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God at work in Us

Canadian environmental advocates profiled

God at work in Us | By Reprinted from July 2010 MCCN newsletter. | Sep 01, 2010

Sustainable communities require long-term planning

Volunteer sees harm and good of Canada

Juan Raul Junay of Guatemala City, Guatemala, poses for a photograph in a field of golden Manitoba wheat.

God at work in Us | By By Gladys Terichow | Aug 26, 2010

Juan Raul Junay, 25, never tires of explaining how Canadian mining companies are affecting farming communities in his home country of Guatemala.

“Mines give people jobs, but there is long-term environmental destruction,” explains Junay, who is from Guatemala City but has been working at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in Winnipeg since last August as part of Mennonite Central Committee’s International Volunteer Exchange Program (IVEP).

Through the wall into Jesus’ world

Katie Penner of Vineland, Ont., stands among the art and graffiti found along the security wall between Israel and Palestine.

God at work in Us | By By Katie Penner | Aug 17, 2010

My first reaction to seeing the wall that separates Israel and Palestine was the enormity of it. This isn’t any little chain-link fence that marks a property line. It’s an enormous eight-metre-tall concrete wall that has a security tower every kilometre or so. There are gates in the wall, but these are few and far between, and use of these gates is extremely restricted to those who are not tourists like we were.

‘Let’s go’ to an amazing place

Perched on the Mount of Olives, Katie Erb overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem. (Photo courtesy of Katie Erb)

God at work in Us | By By Katie Erb | Aug 17, 2010

For three weeks this past May, I participated in a joint Mennonite Central Committee/Mennonite Church Eastern Canada learning tour for young adults to Israel/Palestine. Called Yella, the program means “let’s go” in Hebrew and Arabic.

‘The river sings to me a song’

Susan Pries prepares a group lunch at RiverSong, a day retreat centre along the Conestoga River outside of St. Jacobs, Ont.

God at work in Us | By By Dave Rogalsky | Jul 12, 2010 | 1 comment

The yellow warbler flits among the trees back of the patio and main building at RiverSong as Susan Pries takes a break from providing meals and snacks to a daylong retreat of pastors.

Pries and her husband John own and run the catering, banquet and day retreat centre at Three Bridges, just west of St. Jacobs. They opened in 2008 after six months of renovations to bring the building “up to code” and refresh the décor.

“The business is in John’s name,” says Pries with a laugh. “He has the full-time employment to back the loan.”

‘Call to me and I will answer you’

Raised in an Evangelical Christian home in Ethiopia, Frew Zinna returned to the faith after a disastrous experience at a secular university. He is now studying at Meserete Kristos College, where MC Canada Witness volunteer Fanosie Legesse teaches.

God at work in Us | By by Dianne Legesse | Jun 23, 2010

Leaving home to attend university exposed Frew Zinna to new attitudes and lifestyles that pulled him away from his family’s legacy of faith, but the words of Jeremiah 33:3 called him back to Christ and into ministry.

Most Ethiopians are Orthodox Christians or Muslims, but Zinna grew up in a family that had been rooted in Evangelical Christian faith for three generations. His father taught in a Mennonite school started by missionaries.

Celebrating faithful servanthood: ‘Jesus is here!’

Alvin and Helen Lepp pose in front of a mural in the Siksika community hall, Alta., following an afternoon honouring them for their service to people of the First Nation.

God at work in Us | By By Marvin Baergen | Jun 04, 2010 | 1 comment

Members of Siksika Nation and Mennonite Church Alberta gathered twice on May 2 to give honour to God for a lifetime of faithful ministry by Alvin and Helen Lepp.

With the faithful support of his wife, Lepp has been visiting Siksika Nation for more than 30 years, sharing God’s love through friendship and support during life’s good times and bad. Over the years he has led Bible studies, served as a lay leader in local congregations, and become friend and confidant to many in times of joy and loss.

Not just a stepping stone

MC Saskatchewan youth minister Anna Rehan, right, is congratulated by area church moderator Renata Klassen following the tribute to Rehan’s 25 years of youth ministry in Saskatchewan.

God at work in Us | By by Karin Fehderau | May 31, 2010

Anna Rehan sits behind her desk at the Mennonite Church Saskatchewan offices. This past February, during the conference delegate sessions, the area church’s youth pastor was recognized for 25 years of work with Saskatchewan youths and young adults.

Not native to the province, Rehan spent her formative years growing up at Sherbrooke Mennonite Church, Vancouver, B.C. She credits those early church experiences with equipping her with the understanding and wisdom needed to work in Canada’s youth culture.

Crisis leads to faith

After his life began spiralling downhill seven years ago, Len Bergen of Winnipegosis, Man., right, now is serving as a lay minister at Nordheim Mennonite Church while waiting for the Lord’s call taking him and his wife Mary into mission work.

God at work in Us | By By Evelyn Rempel Petkau | May 17, 2010

When a crisis hit Len Bergen seven years ago, his life began to spiral downward. Now seven years later, he sees how God did not abandon him, but led him through and out of that dark valley to a place that he never could have expected.

‘From farm to fork’

Concepts they learned at Osler Mennonite Church, Sask., have helped Kevin and Melanie Boldt form the basis of their Pine View Farms All Natural Meats operation. (Photo by Karin Fehderau)

God at work in Us | By By Karin Fehderau | May 03, 2010

So many people spend their time and energy accumulating things, but what they really want are simpler lives and deeper connections with others. Knowing that reconnecting with friends and family always involves food, the owners of Pine View Farms All Natural Meats near Osler offer grain-fed, hormone-free food products to those living in their small corner of the world.

Not a Christian . . . just a ‘follower of Jesus’

Richard Twiss, a Lakota First Nation “follower of Jesus,” speaks animatedly during an address at Peace Mennonite Church, Richmond, B.C, last month.

God at work in Us | By By Angelika Dawson | Apr 19, 2010

Mitakuye Oyasin (“All my relations”). With these words of greeting, Richard Twiss, a Lakota First Nations speaker, author and “follower of Jesus,” began two evenings of teaching and inspiration in communities in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

‘Little by little there will be change’

Gene Stoltzfus

God at work in Us | By From Christian Peacemaker Teams Releases | Apr 05, 2010

Gene Stoltzfus, the founding director of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), died of a heart attack in Fort Frances, Ont., while bicycling near his home on the first spring-like day of the year. He is survived by wife Dorothy Friesen and many peacemakers who stand on the broad shoulders of his 70 years of creative action.

Celebrating abilities

Bonnie Sawatzky, a member of Peace Mennonite Church, Richmond, B.C., was the first to carry the Paralympic torch upon its arrival in Vancouver. She is pictured with her supporters and Leon, her service dog.

God at work in Us | By By Amy Dueckman | Apr 05, 2010

When Bonnie Sawatzky rolled her wheelchair down the student union plaza hill just after lighting the Paralympic torch at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver last month, she remembers a crowd of people surrounding her. “Go, Bonnie, go!” they yelled.

“It was the most amazing experience and quite an honour,” recalls Sawatzky, a member of Peace Mennonite Church, Richmond, B.C., and associate professor of orthopaedics at UBC. “My friends, family, and students from my lab and class came out to celebrate with me. I felt so special.”

Quake hits close to home

Arisnel and Syvelie Mesidor are together at last in their Winnipeg home after a frightening separation. She was a victim of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, while he was studying at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg.

God at work in Us | By By Rachel Bergen | Mar 22, 2010

Jan. 12 was a day like no other for Arisnel Mesidor. On this day, Haiti, his homeland—and the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere—was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

Leadership through sacrifice, self-surrender


God at work in Us | By Tyndale Seminary Release | Mar 08, 2010

Arthur Paul Boers was installed in the R. J. Bernardo Family Chair of Leadership at Tyndale Seminary, Toronto, on Jan. 26. Boers, who formerly taught at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Ind., delivered the main address, “The subversive leadership of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”