Germany — Eastern Mennonite Missions’ Christian/Muslim Relations Team (CMRT) traveled to Germany for 13 days (Nov. 8–20, 2016). The team supported churches in reaching out to new Muslim neighbors brought by the refugee crisis. Some names and locations have been omitted due to security risks.
HALLE, Germany — Now it seems hard to believe, but Kaylene Derksen remembers a time when Eastern Mennonite Missions’ (EMM’s) church plant in Halle, Germany was close to dying out.
LANCASTER, Pa. — Many individuals, small groups, and congregations desire to engage in mission, but do not know how to discern a way forward. Others are already engaged in mission, but do not know where to find the resources needed to increase their effectiveness. Initiated by a conversation about planting new churches, a network called Missional Pathways was developed to help churches think through new ways of engaging in mission.
LITITZ, Pa. — Luke S. Martin, a former missionary to Vietnam, is releasing his new book “A Vietnam Presence: Mennonites in Vietnam During the American War.”
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Vietnamese pastor Nguyen Quang Trung led a 40-year struggle to see the Vietnam Mennonite Church (VMC) legally recognized, finally succeeding in 2007. Now, after 51 years of service to the VMC and eight years as its first official president, Trung is stepping down. Entrusting its future to the next generation, the VMC elected Pastor Huynh Dinh Nghia as its new president on Dec. 2, 2016.
Coming home late, I can smell if he has already prayed. The beeswax candles leave a sweet warmth in the air for hours. It is always long after the children have been put to bed, with prayers and kisses and toddlers finding their second wind's second wind. It is in that decisive moment between reading one more chapter or laying the book down and heading to bed. We often wait too long, and we go sleepily to our prayer corner, yawning.
A prophetic word becomes worship music in South Asia. For several years, when people prayed for me, I heard this phrase often repeated, “You will write new songs ...” But it wasn't until we were living overseas, worshiping in a place that was longing for true praise of God to arrive, that I really began to see that promise come true.
SALUNGA, Pa. — On a Sunday morning this past July, four children from the U.S. entered a church in Bumangi, Tanzania, over 7,600 miles away from their hometowns. They were welcomed as family, embraced, and given gifts of intricately woven East African cloth. Then they heard stories of their great-grandparents from those who still remembered.
Manuel* has received a large bag of spicy corn chips, called “churros” here, and he grins from ear to ear holding up his prize. I am sure he will end up sharing the treat with others, but for now the thought of having an entire bag of chips to himself fills his mind. The other boys his age are passing around his box of Legos; ready to play with them, but knowing they have to wait for Manuel to open them.
What happens when accepting Christian beliefs means disrupting an ancient cultural practice? Before the news of Jesus was brought to the village of Catel, each newborn baby was always dedicated to the ancestors. These traditional celebrations are called “coming-out” ceremonies, for in this culture the new baby and mother remain indoors for one week. When they leave the house, there is a naming celebration that includes a sacrificial ceremony to idols.