For a new dad, the thought of fatherhood is more mysterious than everBLOGhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5084/For-a-new-dad-fatherhood-feels-more-mysterious-than-everFor a new dad, the thought of fatherhood is more mysterious than everBy Travis Duerksen

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Here with purpose: Joe SawatzkyQ&Ahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5074/Here-with-purpose-Joe-SawatzkyHere with purpose: Joe SawatzkyBy Mennonite Mission Network staff
“Unity in Diversity”: An interview with Martin Gunawan about his cultural heritageQ&Ahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5079/Unity-in-Diversity-An-interview-with-Martin-Gunawan-about-his-cultural-heritage“Unity in Diversity”: An interview with Martin Gunawan about his cultural heritage
Anabaptist Witness combines scholarship and global solidarity with Ethiopian issueAnabaptist Witnesshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5077/Anabaptist-Witness-combines-scholarship-and-global-solidarity-with-Ethiopian-issueAnabaptist Witness combines scholarship and global solidarity with Ethiopian issueBy Henok T. Mekonin
Complex grief of climate changeCreation Carehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5078/Complex-grief-of-climate-changeComplex grief of climate changeBy Sara Gurulé
Here with purpose: Sibonokuhle NcubeQ&Ahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5070/Here-with-purpose-Sibonokuhle-NcubeHere with purpose: Sibonokuhle NcubeBy Mennonite Mission Network staff
Privilege shapes our response to the migrant crisisMigrationhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5068/Privilege-shapes-our-response-to-the-migrant-crisisPrivilege shapes our response to the migrant crisisBy Joseph Givens

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Redefining the future of servicehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5047/Are-service-programs-dyingRedefining the future of serviceBy Eric Frey Martin<p><em>Are service programs dying? </em><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;"><em>No! Maybe? But there's no doubt we need to get back to viewing service as an alternative way of life. </em></span><span style="color:inherit;background-color:#ffffff;"><em>This article first appeared in </em></span><a href="https://anabaptistworld.org/are-service-programs-dying/" style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;">the March issue of Anabaptist World</a><span style="color:inherit;background-color:#ffffff;"><em>.</em></span></p><p>Are service programs dying? This is a question I get asked through my role as a representative for Mennonite Mission Network. It usually comes from alumni of Mission Network's service programs, people whose service experiences transformed how they see God, the world and themselves. </p><p>For generations, service programs have enabled young adults to put their faith into action, experience community and relate to those outside their usual spheres. Many were inspired to continue lives of service. Many have become leaders in our congregations. </p><p>Now they wonder if youth in the future will have the same opportunities.</p><p>As I've thought about this question, I've come up with three answers that I give people, depending on the situation.<br></p><p><br></p><p><strong><em>Are service programs dying? No! </em></strong></p><p>This is often my response when I have just a few minutes with a constituent. Mission Network has seven thriving service units where young adults live in community, serve at a local nonprofit and engage with the local church. <a href="/Serve/SOOP">SOOP (Service Opportunities with Our Partners)</a>, our most popular program, has hundreds of participants serve in 60 sites in Asia, Europe, North America and South America each year. <a href="/Serve/Youth%20Venture">Youth Venture</a> sends young adults to Christian communities around the world through short-term service and learning placements. Mission Networks' newest program, <a href="/Serve/just%20peace%20pilgrimage">Just Peace Pilgrimage</a>, offers short-term learning experiences that connect church groups, families and individuals with communities engaged with immigration, Civil Rights, and solidarity with Indigenous Peoples.</p><p><em><img src="https://assets.mennonites.org/PublishingImages/2023/SOOP%20Phoenix.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></em></p><h4>Left to right: SOOP Phoenix participants Bruno Friesen, Leanne Gross, and Roland Yoder help prepare food at The Society of St. Vincent De Paul Food Reclamation Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The Phoenix SOOP location began in 1993, originally in the home of Peter and Rheta Mae Wiebe. It now operates out of the Menno Guest House, which houses SOOP volunteers during the winter season and serves as a bed and breakfast throughout the rest of the year. Photo by Travis Duerksen.<br></h4><p><br></p><p><strong><em>Are service programs dying? Maybe. But what does that mean? </em></strong></p><p>This is often the answer I give when I have more time to talk. There is a good reason why people ask about the survival of service programs: There are fewer units than there used to be — four in <a href="/Serve/Mennonite%20Voluntary%20Service">Mennonite Voluntary Service</a> (MVS, a one-year program for ages 20-plus), down from 20 in 2004; and three in <a href="/Serve/Service%20Adventure">Service Adventure</a> (a 10-month program for ages 17-20), down from seven in 2004. </p><p>These changes did not happen in a bubble. In the past 15 years, two "once-in-a-lifetime" economic crises — the Great Recession and the COVID-19 pandemic — have made unpaid, voluntary service a difficult option for young adults just out of school. The pandemic upended voluntary service for over a year, and the ripple effects continue today.<br></p><p><img src="https://assets.mennonites.org/PublishingImages/2023/MVS%20San%20Francisco%20Quilt.jpeg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><h4>2022-23 MVS San Francisco unit participants Eli Reimer, Claire Waidelich (2020-2022 participant), Rachel Miller and Anna Lubbers work on a quilt together at the unit house. Photo provided.<br></h4><p>Current MVS units, on average, have more participants each year than the units did throughout the 2010s. Yet, overall, fewer young adults are going into these programs.</p><p>The question is not just about the survival of the programs themselves. It hints at something deeper. Perhaps it is really about the survival of our churches, nourished by young adults who come out of service programs ready to be leaders in their congregations and communities. </p><p>If I had the time with everyone who asks, I would have a conversation about the history and purpose of these programs, what they have represented in the past, and what they can represent in the future. </p><p>In the 20<sup>th</sup> century, North American Anabaptists' posture toward the rest of the world changed as we were forced to make choices about our peace witness and participation in the military. Many Anabaptists chose alternative service rather than military service. </p><p>We need to get back to viewing service as an alternative. </p><p><img src="https://assets.mennonites.org/PublishingImages/2023/MVS%20Jessica%20Penner.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><h4>2002-2004 MVS participant Jessica Penner (middle, red stocking cap) with members of Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship protesting the U.S. invasion of Iraq in Washington, DC in 2003. During her service term, Penner’s placement as administrative assistant for Pax Christi Metro New York (PCMNY) grew from opening and stuffing envelopes into helping organize peace protests during UN meetings and sites around New York City. Photo provided.<br></h4><p>In Daniel Hertzler's section of the book,<em> <a href="https://www.cascadiapublishinghouse.com/acrs3/acrs3cont.htm">Re-envisioning Service: The Geography of our Faith</a>,</em> he recalled that C.J. Dyck, a Mennonite historian and church leader, said, "Mennonites do not believe in war, but it takes a war to bring the best out of us." </p><p>I doubt Dyck hoped for a war so that Mennonites would rise to the occasion. Rather, he was noting that war creates a stark contrast between pacifists and the rest of society. War forces a choice of how to live out one's peacemaking beliefs. </p><p>Growing up in the Mennonite church, I heard stories of people who chose alternative service during wars and even during a peacetime draft. This service did more than fulfill an obligation to the government. It was a way of putting one's faith in action. </p><p>The draft forced Mennonites to embody their pacifist beliefs and to stand apart from their neighbors. But with no draft since 1973, it might appear there is no longer a need for alternative action. Was Dyck right that we only shine as pacifists when there's a war? </p><p>But while the draft has stopped, wars have not — nor has our need to choose how to live out our commitment to peacemaking. As militarism pervades our society, each of us, to some degree, participates in a militarized system. </p><p><img src="https://assets.mennonites.org/PublishingImages/2023/Service%20Adventure%20CO%20Springs%20Metal.jpeg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><h4>Shawna Hurst, a 2023-24 Service Adventure Colorado Springs unit participant, and Travis Clarke, the unit’s co-leader, work together to fashion a tool made from a rifle barrel at <a href="https://rawtools.org/about/" style="text-decoration:underline;">RAWtools in Colorado Springs</a>. Each year, the unit visits RAWtools as part of a unit learning component, participating in the organization’s advocacy for peace by forging guns into garden tools. Photo by Shelby Clarke.<br></h4><p>Jesus models an alternative path. <a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%204&version=NRSVUE">In Luke 4, he's tempted take shortcuts to power and domination by teaming up with the Evil One to turn stones into bread, rule the nations and defy the bounds of gravity.</a> But he rejects this kind of power. </p><p>Then he lays out his alternative plan. He says the Spirit of the Lord has sent him to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoner and the oppressed, and recovery of sight for the blind — in sum, the year of the Lord's favor (Luke 4:18-19).<sup> </sup></p><p>Jesus refuses to participate in a system that does not represent his values. He chooses an alternative path of service. </p><p>Mennonites have a history of seeking alternatives when confronted with lifestyles that do not represent Jesus' values. As society draws us into systems of injustice, oppression and domination, we should revisit the idea of service as an alternative to such systems.  </p><p>When we serve, we step out of coercive systems. We live in a way that does not depend on accumulation of wealth. We catch glimpses of God's kingdom as we encounter those at the bottom of oppressive systems.</p><p><em> <img src="https://assets.mennonites.org/PublishingImages/2023/MVS%20Tucson%20Oak%20Flat.jpeg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></em></p><h4>The 2022-23 MVS Tucson unit joined in a prayer hike supporting Apache Stronghold, a grassroots, non-profit made up of San Carlos Apache, other Indigenous tribes and allies, that is working to protect Oak Flat, a section of the Tonto National Forest and a sacred site for multiple Indigenous groups. Oak Flat is under threat of destruction from a proposed copper mining operation on the site. Michaela Esau (pictured far-left) organized the prayer hike as part of her MVS service placement with the Coalition to Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery, which works to educate and animate Anabaptist church communities in response to the Doctrine of Discovery, the "law of colonialism" that dates back to the 15th century. Photo by Lisa Showalter.<br></h4><p><br></p><p><strong><em>Are service programs dying? I hope so!</em></strong></p><p>This is the level of conversation I have with <a href="/about/staff/Naomi%20Leary">Naomi Leary, regional director for North America long-term service opportunities</a> at Mennonite Mission Network. She manages the MVS and Service Adventure programs. </p><p>Our conversations often lead to the following question: Why be afraid of death when the basis of our faith is the resurrecting power of Jesus?  </p><p>Death is an essential path to rebirth and regrowth. Death is scary — yet, somehow, it is where hope lies. </p><p>Our service programs are far from flawless. Too often they accommodate those of privilege who have the resources to participate. At times they have perpetuated White saviorism. </p><p>As we decolonize mission work — freeing it from the attitudes that lead people of one culture to dominate others — we give up past ways of doing things and envision new ways built on shared power and antiracism. </p><p>Our world, our church and our partners need people who choose an alternative to the rise-and-grind culture. Service programs — focusing on intentional community, simple living and peace-and-justice work — are just such an alternative.  </p><p><img src="https://assets.mennonites.org/PublishingImages/2023/Service%20Adventure%20Micah%20Yoder.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><h4>2011-2012 Service Adventure participant Micah Yoder (left) works with Chase (right) on reading skills in the after-school program KidReach in Philippi, West Virginia. The Philippi Service Adventure unit was one of the inaugural placements when the program began in 1989, and operated for 27 years until 2016. Photo provided.<br></h4><p>Most important, volunteers meet pressing needs in local communities. Without volunteers:</p><ul><li> A refugee family in Tucson, Ariz., might not have the resources to apply for asylum, because the immigration aid agency, which depends on volunteers, would have less capacity.</li><li> An after-school program in Johnstown, Pa., that relies on Service Adventure volunteers might have to reduce its hours or close.</li><li>In Alamosa, Colo., the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project would not have had decades of MVS participants joining in its many restoration projects.</li><li>The Center for Restorative Programs in Alamosa, launched 28 years ago, would have had less capacity to facilitate over 2,500 restorative interventions with youth.<br></li></ul><div><span style="font-size:22.4px;"><br></span></div><p>Will the volunteer opportunities that have helped our church become what it is today cease to exist? I don't want to imply that our survival as a church depends on our service programs. However, I think whether our church survives and thrives is tied to our commitment to following Jesus' example of service. </p><p>"The world is pulling us toward consumerism and acceptance of the status quo," says Naomi Leary. "We need ways to differentiate ourselves and our faith from Christian nationalism. We need ways to help those disillusioned with the church at large see the work of God in the world. Our service programs allow people to act in faith, boldly following Jesus' example."</p><p>Are service programs dying? Perhaps they are, in a way. Dramatic change — rebirth — requires the death of what <em>was</em>, in order to nurture the birth of what <em>will be</em>. Mennonite Mission Network is committed to what these programs will be because we believe each of us is called to an alternative way of life that partners with local communities, meets pressing needs and puts into action the words of Jesus in Luke 4. <br></p>
The heartbreak of the border: A call for compassion and changehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5043/A-call-for-compassion-and-changeThe heartbreak of the border: A call for compassion and changeBy Joseph Givens<p> <a href="/workers/Europe/France/Joseph%20and%20Rachel%20Givens"> <em>Joseph and Rachel Givens</em></a><em> accompany volunteers at the </em> <a href="/partners/Maria%20Skobtsova%20Association"> <em>Maria Skobtsova Housing Association </em></a> <em>and wider community in Calais, France. The Association offers temporary shelter to migrants from Africa and the Middle East, primarily, who are seeking refuge en route to England. </em></p><p> <em>Learn more about the Givens family and their assignment on their </em> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMZymvFA3rSHel5G04EtBDA"> <em>YouTube channel</em></a><em> or follow them on </em> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/givenscalais"> <em>Facebook</em></a><em>. </em><br></p>
Mission partnerships help each participant to experience more of Godhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5037/Mission-partnerships-help-each-participant-to-experience-more-of-GodMission partnerships help each participant to experience more of GodBy Cindy Voth<p><em>Cindy Voth and a delegation from Waterford Mennonite Church traveled to Benin Bible Institute to renew their 20-year partnership. In a </em><a href="https://waterfordchurch.org/sermons/touching-the-elephant/"><em>sermon</em></a><em> that she preached on Jan. 28, Voth likened the partnership to the story of people, who are blind, arguing about what an elephant is like and, then, deciding to pool their experiences, "as they walked each other home."</em></p><p>For 20 years, Waterford Mennonite Church (WMC) in Goshen, Indiana has had a vibrant and lifegiving partnership with Benin Bible Institute (BBI) in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa. All the partners and participants engage with this relationship because we worship God as revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Our connection to God, as witnessed in our shared life together in Goshen, becomes the bedrock of why we would even consider forming partnerships and friendships with complete strangers on the other side of the world. <br></p><p>BBI and WMC acknowledge the significance of communal worship as a guiding faith formational practice at the heart of our community life. It is a beautiful foundation for our 20-year partnership! <br></p><p>Prior to my visit to BBI in November, I pondered a lot of questions, such as, "What is the purpose of this partnership?" and "What do we gain and what do we have to give in the partnership?" I carried those questions with me across 30 hours of plane rides, 16 hours of layovers and almost two weeks of engagement with our partners in Benin. I came to realize that it is critical that we participate in partnerships, because through them we begin to see the fullness of who God is and who we are called to be as followers of Jesus. <br></p><p>An Indian folk tale describes six people who were born blind. Since they could not see the world for themselves, they had to imagine many of its wonders. They listened carefully to the stories told by travelers to learn what they could about life. They heard that elephants trample forests, carry huge burdens and trumpet loudly. But they also heard that the ruler's daughter rode an elephant when she traveled in her father's kingdom. <br></p><p>The six people argued day and night about elephants. "An elephant must be a powerful giant," claimed the first person, referring to stories about elephants clearing forests and building roads.<br></p><p>"No, you are wrong," argued the second person. "An elephant is graceful and gentle because the princess rides on its back."<br></p><p>The next three people continued imagining the elephant as a powerful spear that could pierce human hearts, a sort of magic carpet that transported the princess and "nothing more than a large cow, you know how people exaggerate."<br></p><p>The sixth person finally weighed in with, "I don't believe elephants exist at all. I think we are the victims of a cruel joke."<br></p><p>Finally, the neighbors grew tired of all the arguments, and they arranged for the six to visit the palace of the ruler to learn the truth about elephants. As the hands of the people who couldn't see were placed on the elephant; the first person, who was feeling the elephant's side, declared, "I was right that elephants are big and powerful. They are like a solid stone wall."<br></p><p>The person feeling the trunk announced that elephants are more like snakes. The one, whose hand was on the tusk, confirmed that, indeed, elephants are deadly weapons and the person feeling the leg felt justified in thinking that elephants are extremely large cows. The advocate for elephants as magic carpets was also assured by feeling the ear.<br></p><p>The skeptic tugged the elephant's coarse tail, and scoffed, "Why, this is nothing more than a piece of old rope. Dangerous, indeed!"<br></p><p>The six people ramped up their arguments, "Wall!" "Snake!" "Spear!" "Cow!" "Carpet!" "Rope!" until the ruler came to mediate. "Each person touched only one part. Put all your observations together, and you will see the truth." <br></p><p>The six people decided to take the ruler's counsel and pool their experiences of the elephant. It gave them much food for thought on their journey home.<br></p><p>I think this folk tale beautifully describes WMC's need for our partnership with BBI. We are touching only a part of the elephant. I would say that the elephant is our understanding of who God is and who we are called to be as followers of Jesus. I love that the people who were arguing decided to try to learn the truth by putting all the parts of the elephant together on their journey home. Our faith journey can be described as walking with each other toward our heavenly home. <br></p><p>We often fall prey to declaring with great confidence that we have it all figured out and, therefore, everyone should be more like us in their theology and practice. On the other hand, we may see the vitality of other's faith and worship and be tempted to believe that they have it right, and we should be more like them in our theology and practice. Instead, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle, that together we have a fuller glimpse of God and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. <br></p><p>I want to share some of my reflections on how we engage the elephant and how I observed our Beninese siblings engaging the elephant. A disclaimer is that I have been touching the Mennonite side of the elephant now for 25 years and the American Christianity side for 42 years. I have peered over to the Beninese side of the elephant from a distance for the 11 years that I have been at WMC. And now, I have had an up close and personal view for a two-week period.  <br></p><p>During my time in Benin, and since returning home, I have been thinking a lot about our image of God:</p><ul><li>How do we describe who God is and what God does? </li><li>What is the language we use to articulate the power and presence of God? </li><li>As we reach out and touch our limited engagement with God, what do we experience?</li><li>How do our Beninese siblings engage the above questions?<br></li></ul><br style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;"><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">One evening, toward the end of my visit to Benin, I was thinking that the Beninese God is a wild God. They describe God as powerful, fierce, majestic, and worthy of worship. I was challenged by this vibrant and untamed image of God that is different than my experience of God, as a companion, who walks with us each day as a guide and source of strength. At WMC, we talk a lot about God as Creator, the one who calls us to peacemaking and action for justice.</span><br style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;"><br style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;"><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">At first, I thought, "The Beninese must have it right." But then, I realized that together we see a fuller picture of God. We need to hear and understand more of the Beninese image of God, and they need to hear and understand more of our image of God. </span><br style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;"><br style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;"><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">The BBI-WMC partnership invites us to a posture of curiosity and learning. As both partners continue in our spiritual formation journeys, we need each other. Like the Apostle Paul said to the believers in Corinth in this morning's text from </span><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">2 Corinthians 5:11-21</span><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">, we are reconciled to God, transformed into a new creation, and therefore </span><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">we are compelled by God's love to see, interact, and embrace the world around us in new and intentional ways as we journey home together. </span><br style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;"><br style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;"><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">Thanks be to God for our partnership, for our Beninese siblings, and for the gift of sharing and learning together. </span><span style="font-size:1.4rem;background-color:transparent;color:inherit;font-style:inherit;">Together, we have a fuller understanding of who God is and who we are called to be as followers of Jesus in 2024.</span>
Unwavering faith in the face of persecution yields harvest of peacehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5029/Unwavering-faith-in-the-face-of-persecution-yields-harvest-of-peaceUnwavering faith in the face of persecution yields harvest of peaceBy Siaka Traoré<p><em>In 2015, Mennonites in Burkina Faso risked their livelihoods to remain faithful to Jesus. Now, nearly a decade later, they have found some favor with the village chief.</em></p><p>In 2015, the <a href="/news/1455/Mennonites%20in%20Burkina%20Faso%20stand%20firm%20despite%20persecution">Mennonites in Sidi, Burkina Faso, had to make a choice between being faithful disciples of Jesus and retaining their farming rights</a>. </p><p>Land in Sidi belongs to the community, rather than individuals, and is managed by a group of village leaders, who parcel it out to families for agricultural use. This ensures that everyone has enough land to grow the food necessary to feed their families. In exchange for cultivating land, village residents are expected to provide a living chicken and four liters of <em>dolo</em>, a locally made millet beer, to the land chiefs, who then, use these items to make sacrifices to the spirits of the land.</p><p>In 1998, Seydou Sanogo became the first Christian resident of Sidi. After an evangelistic campaign in 2011, a Mennonite congregation connected to <em>Eglise Evangélique du Burkina Faso</em> (Evangelical Mennonite Church of Burkina Faso) began to form. Initially, Sanogo and other Christians complied with the requests of the village leaders in Sidi regarding land use. However, during the next four years, the Mennonite community deepened their faith through Bible study and a sense of unease developed.</p><p>In 2015, they discerned that, even though they weren't physically present when the sacrifices were performed, they were still indirectly participating in the worship of other gods. So they stopped bringing the chickens and <em>dolo</em> to the village leaders. Yet, to show respect for their community leaders, they proposed that they could provide an alternative thank-you gift comprised of money and produce from their farms.</p><p>The village leaders considered this break with tradition as an act of disobedience, and conflict ensued, but the Mennonites remained faithful. At harvest time, they were inspired with a way they could return good for evil. They offered to help the land chief harvest his cotton crop. This demonstration of love and humility broke through the hostility, and the tension between the Mennonites and the land chief diminished. </p><p>Though the intimidation has persisted into the present, the Mennonites continue to gather in the village praising, worshipping and listening to God. They follow the example of the first believers in Acts 4:18-20 (NIV), "Then, [the religious authorities] … commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, 'Which is right in God's eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.'" </p><p>Sunday, Jan. 14, nearly a decade after the initial conflict, my wife, Claire, and I discreetly visited Sidi. We didn't want to stir up tensions. We found the Mennonites still meeting regularly for worship in the building that the land chief had threatened to destroy.</p><p>But just as Claire and I were about to start the journey home, the church members said that we couldn't leave without greeting the village chief. The Sidi pastor and two others accompanied Claire and me to the village chief's home. The chief received us warmly and acknowledged that "Protestants" are part of the population of his territorial jurisdiction. He spoke of the national violence in Burkina Faso and encouraged each religious group to play its part in restoring peace. Before I left the chief, I promised to come back and visit him. His reply was that I would be welcomed.</p><p>I share this news to say thank you to all those who have never stopped praying for all the Christians of Sidi, as well as for all their neighbors. In 2015, at the beginning of the conflict, the Mennonites of Sidi prayed that those who were persecuting them would become servants of God.</p><p>Let's keep on praying. <br></p>
United in Christhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5026/United-in-ChristUnited in ChristBy Jane and Jerrell Ross Richer<p>​<em>Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have. But answer them in a gentle way with respect. Keep your conscience clear. Then people will see the good way you live as followers of Christ. - 1 Peter 3:15-16 </em><br></p>
Casa del Abuelo: Navigating crisis and compassion in La Guajirahttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5023/crisis-and-compassion-in-La-GuajiraCasa del Abuelo: Navigating crisis and compassion in La GuajiraBy Bekah York

 

 

For a new dad, the thought of fatherhood is more mysterious than everhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5084/For-a-new-dad-fatherhood-feels-more-mysterious-than-everFor a new dad, the thought of fatherhood is more mysterious than everBy Travis DuerksenGP0|#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
Here with purpose: Joe Sawatzkyhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5074/Here-with-purpose-Joe-SawatzkyHere with purpose: Joe SawatzkyBy Mennonite Mission Network staff
“Unity in Diversity”: An interview with Martin Gunawan about his cultural heritagehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5079/Unity-in-Diversity-An-interview-with-Martin-Gunawan-about-his-cultural-heritage“Unity in Diversity”: An interview with Martin Gunawan about his cultural heritageGP0|#2c9cdbcf-29d8-4673-8cfe-9102ac90f492;L0|#02c9cdbcf-29d8-4673-8cfe-9102ac90f492|Indonesia;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#af610d13-4793-4c57-8b8c-d4ea261d7a85;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
Anabaptist Witness combines scholarship and global solidarity with Ethiopian issuehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5077/Anabaptist-Witness-combines-scholarship-and-global-solidarity-with-Ethiopian-issueAnabaptist Witness combines scholarship and global solidarity with Ethiopian issueBy Henok T. MekoninGP0|#acee0e8b-009e-4589-918e-7c8794420647;L0|#0acee0e8b-009e-4589-918e-7c8794420647|Ethiopia;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#4d0e08ea-d1a0-4141-9eba-431183992152;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
Complex grief of climate changehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5078/Complex-grief-of-climate-changeComplex grief of climate changeBy Sara Gurulé
Here with purpose: Sibonokuhle Ncubehttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5070/Here-with-purpose-Sibonokuhle-NcubeHere with purpose: Sibonokuhle NcubeBy Mennonite Mission Network staff
Privilege shapes our response to the migrant crisishttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5068/Privilege-shapes-our-response-to-the-migrant-crisisPrivilege shapes our response to the migrant crisisBy Joseph GivensGP0|#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;GP0|#2a52dead-2172-482e-ade6-5a558f17a31b;L0|#02a52dead-2172-482e-ade6-5a558f17a31b|England
Here with purpose: Tim Yoderhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5065/Here-with-purpose-Tim-YoderHere with purpose: Tim YoderBy Mennonite Mission Network staff
Mennonite mission worker continues to nurture friendships with Shia Muslims in Iranhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5064/Mennonite-mission-works-continues-to-nurture-friendships-with-Shia-Muslims-in-Iran-Mennonite mission worker continues to nurture friendships with Shia Muslims in IranBy Peter Sensenig GP0|#afafa31d-91ed-4196-9d1d-e0c604c12d23;L0|#0afafa31d-91ed-4196-9d1d-e0c604c12d23|Iran;GTSet|#f1c3ac69-6cd4-4109-8ba8-137477ba8a7d;GPP|#a5aadf4d-78e3-4588-8730-6009d5a6d234;GPP|#62ebb633-b401-4243-a537-1a85230e4ebf
Easter calls us to open the doors of our homes and our heartshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5061/Easter-calls-us-to-open-the-doors-of-our-homes-and-our-heartsEaster calls us to open the doors of our homes and our heartsBy Joseph GivensGP0|#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