August 16, 2016

Put Your Yes on the Table, Let God Put It on the Map

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

In 2014, Larry Kaufman, pastor at Grace Mennonite Church in Millersburg, Ohio, worked through a sermon series called, “Do Justice.” Pastor Larry says, “We resolved to speak out for orphans, and those who are alone and abandoned, the unreached, and those who have no voice and no hope in our world. We asked people to pray and discern if God was calling them to engage with any of these injustices. Out of that series the Lord called our Thailand team.”

After that series a group began meeting every Wednesday night to figure out what the next steps should be. During this process the team learned a lot about trusting God. Their plans came in and out of focus during those months, and after much prayer and fasting, they all felt confirmation to go and join Rosedale Mennonite Mission’s team in Bangkok.

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August 10, 2016

A Father to the Fatherless

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By Danita Beachy

Danita led the 2015-16 REACH Team to South Africa. Here she shares about an experience she had during her time there.

It was a Friday night in mid-February. My team and I were about halfway through our time in Johannesburg, South Africa, serving at a home for abandoned babies. In a pinch, I was asked to cover night shift at the hospital. One of our babies, sweet 11-month-old Sybil,* had a major surgery on her skull (i.e. cranial release and reconstruction) the previous Tuesday. She had just gotten out of ICU and was stable, but they didn't want her to be alone. I felt way out of my comfort zone, surrounded by medical terminology and burdened with the fragility of this precious baby’s life.

It was a long night, yet I clearly remember the peace I felt. What I experienced in that hospital has forever changed me. I've never felt more like a mom than I did that night, sitting by Sybil's bed, comforting her and praying fiercely for her little life. I'm thankful for surgeons, technology, and medical care, whatever sort it is. The Johannesburg hospital was one of the nicer ones, but it's definitely not up to Western standards. There were three other children in beds in the same dingy gray room, I counted more than a couple of cockroaches in the hallways, and I spent the night on a hard chair next to the hospital bed. I dozed there until around 3 a.m. and a nice nurse brought me hot tea from the employee room (probably because she felt sorry for me).

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August 01, 2016

Three Generations of Faithfully Following God’s Call

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

To protect the safety of certain family members who have chosen to follow God into places of the world that are closed to the gospel, the names in this story have been changed.

What is missional living? The traditional answer to this question usually includes moving across an ocean, learning a new language, and serving under a mission organization. But this is only one depiction. Missional living is defined in thousands of different ways by people all over the world as they choose to follow God’s call to join him in his work — each one unique, important, and beautiful.

While we must ultimately look to God for what missional living looks like in our own lives, it can be helpful to examine the stories of others to learn from and gain inspiration. Many examples of missional living can be found in the Bible, throughout history, and in the lives of those around us today.

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July 23, 2016

Returning to North Africa

Josiah and Sarah* along with their five children returned to North Africa at the end of July after a sabbatical year here in the States.

Please join us in praying for the following requests:

  1. Pray that God will lead the family to a house that will be just right for them. Pray that they will find seekers and other good friends in the neighborhood.
  2. Ask God to help the family with the adjustments they will face in going back to North Africa. Pray for the grace and strength they will need in saying goodbye. Pray that the children will settle into school life quickly and easily, and that their oldest daughter would grow meaningful friendships outside of homeschooling.
  3. Pray for protection and unity for the team: two families, two singles, and a short-term team coming this fall. Pray that they will be family for each other and that God will use them to bring others to his family. Pray that they would be able to bond through prayer and worship, and all would have a similar vision in moving forward with the work in North Africa.
  4. Ask God to bless, prosper, and protect the new business that Josiah and Raleigh* will be starting. Pray that it will be instrumental in leading them to many people, some of whom will eventually want to begin learning about Jesus. Pray for wisdom, guidance, and protection from day-to-day corruption that is prominent in this region. Pray that God would soften the hearts of those who could potentially keep them from moving forward in their work.
  5. Thank God for the believers/seekers that Sarah was connecting with before leaving North Africa last year. Pray for their salvation and growth, and that out of this group would come a disciple-making movement.

*Names changed for security

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July 19, 2016

Internships: Reflections and an Opportunity

In January of this year, three workers were sent on a six-month internship to teach English and cultivate relationships in the Middle East. Kimble, Leo, and Rivers* were asked to reflect on their time overseas and share ways to pray for the region they were in. Then, Andrew Sauder, the Mobilizing Coordinator for RMM and the BRIDGE Coordinator for RBC discusses the intention behind these internships and how young people who feel called to missions can take this as an opportunity to explore that call.

Reflections

I saw God working every day. I am not what you would call a teacher, especially an English teacher. Teaching was intimidating and stressful for me. I saw God work in that weakness every day. He gave me the strength for each class—my daily bread. And he moved in the little prayers. For example, during class if there was a tough grammar point and my students weren't getting it or I just couldn't explain it well, I would stop, look at my book, and pray a little prayer. God please help me. And he would every time. Something I won’t forget is the people. They were so friendly, helpful, and hospitable to us. Even surrounded by darkness, they just keep going and don't give up. My prayer is for them. That they would see God. That Jesus would be known. There are a lot of problems in that region of the world, and the only answer is Jesus. Revenge is big there and only Jesus can overcome that. I pray that people would continue to ask questions and that there would be people to walk beside them and show them Christ.

– Kimble

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July 15, 2016

Welcoming Brittany Shrock: Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

In the first week of June, Brittany Shrock of Rosedale, Ohio began taking on the responsibilities of receptionist as well as administrative assistant to the Director of Partner Development (Andrew Miller) and Prayer Coordinator (Mim Musser). Brittany has been connected with the RMM family for many years as the daughter of RMM’s Accountant and Network Administrator, Weldon Shrock, and more recently as part of the Thailand REACH team in 2012. This past spring she earned her associates degree in biblical studies from Rosedale Bible College, and she has also taken classes at Columbus State Community College for early childhood education. Along with cleaning and working as a nanny, Brittany has previously worked as a server and cook at an assisted living home and as a cashier at Der Dutchman’s Carryout and Bakery.


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July 13, 2016

A Shave: The Beauty of Trust

By Raleigh,* RMM worker in North Africa

A part of living life here is entrusting my life—and the life of my family—into the hands of others. Most of these hands belong to Muslim men and women and they are most often very capable hands, worthy of my trust.

My favorite opportunity to practice this trust is to go for a haircut and shave. I walk a few blocks to find a young man I met about seven months ago.

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July 06, 2016

Returning Filled: 15 Years of Service in the Muslim World

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

John and Cecelia Aslan* recently returned to the U.S. after 15 years of living in Central Asia and the Middle East where they faithfully worked with RMM to spread the word about Jesus.

As I spoke with the Aslans, Cecelia told me about a local custom that was sometimes challenging to fulfill. Where they lived, if someone dropped off a plate of food at your house, it was expected that you would return the plate filled, again, with food. Her neighbors were so generous that she often found her kitchen full of empty plates needing to be filled and returned. John and Cecelia have spent the last 15 years of their life investing in friendships, teaching and learning new languages and cultures, and working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). But they have not come back empty. Their lives have been filled with long-lasting relationships, fulfillment in the work they have done, and a rich love for beautiful cultures.

When they left for Central Asia, their four children were 17, 15, 11, and 9. Living in a Muslim country was something that had interested Cecelia for a number of years, but they both agree that it was the call of God that caused them to make the move. John said, “What we were doing in life was good, but we felt like there was something more for us.” A family who had recently returned from Central Asia was staying with them at the time, sparking an interest and tenderness in the Aslans for that part of the world. In 2000 they followed God’s call, and went.

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June 30, 2016

A Delayed Start: Re-Introducing Al

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

Often when we are following God, he calls us to something that ends up going quicker or slower than we had planned. But we know that God’s timing is always best. For Al, unexpected life circumstances and a number of new government regulations for obtaining a visa stretched a few months of delays into over a year. The hurdles both here and abroad took longer than expected, but we are delighted to announce that Al left to begin his work among the people of the Amazon River Basin in Brazil on June 26th. Al is sent by RMM along with his home church, Berean Community Church.

Many of you already “Got to know” Al in November of 2014, when we first introduced his assignment. Today we would like to rerun some of that interview so that you can re-introduce yourself with Al’s story and better lift him up in prayer as he begins this journey.

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June 23, 2016

Introducing RMM’s Human Resources Assistant Director

RMM is pleased to introduce Myron Sommers as our new Human Resources Assistant Director. Myron is originally from Hartville, Ohio, but he moved to the Plain City area in 2004, and now lives in Irwin with his wife Rhelda, and their three children: Lanay (who is six, and playing T-ball this summer), Althea (who is three, and loves to put puzzles together), and Maci (who is one, and focusing on learning how to walk). His girls “are the love of [his] life,” and he desires to assist his family spiritually, emotionally, and physically. In his free time, Myron enjoys camping with his family, reading, and playing or watching sports.

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June 21, 2016

Serving God Through Disappointments

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

On October 28, 2015, Patty Córdova* left her home in Manta, Ecuador to follow the call God had placed in her heart. She was sent as a part of the Latin American Missions Partnership (LAMP) to work at a special needs school and community center in a small coastal town in North Africa.

For many years, Patty has been passionate about family, children, and missions. She received a university degree in elementary education, and then taught at and directed an elementary school in Manta. From 1999 to 2000, she spent time working with RMM missionaries in Durán, Ecuador, to help plant the church that is now there.

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June 16, 2016

A Relief Coordinator for Ecuador

Even now, two months after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck northwestern Ecuador, the need for physical and emotional restoration is felt deeply. RMM is grateful for the funds that have been raised by numerous churches and individuals to help in this process. As the levels of need and the means to meet that need remain high, we want to use the donations in an effective and helpful way. To ensure that this happens, RMM has invited Kirk Kauffman to serve as our Ecuador Relief Coordinator. In this volunteer role, Kirk will spend time in Ecuador making local connections and assessing the situation, motivate and mobilize churches in North America to get involved, and help oversee the relief budget.

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