What do Mennonites and former gang members have in common? “Not much,” one might be tempted to reply. But at a recent Saskatoon conference they sat side-by-side learning about gang intervention and prevention, and the way back to a healthy life.
God at work in the World
As Syrians continue to watch their nation disintegrate, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has become a leading Canadian responder there. Its long-standing relationships in the area mean it can work both in refugee camps outside Syria and in some of the hardest hit areas within the country, supporting various local partners, including churches.
Ron Krahn: A farmer responds
A damage report from Super Typhoon Haiyan compresses a huge disaster into one page of stark statistics. This report is for just one assessment area. (Photo by John Chau / Used by permission)
Dann Pantoja, second from left, and his team pray for the pastor of a local church. ‘His house was totally destroyed,’ says Pantoja. ‘His wife and children were hungry when we arrived. Many of his neighbours died. He cannot locate the families belonging to his congregation.’ (Photo by Daniel Byron ‘Bee’ Pantoja / From the PBCI website)
Makeshift tarp shelters began rising up soon after the Nov. 8 super storm subsided. (Photo by John Chau / Used by permission)
Like the news, the winds and rain that came with Super Typhoon Haiyan have let up. But the damage from the storm that slammed regions of the Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013, remains on the mental and emotional front page for survivors.
A week after torrential rain battered the Gaza Strip, people in the al Nafaq Street area of eastern Gaza City were still struggling to clean mud and debris out of their homes and businesses just before Christmas.
Last year, a Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Learning Tour group—including the author—visited Ethiopia and Uganda to get a grasp of MCC’s work and its effectiveness in the holy work of being the church as Jesus’ hands and feet in places of need.
• “Oh my God! Oh my God!” gushed Sister Sophia meeting us as we disembarked from our bus.
On a cold, windy December day in Winnipeg in 1963, 40 men made the decision to form Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada. Exactly 50 years later, a group of people braved another bitterly cold day in Winnipeg to reflect on those 50 years and contemplate MCC’s future.
I was on Chapter 10 of Alan Paton’s defining South African novel, Cry the Beloved Country, when Nelson Mandela died. The story of the man and the story in the book—published in 1948, the year apartheid became official policy—are versions of the same story.
Three hours before the memorial service for Nelson Mandela began, people gathered to honour their beloved past-president and peacemaker in a celebratory manner. The gathering included singing, dancing, clapping and shouts of ‘Mandela ,you’re my president!’
Andrew Suderman, left, director of the Anabaptist Network in South Africa, and his daughter Samantha attend a memorial service for Nelson Mandela on Dec. 10, 2013, at the First National Bank Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg. Seated next to them, from left to right, are: Suderman’s brother, Bryan Moyer Suderman, his son Matthew and wife Julie.
After a lifetime spent struggling for the emancipation and equality of all, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela can finally rest, his long walk at an end. “Madiba,” as he is affectionately known, passed away on Dec. 5, 2013.
After being an integral part of the town of Leamington for more than a century, the HJ Heinz Corporation will shut its processing plant next June, putting 740 employees out of work and leaving more than 40 local tomato growers wondering what they will be planting come spring.
Perspectives of peacebuilders, shedding light on how peace can be achieved in communities, societies and nations, were featured at a plenary session of the 10th assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The Nov.
Ovide Mercredi, former grand chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Canada, was part of an indigenous delegation that travelled to England for the 250th anniversary of Royal Proclamation of 1763, a rather grandiose document whereby King George III of England went about the imperial business of colonizing a big chunk of North America.
Oct. 7 marked the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, a rather grandiose document whereby King George III of England went about the imperial business of colonizing a big chunk of North America.
All I knew about pig butchering before I did it myself was the Low German saying that translates as, “good weather for slaughtering pigs,” which somehow surfaces from my subconscious on brisk sunny days in the fall. I also knew that if people learn you plan to turn three pigs into sausage, a good number of them want in on the action. We could have charged admission.
When Moses Falco heard the words, “We never gave up our sovereignty,” at an Oct. 7 rally held in Winnipeg to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, they struck a chord. “I realized that I, by the way I continue to live, am not just suppressing a people, I am suppressing nations in my own country. I’m not okay with that.”
Grace Smallboy, an Indian Residential School (IRS) survivor, sat on a small folded blanket in the middle of the Valleyview Mennonite Church sanctuary while around her others—including London area Mennonites—stood on their own blankets representing a variety of Canada’s indigenous people groups.
When Ken Rempel stopped for a construction delay on Highway 2 near Winnipeg, the flagman asked if he was the guy who ran his car on vegetable oil. The flagman had confused Rempel with another Highway 2 commuter, but just the same, Rempel’s interest was piqued.
Kitchener’ Nish Singers—from left to right: Bonnie Misquatis, Marylin Sutherland and Heather Mujoury—drummed and sang at ‘Healing the sacred hoop,’ a two-day Mennonite Central Committee Ontario event in mid-September that focused on Indian Residential Schools run by Mennonites.
Andrew Wesley, left, a residential school survivor, and Merle Nisly, a worker at the Mennonite-run Poplar Hill Development School in northwestern Ontario, embrace at ‘Healing the sacred hoop,’ a two-day Mennonite Central Committee Ontario event in mid-September that focused on Indian Residential Schools run by Mennonites.
The “sacred hoop” is the circle of nations. While it originally referred to indigenous nations in North America, the hoop has been broadened to include settler nations with whom the indigenous people groups now share the land.
Elizabeth Wiens tries out her new hula hoop that she got at the children’s auction at the MCC Festival. The auction allowed kids and their parents to bid on kid-friendly items and brought in $1,876.
It was a fun-filled, exciting weekend at the annual Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Festival for World Relief held at the Abbotsford Tradex on Sept. 6 and 7. The annual event raised more than a half-million dollars to support MCC’s relief, development and peace work in more than 60 countries around the world.
Omar Alawasaje’s story of being invited by his Canadian sponsors to “go camping,” and his immediate and reactive response of “No!” led to general laughter in the group gathered at the “Torn from home: My life as a refugee” exhibit at the Waterloo Regional Museum in Kitchener this summer.
The Cedar Valley Mennonite Church mission team members (dressed in orange T-shirts) from Mission, B.C., play in the streets of Santa María de Jesús, Guatemala, to attract neighbourhood children to the VBS program at nearby Bethel Church, a local congregation.
This young boy, who is bald due to cancer treatments, is happy to receive a handmade card with his gift bag from the mission team from Cedar Valley Mennonite Church, Mission B.C., during a two-week visit to Guatemala that included a stop at Kairos House, a ministry by a family that has opened its home to care for families of children with cancer.
An ongoing discipleship and partnership program with a Guatemalan congregation led a team of 12 from Cedar Valley Mennonite Church in Mission, B.C., to travel to the Central American country for two weeks in July, putting their faith into practice while learning about missions and making new friends.