Not silence, but actionGP0|#b5f369f8-27f6-44b5-94b6-79da803f7935;L0|#0b5f369f8-27f6-44b5-94b6-79da803f7935|Canada;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#89f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf,-but-actionNot silence, but actionBy Wesley Bisset Ncube


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Resu-mayhem Rescue RescueBy Carmen Hoober<p>I don't think I've ever met anyone who enjoyed writing a resume. And why would they? Resume writing can be a soul-sucking exercise in self-promotion, often setting off an existential crisis leading one to question the meaning of life itself. And I'm not even exaggerating. Putting together your resume is like the career equivalent of going to the dentist. There is no hiding what you have or haven't done for the health of your career. And "keeping your resume updated" as so many people (like myself) admonish you to do is like flossing. No one does it until it's time to go to the dentist (or apply for a new job). So, my best advice is to AVOID RESU-MAYHEM (<<< see what I did there?) and give your resume a touch every six months or so. </p><p>Despite a few naysayers, the resume is still something you need to have, and it's not likely going anywhere anytime soon. For as technological as we have all become and as "Linked In" as we may be, the classic one-page resume is still the standard in a vast number of industries. So, what is one to do with resume-related anxiety? And, once you get past the anxiety, how do you ensure that your resume will stand out in the pile? Or even make it past the robots? </p><p>I am by no means a professional resume writer, and this is not a complete treatise on all-things-resume, but here are some thoughts and tools for crafting a resume you can feel good about.</p><p>1.       <strong>Mindset.</strong> I have a tendency to be pretty hard on myself and feel like I should be much farther along in life than I actually am. I am also still in recovery from a raging case of <a href="/blog/Overcoming-the-Impostor-Syndrome">Impostor Syndrome</a>. But I learned a little trick: sometimes when I'm looking at my own resume, I pretend that it's actually the resume of a friend. Creating some psychological distance helps me view my experience and skills more objectively and honestly. Furthermore, I tend to speak kindly to my friends, which is equally important when I'm feeling vulnerable or inadequate—both of which are emotions that come up for me when I look at my resume. </p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>A resume is a marketing tool. It is a highly curated representation of your experience and unique abilities. If there was ever a time to kick the inner critic to the curb, that time is now. Many of us are uncomfortable with the idea of marketing ourselves but would gladly sing the praises of others.  So, I have to kind of flip a mental switch: if my friend had XYZ experience, how would I encourage them to talk about it? </p><p> </p><p>Be prepared to advocate for yourself! Jay-Z was right, "closed mouths don't get fed."  So, open up your mouth…err computer, and start being your own best friend.</p><p> </p><p>2.       <strong>Formatting.</strong> You guys. I love looking at pretty resumes! In my line of work, I get to look at a lot of resumes and, at first glance, I love the ones with crisp formatting and lots of whitespace and even a sense of (restrained) visual style. There are a bajillion resume formats to choose from: in Word, in Google Docs, and all over the internet. But here is the sad truth. Many of the jobs you are applying for online are being read by <a href="">Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)</a>. Applicant Tracking Systems are programs that companies use to manage and find the best candidates for open positions. Resume formatting has always been important, but with ATS it has become even more important. While technology is always evolving, right now the robots have a hard time "reading" more stylized resume formats thereby sucking even more fun out of a process that had almost zero fun to start with. This handy-but-depressing graph shows how they work. </p><p><img src="" alt="Carmen Corner Graphic.png" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p> </p><p>You see why it's important to have a robot-friendly resume? I have switched my own resume over to an ATS-compatible template and I have to say…I miss my pretty resume! But, there are lots of good reasons to go the ATS-friendly route—namely, that your resume will actually stand a chance of being looked at.  One aspect of how it works is that ATS look for keywords that match a particular job description. Chrissy Scivicque from <a href="">Eat Your Career</a> says,</p><p> </p><p>"Research shows that 80 percent of recruiters search resume databases (both internal and external) for job-specific and industry-specific keywords. So without a keyword-rich resume, you're virtually invisible to 80 percent of recruiters…. A strong resume should have about 25-35 keywords liberally distributed throughout. However, many people also choose to include a straightforward bulleted list of keywords, just to make sure all the bases are covered. While this isn't as suave as skillfully weaving them into the text, it's a generally accepted best practice." </p><p> </p><p>Normally, wordsmith that I am (rubs hands together), I'm into the whole "skillful weaving" thing, but I have also added the bulleted list section into my resume. Keyword selection is kind of tricky and the best advice is to mirror the exact wording in the job description. And don't assume the robots know that (for example) web develop<strong>ment</strong> is the same as web develop<strong>er</strong>. It's best to use the same. Exact. Word. The simpler the style and formatting and font you use the more likely your resume will be correctly "understood" by the ATS. So DEFINITELY no charts or tables or pictures or Comic Sans font, and it's also supposedly better to stay away from two column templates.</p><p>A fun tool to use is at <a href="">Jobscan</a>—where you can upload your resume and run a side-by-side scan with a job listing (you get a few free scans, but you'll have to pay for a membership if you plan on doing a bunch!). You can upload your resume and copy and paste a job description and it shows you how well you match up. I did this myself and it was more helpful than I anticipated! </p><p>IMPORTANT: Because you should be tailoring each resume/cover letter you send out, it's a smart tactic to create one generic resume that you can tweak for different opportunities. And if you work in a field like graphic design it may be a good idea to have one version for the computers and a more stylized one you can hand to people. </p><p> </p><p>3.       <strong>List the problems you solve</strong>—<strong>not your job duties. </strong>Here is where I think most people miss an opportunity. Revisiting your job description can jog your memory and lead to inspiration, but it's not enough just to write down your responsibilities. Under each position you've held, list not just what you did but <strong>why </strong>you did it and <strong>what difference</strong> it made. Most resume experts advise that whenever possible you should follow the <a href="">"Problem-Action-Result"</a> formula.  They don't necessarily need to be written in that exact order, but each element should be present.<br><br> <br><br><em>Instead of</em>: Responsible for tracking client contacts<br><br><strong> </strong><br><br><em>Try</em>: Developed a new tracking system for client contacts reducing staff confusion and contributing to a 25% increase in program completion.</p><p style="text-align:center;"> </p><p>The general advice is always to quantify your achievements as much as possible, but sometimes that's hard. Use exact numbers when you can, but estimated numbers are also acceptable if you have a solid explanation to back it up. Even when the result can't be quantified make sure to show some kind of explicit impact, like "enhanced team cohesion."</p><p>Thinking about your day-to-day work this way is challenging! Sometimes a good way to get started is just to do a brain dump on a blank document of everything you've ever done at work. Ask yourself some of these questions: What problems do I solve? What do I create or build? How have I increased sales or profits? Did I contribute ideas, plans or strategies that allowed the organization to meet or exceed its goals?</p><p>Then, once you have a first draft of a resume, ask a friend or a trusted coworker to take a look—sometimes they will see or remember things you've missed. Read it out loud. Does it make sense to someone outside your current organization? It goes without saying you shouldn't inflate your experience or be dishonest, but remember that again, this is your ADVERTISEMENT. Now is not the time to downplay your accomplishments!  In fact, you <strong>should</strong> feel a sense of pride and achievement when you look over your completed resume. </p><p>4.       <strong>OUT with the objective and IN with branding statements and profiles. </strong>In my adult lifetime, we have thankfully, MERCIFULLY, moved on from the outdated "Objective" section that used to be located at the top of every resume. I give this ALLLLLL the praise hand emojis! </p><p>What was that? You don't know what I'm talking about??? </p><p>Well. </p><p>For the Gen Zers in the back who might read this someday, let me explain. The <em>objective</em> was the portion of the resume where you came up with some kind of nonsensical, flowery statement that basically boiled down to, "I want a job." The problem with this approach was that it mostly focused on what YOU want (a job, duh) and not on what you would contribute to the organization (or your <em>value proposition</em> if you prefer marketing lingo). </p><p>There are still some holdouts who are #teamobjective and I'm sure they have their reasons, but seriously people, let it die.  Fast forward to 2019 and instead of an objective statement that says "To utilize my strategic, synergistic, out-of-the-box, thinking to obtain and contribute to a position in the BLAH BLAH BLAH field" we can…wait for it…<em>brand</em> ourselves. </p><p>OK, so maybe that's not so much fun either. Did you know you're a brand? It kind of took me by surprise too. Basically, any decision you make in life builds your brand: your haircut, your car, your job, your church, the coffee you drink (or is it tea?), whether you travel with your own reusable straw…etc. Do you chafe at the idea of "branding yourself" and turning yourself into a commodity? Guess what? That's ALSO part of your brand (#nonconformist)!!! Seriously. You can't get away from this. </p><p>A <strong>branding statement</strong> in a resume (also called a <strong>headline</strong>) is something that goes underneath your name and contact information and before your experience. This is a short statement or sentence that explains who you are and the value you would bring to an organization. </p><p style="text-align:center;">Branding Statement/Headline Examples:</p><p style="text-align:center;"><em>Experienced Administrative Assistant with a Passion for Non-Profit Service</em></p><p style="text-align:center;"><em>Human Resources Professional Specializing in Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention</em></p><p style="text-align:center;"><em>Innovative Program Manager Prepared to Exceed Goals</em></p><p>Many times, this is used in conjunction with a <strong>profile </strong>(also called<strong> summary, qualifications </strong>or<strong> summary of qualifications</strong>). This<strong> </strong>is basically a short paragraph (although I've also seen it bulleted) with three to four sentences that allow you to explain your skills and qualifications.  </p><p style="text-align:center;">Profile Example (here is one version of mine):</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Enthusiastic and self-motivated human resources professional with over 10 years of diverse experience in social service and non-profit agencies. Excellent written and verbal communication skills with proven success in building relationships across all levels of organization. Poised to identify and leverage strengths of others to set and reach goals, motivating them towards personal and professional development and success.</p><p>5.       <strong>A special word to all the perfectionists:</strong> as you put together your resume, your perfectionistic tendencies will be a great asset. But I also want to say that there is not just ONE WAY to have an amazing resume. There is not ONE magical template. There is not ONE singular turn of phrase that will connect with every hiring manager whose desk your resume will land on. Resume construction is NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely some ways to really mess this up, but there are also MANY ways to do this "right." I now approach my own resume crafting as an iterative process. Everything is editable! </p><p> </p><p>6.       <strong>The resume…and the rest.</strong> Remember that your resume is ONE part of your broader strategic plan to get a J-O-B. Instead of lingering in anxiety and avoidance, tippy tap your fingers over to the resources I've listed in this article. And for crying out loud, don't just sit at your computer blindly sending out resumes. Develop your network! Get out and talk to people! It's estimated that 70-80 percent of jobs are gotten through your connections anyway.<br><br> <br><br>To put all of this in perspective, don't be tempted to believe the lie that the stuff on your resume is indicative of your inherent worth. I don't care how many achievements you have listed or how skillfully you can weave keywords into your text, when you sit down for an interview the playing field is A LOT more level. I tend to believe that HR folks are generally good people who are drawn to their profession because they want to see others succeed in roles that benefit the individual as well as an organization.  The resume is still important but good HR professionals look beyond the slick, keyword-rich, ATS-optimized resume to the <em>person</em> behind the resume. This should both comfort and scare you.  The resume is just a tool to get you to the interview.</p><p><strong> </strong></p><p>Here is something sad. People often bypass applying for AMAZING opportunities because they "don't have time" to update their resume (Right. Just like "I didn't have time" to go to the dentist and kept rescheduling my appointment…for three years). And then when they DO get the process rolling, it's in a frantic rush because there's a deadline. So avoid Resu-mayhem. Check your mindset and just do it already (And also? Don't forget to floss). </p><p><strong>Resources</strong></p><p>The internet has resources for daaaaaayyyys about building your resume, but I've curated a few things here that I've found helpful or interesting.</p><p><strong>Applicant Tracking Systems</strong></p><ul><li>This <a href="">Reddit thread</a> is pretty specific about what you're up against.</li><li>Not all ATS are created or used similarly: <a href="">This article</a> helps explain some of the nuances.<strong> </strong></li></ul><p><strong>Resume Lingo </strong></p><ul><li>All of this resume lingo can get confusing, because there can be multiple words to describe the same sections. Here is some more information on how to use <a href="">branding</a> , <a href="">headlines</a>, and <a href="">profiles</a> along with examples of how all of this can look. </li></ul><p><strong>Importance of the Cover letter: </strong><a href=""><strong>Yes, you should include one</strong></a><strong>.</strong></p><p><a href=""><strong>Tailoring Your Resume</strong></a></p><p><strong>FREE ATS-friendly </strong><a href=""><strong>resume templates</strong></a></p><p><strong>Tips for identifying and using </strong><a href=""><strong>keywords</strong></a></p><p><strong>Resume Scanning with </strong><a href=""><strong>Jobscan</strong></a></p>
The Mission of God and the Fullness of Faith: A Reflection on John 20:19-29 Mission of God and the Fullness of Faith: A Reflection on John 20:19-29by Joe Sawatzky<p>​<span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">"As th</span><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">e Fat</span><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">her has sent me, so I send you."  These words, from the resurrected Jesus to his disciples, have become the namesake of Sent, Mennonite Mission Network's church planting and revitalization initiative.  They also appear at the center of John 20:19-23, the theme text for Mennonite Church USA's bi-annual convention in 2019.  On a personal note, I return to these words often in my quest to define the complex, and often controversial, word "mission."  Even more, I find that these words may help us to renew our understanding of Christianity itself as an essentially missional and multi-dimensional faith.</span></p><p>First, Christianity is a missionary, or if one prefers, a missional faith.  Mission comes from missio, a Latin word meaning simply, "sending."  Consequently, when Jesus refers to himself as "sent" from the Father, and to disciples as sent from him, he is speaking of mission as God's basic way of relating to the world.  God is not aloof but active in creation and sends the church beyond the four walls and locked doors of the house where its members meet to proclaim the good news that God has come in Christ to liberate the world from the power of sin (20:19-23).</p><p>But, second, if we accept that God has created the church not for its own sake but for the world, we must say more about how we are sent.  Following John 20:19-29, I will propose three dimensions of faith that characterize our mission as a response to God's mission.</p><p>Our first response of faith to God's grace in Jesus Christ is worship.  In the text, worship erupts<a href="">[JS1]</a>   as the joy of disciples as they experience the real presence of the resurrected Jesus.  "The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord."  This joy was the fruit of the Lord's "peace," as he greeted them and as he showed them the wounds of his love outpoured for them on the cross (20:19-20).  In the Mennonite tradition, it is customary to speak of discipleship as "the essence of Christianity," yet it may be less common for us to esteem worship, joy, and spontaneity as authentic signs of our "following after Jesus."<a href="">[1]</a>  Yet the text affirms that discipleship begins with Christ's call, and Christ's call elicits our worship.</p><p>Our second response of faith is implied in Christ's commission to disciples, to which we have already referred: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you."  The sentence itself connects Jesus' mission to our own, and the sentences that follow in the text give clarity to that connection.  As Jesus was conceived and anointed by the Holy Spirit, so disciples of Jesus are born of and sent by the Spirit: "he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'"  Jesus' next statement connects sending in the power of the Spirit to the "forgiveness" and "retention" of sins: "if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if<a href="">[JS2]</a>  you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (20:21-23 NRSV).  Though I do not have room here to discuss the precise meaning of the forgiveness and retention of sins, the disciples' commission here means something like what the apostle Paul called "the ministry of reconciliation," in which God's love for us in Christ "while we were yet sinners" or "God's enemies" is the basis for our extending mercy to one another (2 Cor 5:18; Rom 5:8-10).  Moreover, because Paul refers to this ministry as diakonia (Greek for "service" or "waiting on tables" [cf. Acts 6:1-7]), we may refer to this dimension of mission as "work."  Even so, this work flows from the touch of God's grace, the breath of the Spirit from the mouth of Jesus on the faces of disciples.  The wind powers the work.</p><p>Like the first two responses of disciples in this text, a third dimension of faith—Thomas' confession of Jesus' identity—arises from the greeting of peace.  Because Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared to them, Jesus returned to show himself to Thomas.  Upon seeing the marks of crucifixion on Jesus' resurrected body, Thomas's lips are loosed in praise—"My Lord and my God!" (20:24-28). As the disciples "rejoiced when they saw the Lord," so this disciple gives a verbal and articulate testimony of Jesus upon beholding him.  Thomas gives word to his experience of Christ.  Authentic discipleship and mission involve the proclamation of the word.</p><p>These three—worship, work, and word—are of the essence of our missional faith, just as our missionary God is One-in-Three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  As a people of mission, our calling is to bear whole witness to this God— through worship, work, and word—for the world that God so loves (John 3:16).<br></p><p><a href="">[1]</a> On discipleship or "following Jesus" as "the essence of Christianity", see Harold S. Bender, The Anabaptist Vision (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1944).<br></p>
Rebuilding houses, constructing friendships,-constructing-friendshipsRebuilding houses, constructing friendshipsby Susan Nisly<p><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">For the second year in a row,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> a</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">ll </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">five</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Service Adventure units</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> with some </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Mennonite </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Mission Network staff</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> spent a week</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> together</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">serving with </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Mennonite Disaster Service (</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">MDS</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">).</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> This year I was struck by the spirit of the week. It </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">was</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> an exhausting </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">time</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">, </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">due to </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">not only </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">the</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> full schedule but also </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">the </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">tiring, hard work</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">; y</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">et everyone seemed genuinely happy</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> even joyful</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> to be serving because we were serving together. </span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":200,"335559740":276}"> </span></p><div><p><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">“I always love having the opportunity to serve with others my age</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,” said Jessica </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Porr</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">, </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">a participant in the Anchorage, Alaska, unit.</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">“</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">T</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">o see us coming together to serve the Lord in this way just warms my heart</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">.”</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":200,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">The church where we were </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">stayed</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> in Bloomington, Texas</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">was</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> filled with voices and laughter each evening as people shared their stories, played games</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> or simply relaxed together. Service Adventure participants </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">are used to</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> serving on a regular</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> basis</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> but </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">this work</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> – </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">mudding drywall, installing insulation, and painting </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">houses damaged by </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Hurricane</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> Harvey in 2017</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> – f</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">elt</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">special</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">. </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Young</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> adults who didn’t necessarily have construction skills </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">made a</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> big difference in a community and in the lives of families who had lost so much. Throughout the week</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">I saw </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">instances of new skills learned</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">and </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">projects completed</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">. This was</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">not because participants</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> necessarily </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">found</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> them</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> fun, but because </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">they recognized the need and stuck with i</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">t.</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">The pride </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">in</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">daily work accomplishments</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> was tangible.</span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":200,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">O</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">ne</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">of the most meaningful experiences of the week </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">was </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">the time spent </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">alongside local people of Bloomington</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">listening to their stories of </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">loss, resiliency and hope. </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">One couple, </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Lupe and Roxy</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">brought in a meal</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> and </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">shared </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">how they lived </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">through Hurricane Harvey. </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">N</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">ow that their home is complete, they want to help others. </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":200,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">A</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">county official m</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">et with us one evening to give the history of Bloomington</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">. Many </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">of </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">us had </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">good </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">conversations with homeowners </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">and </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">their family members</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> on the job site each day</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">. </span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":200,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">“It was refreshing to see the resiliency of the community members</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,” reflected Jenna Baldwin, a partici</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">pant in the Colorado Springs, Colo</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">rado</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> unit. “</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">I</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">t was interesting to see that often those who had lost almost everything in the hurricane or the events immediately following</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> were the ones that jumped right in</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> helping their fellow community members.”</span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":200,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">On our last day</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">together, I </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">overh</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">eard many times how hard it was for the participants</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">to say good-bye to each other</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">and part ways.</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">When </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">I asked, </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">“</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">I</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">s</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> it too painful</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">? </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">S</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">hould we not do this</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">?”</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">T</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">here was always a resounding</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">“No</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">! </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Please</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> continue </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">these trips</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">!</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">”</span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":200,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">In</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">addition to </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">serving, there</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> was </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">great</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> value in the Service Adventure participants and unit leaders spending time with others who understand what they are doing this year. They were able to encourage each other to finish </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">their service term</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">s</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> with strength and grace </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">in </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">the upcoming months.</span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":200,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Each evening as I </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">sat</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> back and reflect</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">ed</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> on the day and the people surrounding me</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> I was filled with genuine love.</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> I </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">am</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> thankful for the work that I get to do. Working with Service Adventure, I get to know incredible young adults and unit leaders who are willing to take time away from the beaten path so they can serve</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> learn</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> and be challenged.</span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":200,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Emma </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Zuercher</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">, a </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">p</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">articipant in </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">the </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">Colorado Springs</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> unit</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">spoke for many of </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">us </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">when she said, </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">“</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">F</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">rom our MDS trip, I found more ways to see unity in people and</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> found</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> value in trying new things. I also was forced to rethink the way our intentions affect others. From new discoveries to saying good</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">-</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">bye, the trip leaves pleasantly warm</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">,</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> bittersweet feeling</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">s</span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US"> – </span><span data-contrast="auto" lang="EN-US">good memories, friendships to keep up, and new ideas to investigate.”</span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559739":200,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div>
Power of my power of my powerby Joe Sawatzky<p>Mennonite Mission Network held its fourth annual Sent gathering April 26-28 in Denver, Colorado. After two days of fellowship, testimony and teaching, the conference closed with worship at Beloved Community Mennonite Church, our host congregation. Located in Englewood, our service marked the 20th anniversary of the mass shootings at Columbine High School, in the adjacent community of Littleton. Two church members—parents of a child who lost a friend in the tragedy—recounted, through tears, the terror of that day. They testified to the presence of evil in our world.   <br></p><p>The father’s account went something like this: <br></p><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:medium none;padding:0px;"><p>Since the Enlightenment, we have been taught to discount the reality of spiritual phenomena. After Columbine, and every mass shooting, we seek to isolate factors that might explain such random killing—but to no satisfactory conclusion. In the end, we are left to acknowledge the presence of evil in our world. </p></blockquote><p>Then came the kicker: <br></p><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:medium none;padding:0px;"><p>If we say that God is beyond ourselves to do through us the good, then evil is a power beyond ourselves to do through us the bad. </p></blockquote><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-size:1.4rem;font-style:inherit;"><div><span style="background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-size:1.4rem;font-style:inherit;"><br></span></div>The father’s words rang true to me. Having lived in South Africa, among people who acknowledged the influence of personal spirits on human behavior, references to invisible forces readily catch my attention. I understand why we might hesitate to ascribe human actions to evil. I understand that some persons speak of evil to evade responsibility for what they did or left undone. In terms of God, I understand the danger of attributing to the Holy Spirit that which others may experience as our own misuse of power. Yet none of these reflect the father’s meaning.   </span><br><p>In this case, the acknowledgment of evil was the humanization of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris —flesh-and-blood children belonging to flesh-and-blood parents—who were overcome by evil. In this case, the recognition of evil serves the cause of love. Through it, the parents of victims extend grace to parents as victims. Indeed, in her testimony, the mother expressed sympathy for Susan Klebold, who has spoken publicly of the torment both of losing her own son and facing the fact of his participation in such monstrous violence.   <br></p><p>Finally, as implied in the father’s testimony, the presence of evil points to the reality of God. This presence causes us to ask a disturbing question: Do we truly believe that God is Power beyond our power? Paul told the Romans, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). If we’re to do that, we’ll need to ask and make room for the Spirit of God in our lives, the life of Christ who loved us and gave himself for us (Galatians 2:20). <br></p>
Glimpsing God through everyday life God through everyday lifeBy Kaytlen Keough  <p><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">When I came into Service </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">A</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">dventure, I had a very open mind to what I would learn. </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">I was not expecting to love more deeply or appreciate the little things in life more.</span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559740":276}"> </span></p><div><p><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">At my work placement,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> I work with adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. The day program I am with teaches them independent living skills, interpersonal skills</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> and </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">work-related</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> skills. The adults I </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">spend time</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> with on a day</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">-</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">to</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">-</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">day basis are learning interpersonal skills. I may have a bias</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">ed</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> opinion</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> but I absolutely adore them. I hang</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">out with some amazing adults, </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">and </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">they all have taught me different things. </span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">The first one, he’s been a tough cookie. When I first started my work placement</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> I was told that nobody want</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">ed</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> to </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">work with him. I have been pushed by him, he’s stepped on me</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> and</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> even </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">worse, he’s taken my food</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">—right </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">in front of my eyes</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">!</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> Keep in mind that this is my first experience in this field, </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">and </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">I didn’t know what</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> to do about it. I didn’t take this experience completely personal</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">(I was more upset about my food being taken from me). Being around him has taught me to ALWAYS keep my food close to me, in terms of eating fast, or before he arrives to </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">the </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">day program. He did reject me when we did start hanging out</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">;</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> I was not his favorite provider. There was one </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">time</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> we both were having bad days</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> …</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> no reason really, just a normal off day. He kept getting upset and so did I. We were in the mall, and we sat down because I was physically and mentally tired and I just needed a minute to recuperate. My friend sat on me and put his head on my shoulder. He curled up into a ball and just closed his eyes. I was completely shocked, and in awe. He just needed a minute</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> too, and we sat there, in the mall, with the weird looks people gave. I was content, he was content</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> and it was a magical moment of bonding for us. I’ve kept this experience close to me because it reminded me that sometimes all we need is a comfort</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">ing</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> hug or just a minute. </span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">The second one has also been a tough cookie. </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">I was </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">also </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">warned about him. </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">I was c</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">onfused as to why adults were telling me to be careful around him</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">.</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> It intrigued me more. I wanted to know why everyone was tense around him, why people didn’t want me hanging out with him. </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">I would learn that </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">m</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">y friend </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">could be violent at times. H</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">e is non-verbal, which makes communication hard</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">. He is violent toward</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> himself, and when he’s upset</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> he has no way to communicate why he’s upset. Since he’s only harming himself, we cannot do anything but let him hurt himself. It doesn’t sound so bad</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> right? I cannot tell you how hard it is to watch this happen</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">;</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> my heart churns down into liquid, I feel it in my stomach. My whole body starts to </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">ache</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> and my brain hurts. I can’t help but care for my friends, and when I cannot help them</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> it breaks me. Once, we were out in the community and he started hurting himself. Normally</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> I could talk him down, but this time I couldn’t. I became so angry</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">—</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">not with him</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> but everyone else because of how they looked at him. I couldn’t understand why people had to have such sour look</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">s on</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> their faces. I won’t lie</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">;</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> I was </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">definitely crying</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">. It made me feel a different way for my friend</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">.</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> I knew why he was upset, </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">but </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">nobody else did. He has taught me a couple things</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">, o</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">ne being that you cannot fix people</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">;</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> you can only help them. The second </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">thing he taught me was that the world will never understand one person completely. God places people in our lives that will understand us the most </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">they can, and to help us the most they can. </span><span data-ccp-props="{"201341983":0,"335559740":276}"> </span></p></div><div><p><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">I would say that these two have had a huge impact on me, mentally, physically and spiritually. I thank God every</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">day </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">that </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">I am with my friends</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">;</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> they bring me so much joy. What surprises me the most is how much I love my job placement. How much I love all my friends who I work with and who I hang out with. I found something that keeps me going, something that keeps my mind engaged. I am constantly learning something new every</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">day, and when I’m learning new things from my work placement</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> I can apply it to my life, </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">and</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> </span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">I can also apply it to others. It’s helped me understand people better</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> why they are the way they are. My work placement has helped me see that it’s really the little things in life that give me joy. For example</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">,</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto"> when I find a snack in my purse that I never knew about, or when I share that food with a friend, how happy it makes them. The little things like remembering a friend</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">’</span><span lang="EN" data-contrast="auto">s big day, or them remembering your big day; seeing God in my everyday life.</span></p></div>
Open to life-changing nudges - Interview with MVS alum Dana Tolle to life-changing nudges - Interview with MVS alum Dana TolleInterview with Dana Tolle<p>​<strong style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">Susan: This is Susan Nisly and I'm collecting another Mennonite Mission Network alumni story, so my guest today is going to introduce herself and tell us her name and where she served, and with what program.</strong></p><p>Dana: My name is Dana Tolle and I was in Boulder doing Mennonite Voluntary Service in 2006-2007.  And I served at Imagine. And I was working with kids and adults with developmental disabilities out in the community doing recreation therapy.</p><p><strong>Oh, cool, OK. How did your service experience impact your life journey?</strong></p><p>So, my VS year really did impact what I went on to do and as a career path. I graduated from college the year before, had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and had said, "Hey, I just want to work with kids, OK?" And they said, "How about kids with disabilities?" And I said, "Yes!" Because I didn't know anything about that. And so went on to, um, work in this recreation therapy program where we did bowling and swimming and we made arts and crafts and we did dances and Edward Scissorhands, the ballet, coolest thing I've ever seen.</p><p><strong>I didn't know that was the thing.</strong></p><p>Yeah, it sure is.</p><p><strong>OK—very nice, very good.</strong></p><p>So, we got to do that. But it really opened the door to, um, my future. And now I'm at currently an occupational therapist, and I work with kids with special needs every day. So, I had no idea before that.</p><p><strong>Wow!</strong></p><p>That I wanted to be in that field. And that's really where it's …</p><p><strong>So you were, you had graduated from college with a degree in?</strong></p><p>In chemistry.<br></p><p><strong>In chemistry, OK. And then after this, you realized?</strong></p><p>That I wanted to, um, work with kids with disabilities. And then through a few other things figured out that occupational therapy was for me, but definitely I give credit, all the credit, to VS for helping me figure it out.</p><p><strong>Wonderful! That's awesome. If you could give advice to someone who's going to do voluntary service, what would you tell them?</strong></p><p>I would just tell them to be open. Because it's never going to look quite how you think because nothing ever does, but to be willing to be open for those potential life-changing nudges, like one that I got.</p><p><strong>Yeah.</strong></p><p>Because if I wasn't open to that, I would be doing something totally different. But I am doing definitely what God has for me and, and I'm glad that I was willing to take the risks to do it, to do the volunteer experience, to be open and willing to experience everything when I was there, to take advantage of my opportunities. And so that's why I would, I would definitely recommend.</p><p><strong>OK, thank you very much!</strong></p><p>Yes, thank you.<br></p>



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