A Touch More

My roommate Julia and I like to hold hands. Walking to the bus stop, walking to class, walking to a theatre, mall, or grocery store, we are almost always holding hands. We like it. It’s comforting. It’s fun. And yet, Julia and I are the vast minority. For some reason, amongst my peers, hand-holding is reserved for romantic relationships. No matter how much one friend may love and care for another friend, the affection is rarely shown physically.

A Family Reunion

This post first appeared on Isaac and Wanda's blog Life in Egypt

Less than a week ago we bid farewell to my parents Tim and Johanna. They came to Egypt for two weeks and saw the world that has become our home. As we look back, we are once again amazed by how quickly time went with our beloved guests. After all the anticipation prior to their visit, it is suddenly over. But ilhumdulallah we have many memories to look back on and – thanks to my dad – multitudes of photos!

A Dilemma

This post first appeared on Isaac and Wanda's Blog Life in Egypt

We just returned home from Cairo after bidding farewell to Wanda's parents. We enjoyed two wonderful weeks together, and will be sure to write about it soon once we collect our thoughts and photos. In the meantime, I have written a piece on our encounters with poverty in Egypt.

Cross and context

In this post-Easter season, I’ve been continuing to mull over the significance of the cross for our faith – and not only because I recently wrote an exam on this topic! I articulated my thoughts on the matter last year around this time (you can read it here), so it seems appropriate to articulate them again, slightly differently.

The Stories We Tell

Much has been written on this blog about the stories we tell. This narrative perspective is becoming a stronger one in many fields of study, including therapy, education, conflict resolution, and negotiation. The basic concept is described well in Bruner's Acts of Meaning (link). Bruner describes human efforts at making meaning as collecting information in the organization of stories. We like to have characters, plots, settings, and we remember through the stories we construct.

Beni Suef: Insider's Edition

This post first appeared on Isaac and Wanda's blog Life in Egypt

I clearly recall our first visit to Beni Suef back in May 2011. We had been living in Cairo for a month, and drove down with our country reps to check out our future stomping grounds. While our arrival in Cairo was accompanied by a wave of culture shock, the sense of excited discomfort only increased in Beni Suef. I remember peering out of our apartment window wondering how we were ever going to live here.

April is Blog Month!

Hey guys --- I've decided that April is Blog Month. In the next few weeks I am going to be scouring the internet in search of some unique blogs Mennonite influenced blogs worth promoting.

Know of someone who has an interesting twist or take, and blogs? Found a curious and inspiring Mennonite who writes? Are you a writer and want to share? If so, give me a shout, and I’ll investigate!

In for the ride, and looking forward to your input!

- B.

You can email me @

Beni Suef

This post first appeared on Isaac and Wanda's blog Life in Egypt

As we reach the two year point in our term, we look back on past blog entries and realize we have not adequately commemorated our adopted hometown of Beni Suef. Our residence in this fair city is a major factor in our having had such a happy and meaningful experience here so far. So what is the essence of the 'flower of Upper Egypt', Beni Suef?

Meeting the Risen Lord in church

When I am in Vancouver, I am bad at going to church. I was better last year when my friend Rebecca and I would go, sharing ear buds and listening to One Direction all the way there and back, but this year Rebecca is in Australia and I haven’t gone to church once. I guess I haven’t gone because I haven’t felt that I “need” to, that my relationship with God is strengthened and sustained through writing and reading, friendships, and quiet moments on the bus or walking to class when I am again surprised by the beauty of ocean, mountain, sunshine, and even rain.

My Response to Bill 18

When I was in grade 9 or 10 I remember a boy in my class, who wasn’t religious, asking several students if they “supported gay people” or if they thought “being gay was okay”. We were walking out of my science class and the students that were asked were mostly the kids that attended the Evangelical Mennonite church in our town. I remember everyone shaking their heads, not with aggression but with discomfort. No, they didn’t support it. No, they didn’t want to talk about it. One person turned to the questioner and shot back, “Do you support it?” “No!

A Balancing Act or a New Show

My impression of Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo was a college trying to keep its identity as a Christian college on a growing campus with increasing diversity. They seem to be doing a good job of balancing and finding integrity in the shifting realities, and they're not the only Christian higher education institutes to be dealing with this question of identity.

Life in Bethlehem: an interview

With Christmas having come and gone, I would guess that not many of us are thinking about the “little town” of Bethlehem these days. Even at Christmas-time, many of us probably picture the serene and peaceful image from carols and greeting cards, conveniently forgetting about the harsh realities mentioned in the biblical story: the long journey Mary was forced to take while at the end of her pregnancy, just for a census; the lack of space in the inn, leading to a birth in a squalid stable; the attempts by Herod to find and kill the baby, forcing the family to become refugees to Egypt.

Intentional Communities: Words of Wisdom Pt.2

Last year I had the opportunity to interview numerous people living in intentional communities across Ontario. The following are words of experience and wisdom from people who strive to love their neighbours -- PART TWO! See my earlier post for PART ONE. For those of you who are unsure of how to start serving and getting to know your neighbours, I think you’ll find this helpful. May it encouragement to all of us to love our neighbours too

Charitable status - take it or leave it?

Well, I’m back after some time away from this blog, and I must admit, I’ve missed writing and posting here! For my first post back, I thought I’d weigh in on the controversy surrounding the Canada Revenue Agency’s “reminder” to the Canadian Mennonite about the supposedly politically “partisan” nature of some of its articles. The magazine had allegedly exceeded the CRA’s limit of 10% when it came to “politically partisan” content.

Throwing Off the Cloak

Every now and then a familiar story comes to new meaning. A recent re-reading of the story of Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52 pushes me into an area of discomfort that challenges my identity and my understanding of our identity as a faith community. It makes me question our responses to Jesus' unexpected ways of transforming people. It causes me to wonder how good my vision is after all.


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