​Photo by Cynthia Friesen Coyle.

By Laurie Oswald Robinson
Monday, November 16, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic threw Mennonite Mission Network into a Charles Dickens-like "tale of two cities" during its previous fiscal year, spanning Aug. 1, 2019 – July 30, 2020. To paraphrase Dickens, it was the best and worst of times … it was the spring of hope and the winter of despair.

During the final four months of the fiscal year, Mission Network, with the rest of the world, experienced a shutdown of all travel and in-person meetings; social distancing and mask wearing; the killing of Black people at the hands of police brutality; the suffering of communities of color due to social inequities evoked by the coronavirus; and the raging of wildfires and storms. 

In all this, there have been times when the love and care of God have been as veiled as our masked faces. And yet, still yet, God's abundant hope has been unmistakably evident, Mission Network staff members and partners say. In ways minute and magnanimous, the Holy Spirit has guided the agency to embrace that hope during a time of change and uncertainty. 

Part of what has transformed the winter of despair into a spring of hope has been the continued support of donors. Stanley Green, who retired from his longtime executive directorship on July 31, said that donors have helped Mission Network to remain faithful to God's eternal purposes even as the agency flexes in how it presently partners with others. Mike Sherrill succeeded him on Aug. 1. 

"Your generosity and sharing have made an important difference for healing and hope as attested to by reports from our partners who so appreciate your support," Green wrote. "These are stories that you will not see on TV or read about from our major news and media outlets. They are not sensational stories. They are, however, life-changing for the individuals who experience our ministries." 

In the story links below, you are invited to read five stories about the ministry of Mission Network and its partners that have not made national headlines but that are throbbing with the heartbeat of hope in God. 


Story 1: Distributing care packages; reformatting ministries

Story 2: Providing an emotional-spiritual "vaccine" for isolation

Story 3: Praying and caring for supporters

Story 4: Persevering in Christian Service programs

Story 5: Dismantling systemic racism


 

 

 Related

 

 

Looking up, looking around, looking forwardBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4616/Looking-up-looking-around-looking-forward---Looking up, looking around, looking forwardGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 1: Broadening horizons at 71Beyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4617/Story-1-Broadening-horizons-at-71Story 1: Broadening horizons at 71GP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Transforming into vulnerabilityBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4615/Transforming-into-vulnerabilityTransforming into vulnerabilityGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 2: Building trust in shaky timesBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4618/Story-2-Building-trust-in-shaky-timesStory 2: Building trust in shaky timesGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 3: Transforming Down UnderBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4619/Story-3-Transforming-Down-UnderStory 3: Transforming Down UnderGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 4: Missiology shaped by servanthoodBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4620/Story-4-Missiology-shaped-by-servanthoodStory 4: Missiology shaped by servanthoodGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 5: All invited to the Lamb’s throneBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4621/Story-5-All-invited-to-the-Lambs-throneStory 5: All invited to the Lamb’s throneGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 6: Pandemic forges transforming missionBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4622/Story-6-Pandemic-forges-transforming-missionStory 6: Pandemic forges transforming missionGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
A tale of two worlds and one God of abundant hopeBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4353/A-tale-of-two-worlds-and-one-God-of-abundant-hopeA tale of two worlds and one God of abundant hopeGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Walking togetherBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4352/Walking-togetherWalking togetherGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 1: Distributing care packages; reformatting ministriesBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4354/Distributing-care-packages-reformatting-ministriesStory 1: Distributing care packages; reformatting ministriesGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 2: Providing an emotional-spiritual “vaccine” for isolationBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4355/Providing-an-emotional-spiritual-vaccine-for-isolationStory 2: Providing an emotional-spiritual “vaccine” for isolationGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 3: Praying and caring for supportersBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4356/Praying-and-caring-for-supportersStory 3: Praying and caring for supportersGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 4: Persevering in Christian Service programsBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4357/Persevering-in-Christian-Service-programsStory 4: Persevering in Christian Service programsGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476
Story 5: Dismantling systemic racismBeyondhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/beyond/4358/Dismantling-systemic-racismStory 5: Dismantling systemic racismGP0|#d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d;L0|#0d4ddb667-54c6-44ad-ab43-030a2af6522d|Beyond;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476

 

 

​Laurie Oswald Robinson is editor at Mennonite Mission Network.



 

 

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