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Clean or unclean?

I was driving from Calgary out to Rosemary, Alta., to attend Bill and Bob Janzen’s mom’s funeral. As I drove I recalled hearing of times when everyone lived in large homes in long rows in Russian villages, each on five-acre plots. The farming was done all around the village and the Mennonites became very prosperous.

The shepherd

I still think of myself as a shepherd. Every day, actually every night, I’m out there. I look for the lost, the wanderers and the weary, and I bring them home. It’s a living. At times, it’s easy; they know the way and I just help them along. Other times, it’s dark and cold, and I worry about predators in the shadows. My lost ones might—or might not—be in good shape.

Cooking up discipleship

Doris Janzen Longacre, author of the More-with-Less Cookbook and Living More with Less

When I was a small child, my parents took our family on assignment to Chile as church workers. In a country which at that time had no Anabaptist-Mennonite churches, our ties to the Mennonite community took other forms. Among these, my parents’ use of Doris Janzen Longacre’s More-with-Less Cookbook was perhaps the most tangible.

Christian reflections on balance and the Middle East

While in the West Bank city of Hebron, Hannah Doerksen, left, Naomi Peters and Jenny Sawatzsky were approached by local students. The Canadians are students at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg. (Photo by Ramon Rempel)

During a recent trip to the Middle East, Ramon Rempel’s students met many people, learned about their lives and deepened their knowledge of the world. (Photo by Ramon Rempel)

Photo by Ramon Rempel

Not long ago I returned from a trip to the Middle East, where I led a group of ten students from Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute (MBCI) in Winnipeg through many parts of Palestine, Israel and Jordan. We met many people, stayed in local homes, saw many sights of biblical and recent significance, and I trust the world of my students grew a little wider and deeper than it was before.

"Walking with God"

Debora Prabu, from Indonesia, sings during one of the nine worship services at Mennonite World Conference Assembly, held July 21 to 26, 2015. She was part of the 17-person international music ensemble led by Marcy Hostetler, of the U.S.A. Each day they focussed on music from one of the continents.

Walking with God and each other

Morning and evening worship services featured songs from various cultures and countries. Many people found the music inspiring. (Photo by Jim Cheng)

More than 250 friendship groups allowed MWC assembly participants to become friends with believers from around the world. (Photo by Dale D. Gehman for Meetinghouse)

Martin Junge, executive secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, was among the guests from other world churches who addressed the assembly. He said he was “amazed and humbled by the gift of reconciliation and forgiveness” in the Anabaptist-Lutheran dialogue. (Photo by Dale D. Gehman for Meetinghouse)

A group of five from Kenya sang on Thursday evening. Of the choir of 30, only these five received visas to come to the U.S. For a report from the visa task force, go to canadianmennonite.org/mwc-2015-visas (Photo by Dale D. Gehman for Meetinghouse)

The assembly was a “green” event with strong encouragement to compost as much as possible. (Photo by Dale D. Gehman for Meetinghouse)

Liesa Unger, chief international events coordinator for MWC, rides one of the Amish-made scooters used by volunteers and coordinators to get around the enormous complex. (Photo by Dale D. Gehman for Meetinghouse)

In his friendship group at the Mennonite World Conference assembly, Francis Ojwang found that getting to know fellow believers from distant places brought an unexpected blessing.

MWC youth program supported by MC Canada

Natasha Neustaedter Barg gets some tips on playing a gamelan instrument from player Andrew Beltaos, as part of an evening youth event. (Photo by Doreen Martens)

Clara Flores (left), Kailey Schroeder and Joel Heppner, who knew each other as youngsters in Bolivia, were able to spend time together. (Photo by Doreen Martens)

Megan Breidigan may be only 16, but she’s already figured out there’s nothing quite like a Mennonite World Conference assembly.

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