Micah Brickner

Micah Brickner

podcastEMM’s first adventure fundraiser meant steep climbs, beautiful views — and over $58,000 to benefit the PROMESA school!

Focus is a weekly 3 minute radio program which airs on WDAC (94.5 fm) on Saturdays at 8:55 p.m. This program aired on Saturday, December 2, 2017.

In 2017, 46 churches each gave over $5,000, and 28 churches each gave over $10,000.

Metzler Mennonite Church, a 290-year-old congregation in Ephrata, Pa., has made the work of EMM a long-time priority. When asked why his church gives regularly to EMM’s Impact Fund, Deacon Lee Roy Martin said:

The Metzler congregation has a long history of supporting the work of EMM. During EMM’s earlier years in Tanganikya (now Tanzania), a member of our congregation served as a missionary. Throughout the years since then, members have served with EMM at home and abroad. Interest in missions remains strong when members connect on a personal level with those serving. Our congregation provides a subscription to Missionary Messenger for each family, as another way to help keep the congregation informed and connected.

We believe in the importance of supporting the mission efforts of our conference and have included EMM on our offering schedule for many years. Our congregation continues to provide support because we trust EMM to faithfully live out Jesus’ call to go into all the world and make disciples. The mission statement of EMM aligns with the mission statement of our congregation. EMM is an extension of our congregation’s vision, enabling us to reach beyond ourselves.

By supporting EMM, we are helping to share God’s transforming love and participating in God’s mission in the world.

EMM considers its relationship with churches to be like a family, as we all work together toward the life-transforming mission of God. This means that EMM encourages and resources the missional work of local congregations — at the same time, we rely on churches to support local and global mission work. EMM is incredibly thankful for churches like Metzler Mennonite Church.

Perhaps your church is considering supporting EMM financially. Lee Roy shared some advice, as your church explores this possibility:

You should view the decision as more than a financial one. Supporting EMM is a privilege and an opportunity to participate in enlarging the kingdom of God.

If you feel that God may be asking your church to give regularly to EMM’s Impact Fund, I invite you to give here. I am also happy to discuss church giving with you; contact me. EMM would be delighted to partner with your church, as together we work toward making disciples of Jesus locally and around the world!

Kaylene Derksen serves as Development director at EMM.

In 2017, 14 businesses gave to EMM’s Impact Fund

Individual donors and congregations are a vital part of EMM’s support structure. Another leg of support is the businesses who give financially to this mission.

Adrian Groff, vice president of Groff’s Heating & Plumbing in Willow Street, Pa., says the following about why his family-run, Lancaster-born business gives to EMM:

“We have been partnering with EMM for many years and have always been impressed by the leadership and vision of EMM’s team. The Impact Fund seems to be a valuable kingdom tool that allows local businesses to make an impact that follows the heart of Christ, here and abroad.

God has given amazing resources to business folks in Lancaster. He is asking the business and church communities here to be faithful stewards of our Christian heritage. Groff’s is just one of many businesses that are looking to invest in people in a way that brings value and the love of Christ to as many communities as possible!”

I’m thankful to Lancaster County — and beyond — for the constant generosity you have shown over the past hundred years and more, as EMM has worked to share the love of Jesus locally and throughout the world.

We are also thankful for those businesses who are currently partnering with EMM through sponsorships — learn more about them. To find out how you or your business can respond to God’s compelling love through crossing cultures, engaging the world, and inviting people to becoming disciples of Jesus, contact me. You can also give anytime at emm.org/impactfund. God bless you!

Kaylene Derksen serves as Development director at EMM.

In 2017, 49 people gave to EMM in someone’s honor

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill

In May and June, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day bring opportunities to thank those who raised and nurtured us. On occasions like these when you want to celebrate your loved ones, consider giving a charitable gift in their honor. Your gift will make a lasting impact on others, just as your family member or friend has done for you.

When Nevin and Mary Boll of Lititz, Pa. were getting ready to celebrate a milestone in their lives, they wanted to make charitable gifts a part of their big day. Mary tells us what this day meant to her:

“When we considered our upcoming 50th wedding anniversary, we felt we needed to celebrate this tremendous blessing from God. We decided to have an afternoon drop-in for extended family and friends.

We debated how to handle gifts, and that’s when we talked about what Nevin’s parents had done on their 50th. They requested that gifts go to Mennonite Disaster Service, which Nevin’s father was involved with for many years. For us, we knew EMM would be our choice. In our invitations, we put this note: ‘No gifts necessary, but if you wish to honor Nevin and Mary, please consider a donation to Eastern Mennonite Missions to support Kosti and Ori Zguri in Albania.’

We had already pledged an amount to the Zguris’ ministry. We assumed that even with any anniversary gifts that might come, we would need to add to that amount by several hundred dollars to meet our pledge, which we were happy to do. Well, the total gifts turned out to be more than what we had pledged!

We felt very humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support for the Zguris, as well as the show of honor and love to us. We still got a few gifts, but the gifts to EMM were the best part. After 50 years, we don’t need more stuff, but this gift helped others have an investment in the work in Albania and will hopefully help them remember to pray for the place in which they invested.”

Maybe you’d like to include world missions in your gift-giving, too. Whether that means asking others to give charitably on your behalf — as Nevin and Mary did — or giving a charitable gift in someone’s honor, it is always a beautiful thing to express your thanks through generosity. Consider EMM’s Impact Fund as you give. The Impact Fund sustains all areas of God’s mission through EMM, and for a person who is passionate about sharing Jesus with the world, a gift to the Impact Fund on their behalf is sure to be meaningful.  

110 individuals have given to the Impact Fund 5 years in a row.

EMM’s Impact Fund is like soil that quietly sustains new growth, including all the exciting work of the past year recounted in this annual report. From 84 youth baptisms in Cambodia to locally-led community development projects in Guinea-Bissau, each moment of transformation was undergirded by worker recruitment, missionary training, connecting local churches with overseas needs, providing crisis care for EMM workers, and a host of other things made possible by the Impact Fund.

And who makes the Impact Fund possible? You! EMM staff and workers are so grateful for those who give to God’s mission through the Impact Fund. Six hundred twenty-eight individuals gave to the Impact Fund in 2017, raising $358,926! One hundred ten of these people have given to the Impact Fund five consecutive years. Josh and Rosemary Blessing of Lititz, Pa., are among these regular givers. I asked them what compels them to give, and here is what they said:

“My (Josh’s) first exposure to EMM came through a ‘Perspectives on the World Christian Movement’ class where EMM worker David Shenk was one of the presenters. This was only a few years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. David shared some of his stories of witness among Muslim people groups, and I will never forget hearing how he was invited to dialogue with imams in Iran and the London Central Mosque. He said that those in London told him they wanted to invite him back because ‘we know you love Muslims.’ What a fantastic witness.

Then I happened to look up David on YouTube, and sure enough, there were videos of him giving a clear and passionate, yet loving witness of Jesus to a large group of Islamic scholars. I was amazed at how God was using David in that environment, and since then I have been inspired by the other members of the Christian-Muslim Relations Team. We need more peaceful Christian witness in the world today, and EMM helps facilitate this kind of voice!

We love EMM because it seeks to live out its vision both locally and overseas. The world has come to our hometown through immigration and refugees, and EMM wants to use its resources to help serve and be a witness to that population right here in Lancaster. What a great idea! Any mission organization must deal with changing realities and be flexible enough to serve where there are great needs, especially if they are right next door.”

Perhaps EMM is doing work that inspires you and makes you want to join in, too. EMM workers are engaged in church planting, leadership training, health care, community development, and so much more. You can flip through the pages of this annual report for a sample, and visit emm.org to dig deeper.

I hope you’ll consider becoming a part of this work by giving to the Impact Fund. You can learn more about how to do that at emm.org/impactfund. May God bless you with opportunities to join His mission in life-giving ways, whatever they may be!

23 donors gave on a monthly basis in 2017 (Jan.–Oct.) for a total of $104,015.12

podcastHow do the children of EMM workers demonstrate peace? Hear two stories.

Focus is a weekly 3 minute radio program which airs on WDAC (94.5 fm) on Saturdays at 8:55 p.m. This program aired on Saturday, November 25, 2017.

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").

podcastSmall rules of social etiquette make a big difference for an EMM worker in a closed country in Asia!

Focus is a weekly 3 minute radio program which airs on WDAC (94.5 fm) on Saturdays at 8:55 p.m. This program aired on Saturday, November 18, 2017.

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