September 21, 2018

My Time in Nicaragua

By Jonatan, RMM worker in Thailand
What follows is an account of Jonatan’s time at home in Nicaragua. As we read it, we were struck with the contrast of his initial departure three and a half years ago, compared to this time. He has committed to another three-year term and the likelihood of him seeing his family or anyone from his country during that time is slim. His tenacity in doing what he needed to do in order to return to Thailand is a testimony of his dedication to living there. It would have been so easy for him to say it wasn’t worth the risks he took. His family would have loved to have him stay, but he persevered and in the end was blessed with what he needed to return to Thailand.
– Larry and Dot Chupp, Directors of Latin American Missions Partnership
After spending nearly three and a half years in Thailand, during which I did not see my family, I left on March 6 to go home to Nicaragua. I was very excited to see my family again and spend time with them, and also to see my friends and eat Nicaraguan food.

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September 07, 2018

Three Nights in the Jungle

By Nixson, RMM worker in Thailand

Since his baptism in 2011, Lan has been constantly looking for ways to share the gospel with people in his home village and surrounding areas in Southeast Asia. He has been working with a team of six other believers from nearby villages for almost two years (read more about this group here). They have been creative in finding ways to meet people in new areas and build relationships. Last year they started a project planting watermelons in a new village as a way of meeting people and sharing the gospel. They have also hosted Christmas and New Year’s parties in new villages. The people living in the villages of the teammates and the surrounding villages are mostly Buddhist, while those living in the more remote areas are tribal groups who worship spirits and ancestors. Lan and his team believe the tribal groups are more open to the gospel and that the gospel spreads more rapidly among them.

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September 06, 2018

Love the Lord with All Your Strength

By Lydia Gingerich


Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in the synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Joe Showalter, president of RMM, opened his Sunday morning address to the 2018 Multiply Conference with these verses from the end of Matthew 9. He went on to point out that the state of being “harassed and helpless” is still prevalent in our world today. Giving examples of helplessness in Central American countries and in the Middle East, adding that “even among us, we are harassed and helpless people, apart from Jesus.”

Showalter continued with an encouraging account of the ways CMC has been involved in outreach since its formation. Through the power of Christ, this group of believers has proclaimed and extended God’s love to the harassed and helpless, starting in Maryland and Kentucky, and moving to Latin America, North Africa, and Asia. This process has not only expanded the Kingdom of God, but enriched the conference.

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August 27, 2018

Job Opening: SEND Assistant Director

SEND Ministries has an opening for someone with relational skills and the ability to provide thoughtful counsel to young men and women. The SEND Assistant Director will provide pastoral care and counsel to REACH program participants, instruct young men and women with spiritual truth(s), assist with the development and facilitation of various SEND programs, and provide support and leadership as needed within SEND Ministries. This is a full-time, salaried position. All applicants must apply on or before September 30, 2018.

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August 24, 2018

Bridges and Barriers

The Bible makes it clear that the gospel is good news for all people. But when the gospel message intersects with culture, the collision is never clean and tidy. Many cultures readily accept some aspects of the gospel message, while struggling to make sense of other parts in light of their cultural history and practices. This is seen clearly in the book of Acts, where the early church encountered various bridges and barriers as they shared the gospel with those around them. Even with the Jewish people themselves, common knowledge of the Old Testament formed a bridge between the apostles and the Jews, while the new covenant’s freedom regarding diet and circumcision created a barrier. As time progresses and the gospel spreads to the ends of the earth, the challenge is for followers of Jesus to boldly cross the bridges while trusting God to surmount the barriers.

We asked our workers to share stories of bridges and barriers in their relationships to the cultures in which they are living and working.

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August 17, 2018

Ten-year Anniversary for Awakened Youth

By Esta,* RMM worker in the Middle East

UG has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. UG is an acronym for words that are usually translated in English as Youth for Christ, although the more literal translation is Awakened Youth. It started 10 years ago because one awakened youth, 19-year-old Jacob,* felt God was calling him to serve the youth of our city. He took his vision to the leaders of his church, thinking he was too young to do anything about it. They said they would support him, but he should do it. He started by sharing his vision with the leaders of the other churches and Christian organizations in the city. Five months later UG had its first youth meeting. It lasted six hours because, as Jacob explains, “We didn’t know what we were doing.”

For 10 years the Lord has blessed this vision. UG has spread to five other cities in the country and for nine months out of the year the monthly meetings continue to be packed with new generations of young people.

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August 02, 2018

Evangelism Through a Rapala

By Al Raber, RMM Associate Worker serving among the river people of the Brazilian Amazon

I rent a house on the mission base where I work, but I spend most of my time on a boat called the Semeador II (Semeador means ‘sower’ in Portuguese). The primary purpose of the Semeador is to bring the evangelical gospel to villages that have not yet heard it, and to open the door for permanent missionaries in these areas. Our trips usually last from 21 days to a month.

We typically spend one day in every village, arriving in the morning or late evening. My days start at 5:30 in the morning with a short time of devotions followed by breakfast. By 7:00 we are either traveling to the next village or starting our work where we are. We try to visit every house in and around the village. Lunch is at noon, and then back to work around 1:30. There is a kids program in the afternoon, with a worship service at 7:00 in the evening. And 9:30 is lights out.

The river people of the Amazon live a subsistence lifestyle – hunting, fishing, gathering, and growing almost all of their food. Only buying basics like sugar, salt, rice, beans, flour, and coffee. Almost everything they need, they make from natural materials found in the forest.

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July 26, 2018

Moving into the Father’s Gifts

By Raleigh,* RMM worker in North Africa

The day began with the blessing of delay. I’m en route via taxi to my appointment when the 55-year-old man at the other end of the text says, “Sorry I will be half an hour late.” I quickly – and correctly – translate this to one hour. I exit the taxi and walk up to the appointed location (the front gate of our future house) as the minute hand clicks to 10:30. So American; or just lucky. Inshallah.

What God seems to be willing, though (see last word of last paragraph), is that I make a warm acquaintance with a future neighbor. At precisely 10:30 am, Adil* is bending his old back in order to duck under a tree and come out from his yard. We meet for the first time, introducing ourselves. A few sentences later he asks me in his language, “Do you want to drink tea?”

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June 25, 2018

Restoration for Pattaya

By Lydia Gingerich

Angie, Jake, and Karly live in Pattaya, Thailand, and are engaging in the effort to care for orphans and victims of human trafficking. Find out more about their story here.


When Angie, Jake, and Karly moved to Pattaya, Thailand, last year, they were struck by the vast number of abandoned and abused children as a result of pervasive sex tourism in the city. Through prayer, conversations with the leadership at their home congregation, and meeting with other ministries in Pattaya, this team has decided to pursue opening a home for vulnerable children.

The home will be an extension of 58:12 Rescue, a ministry established by Grace Mennonite Church in Holmes County, Ohio, to care for women who have been physically or sexually abused. Seeing the need to bring God’s healing to their community, Grace established a home to offer rescue, shelter, and restoration for these women and their children.

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June 22, 2018

A Free Prayer

By Tom, Asia Regional Director

During my recent visit to South Asia I heard a lot of stories about what God is doing through our team there. One thing that stood out to me is the number of different people from a variety of ethnic groups that the team has worked with over the years. Many of these were young men who came through the hostels that the team has managed or supported. These men came to faith as students and now that they have graduated, have moved to various places around the country. Many of them are still in touch with our team and it’s exciting to think about how God will continue to use them in the future.

Another current development is in Bindu’s* ministry. After she moved to the northern part of the country with her husband a few years ago, she began visiting new believers in several villages. She has a friendly personality and is skilled at telling Bible stories in an engaging way. The villagers welcome her warmly and her reputation is growing. Hiralal,* her husband, complains (half-seriously) that when she visits the villages she never gets home before dark. He is worried about her safety, but she phones to say “I haven’t left yet…they are asking me to stay a little longer.” The women in the villages are especially receptive to her but even some of the men come to observe and listen as she shares.

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May 31, 2018

Rain in the Desert

By Joe Showalter

It had been raining heavily for a few weeks leading up to our arrival in Lodwar, a small city in northwestern Kenya’s Turkana County. Benson, known by many as “the Desert Boy,” informed us that they hadn’t seen rain like this for five years. While the region has experienced a physical drought over the last few years, it has been a place of spiritual new life and growth.

Benson leads a group of churches called Glory Outreach Ministries (GOM). With churches not only in Turkana but also in neighboring Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. With fifteen mission training centers, GOM is a vibrant and growing network of churches. When Benson entered the International School of Mission (ISOM) program in Thika, Kenya, in 2000, he had planted eight churches. (REACH was instrumental in launching ISOM in 1999.). With the training and tools he received at ISOM, Benson believed God was calling him to plant 100 churches among his own Turkana tribe. Today, Benson says there are about 175 GOM churches in Turkana, but when you include the churches planted among neighboring tribes (he’s currently engaged with five tribes and has a vision to reach seventeen) and in neighboring countries, the number is over 400. Given the nature of these things and the simplicity of their strategy, Benson guesses there could actually be as many as a thousand churches, since he’s not trying to track all of the added layers of multiplication.

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May 30, 2018

An All-powerful God: Reflections During Ramadan

By Eugene,* RMM worker in North Africa

As I sit here looking at a blank piece of paper thinking about what I should write, my neighbors and friends are out and about like any other day – except they are not eating or drinking. Yes, Ramadan is here once again.

Yesterday evening I went out to the local café I normally go to. I wanted to see what was going on since Ramadan was starting. I sat down and began talking to my friend. It wasn’t long until he asked me the question I knew would come: “Are you going to fast?”

I turned to him and responded by saying that no, I wasn’t. He paused for a moment and said to me, “Fasting is good for you.”

I decided to take the opportunity and responded, “I know. Jesus tells us to fast. Fasting is good.”

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May 25, 2018

Thoughts on Harvesting

By Dan, long-term RMM worker

What can we learn from church movements around the world? Can their experiences teach us to be more effective participants in the world-wide movement of Christ?

Nicaragua: An Exponential Harvest

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9: 37-38 NRSV).

The challenge for the church around the world – according to Jesus’ words – is not a lack of harvest, but rather a lack of harvesters. Therefore, the church is called to find more harvesters to reap the already-ripe harvest. One lesson from the churches growing exponentially around the world is that the vast majority of needed workers come from the harvest itself. I first saw this principle at work in the rural churches in the villages of Nicaragua.

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May 21, 2018

In Translation: Three Stories about Language

Compiled by Lydia Gingerich

Language learning is one of the least glamorous yet most important aspects of working cross-culturally. When learning the language gets difficult, it can cause doubts, feelings of inadequacy, and a sense that ministry is put on hold. But success can result in the ability to speak with locals on a deeper level, greater ease to maneuver in a country, and countless insights into a culture.

This month, we received three updates celebrating the joys of learning a language and the possibilities that come with it.

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May 16, 2018

Nearing the End: A REACH Update

By Morgan, Team Thailand

I’d say I can’t believe the end is here, but the truth is, I can. I’ve had a lot of things roaming in my mind lately. Things like…

How will our last week here go? How should I be processing the past nine months? What will reentry be like? How will I handle the goodbyes? What will it be like adjusting to a different culture and time zone again? What will it be like reuniting with loved ones? Where will I fit in? What happened while I was gone? How will I possibly summarize the last nine months to those who want to hear about my experience in this program? What will be the new normal? Will I be able to pick up where I left off? Do I have too high of expectations for my summer at home? What will my friendships look like? What will the next year of my life hold?

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May 08, 2018

Locally Grown: Building Community through Book Club

By Jessica Miller

When I lived overseas one of the things I enjoyed was the community that developed in neighborhoods. Visiting in each other's homes or yards and helping one another in practical ways was the social norm in the Middle Eastern city where I lived. Because everyone's worldview was impacted by religion, it was also common and fairly easy to have spiritual discussions with my neighbors. I found it much harder, after moving back to the US, to experience this same type of community in my neighborhood, but I was able to sometimes find it in small ways.

A little over two years ago, my husband accepted the pastor position at Bean Blossom Community Church and we moved to Indiana. We prayed and looked for a house that would be close to the church. We considered moving into a trailer park right next to the church, but felt like the Lord clearly led us to a house in a subdivision about a seven-minute drive from the church. After we settled in, I began to think and pray about how I could get better acquainted with my neighbors. I decided to try an experiment.

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May 04, 2018

Trees and Leadership: Hope for Nicaragua

By Dot Chupp, co-director of Rosedale Business Group

Nicaragua has erupted in mass demonstrations against the country’s administration in response to a social security reform announced in April. While the president has rescinded this reform, the protests against his leadership continue. As I look at these issues, I’m struck with the thought that Rosedale Business Group’s projects in the country seem especially significant.

First of all, a project that has been in process for a while, and seems to have met considerable obstacles, is to get the Spanish translation of the book, The Serving Leader (El Líder que Sirve) finished and ready for print. From the first mention of this project to translate the book into Spanish, our desire has been to find a way for this powerful teaching to reach the hearts of our dear friends in Latin America and especially Nicaragua. So, we ask ourselves, “Where do we go from here? How do we actually get this teaching to them and help them find a way to implement it?” In conversation with John Stahl-Wert (co-author of the book with Ken Jennings) about the delay and our deep sadness about not getting it done, his encouraging words were that he’s not worried about the timing – because God is in control. While this is comforting to us, the delay still feels overwhelming and unacceptable.

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April 26, 2018

Searching for Peace

A compilation of updates from Phil and Maretta, RMM workers in Spain

It’s not too long ago, in the Franco era (1939-1975), that the evangelical church in Spain was an underground movement. One brother tells us of how his grandfather was sentenced to death for publically attacking the idolatry and Mariolatry in the Catholic Church. Fortunately, his grandfather’s future wife had some relational connections to the local authorities and so the death sentenced was commuted to imprisonment in an internment camp. His father, then, was born in the internment camp, in the company of other evangelical believers who Franco had locked up along with communists, socialists, and others he deemed as enemies of Catholic Spain. Another brother recounts how even up to the early 1970s the Civil Guard would come in and break up meetings of believers that got bigger than the size of a family gathering.

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April 20, 2018

Nearing the End of ‘Normal’: A REACH Update

By Shontel, REACH Team Indochina

Life here still looks the same on the outside. We teach at school five days a week. We plan lessons. We eat dinner with friends. We play team games. We cook. We babysit. We hang out with teens and college students. Anyone peering in wouldn’t notice anything spectacular or different from the previous months we have spent here. But internally we have been processing a lot, well at least I have. Knowing that in less than a month, we will be leaving this place puts a new tone on life here. It’s like I’ve begun to see things through a new lens. Sometimes that feels like a good thing.

Sometimes it makes it easier to be intentional, because I know our time is short. But other times, that lens brings into focus contemplating the future and stressing over looming changes. It’s hard, because as much as I want to, I can’t remove this new lens. I often long for the earlier days when life here didn’t seem to have a time measurement, when homesickness rarely crossed my mind, and when decisions for the next season of life didn’t have to be made.

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April 13, 2018

The Best of the Old and the Best of the New

By Jewel and Richard Showalter

Over the last two years, CMC and RMM have developed relationships with KMM in South Asia – a rapidly growing network of churches, training centers, and schools. We traveled in South Asia for five weeks last fall accompanied by KMM’s president, Jolem*. We encountered both encouraging glimpses of new work and amazing stories of Mennonite connections with this group that date back over 100 years.

We sat in house church meetings in the middle-class homes of recent Hindu-background believers in the mud-walled village home of a house church leader on an island. We met dozens of house church leaders who are part of KMM, an exciting web of resourcing and relationships.

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