January 17, 2017

He Knows Their Name: A REACH Update

By Paige, Team Thailand

The REACH teams have now been living in their outreach locations for almost two months and are starting to adjust to new cultures, roles, and climates. Paige, from Team Thailand, reflects on the struggles and joys of living in the city and experiencing God’s heart for the many people around her.

It's easy for me to want to not be in the city anymore. Especially seeing other teams’ pictures of beautiful mountains and beaches. I've realized how much nature makes me feel connected to God and I don't get much of that here. However, I think I would say this about pretty much anywhere I go, I love love love Thai people so much. I have a heart for them and struggle to process how I could possibly make a difference to them and effectively share hope with them. But I've been learning how important and powerful prayer is and how simply loving people sincerely and sharing joy makes a difference. If nothing else, I can return home and have a list of people I've met that I can commit to praying for and know that it is enough because God is in control and I may be the only one in their life lifting them up.

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January 05, 2017

A Year of Growth

Compiled by Lydia Gingerich

In the last year, God has blessed Rosedale Mennonite Missions with the ability to send more workers to the field than in the past three years combined. RMM is so excited about the ways God is calling and using the people of CMC to reach the world with his light. Here are two updates from our workers discussing the new opportunities and life God is giving to their ministries:

Longing and Listening: Jake and Karly

Jake and Karly and their two sons moved to Bangkok, Thailand, in August; they are currently exploring ways to care for and bring freedom to the women and children who are oppressed by human trafficking.

Longing and listening — this is something we as a team are reaching for. We continue to long for God’s guidance and try to spend time daily listening to him. This week we are going to Pattaya, Thailand, about two hours from Bangkok.

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December 22, 2016

New Workers to North Africa

By Lydia Gingerich

Eugene and Katrina, along with their two children Jimmy (toddler) and Lucy* (infant) are sent by Millport Mennonite Church, Frontiers, and RMM to North Africa to learn language and build relationships with a vision to cultivate a movement to Jesus among an unreached people group.

God's call on my life is no different than any other believer out there. I believe that when you look at scripture there is no way around the call to ‘go and make disciples,’ that could be your next door neighbor, your coworker, or a group of people in North Africa.”

For Eugene and his wife Katrina, the question was never whether or not they would share the message of the gospel with those around them, but where and how. After living out this call in many different ways and places, they have committed to doing so for at least three years in North Africa as a part of RMM’s team, beginning January 2017.

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December 12, 2016

The Gift of Drama

By Lydia Gingerich

Storytelling is one of the most influential ways to change hearts, minds, and attitudes across cultures. People are drawn to God through stories. In this piece, we look at two examples of the story of Jesus’ birth displayed through theater in the Middle East and an interactive dramatization in Mechanicsburg, Ohio.

Joseph’s Dream

In the Middle East, RMM worker Esta Felder* writes and directs dramas, training believers and non-believers in the art of theater. She works with an experienced group of young people who perform gospel-based dramas in churches, youth groups, and other venues. Below is a Christmas drama she wrote that has been performed two different times in the Middle East. Grab a couple of friends to read or act out this story and experience a fresh take on Joseph’s dream.
Characters: Gabriel, Isaiah, Joseph

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Oh Jesus!

By Joe Showalter

Those were about the only words I could think of as I stood near a small boat a few weeks ago. The boat wasn’t where we usually find boats. This boat was inside a cathedral in Cologne, Germany. The sign said the boat had been confiscated by the army of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. It was being used by refugee smugglers on a route from Libya to Italy.

The boat was about 23 feet long. As I looked at it, I thought 30 people would crowd the boat, but the sign said a boat like that will carry as many as 100 people. They journey without food and water, and without protection from the sun, storm or cold. When the Maltese army found this boat, some of its occupants had suffocated and others had collapsed from being unable to breathe.

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On the Move: Two weeks in a Refugee Camp

Photo: Mstyslav Chernov

By Dawn Showalter
Originally published in the Shiloh Mennonite Church Newsletter

I sat on the floor beside the young mother as she relaxed against colorful pillows in the Mother-Baby Space of Skaramagas Camp. Her chubby little daughter, not yet born when she and her husband fled their Afghan homeland months before, slept in her lap. “The journey through the mountains was hard,” she remembered. “I waded through a river up to my waist. But coming across on the boat during the dark of night was the worst... I was three months pregnant.”

Like most of the residents of the Skaramagas Camp, Shafiga had entered Greece by crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey on a small vessel loaded with people and arranged by smugglers. Shafiga and her husband escaped Afghanistan after bombs exploded behind their business scaring customers away and disrupting their lives. The treacherous trip to Europe seemed worth the risk for the possibility of making a fresh start as a family.

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December 01, 2016

Hope for Thailand

By Candice and Jonatan, Workers in Thailand

Thanks to Jonatan, a Nicaraguan member of the RMM team, for sharing his heart in this testimony of God’s leading through a very dark time in his life. His words are a challenge to all of us to keep pursuing God and our callings and not give up.

Currently, Thailand is going through a time of mourning. The longest reigning monarch has passed away and the entire city of Bangkok dresses in black and white and pays their respects to a man who helped his country in so many ways. The night of the supermoon was also the Loi Kratong celebration, when Thais float little rafts with candles and flowers, make wishes and confessions and thank the river for life. This year, the festival was muted by the mourning period; no fireworks, no loud celebrations. Many friends didn't celebrate at all.

Now, as much as ever, Thailand needs a King. We pray that God's kingdom comes in Thailand "as it is in heaven." Jonatan is here to share a vision of that kingdom and to hold on to his belief in that kingdom amid a sea of unbelief. As you read his story ask God to continue the good work that has begun.

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November 21, 2016

Breaking Boxes and Giving Love

The Discipleship Training School (DTS) for REACH culminated this past Friday with a service of commissioning for the eight teams that leave for outreach next week. The past three months have been a time of molding and growth for many of the REACHers and here are some thoughts on that from Micah and Lauren from team Eurasia:

Breaking Boxes

If there’s something I’ve learned during the past few months it’s that God isn’t completely formulaic nor systematic. This means I will forever remain unable to figure him out. Since nothing God creates is 100% formulaic I will always need God to change my paradigm (which one of my past professors has dubbed “Box Breaking”). This Box Breaking happened recently while I was sitting at church.

I grew up in a smallish church of approximately 50-80 people. We didn’t venture down the road of percussive instruments and stuck to our well-loved hymns and the occasional contemporary worship song (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). This being my base mind frame for how church should be done, I grew suspicious whenever a church did it differently.

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Thai Red Curry Squash Soup

By Susannah Fath Cotman

Here is a fall soup with a Thai twist that could be a fun addition to your Thanksgiving feast. As you figure out what dishes to serve this year, consider taking advantage of this opportunity to invite someone new to join your families' table.

The following recipe can be found in RMM’s cookbook, The World at Your Table, which can be purchased here.

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November 14, 2016

New Beginnings: An Update from Judah and Rayna

Judah and Rayna* recently moved to the Middle East to serve as students while helping to spark a people movement to Jesus in a strategic urban center. To learn more about this couple and their vision for the Middle East, read Getting to Know Judah and Rayna.
After much planning and praying, we have made it to our destination. To fill you all in, we ended up having to push back our arrival time due to our visas taking longer than we hoped in getting processed and back to us. We arrived in the Middle East on October 21. Our flight and everything went smoothly. We are currently staying with a couple in their basement. They have been helpful and we are thankful for this place to stay, temporarily.

There is so much to take in and figure out when coming to a new area. The basics that you normally know at home, you don't know anymore. For example, where is the grocery store? Which bus do I need to take to get to the grocery store? How many groceries can I buy as I will have to be able to carry it all to the house from the bus stop? It can be interesting figuring it all out, but the Father has been helping us.

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November 08, 2016

Seeking an Administrative Assistant for SEND Ministries

Are you detail-oriented, highly organized, and have a longing to see Jesus glorified among the nations? Rosedale Mennonite Missions (RMM) is seeking an administrative assistant for SEND Ministries, RMM’s short-term department. We are looking for someone who can help with all of the paperwork, calendars, correspondence, and details associated with REACH, City Challenge, the staff intern program, and the SEND department in general. The vision and ideas to grow the ministry are in place, but help with the logistics to make it all happen is vital. Does your brain automatically think about the details? Do you enjoy setting up systems and creating processes? If so, you may be the person we’re looking for.

For more information please contact Myron Sommers at humanresources@rmmoffice.org.

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November 03, 2016

Tips to Prepare Your Life for Long-term Missions, Even if You’re Not Ready Yet

By Andrew Sauder, RMM Mobilizing Coordinator

As an agency, Rosedale Mennonite Missions desires that every person would engage in the work of global evangelization in a meaningful way. In my role as mobilizing coordinator, I connect with young people who have a passion to reach the unreached and unengaged peoples of the world and I encourage them to fulfill that calling. Through this work I have met many young people who have that vision, but often struggle to know how to prepare themselves and their futures for that type of long-term work.

If you are facing those uncertainties, here are five steps that can be taken to help prepare you for future mission work. Some of these ideas are simple, while others require long-term sacrifice, preparation, and planning. If you eventually want to serve in another country, consider these suggestions:

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