May 22, 2017

Where Do We Even Start?

By Angie, RMM worker in Thailand

Where do we even start?

This is a question I asked myself on a recent trip to Pattaya, Thailand. Three leaders from our sending church joined Jacob, Karly, and me, to continue discovering what ministry will look like for us as a team. For part of that trip, we spent two days in Pattaya to see if God is leading us to relocate there in the future.

Pattaya is one of the main hubs of the sex tourism industry in Thailand. There is so much going on in this city and the needs can feel overwhelming. Our focus while there was to meet with Thrive Rescue and to prayer walk the infamous bar streets. Thrive Rescue is an organization that works directly with the police department in Pattaya to rescue children that have been trafficked or are at risk of being trafficked.

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May 18, 2017

Going Home

All of the REACH Teams are now back at the Rosedale International Center for a week of re-entry activities. These two reflections from Danae and Sarah of Team Eurasia talk about the struggles of going home and the need to continue putting their faith in the God who takes care of us no matter where we are.

Have Faith

By Sarah

I always joke that I'm not coming home, but surprise, I am. With leaving to come home, there are many questions that follow. Questions like how do I prepare my heart for this? How do I say goodbye to strangers who are now family? How do I just pack up my bags and come home?

I've met a lot of different people and each one has a story. They have passions, goals, dreams, and fears just like me. It was always interesting to hear where they were and how they got to where they are now. Sometimes it was hard to hear someone's story, to listen to all they have been through, or even what they're facing now. I remember I would laugh so hard that I would cry as I would hear stories. Sometimes I would be overwhelmed with sadness and would cry with them. However, people like to be heard, refugee or college student. Everyone has a story. A few weeks ago, I was really struggling with the thought of leaving. This time I'm leaving and not coming back. I’m not going to a new country, I'm coming home. It's time for a new transition. A good but hard transition. As I was talking to our Father, He showed me that I was scared. I was scared to leave, move on, and to let go. This is all I've known for the past nine months. Coming home would mean to leave this and part of me still isn't ready.

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May 12, 2017

Trading Shoes: A REACH Update

By Katie, Team Ecuador

Katie and her team served at a foundation in Manta, Ecuador, helping to care for neglected and at-risk children and teens.


One day during rest time I was hanging out with some of the older girls in their room. I was sitting on a bed with my shoes off as we talked. Next thing I knew one of the girls put my shoes on and gave me hers. She wanted to trade. I was hesitant at first because she was giving me her new thick rubber flip-flops, while in return I had old flip-flops – so worn out that I felt barefoot in them. I knew I was getting the better end of the deal, so I tried talking her out of it – she couldn’t be convinced. She didn’t care that I was getting the better shoes, that’s what she wanted. I was certain that she’d want to trade back after she realized how truly worn out my sandals were. But no, she said she wanted to keep them.

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May 08, 2017

The Unwritten Word of God

By Lydia Gingerich

As covenant workers with RMM in North America, Butros and Amina* are making disciples and building relationships among an unreached people group who do not yet have the Bible in their language. Their family is recording Bible stories, sharing the Word of God, and beginning home Bible study fellowships with these east African refugees who live in their city. They are also visiting and connecting with approximately thirty other communities across the United States where this people group are located.


“God began laying a passion on my heart to share the unwritten Word of God, the Word incarnate – Jesus Christ with these people.” Amina reflected back to over a decade ago when she initially came in contact with this people group from an east African nation. This group faced heavy oppression in their native country and many refugees have found their way into the United States. Amina’s passion for these people grew as she found that most of them do not communicate through writing or through pictures – only through speech. Amina, Butros, and their three children have been trying to live out that passion by reaching out to these people, by becoming a part of their community, and by helping them in the everyday struggles that arise.

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May 03, 2017

Deep and Wide

By Larry Kaufman, Conservative Mennonite Conference (CMC) Director of Church Planting

This article was originally published in The Beacon, May 2017, in the column, “Multiply.”


As a kid, one of my favorite songs in Sunday-school class was, “Deep and Wide.” I wish we could sing it together, just for old times’ sake. Aside from the nostalgia, there is a compelling message in that old song that I think captures God’s heart for Christ-followers, for pastors, and for local churches.

Our gospel mandate is to be theologically deep and to be evangelistically wide. It is not either/or. It is both/and. Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, AND teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:19-20).

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April 27, 2017

Love Like the Father: A REACH Update

By Sarah, Team Eurasia

I've met a lot of people in these last five months of outreach. People who have stories, dreams, passions, fears, and futures just like me. During our first three months, we worked with refugees, but they're so much more than that. They are my precious friends. I got to meet people who have lost all hope, who are scared, who are angry, and who are lost. They dream about freedom and what it looks like, what it feels like. They crave it. They used to have it all. My friends used to have jobs that paid well. They used to have cute little houses with little white fences around them. They used to have nice cars and closets of clothes. They used to have friends to hang out with and things to do. Then one day a war started or some other upheaval, and they had to leave. Everything was gone, ripped right out from under them. The only thing they have left is the pain they carry with them. It's still so hard.

During the last two months, we have been helping college students practice English. These are also some of my precious friends. They are happy and safe. They have lots of energy and make their dreams into reality. They have such eager minds and want to soak up all they can. They work hard in school. They aren't afraid to make mistakes. When you see a person so passionate about what they are learning or doing, there's a light in their eyes that sparks with excitement. It's so inspiring to watch students show me what they care about. They know they have so much potential ahead of them. They have the world at their fingertips, but these friends also have pain they carry with them. It's still so hard.

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April 25, 2017

North African Carrot and Chickpea Salad

By Susannah Fath Cotman
Serves 5-6

Dressing


1 clove garlic, crushed

½ c. fresh parsley (preferably flat-leaf Italian), chopped

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp. cumin

1 tsp. salt

¼ c. lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed)

½ c. extra virgin olive oil


Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender; blend well. Then, with motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until well blended.

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April 21, 2017

The Power House

The 2017 SEND Interns (Paige, Josh, Janelle, Sarah, Jenny, Amy, Cameron) on their way to serve at The Power House in New Haven, Indiana.

By Paige Chupp, SEND Ministries Intern

When I look back on my past it amazes me to see how God has redeemed me in areas that I once thought completely hopeless. The song “Great Are You Lord,” by All Sons and Daughters, speaks so much truth and power about this kind of restoration, and how God longs to restore his people (if you are not familiar with this song, have a listen below). The lyrics fill me with hope and remind me of the countless verses in scripture, especially in the Old Testament, where God’s people were in rebellion against him. All they had to do was turn from their wicked ways and trust him again, and he would redeem them! That’s what God wants from us today too. He wants us to repent of our evil, fleshly ways and trust solely in him. He wants to redeem us; this truth is written all throughout the Bible. Often it’s hard to see and believe those truths and promises, especially if they aren’t right there in front of us, but that doesn’t change the truth about who God is. God IS moving, he IS restoring, and he IS redeeming. Even through everyday life in a small Indiana town.

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April 18, 2017

In The Way of Jesus: A Book Review

By Ashley West, RMM Logistics Coordinator

Missions and discipleship go hand in hand. We see the simplicity of this partnership in Jesus’ final mandate before leaving Earth—“go and make disciples.” Our workers are aiming to do just that, and we love sharing stories of the ways that God is at work through their labors. It’s incredible and humbling to watch God expand his Kingdom around the world, and to play a small part in it.

Sometimes, though, these stories can also be a little discouraging. God is raising up churches in Asia, in Africa, in the Middle East, and people are coming to faith in him in record numbers. But what about here? Sometimes it’s hard to recognize discipleship and growth in the North American church, and it raises the nagging question “where have we gone wrong—and how can we make it right again?”

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April 14, 2017

The Lamb We Slaughtered: A REACH Update

By Daniel, Team Eurasia

Sitting down and eating a meal for the last time with beloved friends.

Showing servanthood by “the washing of feet.”

Witnessing the slaughter of a lamb.

Sounds like something taken straight out of the gospels, right? But this is something that our team witnessed this Easter week… and yes, we literally slaughtered a lamb.

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April 11, 2017

Reservations: A REACH Update

By Christian, Team Montana, U.S.A.

Our team works primarily among the people of the Flathead Reservation in northwestern Montana, but this week we had the privilege of taking a prayer trip to all seven reservations in the state. This was probably the highlight of my outreach so far. God showed himself in new ways to all of us.

The place where I saw God move the most was in a small town in the middle of nowhere called Busby. When we first got there, I got this feeling of depression and felt really down and out of it. We found out a little later that there had been a lot of deaths recently in the community; this was common on the other reservations too. After we had gotten settled in and talked with the pastor, we had a time of worship and prayer.

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April 07, 2017

Locally Grown: The Bus Ride

By Shirley Nisly

RMM is excited about the ways God is using his church to touch people with his love. In this story Shirley describes a recent encounter she had while volunteering at a children’s ministry sponsored by her congregation, Plainview Mennonite Church in Hutchinson, Kansas.


Her eyes were cold and had dark circles under them. Her shoulders hunched, her hair was matted and unkempt. She was only fourteen and had experienced life well past her years, yet she came to JAM. JAM, which stands for Jesus and Me, is our church’s outreach program in Partridge, Kansas, where children come and hear about God, spend time in worship, go to class, and get a snack. I’ve been teaching there for fifteen years and had never met a young girl like Sarah* before. The first evening she came, around the middle of August, she told me that she was an atheist. We conversed about her beliefs and she told me she was worshiping Satan. My first thought was that she was too young to even know what she really believed.

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