March 7, 2017

A heart and a home for Somali refugees

Written by Emily Jones

Omar Khamis stands with Lamar and Barbara Witmer in 2007. Khamis, a Somali refugee, temporarily lived on the first floor of the Witmers' home in Lancaster City. Photo provided by Barbara Witmer.

Lancaster City has recently become known as “America’s refugee capital,” following a report by the BBC which said that Lancaster takes in 20 times more refugees per capita than the rest of the U.S. Meet Barbara Witmer, one Lancaster City resident whose longstanding commitment to refugee resettlement has affected hundreds of lives.

February 21, 2017

Put on, put off

Written by Karl A. McKinney

Sally and I knew El*  would be the first woman to arrive for worship every Sunday morning. She’d be out front of the church with her headphones on, dancing wildly to “Stomp” by Kirk Franklin.

In the 1970s, a Marxist military group called the Derg gained control of Ethiopia by force. There followed several years of civil unrest, in which gunfire seemed to resound beyond every horizon, friends and neighbors were divided by fear and betrayal, and the church was forced deep underground.

February 3, 2017

The legacy of welcome

Written by Kaylene Derksen

What does “welcoming refugees” mean to me?

Tuesday night, on the last day of January 2017, I stood on Penn Square in the setting sun with 2,000 of my neighbors in support of refugees and immigrants in our city and in our country.

January 13, 2017

Failures in neighborliness (and undeserved successes)

Written by Darlene Sommers
When my husband Owen and I moved to our home in Mount Joy in 2009, we were so excited to meet our new neighbors and get settled into our quiet country neighborhood. Successful?
January 9, 2017

16 simple ways to open doors in your community

Written by Mary Louise Hostetter
As the Missions Director at Willow Street Mennonite Church, I enjoy the challenge of giving guidance and inspiration to my church family as we develop and implement the mission outreach of our church. At the heart of our programs is the belief that every household is a mission team. We don’t have to wonder if this is God's plan for us ... He has already commanded it in His word! (Matthew 28:19-20)
December 28, 2016

What is your breath prayer?

Written by Karen Baker

Last year, Karen Baker and her family moved back to the U.S. after serving for three years as EMM missionaries in a rural area of Guinea-Bissau. Here are some of her reflections since coming home.

December 19, 2016

Great joy ... again

Written by Nita Landis

We were not intending to start a tradition. But we’ve done it twice now. And at the end of the night this year, lots of people were saying, “Next year, let’s … “

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