baptist Church.

We want to sincerely thank you for being a part of this project and for your generosity. The Family is doing well and settling into life in Canada. The parents have completed their four-week orientation program with Manitoba Start and are scheduled to start English classes later this month. Both of their daughters are in school and doing very well. They love going to youth on Fridays at Soul Sanctuary and are forging new friendships there.

Because of generous donations, all funds have now been raised to support this family for one year. Since we have met this financial goal, we are excited to tell you about our newest opportunity! When the family came to Canada, they had to leave behind their 26-year-old nephew in Jordan, as he had not yet found a sponsor. SRP was asked if we would consider becoming this young man’s sponsor and Soul Sanctuary has accepted.  Soul Sanctuary has started the paperwork process and must now raise $10,000 for this sponsorship. WRBC is supporting Soul Sanctuary in this endeavor and we look forward to working together.

Here are a few ways that you can personally be involved as we look forward to reuniting this family:

1. Silent Art Auction – May 22, 2016 at Soul Sanctuary
Looking for some new artwork? Several pieces of original artwork donated by local artists will be displayed in the atrium for silent auction. Bidding will be closed following the gathering.  Contact refugee@soulsanctuary.ca for details!

2. Meal Auction – June 5, 2016 (Soul Sanctuary at 12:30 pm)
How does it work? Decide if you would like to host a meal in your home or bid on a meal that someone else is hosting. If you choose to be the chef extraordinaire, decide what you will cook and for how many people you would like to host and then sign up through Heather Warkentin or refugee@soulsanctuary.ca and we will auction your meal experience to the highest bidder in a live auction. If you would like to host, please respond by June 1.

For more updates and needs, visit http://soulsanctuary.ca/refugee or follow the Syrian Refugee Project on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Syrian-Refugee-Project.  For more info contact Heather Warkentin or refugee@soulsanctuary.ca.

To make a personal (tax deductible) donation directly to this project online, visit: www.soulsanctuary.ca/refugee

Pathway Camp Ministries Update

Thank you so much for supporting Pathway with your time and finances! The involvement and relationships you have with Garden Hill is incredibly valuable. You bring more hope and joy and love to that community with each passing summer, and it does not unnoticed!

It was also a pleasure to participate in your service with your children! We all had a lot of fun talking with them and interacting during and after the presentation!

Thank you  Whyte Ridge Baptist, and may God bless you as a community.

The Pathway Team

Helping the people of Nepal

Helping the People of Nepal

On Saturday, April 25th, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake pounded the city of Kathmandu, Nepal.  The death toll has passed 5,500, with many more thousands injured and homeless. Some are still trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. An estimated six million people are in the impact zone of the quake, and the 6.7 magnitude aftershock that hit this past Sunday.

The most immediate needs of the people of Nepal are clean water, food, household supplies, temporary shelter and protection for children. Many children have been left vulnerable, missing homes and caretakers, and their safety is paramount.

In light of this, Whyte Ridge Baptist Church will be helping the people of Nepal by providing a donation from our Emergency Relief fund to support World Vision’s relief efforts in Nepal. For information on how these funds will be used, as well as updates from the hardest hit areas of Nepal, visit World Vision’s Latest news update page.

Please pray:

  • That God’s comfort and peace would be with the loved ones of victims
  • For protection for children who are left vulnerable
  • For speedy reconstruction efforts so that the people of Nepal can return to homes and families
  • That aid workers and first responders will be able to reach those affected in remote, hard-to-access communities

As we pray for Nepal, we remember David’s words:

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

This same God also says,

“In distress you called, and I delivered you…” (Psalm 81:7a)

Join with us in asking God to deliver the people of Nepal out of their distress.

Teen Challenge Ministry Report

Teen ChallengeWhyte Ridge Baptist people were honoured to host the Winnipeg team of Teen Challenge on Sunday, September 14, 2014. The team of 11 was led by Terry Thiessen, Teen Challenge’s Outreach Pastor. The group led in singing several worship songs and two young men shared how Jesus Christ has enabled them to find freedom from drug addition.

Be sure to listen to their Ministry Report.

Teen Challenge Mission

Teen Challenge provides a discipleship program for men and women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Their mission is to:

Develop and nurture the transformation of restored individuals into useful, productive, law-abiding citizens by creating a framework that challenges them to reach their fullest potential in all areas of life. 

Teen Challenge Roots

Teen Challenge was founded by the late David Wilkerson in 1958. His best selling book (16 million copies distributed in over 30 languages) The Cross and the Switchblade, tells the story of the first five years of his ministry to teenage gang members and socially marginalized people in New York City. From this initial vision to help teens trapped in gangs, Teen Challenge today operates more than 1000 programs in 80 countries around the world.

Rewarding Summer at Camp Nutimik

by Jesse Bergmann

Camp PLT LeadersI write this to share with you a little of the experience I had at Camp Nutimik this 2014 summer season. I hope to convey some of the incredible things which were accomplished through God’s providence. 

Peer Leadership Training

This year at Nutimik I had the opportunity to serve as one of four Peer Leadership Training (PLT) leaders, three of which attend Whyte Ridge. The PLT program is an intensive week long experience which pushes young men and women to grow in their leadership skills as a team. The week included a day long canoe trip through rapids, sleeping in tents, group initiative tasks and sharing testimonies. There is perhaps no greater skill needed by a young Christian leader than the ability to share ones faith with others. So I was greatly encouraged to see fifteen young people take active steps in their faith and step out of their comfort zones, particularly when it came time for each of them to give their testimonies.

Having finished the PLT program, many of these young people plan to enter the CIT (Councillor In Training) program next year. As a PLT leader, I witnessed firsthand the next generation of camp staff developing into strong Christian leaders. I look forward to seeing the impact they will have on our camp. 

Now that I have returned from my time at Nutimik I am left to reflect on what our camp has accomplished and what it is still striving to complete. Our camp has great things planned that, when put in place, will greatly increase the scope of the God centered ministry which is carried out year after year. As Nutimik looks forward to new opportunities and growth, we as the community of Whyte Ridge Baptist Church must continually remember to pray for and support our camp in its ministry. 

Making a Difference in Garden Hill

Garden Hill Banner

by Wendy Bergmann

Pathway Camp Ministries, led by Rick & Elizabeth Greer, was founded in 2007 and provides community and youth programs in Aboriginal communities throughout Manitoba. Whyte Ridge Baptist has partnered with Pathway to serve Garden Hill First Nation for a week long camp during the summer.

Whyte Ridge has a team of 11 people heading out to Garden Hill this summer from July 26th to August 2nd, 2014. Team members are: Janna Banman, Wendy Bergmann, Matthew Brown, Juanita Enns, Daryl Fillion, Jordana Hague, William Hildebrand, Kevin Klassen, Matt Litke, Wayne Litke, Denise Naim. These individuals committed to going have a heart for God and have the opportunity to lead the kids in story or worship time, act out skits for them, play indoor and outdoor games, do crafts or are ready to take on one of them in speed cup stacking! All these children need is lots of love by someone taking the time to play, listen, or share a little bit of their life with them.

This ministry is making a huge impact on our northern Aboriginal children who do not have the same opportunities children in our community may experience. God is doing great things and we look forward to seeing what He has in store for us this summer and beyond!

Changes! Changes! Changes!

D. Hamil

Dr. Dan Hamil Interim Executive Director of North American Baptist Conference

Dan Hamil to speak at Whyte Ridge Baptist

Change, whether we like it or not, is a part of life. In most cases, we do not go looking for change, it is a part of the normal development and growth of an individual or organization. This is true of the changes occurring for both individuals and the organization at NAB’s International Office in Roseville, CA. Whyte Ridge Baptist belongs to the NAB Conference of Churches.

R. McClelandNear the end of 2013, Dr. Rob McCleland, Executive Director/CEO of the NAB Conference, resigned from his position to become the new Executive Director of EQUIP Leadership, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. EQUIP Leadership is a non-profit organization specializing in training and mobilizing effective Christian leaders.

To fill the void left by Dr. McCleland’s resignation, the General Council of the Executive Committee of the NAB Conference appointed Dr. Dan Hamil to the position of Interim Executive Director. He will serve in this position during the search for a permanent executive director.

Dr. Hamil most recently served as the Vice President of Ministry Advancement at NAB’s International Office in Roseville, CA. He is an ordained minister and has pastored at NAB churches in Ohio, Illinois, and North Dakota. In addition, he has worked at the NAB International Office previously in various roles, including Chief Operating Officer, Director of International Missions, and Coordinator for Youth Ministries.

Whyte Ridge Baptist is pleased to welcome Dr. Hamil on Sunday, February 9. He will be bringing the message in both services. You can read the most recent update posted by Dr. Dan Hamil on the the NAB Conference website.

Fantastic Year for White Cross

White CrossWhyte Ridge Baptist participates in and supports, along with other North American Baptist (NAB) Churches across Canada and the United States, the ministry of White Cross. Every year Whyte Ridge Baptist schedules White Cross work days were people make bandages and other supplies for this Compassionate Care ministry of the NAB in West Africa.

Very similar to the Red Cross, the impetus behind White Cross began during World War I in response to the tremendous need for medical supplies. Women in a number of churches began what is now an honored tradition: making bandages and sewing supplies for those in need. After the war, the focus shifted from Allied soldiers to the front-line of medical missions that serve the world’s poorest people (see About White Cross Canada for more details).

Today, this ministry chiefly serves hospitals and clinics in Cameroon and Nigeria, and is a critically-important source of bandages, baby items, medical equipment and other critical supplies. From 2011-2012 more than five tons of supplies were shipped from Canada to West Africa. (source: White Cross Canada website)

This week we received an update from Keir Hammer, Director of White Cross Canada. White Cross Canada is located on the campus of Taylor Seminary in Edmonton, AB. Keir writes…

What a fantastic year! Support from churches and White Cross groups—whether financial, sending of supplies or both—has been amazing! The last container of the year was sent in late October, and we should finish up the year strong.

Whyte Cross WarehouseI am so please that the core of White Cross continues so well in groups across the country. All of the bandages, materials, baby supplies, devotional materials, hospital supplies, beds, mattresses etc. are enthusiastically received in the hospitals and clinics in West Africa. Recently Calvin Hohn visited the Central Supply where all supplies initially arrive and from where they are distributed. He arrived just hours after one of our recent shipments had been unloaded. There was much excitement over all of the much-needed supplies.

In my position I hear so many exciting stories of faithfulness and creativity. The faithfulness of those who continue to contribute to the needs of White Cross year after year is very encouraging.  So is the creativity, as new ways are found to include the NEXT generation in the activities of White Cross.

Recently one person, who had been involved in White Cross for years, finally stepped into the always large position of giving oversight to White Cross in their church. It was a scary experience, I am sure, but what a fantastic difference it has made. Allow me to share with you one of those differences: for VBS this year, she offered White Cross as one of the ‘activities’ that the children could do. They had a fantastic time tearing sheets and rolling bandages (a great way to get started with White Cross). Some of the children wanted to do more White Cross instead of playing games. Can you imagine the impact that activity had on each one of those children? Can you imagine what a tiring and exhilarating week that was for her?

Youth groups are starting to recognize that they can participate in White Cross as part of their serve program. It is a fantastic way to make a difference globally by doing something right here at home. As I write I know of at least one youth group in that is going to have their first try at some White Cross activities and plan to make this a regular part of their youth meetings. It is so encouraging when you see the excitement being passed on to the next generation.

Another component of White Cross is the supply of medical and surgical supplies for West Africa. Sometimes we purchase requested supplies. Sometimes supplies are donated. In both cases the finances to purchase and ship these supplies comes from the many people across Canada who regularly contribute to White Cross. We are also heavily dependent upon individuals and groups with connections in the medical industry who find access to materials we could never acquire otherwise.

White Cross  Warehouse MicroscopeHave you heard the story of the microscope? It is a good one. Recently White Cross Canada was asked if they would have any use for a used microscope that is used for eye, ENT and other surgeries. It is a pricy piece of equipment when purchased new. Inquiries were made and it turned out that they were searching for this exact microscope. What an answer to prayer. The machine weighed over 1000 pounds. Where in the world did we get the funds to ship it?  From our growing list of generous groups and individuals who give regularly year after year. One donor stepped up and helped bridge the gap on what was short for this shipment. Is White Cross in your church budget? Does your church offer a special activity to help raise funds for the work of White Cross? Are there opportunities to help participate in the work of White Cross?  Let me encourage each one who reads this update: support your local White Cross group in any way that you can. Are there people in your church who have been faithful in their support of White cross year after year? Make sure you thank them for their support!

Are you involved in other activities that support the Kingdom of God? Excellent, don’t stop. We are all partners together!

Want to know more? Check out the home of White Cross Canada on the web.

Take 3 minutes to watch this video explaining White Cross – the Compassionate Care ministry of the North American Baptist Conference in Cameroon and Nigeria.

2012 India Missions Trip

Since 2010, Whyte Ridge Baptist has participated in several mission trips to West Bengal in Northeast India, working in partnership with Far Corners Ministry. Far Corners is an organization that exists to support the growing Church in northeast India by training pastors and lay leaders, building churches and helping the poor. God is working in His church in India. Many people are coming to know Christ!

2012 Team members taught at several conferences, helping to provide Biblical training to rural pastors and leaders and preached in local churches. They also assisted in the building of several church structures and helped distribute some basic necessities (such as blankets, mosquito netting, and school supplies) to churches, orphanages, and families. The Whyte Ridge church family was involved here at home by fundraising to help provide these things. Children from our church also sent gifts which were distributed to children in the orphanages and churches visited.

Team members where: Karen Dyck, Shelly Cumming, Christine Janzen, Steve Morris, Raj Manuel, Kevin Klassen. Team Training and support: Heather Warkentin, Mike Woolman, Azhar Ladlin.

Praise God for what He is doing in West Bengal! We give thanks for the opportunity to connect with brothers and sisters in India, and pray He will continue to bring many more to Himself. May He also continue to impress the nations upon the hearts of our church family here at WRBC.

2013 Bolivia Missions Trip

Three Cultures, Two Continents, One God

…the Whyte Ridge Baptist/Winnipeg Somang Presbyterian Church Bolivia Mission Trip.

Bolivia TeamFrom August 6th to 22nd six people from Winnipeg Somang Presbyterian Church and four from Whyte Ridge Baptist Church travelled to and through Bolivia, observing and sharing in ministries organized by Canadian Baptist Ministries in partnership with the Bolivian Baptist Union. Bringing together Korean, Bolivian and Western Canadian cultures and languages was an enjoyable challenge, and the team truly was a living example of “Global Discipleship”.

While in Bolivia, the multicultural mission trip included visits to the Obades’ Chagas Remediation Project in Mizque. Homes are plastered to prevent infectious bug bites from the Vinchuca beetles that live in the walls of unplastered mud brick homes. Chagas is a slowly debilitating disease; plastering homes improves the outcomes for families raising children in homes where contracting the disease is far less likely.

The team also visited Casa de la Amistad, a day school program for children who otherwise live in jails, with their incarcerated parents. We were reminded daily of how different Canada and Korea are from Bolivia. Over the years Casa has improved the lives of hundreds of young people, while also introducing them to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In El Alto on the outskirts of La Paz the team visited two beneficiaries of a microfinance project sponsored by Obades and the Bolivian Baptist Union. Providing small loans to cottage industries such as mattress and furniture manufacturing aids families and improves their living conditions.

The team got involved in practical “hands on” missions by helping to scrape and paint at the Baptist Seminary in Cochabamba. The library computer system also received some much needed attention to restore passwords and reset defaults, and the team also assisted by teaching two evening classes in education methods and exegesis. It was good to fellowship with the people we met in our one-week at the Seminary.

The primary goal of the mission trip was to observe, to learn, and to bring back ideas about how the two churches can best connect to mission work already underway in Bolivia. There are many opportunities for service and for sharing the Gospel. Partnering with Canadian Baptist Ministries was a natural fit, given the history that Pastor Terry and Pat Janke have with CBM. The trip was well organized by CBM, and Ivan Gutierrez, the CBM field staff member who coordinated our events and transportation in-country was a true blessing.

Bolivia is a land of stark contrasts; there is great wealth and crushing poverty, and they co-exist out in the open, for all to see. But beyond the obvious material wealth or poverty of the people is the more pressing question of their spiritual wealth or poverty. Do they know Christ, and do they share in his inheritance, as his heirs? The mission work in Bolivia aims to improve the material and spiritual conditions of the people, proclaiming the Gospel while also “loving thy neighbour” and helping to improve living conditions in this vibrant and developing nation.