Before Mary and I went to Vietnam, I was profoundly moved by reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. Bonhoeffer, a German theologian and pastor, hanged in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945, had written: "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die."
FOZ DO IGUAÇU, Brazil — A first-ever interfaith dialogue gathering for evangelical Christians and Sunni Muslims in the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguaçu was held on July 17. The Centro Cultural Beneficente Islâmico de Foz do Iguaçu and the Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) Christian-Muslim Relations Team (CMRT) co-sponsored the gathering with the theme, “Peace: Connecting personal experience with Peace on Earth.”
SEMARANG, Indonesia — A trip to Indonesia changed the way that 29 students see the world. From June 26 to July 14, the Chamber Choir of the Mennonite Children’s Choir of Lancaster (MCCL) participated in a GO! Summer mission assignment with Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM).
Many people have never heard of this country, or if they have, they know little about it. The government has guaranteed this cloak of secrecy over the last 60-plus years of military junta ruling by keeping much of the country closed, with severe and swift consequences for anyone they even suspect of questioning their laws or legitimacy. Secret police are located everywhere, spying on their own citizens and making those they feel may be a threat disappear, temporarily or permanently.
LANCASTER, Pa. — “Discipleship sessions were a big area of focus,” said Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) Kingdom Team Director Krista Martin when asked to highlight what is new for the program this year. The curriculum is based on EMM’s mission statement, providing instruction for Kingdom Team staff to help teach the program participants.
WILLOW STREET, Pa. — It’s all about the international food — at least according to Luke Charles, 35, of Millersville, Pa., who has not missed Eastern Mennonite Missions’ (EMM’s) Global Fair for 19 of the event’s 23 years.
LANCASTER, Pa. — Lancaster educators know refugee resettlement isn’t just about offering a new home, but also helping refugees navigate the years of readjustment ahead of them. That’s why four local organizations are partnering to hold the third year of the Leap into Language summer program for middle school students from refugee and immigrant backgrounds.
WILLOW STREET, Pa. — The sight of alpacas, the sound of bongo drums, and the scent of curry: on July 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Eastern Mennonite Missions’ (EMM’s) Global Fair will once again bring international flavor and culture to the Hans Herr House in Willow Street, Pa.
It began September 4, 1944. A little girl was born to an unwed mother. This little girl would go on to experience pain, shame, and rejection throughout her early years. She was socially awkward and always felt left out. You see, during this period of her life, it was a disgrace to have a child out of wedlock. Her mother hid her for over 14 years before anyone got a chance to meet her. Not sure of her place or purpose in life, she began dreaming of being important — or rather, being noticed.
NAIROBI, Kenya — “For a global organization to effectively do its work, it has to connect with the globe,” says Nelson Okanya, president of Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM). With its first-ever overseas Board meeting in East Africa from April 18–25, 2018, EMM made new strides in engaging the world.
KAMPALA, Uganda — “How many of you can say you have a friendship that has lasted 40 years?” For four days, professor, university founder, and former ambassador Badru Kateregga asked audiences this question as he toured Uganda with longtime friend and colleague David Shenk, an Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) worker.
BROMSGROVE, England — Participants at the Anabaptist Theology Forum applauded when former Mennonite Mission Network (MMN) worker Eleanor Kreider walked into the conference room in Barnes Close near Birmingham, England. Some considered her a spiritual mentor or close friend; others had never met her, but had been influenced in some way by the years Kreider and her husband Alan had lived in the U.K.
In 2015, an intense tropical typhoon named Soudelor hit the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the U.S. in the Pacific Ocean, and caused extensive damage to the island of Saipan. I was oblivious to a place called Saipan, and the typhoon that devastated it, until I visited friends in Alabama a whole year later.
NEW YORK CITY — “As a group, we are looking to the future. Our desire is to mobilize leaders to new areas in Honduras to plant new communities of Anabaptist faith, and to cross borders and continents.” That’s how Omar Guzman, the founder of Mennonite Garifuna Mission, described the Garifuna Mennonite Church’s mission vision in a nutshell. And the church is well on its way to fulfilling those missional dreams.
SALUNGA, Pa. — Krista Martin began her role as Kingdom Team director for Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) on April 9, 2018. The focus of the Kingdom Team program is to provide opportunities for youth groups to serve refugees and immigrants alongside local community partners in Lancaster, Pa., while also participating in activities and sessions designed to strengthen their walk of discipleship. Kingdom Teams work with refugee children and youth through clubs, crafts, tutoring, English conversation activities, sports and games, and other activities that build community and exemplify the love of Christ.
MORGANTOWN, Pa. — Excitement, danger, and transformation through the gospel: the stories of missionaries throughout the past century still hold inspiration for people today. In the new book “Surviving, Thriving, and Multiplying: Three Decades of Growth in the Honduras Mennonite Church,” former missionaries tell the story of the Mennonite movement in Honduras, which started through the ministries of Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) pioneers.
LANCASTER, Pa. — Sara Jane (Weaver) Wenger — faithful servant of God, pioneer Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) worker, and beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother — died at the age of 95 on March 23, 2018, peacefully at her home in Lancaster, Pa.
LANCASTER, Pa. — For Miriam Eberly, a former Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) worker in Belize, her scholarship fund for Belizean secondary students is a way to invest in the future of the country that captured her heart over 50 years ago.
Melissa Stehman of Manheim, Pa., was a trekker on EMM's 2017 Peru Trek for PROMESA. Along with nine other hikers, Melissa trekked 61 miles over five days, sometimes climbing higher than 16,000 feet above sea level. The purpose? Raising funds to build a new school for Peruvian Mennonite K-12 students! Here are Melissa's memories from the trip.