Mission and Service Workers

Many CMC members are serving people all around the world. On this page, you can read updates on their adventures.

 Lindsay and Asher Fast – Serving in Botswana with Mennonite Mission Network and Virginia Mennonite Missions

  • Reflections on Cross-Cultural Emotions May 18, 2018
    Lindsey’s Thoughts My aunt sent us some proverbs recently about living in another culture (Jacob’s Proverbs on How to Live Happily in other Cultures, 1973). The first proverb is: “The psychological sp …
  • Risks and Rewards March 14, 2018
    We recently completed a 15-week cross-cultural discipleship course through Eastern Mennonite University. This course was designed to be apart of our service experience and involved international worke …
  • One year check-in/checklist February 26, 2018
    As I woke up this morning, I did my standard ritual of sleepily pawing at my phone which lay next to the bed.  I picked it up, checked the time, gave into my Facebook addiction, and scrolled down the …
  • Double Comfort Safari Club January 21, 2018
    Just the other day I finished reading a novel from the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. If you are not familiar with these novels from Alexander McCall Smith, they are clever, well-written books …
  • Simple Kindness October 7, 2017
    I recently finished reading the book “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio, an easy read with a great message about kindness. (I think they have made it into a movie, coming out in the States soon). I won’t give a …

Jay and Sheri Hartzler – Serving in Romania

  • Staying Busy in the Tigmandru Woodshop May 12, 2018
    Here is a bit of an update on the shop.  First, we thank you for your financial support. It has …Continue reading → …
  • On being grateful November 25, 2017
    The summer months in the U.S. in 2017 were unusual.  Instead of actively doing all of my normal activities, I …Continue reading → …
  • Back to Work in the Woodshop November 12, 2017
    We’ve been back in Romania a month.  It felt like we were gone a very long time but the language …Continue reading → …
  • Reflecting on retirement March 11, 2017
    This weekend is the bi-annual convention of the American Choral Directors Association.  Two years ago this weekend I was sitting …Continue reading → …
  • Merry Christmas! December 25, 2016
    Dear Friends A Christmas blessing to all of you!  We won’t recount the experiences of the past year because many …Continue reading → …

Amy & Giles EanesServing in Colombia with MCC’s SEED program

Greetings from Colombia.

The past few months have been full for both of us. We have had both sets of parents come and visit, travels for vacation and work, and holiday activities. Also, we have been kept busy going to doctor appointments and preparing for a new stage in life as parents! In the middle of May we are expecting a little boy that will be born here in Bogota.

Additionally, both of our jobs have kept us on our toes. The end of the year means lots of MCC partner project reports for Amy to help approve, translate, and submit as well as project planning for the new year. The 15th of February marked the end of this cycle of the 2-year Seed program which Giles helps to coordinate and thus was busy with closing activities for the Seeders. The next few months will bring a lot of changes as we start to transition out of our roles and start thinking about the next stage of life. We are planning to move back to Harrisonburg in late summer of 2018 and are looking forward to reconnecting with CMC.

Colombia continues to be a complex context. Over a year ago, Colombia signed a peace accord with the FARC guerrillas, and since then there has been a largely successful effort to demobilize and disarm. Unfortunately, there is little political will to put into law many of the parts of the accords related to social and economic reforms, and thus there is much uncertainty about what will happen. Many community and social leaders who support the implementation of the peace process, as well as environmental and human rights defenders, continue to be threatened and assassinated, further destabilizing regions – more than 170 have been killed since the signing of the accord. Additionally, congressional and presidential elections right around the corner lend more uncertainty to the process, since the next administration may or may not follow through on necessary legislation for implementation. This also affects the peace negotiations that have been going on for one year with the ELN guerrillas, which have currently been suspended. The situation in Venezuela has forced hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans from their homes in search of jobs, medicine, and food, and they continue to pour into Colombia, straining many communities and giving politicians fuel as they claim that an implemented peace accord with the FARC and voting for politicians on the left will turn Colombia into Venezuela. Meanwhile, U.S. aid to Colombia and support of peace negotiations is being cut at a critical time, with a concerning return to war on drugs-type rhetoric.

In the midst of these dynamics, Anabaptist churches and MCC partner organizations in Colombia continue to do the work of building peace in their local communities. Please pray for the safety of our Colombian brothers and sisters, as well as for their energy and encouragement as they navigate this post-accord time.

Much love,
Giles & Amy Eanes

  • An Update September 16, 2015
    In all of the busyness of the past few months, we’ve abandoned ship in terms of blogging. Other things have quickly filled up our schedules and thoughts, and it’s only occurring to me now, in our fina …
  • Privilege and the Little Blue Book May 18, 2015
    I first came to Colombia in December of 2012 as a tourist. My husband’s college roommate and friend is Colombian, and a few months after his wedding in Virginia, he and his wife planned to visit his f …
  • A step in the right direction May 13, 2015
    Glyphosate has been in the news a lot lately. Also known as Roundup, this chemical has been used for the past twenty years as part of the U.S.-funded Plan Colombia, a program supposedly designed to de …
  • Pasteles February 24, 2015
    One amazing aspect of living in Chocó is witnessing the community and work ethic among the church ladies. The hermanas are organized, both within each church and regionally, and they frequently hold c …
  • A year in December 3, 2014
    It has been a year. One year ago today, Amy and I landed in Quibdó and hauled our suitcases into a van for the curvy hour and a half ride to Istmina. I remember remarking on our arrival how much I lov …

David, Rebekka, Immanuel and Liana StutzmanServing in Germany with Virginia Mennonite Mission


Hanna Heishman – Serving with Habitat for Humanity

  • the art between us March 23, 2017
    A few days ago, I found myself at an event called “the art between us.” It was an eclectic gathering of souls: women shared hard-learned truths in the form of slam-poems, some shared original music, a …
  • "The Day After The Election I Did Not Go Outside" November 16, 2016
    by HANIF WILLIS-ABDURRAQIBBUT for a moment, to drive to the soulfood spot on Congress ave. where utensils,large & made for the hands of no one living amongus, hang on the walls & where the woman behin …
  • the dust settles. October 6, 2016
    Recently, one of my housemates posed the most seemingly benign question toward me.We were marching down the street, recanting through memories and noting how delightfully odd it was to feel as though …
  • Balance: A Reflection on the last two years — and a launch into the next chapter August 16, 2016
    I have forever gravitated toward adventure, and my pull to explore and to know difference has made me feel like a restless wanderer. I perceive myself as one who loves deeply, but sporadically, and be …
  • newness and familiarity October 7, 2015
    I’m seated back in the valley that cradled me for so many years; the weathered Blue Ridge mountains are holding me once again. I cannot shake one of my most recent memories: winding through roads I kn …

Tabea ZimmermanServing in Bolivia with MCC’s SEED program

  • A Shameless Plug for Score Against Poverty April 21, 2018
    I am not an expert on community development, managing NGO’s and monitoring programs, or even on food security, gender sensitization, or environmental conservation. But in the past few years as I have …
  • Exchanging Ideas across Borders: A Trip to Zimbabwe April 21, 2018
    Thanks to all the traveling I’ve been able to do through the MCC Seed Southern Africa program, I have stuffed my passport with visas and immigration stamps, and even had to get a new 52-pager last Aug …
  • A long overdue update – mostly in pictures March 2, 2018
    The past three months have been full of exciting travels, people, and learning. I spent a month in December-January in South Africa, both for personal vacation and work meetings. I got to meet and spe …
  • Turning point March 2, 2018
    I have reached a turning point with the relationships I am creating in Halumba. I have lived here long enough, spent enough hours around kitchen fires drinking tea and roasting maize, walked enough ki …
  • How to accurately measure your crop yields March 2, 2018
    Most NGO’s that run Conservation Agriculture (CA) and food security projects include crop yield measurements somewhere in their monitoring and evaluation strategies. We want to know how much maize and …

 


John, Jennifer, Jonathan, Rebecca, Caroline, and Nicholas Murch – Serving in Puerto Rico with Mennonite Disaster services

  • rocking the house May 17, 2018
    On Sunday after church, we went to Chiro and Lery’s for a Mother’s Day celebration. Both sides of their family were expected for the festivities, so I got Leryann, Chiro and Lery’s young adult daughte …
  • inclusion May 15, 2018
    The night after our son arrived, we went downtown for ice cream. The ice cream here is lighter, more like a sorbet, and they serve up all different flavors: banana, strawberry, tamarind, orange julius …
  • the quotidian (5.14.18) May 14, 2018
    Quotidian: daily, usual or customary; everyday; ordinary; commonplaceDon’t look here for fancy. Silly supper. A Costco find: I’ve been looking for these for years!Bites. Kitchen table desk: until the …
  • Thursday snippets May 10, 2018
    Late afternoon the other day, after hours of shopping, unpacking, and setting up, I realized that I would fall over dead if I didn’t eat something right this very minute so I grabbed the nearest avail …
  • settling in May 8, 2018
    Right now — 5:53 pm — I’m sitting on the gray, L-shaped sofa we got for free from one of our new friend’s friends, a pillow tucked behind my back, my feet propped up on the coffee table.The dining tab …

 

Selena McCoy Carpenter and Rand CarpenterServing in Kenya with Mennonite Central Committee

  • Shots from the past few months December 11, 2015
    A few shots from the past months. If the picture is a good one, Reid probably took it. In October we took a trip with good friends and colleagues, Cristina and Doug, their boys, and friends, Glenda an …
  • In Reid's Words April 27, 2015
    Hello, beautiful people who spend their precious time reading the blog of some weirdos in Kenya. My name is Reid, and today, I’ve come to the blog because many people have told me to write for the blo …
  • Poetry April 7, 2015
    It has been a difficult few days in Kenya. The siege and killings in Garissa in Northeast Kenya have been difficult for many to even contemplate. I talked to at least two friends today who essentially …
  • If Mary were Maasai December 1, 2014
    Happy Advent: Come, Lord Jesus, come!For this blog, we are posting an article that our colleague, Corinna ClymerOlson wrote for The Mennonite World Review. It’s beautifully written and demonstrates th …
  • Swahili, Tanzania, and khat-chewing bus drivers October 14, 2014
    This looks familiar…https://www.flickr.com/photos/pelangio957/We finally stepped off the bus at 8:30 that night in a dark parking lot, crowded with taxi drivers, hawkers, and others whose occupation …

Rose Shenk, Bruce Buckwalter, Christian, Andrew, Daniel, and Jacob Stoltzfus – Serving in Ethiopia with Mennonite Central Committee

  • Kircha: from live animal to ribs and tibs, kitfo, and doulet. April 9, 2018
    The guys came at about 4:20, and by 4:29 (the time stamp on my first photo) it was done. I was hiding, but needlessly so–Bruce said they did it Matador style, with a clean cut through the spinal cord, …
  • More With Less With Pets Part III April 7, 2018
    How many of you grew up eating your pets? My guess is that if you were raised a farm kid, a village kid, or a third culture kid, you are familiar with this dilemma. Today we slaughtered, eviscerated, …
  • More With Less With Pets, Part 2 March 18, 2018
    I’m growing chicken food for my flock of 29 hens. Not all of the food, of course. We buy commercially milled layer mash, and I supplement with wheat grass, which I grow from berries bought in the mark …
  • More With Less With Pets February 13, 2018
    Dog food is not much of a thing in Addis. Neither are dogs as pets, come to think of it. Dogs are for protection, and other than that, they compete with hyenas for scraps and leftover hides and hooves …
  • It’s Timket! Again. January 19, 2018
    Although the surface is serene, things are not particularly calm in Ethiopia right now. One of the pieces of advice ferengis (foreigners) often hear is “Stay away from crowds!” But who can resist the …

Other CMCers Living Internationally

John, Glenda, Anisa, and Karen LeonardServing in Nairobi, Kenya, with Rosslyn Academy

  • New Privacy Features and Updated Policies May 14, 2018
    We’re rolling out updates to our privacy features and policies in the coming weeks. You’ll have more control over your personal information and more detail on what information we keep and what we do w …
  • Transfer Your Existing Domain to WordPress.com May 14, 2018
    Giving your WordPress.com website its own custom domain has long been a powerful way to make your site stand out — a personalized web address helps you tell the world who you are and what you offer. I …
  • Find the Perfect Image with the Free Photo Library May 9, 2018
    You’re finishing up a blog post and want to add a photo, but you don’t have the right image. There’s a solution right in your WordPress mobile app: the Free Photo Library. As part of our never-ending …
  • A Better Way to Find Your Next Domain Name May 3, 2018
    One of the very first steps in building a website is picking a domain name — one that’s memorable, and that tells people who you are. It’s the first part of your site that people encounter, so you wan …
  • Background Post and Media Uploading with WordPress for iOS 9.8 April 23, 2018
    Version 9.8 of WordPress for iOS rolls out this week, and includes some great enhancements to publishing: background media and post uploading. Adding images to a post or page? Now, you can publish — a …