There are countless stories to tell of all the ways that God is at work through EMM workers around the world.
Here is a brief glimpse of stories from these regions in 2020.
Mission snapshots around the world
|Gambia | Kenya | Senegal | Sierra Leone | Tanzania | 1 sensitive country|
10 long-term workers; 2 short-term workers
Mennonite Church West Africa continues to grow. In 2020, the church in Guinea-Bissau planted a new church in Guinea-Conakry that already has 40 adult participants and a children’s ministry group of 50. EMM volunteer worker Beryl Forrester taught church members throughout the region about the book of Romans and Anabaptist theology through audio and video messages during the pandemic.
EMM worker Peter Sensenig, along with Jon Rudy, traveled to the University of Hargeisa and the University of Burao in Somaliland in early March to teach on peace-building and support the Somalis who are committed to peacemaking in their context. The legacy of many Mennonites who served in Somalia continues to open doors for fruitful dialogue.
|Belize | Chile | Costa Rica | Guatemala | Honduras|
15 long-term workers; 4 mission interns
In Guatemala, EMM worker Ted Smoker has been working alongside the church as people have been working together and collaborating to help those in need in response to the devastating flooding that impacted the entire region. Many churches and homes have opened their doors to whatever family needs a place to stay. Bezaleel School is currently hosting 20 families in the undamaged part of the campus. People have seen divisions breaking down, new relationships created, old wounds forgotten as people forget their petty jealousies and rivalries, and learn to rely on their brothers and sisters.
In Cusco, Peru, COVID-19 has brought about a crisis of devastating economic needs challenging the churches and the church school, Promesa, as never before. Through the partnership of EMM and LMC, we have been able to bring some economic relief. Transcending all difficulties, a young man obediently went to the next village, and in December, a new church was started, 11 people were baptized, and a small meeting house was built. The country still suffers greatly from the pandemic and continues in lockdown. Yet, the message from the pastors is, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I will say it; rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
|U.S. | globally|
13 long-term workers; 5 Advance participants; 41 Kingdom Team participants
The Christian-Muslim Relations Team creatively adapted to the travel and gathering restrictions of the pandemic by connecting with peacemakers worldwide via Zoom for prayer and training, creating new video content, providing training to the Advance participants, and developing training materials for local small groups about how to dialog, witness, be peacemakers and show hospitality to Muslims.
COVID-19 realities altered the way the Kingdom Team (K-Team)program ran this summer. Teams could not stay in the same residence, and outreach opportunities were either canceled or limited in scope. During the week of August 3–7, Mountville (Pa.) Mennonite Church’s Kingdom Team creatively partnered with Grape Leaf Empowerment Center to serve Lancaster’s refugee community.
|Cambodia | Thailand | 6 sensitive countries|
32 long-term workers; 1 mission intern
Elizabeth* continues her ministry of discipleship, evangelism, and teaching in Central Asia. God has opened up many doors for her to share the love of Christ with nonbelievers as well as building up the church.
For EMM worker Alexander*, the year started with a few encouraging projects: helping a local pastor who was interested in starting a dairy project and another young man looking to start a café. He was also planning business training for young people in the church. The COVID-19 situation and lockdown halted most of those plans. However, new opportunities arose to work with several church leaders to help them respond to the community’s needs, including purchasing an oxygen concentrator to help Covid-19 patients who could not access the region’s limited resources.
EMM workers Andre and Karen Provost work among unreached people groups in Sisaket Province, Thailand. They are training Thai leaders in evangelism and discipleship in order to multiply their impact throughout the region. The Provosts have made significant inroads into various districts and go out on a daily basis to share the gospel in homes and even at Buddhist temples. Andre has even met with a Buddhist monk who wants to learn more about Jesus.
Also in Thailand, the Life Enrichment Church has celebrated 15 baptisms and some significant leadership growth blossoming out of the restructuring process that was facilitated by EMM workers Mark and Sarah Schoenhals. This new structure brought about new growth opportunities for the leaders, and all without missionaries being present for most of this past year due to border closures.
In Cambodia, EMM worker Debbie* wanted to invite an elderly neighbor into a relationship with Jesus but was discouraged by the woman’s bitterness and unwillingness to forgive her son-in-law. Debbie felt some urgency and thought, “Her time is short.” Debbie asked her if she would accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The woman prayed with Debbie and began the process of forgiveness. Sadly, she died just over a week later, but she died with the assurance of peace with Christ and her family.
|Albania | Czech Republic | Germany | Netherlands | Spain | Wales, U.K.|
21 long-term workers; 3 mission interns
Soli Deo church in Germany continued to meet via small house groups during the numerous lockdowns throughout the year. Three new believers from the Middle East were baptized, bringing the total number of people baptized in the last five years to more than 50. Many of these new Christians come from Muslim backgrounds.
Mike and Roberta Lotvola direct a discipleship training center in Kaiserslautern, Germany. They were able to continue the program, with modifications, during the pandemic. Two married couples from the Middle East lived in the center while waiting on immigration paperwork. The Lotvolas read the Bible with them each night and discussed the impact of Jesus in their lives.
In the Czech Republic, Café Connect started again in the fall, with most regular attendees re-joining to practice English and build relationships. EMM workers utilize avenues like Café Connect, prison ministry, and youth mentorship to make disciples in this country where less than 1 percent of people know Christ.
|3 sensitive countries|
4 long-term workers
EMM workers Michael and Laura* found ways to connect two people groups who are historically at odds with each other. Using Zoom and WhatsApp, these new believers are building relationships, growing in their faith, and being discipled to share the gospel with others. Discovery Bible studies have proved very effective in multiplying disciples in this region.
Lucy*, while engaged in learning Arabic in the region, regularly visits Muslim refugee families and builds relationships of Christian witness.
EMM had 110 workers serving in 29 countries in 2020
(10 countries/regions within shaded areas not named for security concerns)
95 Long-term workers
15 Short-term workers
393 Missionary Support Team members on 73 teams
33 Staff (24 full-time and 11 part-time)
15 Board members (who served at any point in 2020)
|2020 operating fund balance sheet|
|Cash and cash equivalents||$1,597,729|
|Capital campaign pledges||$721,454|
|Interest in MASP reserve||$376,711|
|Property and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation||$4,889,846|
|Liabilities and net assets|
|Funds in custody||$2,694,258|
|Designated net assets||$4,064,789|
|Undesignated net assets||$7,290,919|
|Total liabilities and net assets||$14,407,046|
This is an unaudited balance sheet as of December 31, 2020.
|Total 2020 expenses by function: $6,127,878|
|Total 2020 income by source: $6,688,709|
|37.5%||LMC — A Fellowship of
|9.5%||Estates and trusts|
|0.4%||Capital campaign pledges|
|Total 2020 income by type: $6,688,709|
|43.0%||Personnel and projects (restricted)|