Number 4

Digging deep

In the wake of Typhoon Bopha in the Mindanao region of the Philippines, Daniel and Joji Pantoja’s staff loaned one month of their salaries to purchase food aid for 650 families, prompting smiles of gratitude from young recipients.

With a food pack over his shoulder, a typhoon survivor knows that he can feed his family for five days.

A typhoon, five million hungry people and no available funds for relief operations. When Peacebuilders Community Inc. (PBCI) faced that scenario late last year, staff rose to the challenge by digging deep into their own pockets.

‘We need more’

Syrian refugee children take shelter against the cold shortly after arriving in Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan, early in the morning of Nov. 26, 2012. Mennonite Central Committee has delivered 900 comforters, 350 relief kits and 3,520 school kits to the camp so far. For story on the worsening crisis in Syria.

Firewood collection is destroying a forest of old trees in northeast Syria as people facing poverty and conflict struggle to cope with harsh winter conditions.

The crisis in Syria is rapidly spinning out of control.

‘A place at God’s table’

Bernie Wiebe and pastor Lynell Bergen break bread during Hope Mennonite Church’s communion service officially welcoming the LGBTQ community in its midst. The special cloth draped over the communion table had been created for the event.

The welcome offered at the communion table on Jan. 20 at Hope Mennonite Church signalled the congregation’s arrival at a significant milestone on what has been a long, winding and sometimes painful journey.

For discussion

1. Bruce Hiebert says we will make better ethical decisions if our brains are filled with biblical images. Do you find his arguments convincing? Have we been doing a good job of immersing ourselves in the biblical stories? Have we been filling our minds with too many non-biblical images?

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