Going right instead of left. Taking an unexpected path. Saying “yes” instead of “no.” Small steps, small decisions can often result in life-changing events.
For me, it was finding a very small newspaper clipping one October morning in my local Merchandiser newspaper — probably no larger than 1 inch by 2 inches. Eastern Mennonite Missions was looking for a writer. Answering that ad — a simple step — would change my life in profound ways.
Although I had received a master’s degree in journalism several decades earlier, I had not used my degree in a professional capacity. But with two daughters off to college and a son in high school who was weary of my full-time attention, the time seemed apropos to spread my wings just a little.
It was with trepidation that I applied for the writer’s position. After passing grammar, spelling, and writing tests, I began as a part-time writer at EMM on November 7, 2007. I didn’t know then how much my life would be enriched!
In 2007, Stephanie Hanna was the Missionary Messenger editor. Her command of grammar and the English language, a very good grasp of seeing and assessing the big picture, and her love of the Oxford comma is surpassed by none! It was a privilege to work six years with Stephanie who taught me much about pursuing excellence. During that period I also had the very good fortune to work with another amazing writer, Jewel Showalter. Jewel’s vast knowledge and experience in missions was such a gift to me. We shared an office and I was in awe of her efficiency in writing a story and her unwavering testimony of God’s faithfulness in all things. In 2013, Nita Landis was the next editor. Nita brought such enthusiasm to her role. I appreciated her firm commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have served under three EMM presidents: Richard Showalter, Nelson Okanya, and Gerry Keener. I can say without reservation that it’s been a huge blessing to observe the leadership of three such godly and wise men — each uniquely gifted in their own right — each contributing to the kingdom and making EMM a better mission organization.
My last five years as an editor have been truly rewarding. There wasn’t a single day when I wasn’t excited and eager to come to work; not everyone gets to work in their dream job but I did! I am a stronger Christian — and indeed a better person, I hope — because of my interactions with my co-workers both in the office and abroad. Indeed, it’s been a unique privilege to work with, and befriend, so many great people in our Central Administrative Office. I am so much richer for this experience.
Whether it was writing stories about faithful servants like Dora Taylor and Nancy Marshall (May/June 2008) or interviewing Missionary Support Team members (July/August 2018) or editing dozens and dozens of articles by our talented and courageous workers; sharing these God stories has seemed like a sacred task. I am humbled that I was entrusted with this work.
I am excited that Micah Brickner, communications director, will serve as the next Missionary Messenger editor. He is more than capable; he’s smart, forward-thinking, sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, and full of great ideas! I am excited about EMM’s move to the city and what that might mean for the immigrant and refugee population there. I am excited about EMM’s mission statement which remains the same: “Christ’s transforming love compels us to cross cultures, engage the world, and make disciples of Jesus.”
May it be so. Thank you for letting me serve in this role.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Linda Cole Moffett
With the completion of this issue, Linda Moffett will be leaving her role as MM editor. Thank you Linda, for your years of service to EMM which has produced careful and gracious writing and editing of many inspiring news and stories. You have blessed us with your command of words, your deep commitment to Christ, and your ceaseless efforts to reach out and bless those around you. God bless. — Joe Hollinger, Advancement Director