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Your story: EMM alumni adventures

Monthly reflections and stories from EMM alumni, available online and via email.

  • A heart and a home for Somali refugees
    Written by
    A heart and a home for Somali refugees

    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.

  • I was sure I would die: Arlene Kreider's story of fear and inner trust while living in Ethiopia
    Written by
    I was sure I would die: Arlene Kreider's story of fear and inner trust while living in Ethiopia

    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.

  • What is your breath prayer?
    Written by
    What is your breath prayer?

    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.

  • A sweet warmth: cultivating a domestic church
    Written by
    A sweet warmth: cultivating a domestic church

    Coming home late, I can smell if he has already prayed. The beeswax candles leave a sweet warmth in the air for hours. It is always long after the children have been put to bed, with prayers and kisses and toddlers finding their second wind's second wind. It is in that decisive moment between reading one more chapter or laying the book down and heading to bed. We often wait too long, and we go sleepily to our prayer corner, yawning.

  • After West Africa: my story of becoming a missionary at home
    Written by
    After West Africa: my story of becoming a missionary at home

    My name is Nathanael Thorne. I am 24 years old and a full-time student and employee. I served on a YES team for a nine-month assignment to Guinea Bissau, West Africa.

  • The unexpected mentor
    Written by
    The unexpected mentor

    When a little old lady caught my eye, I didn’t think much of it. I was praying for a mentor, someone to walk with me through the seasons of life. The tiny woman wouldn’t have appeared intimidating under any circumstances, but it’s awkward, a tad scary, to ask someone to journey with you in life. I only knew her name. I assumed she was a Christian (she seemed to pray before her meals ... or maybe she dozed off, I didn’t actually know). I figured God had helped me to notice her. What would it hurt to ask her?

  • The risk of community service
    Written by
    The risk of community service

    In January, Twila Fisher became The Hill School’s first manager of community and economic development. The Pottstown, Pa., prep school sought to strengthen the surrounding neighborhood of Hobart’s Run. With passion and dedication, Twila has been working hard to revitalize the community. Here, Twila reflects on the challenges and Christian foundations of community development.

    “I don’t know a lot of things, but I do know what community looks like,” I said emphatically while combing over the faces of local leaders in the room. They nodded softly with understanding smiles. 

  • Showing Christ on the family farm
    Showing Christ on the family farm

    Making sure the kids have free time, bringing employees life instead of burnout, sacrificing valuable work time to make space for relationships. Jeff and Kendra Nissley can tell you that operating a family farm with a missional mindset isn’t easy. Today the Jubilee Dairy owners talk about restful living vs. to-do lists, building up their workers, and finding the unique ways that they can serve through farming.

  • Love God and love others. That's it.
    Written by
    Love God and love others. That's it.

    This is a story of learning God’s heart, bit by bit, like petals unfolding from the center. Since high school, God has taken me on journeys to make His heart my heart. The more I learn, the clearer it becomes — God’s desire is really very simple, though we have quite the way of complicating it. Love God and love others. That’s it. That’s the gospel, that’s what we’re called to do.

    My story begins like many others in this circle — I graduated from high school and joined YES. My team was in Southeast Asia from 2009–2010.

  • Small things
    Written by
    Small things

    Vincent Van Gogh is credited with saying, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

  • Finding my calling and making refugee friends at the Lancaster Stroopie Co.
    Written by
    Finding my calling and making refugee friends at the Lancaster Stroopie Co.

    The Lancaster Stroopie Co. makes a delicious traditional Dutch cookie – and the company is also known for employing refugees. The Stroopie Co. won last year’s Great Social Enterprise Pitch, an annual business plan competition in Lancaster, hosted by ASSETS Lancaster and the Lancaster County Community Foundation. Today on the blog, Stroopies manager Adrianne Huber talks about working alongside refugees and finding her calling in unexpected places – like a cookie company.

  • “I no longer see wolves, but broken men”
    Written by
    “I no longer see wolves, but broken men”

    “My initial thought was one of disgust and disdain ... Now I count these men among my friends.”

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.

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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.

Inspiring alumni
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Alumni marriage
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Alumni birth
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Alumni achievement
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Submitter's information
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