By Mennonite Mission Network staff
Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Every organization has a purpose, an answer to the deceptively simple question, "Why?" At Mennonite Mission Network, the answer to that question is: to lead, mobilize and equip the church to participate in holistic witness to Jesus Christ — across the street, all through the marketplaces and around the world.

In this Q&A series, Mission Network asks staff members to think about the role they play in the agency and how they see their daily work joining into what God is doing around the world. 

Sibonokuhle Ncube is Mission Network's regional co-director for Africa and Europe. She brings expertise from Zimbabwe and scholarship from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) to her role. Her calling as an eco-womanist, practical theologian and social justice practitioner, informs how she connects people and institutions to the beauty and power of God's shalom.


What brought you to your role with Mennonite Mission Network?

In 2021, two years before I completed seminary with an MDiv. in Theology and Peace Studies from AMBS, a trip to my home country of Zimbabwe brought confirmation that my next ministry role would be an international one. In 2019, the bishop of the Brethren in Christ Church in Zimbabwe had blessed me and "released me to the nations." At that time, I did not fully understand the consequence of his sending. When Mission Network advertised the position for regional co-director for Africa and Europe, I took a prophetic discernment walk through the Elkhart office with a spiritual conspirator. God affirmed that this was the right direction, and I submitted my application. The rest is now "herstory."

My ministry at Mission Network marks God's providential orchestration in response to my family's desire to follow where God leads. I am currently licensed for ministry by Eighth Street Mennonite Church, in Goshen, Indiana, where I live.   


What is your favorite part of your role with Mission Network?

It has been a blessing to serve with an agency whose inner and outer orientations bear witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. I also appreciate working alongside churches and other partners, in ways that honor God as present-and-already-at-work among the people and their ecosystems. Mission Network is a beautiful space for me to grow as an eco-womanist minister. Not only do I work with repairing toxic missiologies and mission's complicity with colonialism, slavery, capitalism, and ecocide, but I have the privilege to respectfully partner with local communities and in solidarity with them. I also love that the internal logic of Mission Network recognizes talent and is open to innovation on the part of our staff and board. I have enjoyed engaging with Mission Network's outer orientation to supporters and partners, from a place of strength and curiosity in what God is doing.


How has your perspective on your role with Mission Network changed over your time with the agency? 

Mission Network has a clear framework, in which each member re­ports to a designated supervisor. Communication flows up, down and across departments, to ensure efficient information exchange and decision-making processes, in a way that brings mutual reinforcement for all roles. As regional co-director for Africa and Europe, I have drawn confidence from the strong support, diligence and humility found among colleagues and supervisors at each reporting level.  Paul's encouragement to his protégé in 2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV), to "do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth," compels me to diligent service, together with my colleagues.


How do you view your role with Mission Network fitting into God's mission for the church?

My role complements the broader, ongoing, inter-cultural, reparative and Christological missiology that Mission Network aspires to.


What is something that has surprised you about your role with Mission Network?

I was surprised by the way Mission Network appreciates partnership. I coined the term "relationshipreneur" to describe Mission Network's intentional approach to building strong relationships that benefit contextual ministry. This "relationshipreneurial" nature brings mutuality, a nurturing character, and makes a faith statement, as Mission Network serves within the ambiguities of its many collaborative contexts, with the help of the Holy Spirit. 

 

 

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https://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/5070/Here-with-purpose-Sibonokuhle-Ncube

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