Transcending borders

Mennonite Church Canada congregations match $50,000 donation for MWC COVID-19 fund in 2020

February 9, 2021 | Web First
Katie Doke Sawatzky | Mennonite Church Canada
Francine Mukoko, standing at right, a public health graduate and the first university graduate from the Communauté Mennonite au Congo community in Bateke, presents public-health advice in Teke, the local language. (Photo courtesy of Seraphin Kutumbana)

Congregations across Mennonite Church Canada have matched a $50,000 donation made by the nationwide church to a COVID-19 relief fund operated by Mennonite World Conference (MWC).

The fund, which is part of MWC’s Global Church Sharing Fund, helps MWC-member churches struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This giving demonstrates to churches in other parts of the world that we belong to each other, and that we, with more financial resources, can help those with less to carry out their witness as Jesus followers in pandemic times,” says Arli Klassen, MC Canada Joint Council member and regional representatives coordinator for MWC.

MC Canada's Joint Council approved a $50,000 donation to the fund in May 2020 and asked congregations to match the amount in their giving for the rest of the year. Congregations across the five regional churches gave $50,946 in 2020, which means MC Canada's total contributions to the fund totalled more than $100,000.

Klassen says Canadian congregations have much to learn from churches in the Global South, who connected with needy families in ways Canadian churches did not, often leaving tasks and relationships to social agencies and government support.

As of November 2020, the MWC COVID-19 fund supported 45 humanitarian initiatives carried out by 53 national Anabaptist churches in 28 countries. Its current total project value is US$436,824.

The national church recipients of the relief fund include Angola, Colombia, India and Indonesia. In India, desperate families were given relief kits with food and hygiene supplies; in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, people received food relief, equipment and training in protective health measures.

“Mennonite Church Canada’s giving enabled this strong witness,” says Klassen. “We are growing in our understanding of what it means to be an Anabaptist faith community that transcends borders.”

Related stories:
Pandemic fund targets inequalities in global church
COVID-19 global response fund helps more Global South churches
COVID-19 global response fund helps Global South churches

Francine Mukoko, standing at right, a public health graduate and the first university graduate from the Communauté Mennonite au Congo community in Bateke, presents public-health advice in Teke, the local language. (Photo courtesy of Seraphin Kutumbana)

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