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Tilahun Beyene, EMM staff person and IMA coordinator from Ethiopia, meets with Juan Arauz from Nicaragua, Nicolas Zorilla from Costa Rico, Samuel Lopez from the U.S., Melvin Fernandez from Honduras, and Keila Flores from Honduras.

IMA news and updates

On September 14 and 15 after the international ministry teams reported back on their experiences, the IMA conducted members' meetings to discuss structure and future events.

Tilahun Beyene Kidane, an EMM staff member and the IMA coordinator, noted that one of the most exciting things about the IMA is the way international relationships are forming – building capacity for mission sending in each partner as well as creating the kinds of relationships and trust that will enable long-term sending of international teams.

He highlighted a missions training planned by EMM and PIPKA, to be held in Indonesia in the next year, and a Latin mission training planned by Rosedale Mennonite Missions and Amor Viviente, hosted by the Nicaraguan Mennonite Church later this year.

African Christian Mission International in Kenya reported on work it is doing in the Sudan and offered to help with funding for an Ethiopian missionary from MKC to serve in the Sudan.

In their business meeting, the IMA voted to receive mission representation from the Costa Rican Mennonite Church as a member, bringing the total number of member missions to 14. Two other groups have already applied for membership next year.

As the IMA continues to grow, members discussed the need for increased staff time. The executive committee is recommending that Tilahun, who has been giving 25 percent time to the IMA, be joined by part-time staff persons from Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Tanto Handoko, a leader from the JKI Mennonite Church in Indonesia, said, “Our country is experiencing a shaking like I’ve not seen in all my 40 years. Jesus said he’d pour out his Spirit and multitudes would flock to him. It’s beginning to happen, but we need to continue praying for breakthroughs in the Muslim and Buddhist worlds.” IMA leaders moved to form a global prayer network to cover the work of IMA partners. Handoko will coordinate the network.

-Jewel Showalter