I have a confession to make — I LOVE to fix things. I mean I have it bad, and if you have known me for long, you know this about me, because it has become such a core piece of who I am. As soon as I hear of a need, immediately I am brainstorming and asking, "What can I do? Let's fix this!"
ATTAPEU, Laos and KERALA, India — Two devastating and unrelated flooding incidents in Asia have resulted in high numbers of death and displacement. In August 2018, Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) sent $9,500 toward relief efforts.
Before Mary and I went to Vietnam, I was profoundly moved by reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and pastor, hanged in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945, had written: "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die."
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.
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.
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.
SALUNGA, Pa. — Krista Martin began her role as Kingdom Team director for Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) on April 9, 2018. The focus of the Kingdom Team program is to provide opportunities for youth groups to serve refugees and immigrants alongside local community partners in Lancaster, Pa., while also participating in activities and sessions designed to strengthen their walk of discipleship. Kingdom Teams work with refugee children and youth through clubs, crafts, tutoring, English conversation activities, sports and games, and other activities that build community and exemplify the love of Christ.