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Your story: EMM alumni adventures
Called to Burma
Written by Sean Fitzgerald
Many people have never heard of this country, or if they have, they know little about it. The government has guaranteed this cloak of secrecy over the last 60-plus years of military junta ruling by keeping much of the country closed, with severe and swift consequences for anyone they even suspect of questioning their laws or legitimacy. Secret police are located everywhere, spying on their own citizens and making those they feel may be a threat disappear, temporarily or permanently.
What does "church" look like?
Written by Jason Rissler
I was recently asked, "What does church planting look like?" I have been privileged to be part of two church planting efforts, one in Ohio Mennonite Conference and one in LMC: a fellowship of Anabaptist churches.
Adopted into the right family
Written by Mary Minor
It began September 4, 1944. A little girl was born to an unwed mother. This little girl would go on to experience pain, shame, and rejection throughout her early years. She was socially awkward and always felt left out. You see, during this period of her life, it was a disgrace to have a child out of wedlock. Her mother hid her for over 14 years before anyone got a chance to meet her. Not sure of her place or purpose in life, she began dreaming of being important — or rather, being noticed.
Apprehensive volunteer builds houses ... and bridges
Written by Barry Freed
In 2015, an intense tropical typhoon named Soudelor hit the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the U.S. in the Pacific Ocean, and caused extensive damage to the island of Saipan. I was oblivious to a place called Saipan, and the typhoon that devastated it, until I visited friends in Alabama a whole year later.
Former mission worker to Belize provides scholarships for Belizean secondary students
Written by Emily Jones
For Miriam Eberly, a former Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) worker in Belize, her scholarship fund for Belizean secondary students is a way to invest in the future of the country that captured her heart over 50 years ago.
Why I hiked the Andes for a cause
Written by Melissa Stehman
Melissa Stehman of Manheim, Pa., was a trekker on EMM's 2017 Peru Trek for PROMESA. Along with nine other hikers, Melissa trekked 61 miles over five days, sometimes climbing higher than 16,000 feet above sea level. The purpose? Raising funds to build a new school for Peruvian Mennonite K-12 students! Here are Melissa's memories from the trip.
Brooke in Guatemala
From March to July 2017, Brooke Leaman spent part of her gap year between high school and college serving in Guatemala at a children's home called Casa Shalom in partnership with the organization We Help Children. In an interview after her mission internship, Brooke told us about her experience, which included toddlers, friendships, and lots of dancing!
Learning to say "Welcome"
Written by Jenni Wagler
Over the past seven years, I've met inspiring, resilient, kind, hilarious, hospitable, hard-working friends who all have one thing in common: they've come to North America as refugees.
The practice of not knowing
Written by Kaylene Derksen
In 1999, when my husband Jimm and I were on our way to Halle, Germany, to help start a community of believers, we did our research.
Zachary in Guatemala
At the beginning of 2017, Zachary Ranck served as a mission intern for three months at a rural Guatemalan orphanage called Manos de Compasión ("Hands of Compassion").
Tyler in Germany
Tyler Auker served as a discipleship intern for three months in an eastern German city, working with a local church by building meaningful relationships with refugees, immigrants, and other locals.
The privilege of being a missionary
Written by Phyllis Groff
After a total of 26 years serving with EMM in Maine, Guatemala, and Belize, Phyllis Groff and her husband Galen have retired this year. Here, Phyllis looks back on the missionary journey that spans over four decades of her life.
Send in YOUR story!
We know you've got one. One story and a photo or two -- a glimpse of your life, reflections, whatever. Send us 300 -- 500 words for possible use in Your story and on Facebook.
Staying in touch
We love learning about how God is extending His kingdom through alumni after they complete service with EMM. Please submit the names of EMM alumni whose lives would help inspire all of us to keep moving in mission.
Notes about alumni marriages, births, and achievements are also welcome! We will publish stories of inspiring alumni and announcements of marriages, births, and achievements in Missionary Messenger, our bimonthly magazine, as space permits.