This is a story of learning God’s heart, bit by bit, like petals unfolding from the center. Since high school, God has taken me on journeys to make His heart my heart. The more I learn, the clearer it becomes — God’s desire is really very simple, though we have quite the way of complicating it. Love God and love others. That’s it. That’s the gospel, that’s what we’re called to do.
My story begins like many others in this circle — I graduated from high school and joined YES. My team was in Southeast Asia from 2009–2010.
SASKATOON, SK, Canada — David W. Shenk, a global consultant with Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM), served as the keynote speaker for this year’s Christian Medical and Dental Society (CMDS) National Conference on May 26–29, 2016. The theme of the 2016 conference, which was attended by Christian medical professionals from Canada, was “Welcoming strangers.”
“Honestly, I laughed at the thought of going into missions,” said Becky Gant to a crowd of other YES alumni. “Me? I’m not good enough. I did everything in my power not to go into YES. Well, I lost, and I applied.”
NAIROBI, Kenya — David Shenk and Jonathan Bornman, members of Eastern Mennonite Missions’ (EMM) Christian/Muslim Relations Team (CMRT), traveled to Kenya at the invitation of the Kenya Mennonite Church (KMC) from April 27 – May 8, 2016.
HEREDIA, Costa Rica – Five Central American church leaders, along with three EMM workers and the founders of the Costa Rican VidaNet discipleship network, met on March 10–11, 2016, to develop plans for an Anabaptist mission and discipleship training center that will serve all of Central America.
The Lancaster Stroopie Co. makes a delicious traditional Dutch cookie – and the company is also known for employing refugees. The Stroopie Co. won last year’s Great Social Enterprise Pitch, an annual business plan competition in Lancaster, hosted by ASSETS Lancaster and the Lancaster County Community Foundation. Today on the blog, Stroopies manager Adrianne Huber talks about working alongside refugees and finding her calling in unexpected places – like a cookie company.
Israel-Palestine: a land revered by so many, and yet a land torn apart by the different claims made upon it. From March 2–10, I traveled there with David Shenk. Wherever we walked – among Palestinians and Jews, among evangelicals and Muslims, through ancient holy sites and through cities under occupation – he asked his standard question, “What are the signs of hope?”
SAN PEDRO CARCHÁ, Guatemala – Like many small-scale Guatemalan coffee farmers, K’ekchi’ coffee growers have been plagued in recent years by a destructive Central American coffee fungus known as “la roya.” Hoping to promote solutions, Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) worker Ted Smoker has been helping to link K’ekchi’ farmers with education opportunities through Anacafé, a nonprofit organization that represents thousands of coffee farmers throughout Guatemala.
MIGORI, Kenya – Jackson Okanya, 33, a farmer, businessman, and entrepreneur in rural western Kenya, has spent the past three years building a farming business through his own labor and funds. After graduating from Daystar University in Nairobi with a degree in community development in 2010, Okanya, brother of Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) President Nelson Okanya, spent several years working at the EMM offices in Nairobi and studying efficient agricultural methods.
Nathanael Davis, a mission intern with Eastern Mennonite Missions in Belize, used his skills as an American Sign Language interpreter to work with the Ministry of Education in putting on the 20th annual National Spelling Bee for the Deaf on December 3, 2015.
CATEL, Guinea-Bissau – After two and a half years of construction, a Catel clinic began operating out of its new building on February 29, 2016.
LITITZ, Pa. – Many first-time meetings between members of the different faiths are characterized by “a tremendous amount of fear,” says Jonathan Bornman, a member of Eastern Mennonite Missions’ Christian/Muslim Relations Team who has facilitated many interactions between Christians and Muslims. As part of his efforts to reduce fear and increase understanding, Bornman, along with his colleague Andres Prins, held a workshop titled “Understanding your Muslim Neighbors” at Lititz Mennonite Church on February 27, 2016.
MIAMI, Fla. – Eastern Mennonite Missions Christian/Muslim Relations Team member Andres Prins helped to facilitate a meeting between Hispanic church leaders and members of a Miami area mosque on January 29, 2016.
“Jesus doesn't give an explanation for the pain and sorrow of the world. He comes where the pain is most acute and takes it upon himself. … He brings healing and hope. … He allows evil to do its worst to him. He exhausts it, drains its power, and emerges with new life.” — N. T. Wright