Top 5 memories from AlbuquerqueAlbuquerque, New Mexico 5 memories from AlbuquerqueBy Albuquerque Service Adventure Unit


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Creation care: five ways to serveGP0|#2ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a;L0|#02ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a|United States;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#89f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf care: five ways to serveBy Kelsey Hochstetler
Top 5 memories from AnchorageAnchorage, Alaska 5 memories from AnchorageBy Anchorage Servcie Adventure Unit
An Easter shout-out to women in ministryWomen in minstry Easter shout-out to women in ministryBy Edward Dartey
The art between usGP0|#2ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a;L0|#02ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a|United States;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#89f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf art between usBy Hanna Heishman
Washing real feetA Maundy Thursday reflection real feetBy Linda Oyer
Flip the expectationsJohnstown, Pennsylvania the expectationsErin Rhodes




Evangelism: a faithful or offensive response to Christ? a faithful or offensive response to Christ?Contributed by Kelsey Hochstetler <p>​<em style="color:inherit;font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;">When Anne and Daniel Garber Kompaoré talk of their work in North America, they are often met with questions. Anne works as a Bible translation consultant with Mennonite Mission Network and has lived in Burkina Faso since 1982. She loves to tell people about Jesus, and so does her husband, Daniel, a Burkinabe pastor of an Apostolic Mission Church. The following is an example of questions that Anne and Daniel frequently receive about the ethics of evangelism.</em></p><p><strong>Q: Is evangelism imposing one's faith on others?</strong> </p><p>Anne: Several years ago, my husband and I were speaking in a Mennonite church and were asked this question. Daniel responded simply by saying, "No – the missionaries shared Jesus Christ with us, and we had full liberty to accept or reject the gospel." In fact, on his mother's side of the family, the entire family changed religions at one point in time – his grandparents and two uncles became Muslims; his mom and another uncle became Christians. Both Muslims and Christians were evangelizing in the same town at the same time. Here in Burkina, there is a lot of promotion of religion, and each side is eager to present their perspective, whether it be Christian or Muslim. Many people are searching and are open to change. When that is the case, I think you would agree with me that when people are searching, when there are multiple voices, they have a right to be informed of their options.  </p><p>I think the many people who have become Christians through missionary efforts will feel a little shock when hearing a question like that. They could easily ask you, "What? You want to keep Christianity to yourselves?" Can you imagine? If the first Christians really had this attitude, I don't think that the Christian faith would exist today, except possibly in some little corner of the Middle East. </p><p>I also do not at all agree that one should impose any faith on anyone else. There is nothing wrong with advertising. If companies can be allowed to promote their product on TV and Internet without being solicited, if Muslims have the freedom to work at bringing others to Muslim faith, surely those of us who are excited in our joy in Christ should have the freedom to share what we consider as good news. </p><p><strong>Q:</strong><strong>  </strong><strong>How would you feel if people from other religious backgrounds moved into your neighborhood and tried to convert you and your children?</strong></p><p>Anne: I would like to respond with sharing about how we (two young single women) arrived in the village of Kotoura. We were to learn the language and prepare the way for evangelistic missionaries. We were linguists, not evangelists. But as soon as we arrived, we were peppered with questions by the son of the chief. We read him the Bible story of the prodigal son. He loved the story so much that he asked for more and said he would share those stories with his people. He wanted to know more about God and his power in the world. After one year, and a thousand questions later, he believed in Jesus Christ.  It was then that he, this first Christian, who was so excited about his new faith, started sharing with others. And, no, he received no handouts from us. All he received from us was our friendship and the good news.  </p><p>I would not agree with any other religion imposing themselves on myself and my children. But I think it is very healthy for children – especially young adults – to be exposed to different religions. It helps them gain perspective and make a better informed decision on their faith choice for life. I was challenged by various currents of thought, religious and political, while I was at a secular university (I did not go to a Mennonite school, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, until I was ready to go overseas), and I feel that this was a very valuable experience for me. The challenges helped me to examine what really my beliefs were and to make more solid faith decisions. I believe in a political system that allows for religious diversity; I believe in freedom of religion. And I believe in freedom for everyone to share their faiths.  </p><p>So, this is another perspective coming from another part of the world. If you come and visit us in Burkina Faso, you will find very few foreign missionaries.  Most missionaries and evangelists these days are the Africans themselves who are much more vocal about their faith than most North Americans are, including myself. You will find first-generation Christians who will gladly share why they became Christians and how it happened.  You are welcome to visit!</p><p>No one denies the abuses of missionaries and colonialists in the past. But that should not be used as an argument against sharing one's faith with others. </p>
Limitless Erin Rhodes<p>​Though I am young, every once in awhile, I pause and catch the sense of my own death. I hear of people dying, I feel my body wear, or I reflect on how quickly even these few 18 years have passed by and my inability to stop them as they continue slipping out of my hands. My mind can hardly grasp that I will someday cease to exist. How can I imagine the hardships in my life to come, the slow decaying of this now resilient body, and then the tipping off of reality into the grayness of eternity and the unknown? </p><p>In those brief moments my mind seizes up with fear and then grief for my own short life. I'm struck with the preciousness of these days. Then, the moment passes, I move on with my life, pulled along by inexorable time that will someday drag me to my end. This view of limitedness does give more value to my being in the moment. I appreciate my family members more after realizing that our time is limited; I hold close to my friends while we are still bound together by love; I take the opportunities given to me knowing my time is not guaranteed. </p><p>Even less often, however, am I struck by invincibility as I was over Christmas break, perhaps because I am so young that it's a default attitude. We were driving back from Shenandoah National Park where Joseph, Ellie, Bailey and I had hiked up to Hawksbill Gap, the highest point in the park, to watch the sunset. The sun had painted the drab, brown mountains with a gradient of pinks, purples, blues, and oranges while the sun itself glowed through the skeleton trees. </p><p>We now drove fast through the dark; Joseph's ever present music played through the speakers of the car; our youthful freedom rushed around us. We were all so in love with life, so loving being together. We talked of our dreams of studying music, having careers that fulfilled our inner passions, traveling out west to climb the Rockies, a glorious heaven, and our infinite God. The world seemed made for us and we are going after it. I felt what it is to be young then, the wonder of the future, the boundless possibilities, all the beauty and goodness there is to be had. I felt limitless.</p><p><em>Excerpt taken from a blog post by Erin. See the full </em><a href=""><em>blog post</em></a><em> here.</em></p>
Living in Jackson, I’ve learned many things,-I’ve-learned-many-thingsLiving in Jackson, I’ve learned many thingsBy Susannah Epp<p>​I’ve learned that “Southern hospitality” is real and it is wonderful.</p><p>I’ve learned to be comfortable with hugging strangers. </p><p>I’ve learned how to skillfully navigate a road riddled with potholes.</p><p>I’ve learned that in every “bad” kid is a struggling child who just wants to understand and be understood. </p><p>I’ve learned that the kindest people can be found in the “bad” part of a town. </p><p>I’ve learned that I don’t really need that much closet space, or much space at all. </p><p>I’ve learned that when you get thrown into a crowded room with two complete strangers, you become sisters within days. </p><p>I’ve learned where to go in a packed house to find a private corner. </p><p>I’ve learned how to knead bread. </p><p>I’ve learned that I knew nothing about children. </p><p>I’ve learned to overcome my shyness and hold my own in a conversation with a group of people I just met. </p><p>I’ve learned that a lot of the time, stereotypes are ridiculously, entirely wrong. </p><p>I’ve learned that racism is alive and thriving. </p><p>I’ve learned what it feels like to be a minority, noticed everywhere you go. </p><p>I’ve learned that it is impossible not to become invested in kids' lives. </p><p>I’ve learned how to make a meal with whatever you can find around the house. </p><p>I’ve learned that while Mississippi summers could fry an egg on the asphalt, Mississippi falls are full of deliciously crisp mornings and gorgeously mild afternoons. </p><p>I’ve learned how to live simply. </p><p>I’ve learned that if you applaud one kid for something, 20 other kids will fall over themselves trying to earn your approval for the same thing. </p><p>I’ve learned that mentioning that you don’t eat meat very often can very nearly give a Southerner a heart attack. </p><p>I’ve learned how frustrating it is to try and fail to help a child to grasp a concept he should have been taught years ago. </p><p>I’ve learned that Southerners bring generosity to a new level. </p><p>I’ve learned that a church is still a church if there are only 15 people in it. </p><p>I’ve learned how to say, “The speed limit on the highway is 50 kilometers per hour,” in German. </p><p>I’ve learned how little time it takes for kids to become attached, and how easily I become attached to them. </p><p>I’ve learned that religion and chicken are the two most important things in the South. </p><p>But most importantly, I’ve learned that goodness can be found everywhere, in anyone, if you look for it the right way.</p>
Youth Venture experience great for daughter Venture experience great for daughterBy Rachel Nussbaum Eby<p>I'm proud to say I'm a mom of a Youth Venture alum. Not only was this a great experience for my daughter, Elizabeth, it was a great experience for my husband and me.</p><p>The LA experience was a great fit for Elizabeth, and I am so grateful for the support of Youth Venture staff who are also friends at Walnut Hill Mennonite Church. When I checked if Elizabeth would be interested in Youth Venture, I discovered that she had been interested the previous summer and just hadn't brought it up, knowing that money was tight. Actually, her response was funny; I hadn't even finished my question—had just finished saying Youth Venture—when she enthusiastically answered, "Yes!"</p><p>I want to put in a plug for congregations who are supportive of youth doing this—emotionally and financially. For us, it made all the difference—making Elizabeth's unique opportunity possible. Our congregation, while smaller than many, was very generous. Between the church budget and individuals, they were willing to cover everything. All they asked is for Elizabeth to contribute some of her own earnings. This she did far more than expected—paying for the cost of her ticket and also giving $200 back to the church fund that made her trip possible. Her reason for doing this: "I want to go on Youth Venture again." The church was also supportive in other ways, including an opportunity to share with an intergenerational group during Sunday school. Her sharing and their interest were equally enthusiastic.</p><p>While Elizabeth had moments of nervousness before she left—mainly traveling by herself—her primary emotion was excitement. She read through her packet of information from the Youth Venture office in its entirety and shared with us about it. It was obvious that a lot of thought and care had gone into the plans. I had confidence that once in LA, Elizabeth would have good people by her.</p><p>I really appreciated the support of staff both before and after. For me, the thing I was most concerned about was her flying all by herself for the first time. Staff offered the welcomed assurance that they hadn't "lost" anyone yet. Once I found out at the airport that I could go through security with her (since she was 16, I wasn't sure what the airlines' rule was), all my fears evaporated.</p><p>Between a few phone calls and photos posted on the Youth Venture Facebook page, it was obvious that she was safe and having a good experience. Not to say that we weren't counting the days until her return. Matter of fact, even though the plan was for me to go to O'Hare by myself to pick her up, my husband arranged to come along. He was so excited to see her, he went to meet her on the way to baggage claim because he couldn't just wait!</p><p>It was a wonderful ride home—listening to all the stories. It was a flood of experiences in the urban area, the peace camp, and the people she met. After that initial outpouring, other things would come out in bits and pieces in the months that followed. It was obvious that both her heart and mind had been impacted by the experience. Elizabeth continues ties via Facebook with a number of the people she met.</p><p>Youth Venture was a great experience not only for her, but also for us—anxious parents who were letting a child go into the world in a new way.</p>
Seeing God in service God in service​Nora Charles<p>When I think about where I have seen God in my Service Adventure experience, some instances come to mind right away: </p><ul><li>Marle putting her gloves on my frozen hands on our way down Pikes Peak (when all I could think about was how cold I was, and not the beauty around me or how the others must be feeling). </li><li>The homeless man approaching me in tears looking for comfort, which I could offer him.</li><li>My coworkers making sure everyone had a place to go for Thanksgiving.</li><li>The beauty of the mountains against the first snowfall.</li><li>The warm welcome we got at Beth-el when we first arrived, and the kindness and generosity the congregation continues to show toward us. </li></ul><p> </p><p>I am learning how often I react to the present out of fear for the future. I am learning how much I value my family, and how irrational some of my fears are. I am learning to both trust myself and push myself, while reminding myself that many things are out of my control.</p><p>Serving others continues to show me how every human has dignity and worth that cannot be measured against any other. That our mainstream culture's emphasis on the individual and on our pleasure and comfort as the end goal is harmful to ourselves, not to mention the lives of others, and we need to work against it. That this work may not be easy, but most valuable things are not. The things I enjoy most about my job are talking with people I otherwise wouldn't get to talk to, and serving people that need it in that moment. I want to continue to serve others, and this experience is helping me to understand what I believe are the best ways to go about this.</p><p> </p>
Get a Taste of Service Adventure a Taste of Service AdventureBy Susan Nisly<p><span style="color:inherit;font-size:1.4rem;font-style:inherit;background-color:transparent;">Each year at this time, many high school seniors are trying to figure out what they should do next. Recently, when</span><span style="color:inherit;font-size:1.4rem;font-style:inherit;background-color:transparent;"> I was talking with one of these seniors, she said, "I've never heard of anyone regretting taking a gap year."  I must admit that I haven't either. Most often, I hear people talking about what a huge impact the gap year had on helping them figure out what they want to study, or figuring out who they are and what they believe.  There are many options for a gap year, but my personal favorite is Service Adventure. What makes it so unique is that besides living in community with other young adults, you also have unit leaders who serve as mentors living with your group. </span></p><p>Are you wondering what a year in Service Adventure might be like?  Are you intrigued by the idea of taking a gap year and serving others?  I would like to invite you to visit one of our units to get a taste of Service Adventure. Feb. 9-12, 2017, you can spend a weekend seeing what all happens in Service Adventure. </p><p><strong>Schedule:</strong></p><p><strong>Thursday, Feb. 9</strong> – Arrive at the Service Adventure unit and meet your hosts.  Enjoy dinner with the unit and participate in their weekly worship night</p><p><strong>Friday, Feb. 10</strong> – Spend the day serving alongside participants in various social-service agencies.  It might be a homeless shelter, a thrift store, or somewhere working with kids.</p><p><strong>Saturday, Feb. 11</strong> – Experience a learning component with the unit and experience more about the local community.  This might be a hike or visiting a museum.</p><p><strong>Sunday, Feb. 12 </strong>– Attend the local hosting congregation with the unit and then head home.</p><p>If you are interested in checking out Service Adventure, or have questions, please contact me at <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#0066cc"></font></span></span></a>.</p>



Top 5 memories from Albuquerque 5 memories from AlbuquerqueBy Albuquerque Service Adventure UnitGP0|#2ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a;L0|#02ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a|United States;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#89f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
Creation care: five ways to serve care: five ways to serveBy Kelsey Hochstetler GP0|#2ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a;L0|#02ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a|United States;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#89f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
Top 5 memories from Anchorage 5 memories from AnchorageBy Anchorage Servcie Adventure UnitGP0|#2ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a;L0|#02ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a|United States;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#89f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
An Easter shout-out to women in ministry Easter shout-out to women in ministryBy Edward DarteyGP0|#94dd45c1-9c16-47e9-a805-c9f21d72c576;L0|#094dd45c1-9c16-47e9-a805-c9f21d72c576|Ghana;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#4d0e08ea-d1a0-4141-9eba-431183992152;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
The art between us art between usBy Hanna HeishmanGP0|#2ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a;L0|#02ab17779-1e85-4ea3-bd7e-1348a1fb087a|United States;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#89f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
Washing real feet real feetBy Linda OyerGP0|#6a312f97-f5ae-40b6-bfe7-2841a7da186e;L0|#06a312f97-f5ae-40b6-bfe7-2841a7da186e|France;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#e1c6021e-2f25-46dc-91a1-be34789acdf9;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
Flip the expectations the expectationsErin RhodesGP0|#89f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc;L0|#089f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc|North America;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
Youth Venture invited me to change my perspective Venture invited me to change my perspectiveElizabeth EbyGP0|#89f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc;L0|#089f1dfe2-8e50-4b9f-b81a-f3f6dcbc35fc|North America;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
Mission work in Spain? Are you kidding me? work in Spain? Are you kidding me?By Joshua and Alisha GarberGP0|#89822f84-696e-4f7a-bc14-837545952bea;L0|#089822f84-696e-4f7a-bc14-837545952bea|Spain;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#e1c6021e-2f25-46dc-91a1-be34789acdf9;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
A glimpse of life as missionaries, neighbors, parents and friends,-neighbors,-parents-and-friendsA glimpse of life as missionaries, neighbors, parents and friendsVideo by David StutzmanGP0|#5b6e705f-0058-4334-9acc-0b6703eb027a;L0|#05b6e705f-0058-4334-9acc-0b6703eb027a|Germany;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#e1c6021e-2f25-46dc-91a1-be34789acdf9;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf