Why do over 25% of children in Belize stop going to school by age 12? Because secondary school isn’t free. That’s why Miriam Eberly, who formerly served with EMM in Belize, started a scholarship fund to help students get the education they need to achieve their dreams.
In 1936, EMM started the Mennonite Theological College of Eastern Africa (MTCEA) to train young church leaders. Today, the college is run by Tanzania Mennonite Church. But in recent years, the college struggled. In 2016, enrollment had dwindled to just three students.
Quechua children in Peru face discrimination in local schools due to their ethnicity and their evangelical faith. The Peruvian Mennonite Church decided to establish an alternative to the local school system by founding PROMESA, which offers an academically advanced, Christian education that also frees children from experiencing discrimination at school.
Children living in the remote villages of the Andean mountains of Peru face a number of health challenges, including malnutrition, parasites, and anemia. Fortunately, these conditions are treatable and preventable with education and assistance.
Far from busy Nairobi, the remote Pokot tribe maintains its centuries-old way of life. The tribe does not use wells or even roads. They herd goats and cattle. Traditionally, they organize livestock raids against their neighbors, the Turkana tribe, and are attacked in return. The legacy of enmity between the tribes is hundreds of years old.
“The flow of refugees into Germany, already very high, is expected to increase in a way we’ve never seen before,” said an EMM worker in Halle, Germany. At Begegnungraum der Kulturen (The Meeting Place of Cultures) – an immigrant ministry through local church Soli Deo in Halle – refugees receive aid in their hour of need. Many arrive traumatized and fearful. But everyone who comes to the immigrant center is treated with dignity and respect, welcomed despite being strangers and foreigners in a new country.
The beauty of the islands lying off the coast of southern Chile is tainted by darkness. Government studies indicate that as many as eight out of 10 children there are being sexually abused. Throughout Chile, EMM workers have joined with others to help prevent the abuse.
In rural Cambodia, an after-school children's program is changing lives. Children ages seven to 14 can take part in a program that provides math tutoring, Khmer language skills (many enter the program not even knowing the basic alphabet), and Scriptural education.
Sotik, Kenya, was the site of intense conflict between the Kisii and the Kipsigi during Kenya's controversial elections in December 2007. "Men wielded machetes and rifles, women carried stones to launch at homes, and children helped their parents however they could. Even the pastors, elders, and church members were carrying guns and shooting their neighbors - those who called themselves Christians, all fighting together," said Pastor George Nyaundi.
"Leadership development and theological training for pastors continue to be pressing needs of the Vietnamese church. While some Bible schools were legally recognized since 2004, there is still a huge shortage of adequately trained leaders, pastors and teachers. There is a lot of catching up to do as a result of 30 years of near total restrictions on training. Some of those restrictions continue to this day," says Gerry Keener, an EMM non-resident missionary who teaches in a ministry training institute started by the Vietnam Mennonite Church. "The Mennonite training institute in Vietnam provides a framework in which we can train Mennonite leaders as well as share Anabaptist-oriented curricular materials with other denominations.”