Donna Entz, an outreach worker for Mennonite Church Alberta, has many friends in the North Edmonton communities in which she lives and works.
Manna Ali, a member of the Somali community, is among them. She told a gathering at First Mennonite Church on Sept. 23, 2016, to celebrate MC Alberta’s North Edmonton ministry, that Entz started English-as-a-second-language classes and a community league, organized a Somali seniors group, and helped children with homework.
Of Entz’s energy, Ali speculated, “Maybe because she lived in Africa for 30 years, she has a lot of sun in her bones!” Speakers from the more than 14 groups assembled told stories of sharing faith, friendship and the practical help that Entz is fostering among the varied communities she engages.
Salwa Kadri of A Common Word Alberta said during the presentation of an award to Entz, “When we [different faith groups] get together, we see hope.” A practical expression of that hope was voiced by Omar Yaqub of the Islamic Family and Social Service Association, who spoke about how Entz and her husband Lorne instigated cooperation between Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and his association in helping refugees. “It has been a tremendous blessing to work together with MCC!” he said.