News stories

August 18, 2016

Remembering James Sauder, “incurable” missionary

Written by Nita Landis

SALUNGA, Pa. — “There would be many reasons for staying at home. We have already given our best 25 years to overseas work. We have built a house but have rarely lived in it. Our fruit trees invite us to remain and consume their bountiful harvest. Our parents have been in the hospital several times of late. We would enjoy keeping frequent contact with our growing children in the United States.”

Those were the words of missionary James Sauder (February 4, 1935 – July 22, 2016) after 25 years of evangelism, church planting, Bible teaching, and leadership development through Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) in Honduras and beyond. Yet Sauder and his wife Rhoda left home again to live and serve in the Dominican Republic, extending their missionary career to 30 years with EMM.

SALUNGA, Pa. — She wrote countless lesson plans, graded hundreds of compositions, welcomed students who needed a listening ear at all hours, and poured many, many cups of tea. She had a quiet but profound influence on early leaders of Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia, the largest Anabaptist conference in the world today.

LANCASTER, Pa. — Middle school students from refugee families resettled in Lancaster, Pa., expanded their language skills and cultural understanding during Leap into Language, a June-July program staffed through a first-ever partnership between Eastern Mennonite Missions’ Kingdom Teams (K-Teams), The Refugee Center at Reynolds, and the School District of Lancaster.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Forty leaders gathered to explore ways to combat anti-Muslim speech and behavior July 11-13, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Among the 40 academics, activists, Christians, Jews, journalists, Muslims, non-religious, and politicians present was Jonathan Bornman, global consultant serving with Eastern Mennonite Missions.

July 13, 2016

EMM missionaries commissioned to serve in 14 countries

Written by Linda Moffett

WILLOW STREET, Pa. — Thirty-two adults and children were commissioned as missionaries at EMM’s commissioning service on July 10, 2016, at Willow Street Mennonite Church. The workers, both new and reappointed, will be serving in 14 countries including the U.S.

WILLOW STREET, Pa. — More than 1,000 visitors enjoyed learning about the cultures, foods, and customs of countries around the world at Eastern Mennonite Missions’ Global Fair on Saturday, July 9, 2016. The grounds of the Hans Herr House and Museum were filled with exhibits hosted by EMM workers, staff, volunteers, and friends of more than 16 countries around the world. Visitors could purchase delicious food from places like Somalia, Puerto Rico, and Tajikistan. Children enjoyed creating free crafts, petting llamas, and playing a variety of international games.

MILTON, Pa. Inviting a Muslim family to share a meal in your home: is this simple action key to helping Christians build bridges of friendship with their Muslim neighbors? After leading a group of Community Mennonite Fellowship congregants through sections of David W. Shenk’s “Approaches to Islam” video course, that’s just what Ron Geib did. And after a class filled with enthusiastic learning and discussion, about 20 other churchgoers are better prepared to take those simple, significant steps toward making Muslim friends.

“For me, the Alhambra became a metaphor for what can happen when people work together peacefully across religions and cultures,” said David Shenk, after visiting the historic Moorish palace while on a trip to promote Christian-Muslim relations in Spain. “When there is intercommunal peace, the result can be phenomenal beauty.”