January 18, 2018

To Wash His Face: A REACH Update

By Kara, REACH Team Indochina

With language school wrapped up, we had the opportunity to travel to the southern part of the country to spend some time visiting a teammate’s family who live and own a water filter factory down there.

Our first day was spent being shown around the factory and observing the filter-making process. The simple-looking clay pots prove to be of greater value and intricacy than they outwardly appear. Not only is their construction handled with delicate precision, but so also are the opportunities to invest in all those whose lives these filters enter, whether that’s the workers who mold them or the villagers to whom they are sold. The filters provide jobs for locals, prevent disease in increasingly distant and rural areas of the country, and have even enabled those with a third-grade education to become scientific technicians in the factory lab! However, possibly the most incredible part of the business is what was conveyed to us as “washing the face of the Son.”

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January 16, 2018

Jesus Loves the Little Children

By Nixson, RMM worker in Thailand

In this second update from Bangkok, Nixson shares about the eye-opening experience of teaching children at a local elementary school.

Since starting to teach in May, I am understanding more and more the reasons most Thai people do not respond to the gospel in a positive way and how Buddhism is so deeply engrained in the culture. Every morning the children spend between one and two hours learning from a Buddhist monk and praying and chanting to Buddha. There is a chant they all have memorized that they say every day: “Buddhism is our religion and we will be Buddhist wherever we go. Buddha is not here anymore, but we are his disciples and will follow his teachings.” It is sad for me to hear the students say this every day, and it helps me realize why it is so hard for them to accept the truth of Jesus. Buddhist teachings are taught to them from the time they are young, so there are deep roots in their lives.

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January 12, 2018

The Greatest Commandment: A REACH Update

By Paige, REACH Team Mediterranean

My whole life I thought that serving the Father meant I had to do all these great things like build a school, work in an orphanage on the other side of the world, teach English, etc; and yes, those are all awesome ways to serve and love, and people are called to that, but I often thought of those things as the only way to serve. I discounted the value and importance of simply loving people and building strong relationships through everyday life where my feet are. Though we have had some things to do this past month of being in Spain, our main thing has been building relationships with people and seeking to encourage and support them. At times, I would do the whole comparison thing (I finally understand the quote, “comparison is the thief of joy”) and would get discouraged because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough or as much as other people.

Thankfully, on my day off this week, I took most of the day to listen to what the Father had to say about it all and he, of course, was faithful to speak truth to my heart.

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January 09, 2018

Called To A Rounded Perspective

By Jada, RMM worker in Thailand

"God, allow my heart to break for these men as well as the women." This is the prayer Jada found herself praying after a few months of working with victims of human slavery in Thailand. Jada joined RMM’s team in Bangkok in September 2017, and recently wrote about her work to bring freedom and light to this dark industry. She felt herself being challenged to look at the root of the issue: broken men who are looking to fill a void. In this first update from Thailand, Jada shares two stories that help her love these men, knowing they need God’s salvation just as much as their victims.

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December 19, 2017

A Different Kind of Normal: A REACH Update

By Shontel, Team Indochina

I expected my life in another country to feel extraordinary in some way, but I’m learning that life here feels just as normal as life in the United States.

Take today as an example. I woke up at 6:30. Before breakfast, I sat outside and spent time speaking to my father and reading. Then I got ready for language school. Breakfast was a bagel and fruit. My team left the house at 8:00 in time to catch our ride to school. After class, we walked to get lunch at a nearby restaurant. Once lunch was finished, we walked home and spent the afternoon playing games together, socializing with our landlord and grocery shopping. Before dinner, we walked to a nearby school to organize and take inventory in a kindergarten classroom. I cooked dinner at home. After dinner, we played games and watched a video sermon, then stayed up late talking.

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December 18, 2017

Baptisms in Southeast Asia

RMM recently received news of four baptisms in the villages of Southeast Asia. The local disciple-making team held a service in a rice field, baptizing the daughter and son of two different team members and another young woman who does not have believing parents. The next day the team baptized a man from the only believing family in a nearby village. Praise God for bringing more people into his Kingdom, and pray for continued multiplication in this country.

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December 15, 2017

Multiplication in Action: The Story of One Planted Church

By Lydia Gingerich

RMM is excited to be part of CMC’s new commitment to multiply disciples and churches, not only internationally but here in North America as well. Larry Kaufman leads a team that is helping to move us from ideas to action. The following story recounts what God is doing through a group of young adults who have moved from idea to action in Columbus, Ohio. Many of these people were students at Rosedale Bible College and are now working together to see what God will multiply through them.

Quiet Beginnings

As I walked down the steps into the basement of the apartment building next to mine, I was reminded of the missionary stories my parents read to me growing up. The midnight meetings underground had a specific anxious and exciting feel to them that I detected in myself as I entered the room full of my dear brothers and sisters. We had been talking about this “church plant” for a while, but it felt more real now that we were having a scheduled meeting with a typed outline and several older and wiser folks dispersed among the circle.

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December 14, 2017

Celebrating Milestones

In 2017, a number of overseas workers and office staff surpassed significant milestones in their tenure with RMM. We would like to celebrate those individuals and the unique contributions they have made through their years of service.

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December 11, 2017

2 1/2 Days Down, 165 To Go: A REACH Update

By Lacy, REACH Team Thailand
“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.”

—Walker Evans

Team Thailand arrived safely with zero problems throughout our nearly 40 hours of traveling. YAY!

We have a handful of days left before language school begins and so far we have spent a lot of time taking in all that Thailand has to offer. Along with being the team leader, I have also had the privilege of being a tour guide for the last few days, showing the girls places that I’ve missed for the last six months, and it has been so fun!

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December 06, 2017

“Come to me, all you who are weary…”

By Lydia Gingerich

A pale and tattered woman stumbles through the doors of the homeless shelter. This trembling old woman, likely in her seventies, leans on the arm of a young drug dealer who found her freezing out in the parking lot. Nikki makes a call to the volunteer nurse while the woman is given blankets and a place to rest. The staff receive assurance from the nurse that the shaking is a positive sign. She will be okay for tonight, but this woman still needs a home; what is she going to do for the rest of the winter?

Nikki Gonzales has been serving the homeless for the past four years by directing Code Purple Sussex County which provides shelter on the coldest nights for the homeless in Sussex County, Delaware.

This organization “includes various shelter locations in the county…at churches. So a church will open up and they will have cots and blow-up beds, blankets, meals every evening, toiletries, and just a warm place to stay for the night.”

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November 30, 2017

Multiply: Let Us Pray

By Joe Showalter

A few years ago, one of my daughters was attending a secular college where following Jesus put her in a tiny minority. She and her Christian friends had lots of reasons to call out to Jesus for strength, wisdom, and courage to face the currents they were forced to swim against. When she had the opportunity to interact with some other Christian friends who were not in that kind of environment, she noticed that they didn’t seem to pray in the same way she and her college friends did. I was struck with her analysis: “I think the reason they don’t pray much is because they don’t need to.”

CMC has been commissioned by God to mature and multiply churches locally and globally. What’s it going to take to be faithful to this commission? What will it look like for us as individuals? What will our churches look like?

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November 19, 2017

Hurricane Irma Damages CMC Church in Florida

By Lydia Gingerich

“On Sunday, September 10, strong winds from Hurricane Irma tore shingles off the roof of Southmost Mennonite Church’s building, damaged their security lights, church sign, and awnings on their Sunday school classrooms,” reports John Hershberger, overseer of the church.

While most of the damage done by Irma occurred in the Caribbean Islands southeast of Florida, many areas in the state also experienced significant destruction, including Florida City – home to the Conservative Mennonite Conference (CMC) congregation, Southmost Mennonite Church. Southmost is a cross-cultural congregation that joined CMC in 1992.

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