God at work in the World

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Completion of MDS work in High River celebrated

Sandra and Harold Friesen of Calgary and Linda and Jim Dyck of Pincher Creek spent the last two years volunteering as project coordinators for Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) work in High River, Alta., cleaning up after a summer 2013 flood in Calgary and area—the worst in the province’s history—that displaced more than 100,000 people and caused an estimated $5 billion in property damage.

Welcoming the stranger

“You maybe can’t save all the lives, but you can save some.” With these words, Doha Kharsa encouraged her audience to sponsor refugees. Kharsa, herself a Syrian refugee who arrived in Canada a year ago, spoke at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Saskatchewan’s Encounter and annual general meeting, held Nov. 7 at Parliament Community Church.

Walking together . . . rather than around each other

She is a novelist and world traveller, speaks Mandarin and has a brown belt in karate. Shaimaa Kraba also wears a hijab and is a Sunni Muslim. At the third annual Christian-Muslim dialogue in Edmonton on Oct. 17, 2015, emcee Miriam Gross humorously addressed the issue of stereotyping when she quipped, “There is more to her than a ‘scarf-clad’ girl. After all, it’s a hijab, not a halo!”

Hatching peace

While the physical space has been there since the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU) Centre for Peace Advancement was inaugurated a year ago, the Frank and Helen Epp Peace Incubator got its official opening on Sept. 22, 2015, at Conrad Grebel University College.

Building peace in northeast Asia

Participants and instructors at NARPI’s summer peacebuilding training session in Mongolia gather for a group photo. Scott Kim is on the far left, wearing a light blue shirt, and Cheryl Woelk is standing behind the banner, holding her infant son. For more photos, visit facebook.com/narpipeace or narpi.net.

During NARPI’s Summer Peacebuilding Training, Scott Kim, left, and Cheryl Woelk, holding their son, visited a Mongolian family, who gave them a sense of Mongolian nomadic lifestyle. They were served delicious homemade butter, curd, fried dough and horse milk.

“Conflict isn’t something we should avoid,” says Cheryl Woelk, “because there are good things on the other side.”

Recently, Woelk and her husband, Scott Kim—members of Wildwood Mennonite Church in Saskatoon—served as instructors at the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute (NARPI) annual Summer Peacebuilding Training.

Mennonites in Panama oppose clear-cutting, request prayer

A Mennonite World Conference delegation attended a worship service at the Mennonite Brethren church in Majé, Panama, in February 2015. (Mennonite World Conference photo by Henk Stenvers)

This household in a remote village in Panama hosted the Mennonite World Conference delegation. (Mennonite World Conference photo by Henk Stenvers)

The mother of a man sentenced to 20 years in prison on false charges participates in a community meeting in the Wounaan village of Majé, Panama.(Mennonite World Conference photo by Henk Stenvers)

With the future of the Wounaan indigenous people of Panama being chopped down before their eyes, the largely Mennonite leadership of the group is asking the global Mennonite community to stand with them, and kneel with them in prayer for fair treatment.

Sunday dinners with the homeless

Volunteer Ingrid Schultz, right, enjoys dinner and fellowship with a guest at one of this summer’s fellowship dinners in Abbotsford. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Mennonite Central Committee B.C.’s offices and thrift shop may be closed on Sunday, but two Sunday afternoons a month there is plenty of activity in the back parking lot of the MCC Centre. Here homeless and low-income people meet with volunteers for a hot meal, friendship, and free clothing and groceries.

MCC Global Family program goes local

Beatrice Kuzinza holds up a small lettuce plant she found in the compost during a Bread for Success field trip. Bread for Success is a new approach by MCC. (Photo by Meghan Mast)

A group of children visited a greenhouse on the last day of Bread for Success, an after-school project in Saskatoon supported by Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) Global Family education program. The kids are learning about how vegetables are grown, and Chris Buhler, co-owner of Floating Gardens Ltd., showed them around where tomatoes and eggplants twist their way toward the ceiling.

Faith, fasting and feasting

April Yamasaki speaks about fasting from the Christian perspective at the Abbotsford interfaith symposium on July 6, 2015. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

Those attending the “Fasting: An Aid to World Peace” interfaith event in Abbotsford enjoyed dinner together. The meal was not served until after sunset because it took place during Ramadan. (Photo by Amy Dueckman)

An interfaith symposium on July 6 at Abbotsford’s Garden Park Tower found Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs reflecting on fasting and peace and then eating together with a meal around formally set tables.

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