LANCASTER, Pa. — Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) and 300 attendees celebrated the beginning of the renovations of 450 North Prince Street on Sunday, February 9. EMM is eager to move its administrative offices into this new space, which will allow them to continue their global ministry while engaging the local Lancaster community through a cross-cultural hospitality center. The drop-in reception and ceremony provided an opportunity for people to explore the building, view renderings of the renovated space, and ask for God’s blessing on the project.
Asher started second grade in the fall. For most second graders, starting school is a familiar process. They may return to the school where they went to first grade and might know the other kids in their classes. They may be a bit nervous about their teacher or disappointed to end vacation but overall not feel too overwhelmed. Asher’s first day of second grade felt a bit different from that.
In a culture that prizes independence and freedom from restraint, obedience sounds confining, even oppressive. It implies doing something I don’t want to do just because of a command from a person in authority. Children know that the most unsatisfying answer to the question “But why do I have to?” is “Because I said so.” As parents, we wish for that answer to be enough; we wish that our children would trust in our wisdom and love for them and know that obedience is for their good.
SALUNGA, Pa. — “Do Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same God?” is a perennial question that has led to much division in Christian theological circles. Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) global consultant Dr. David W. Shenk was invited to share his ministry reflections on this question in an October 2019 publication called Do Christians, Jews, and Muslims worship the same God?: Four views.
CATEL, Guinea-Bissau — “Yahweh, Yahweh,” sung with jubilant exultation ricocheted off the stucco walls of the modest Bissau-Guinean Mennonite meetinghouse. Dressed in colorful, traditional West African attire, participants at the annual conference of Mennonite Church West Africa (MCWA) celebrated the growing interest of Christocentric theology throughout the region.
Obedience is rarely what I think. When I say yes to God, I assume the story will take a particular turn or that He is concerned about a specific outcome, only to find new and different treasures He has in store for me. Maybe this is why obedience may cause confusion, disorientation, and pain. But it also brings beauty.
SALUNGA, Pa. — Paul Timothy (P. T.) Yoder Sr. passed away at the age of 91 on December 16, 2019. Yoder and his wife, Daisy, served as missionaries with Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) from 1956 to 1977.
SAN JERÓNIMO, Peru — While Quechua culture has garnered the attention of American audiences with the recent film “Dora and the Lost City of Gold,” one Mennonite school in Peru has worked quietly to educate Peruvian children and protect their culture for nearly 15 years.
BISHOFTU, Ethiopia — Standing in one of the regional offices of the Meserete Kristos Church (MKC), the church’s former president, Tewodros Beyene introduced several LMC leaders to the church’s administrative staff. He explained that the LMC delegation had come to listen to MKC.
WILLOW STREET, Pa. — On July 13, 2019, Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) held its annual missions and culture event at the Hans Herr House and Museum, drawing an estimated 1,600 visitors to Global Fair. Attendees had opportunities to hear a number of international performers on the fair’s new World Stage and to interact with EMM workers and community organizations, purchase food, or play kids games at more than 50 stands representing about 30 different cultures.
MUSOMA, Tanzania — Shouting, singing, and celebration resounded throughout the village. Water came flowing into tanks from Lake Victoria, which is just to the north of the Mennonite Theological College of East Africa (MTCEA). Acting Principal John Wambura recalled people in the village declaring, “God is back in Nyabange Mission.”
WILLOW STREET, Pa. — A limited budget or scant vacation time doesn’t have to mean a dismal summer. In fact, you can go around the world in just 4 hours at the 24th annual Global Fair on July 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Hans Herr House and Museum in Willow Street, Pa.
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — A father and his young child sat together in a quiet and removed location. While other conference attendees enjoyed their lunches, the father worked to lull his irascible child to sleep.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Two books from “The Christians Meeting Muslims Series” are making new inroads for Christian-Muslim relations in Ethiopia and Somalia.
SALUNGA, Pa. — Rhoda M. Sauder, 83, a pioneer and career missionary, passed into eternity on March 23, 2019, in Ephrata, Pa. Rhoda and her late husband, James Sauder, served with Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) for 30 years.
SHIRATI, Tanzania — In mid-February, 50 Tanzania Mennonite church leaders, under the guidance of Palmer Becker, a Canadian Mennonite author and teacher, studied spiritual leadership, pastoral care, and Anabaptist essentials using the translated publication, “Begin Anew: Christian Discipleship Seminars.”
Gerry Keener, president of Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM), is pleased to announce that Lorri Bentch has been appointed as the Mission Team director. Bentch will begin employment on April 3, providing leadership to 111 global workers serving in 33 countries, including regional representatives, and five Central Administrative Office staff members.
AKRON, Pa. — Twelve people were gathered closely in a circle as Yvonne Garber uttered a simple Swahili phrase: “Mungu Anajua.” Garber then shared the translation of this short expression — “God knows” — as she and her husband, Joe, elaborated about how they first discerned a calling to serve the Tanzania Mennonite Church: Kanisa la Mennonite Tanzania (KMT).
This annual report is an overview of EMM’s work in 2018. It provides glimpses of the major events that happened in each of the 12 regions where EMM workers are serving, introduces you to the people working in each region, and shows how EMM funds were allocated throughout the year. For a more in-depth look at EMM’s vision for each region of the world and the work taking place there, visit emm.org/regions. Stay updated on EMM’s work through news releases, feature stories, podcasts, photo galleries, and more at emm.org/stories. Thank you for taking the time to engage with EMM’s mission!